Adding a new layer of efficiency

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For paperless, high-capacity picking, Danish company Univeyor has released its vacuum Layer Picker, a centrifugal fan creates a vacuum chamber inside the Layer Picker head, allowing goods to be picked automatically. Side-skirts are pressed against each layer of product, sealing off the chamber, allowing the atmospheric pressure underneath to lift the layer by pushing it towards the suction plate.

The relatively simple principle makes it possible to lift almost any product that has a flat surface area underneath, including bottles in trays and cartons with telescopic lids. The picker’s valve system means layers containing gaps can also be picked, as the valves close automatically when the air stream exceeds a set limit.

Univeyor says that layer picking is an idea that is still little known and understood in the UK.

Currently, companies such as: Top-Toy, Coca-Cola, Chivas Glenlivet and Netto are all using the Layer Picker. Univeyor has developed its picking system to handle individual layers of almost any product, typically cases, trays, bottles, cans and shrink-wrapped goods.

The range of products that can be handled varies from; all forms of cased products, as well as cartons, cans (whether on trays or not), glass and plastic bottles, liquid containers (one-, two- or three-litre) and bagged goods. Univeyor says that a single machine can replace twelve pickers, with manual picking rates around 250 cases an hour, cost savings in a year can be as much as £200,000 on a single shift and £400,000 on a double shift.

Space utilisation is a key concern for any warehouse manager, and Univeyor claim that the Layer Picker can offer impressive savings in floor space, especially in very high bay locations, these savings can be as great as 75 per cent.

Handling and efficiency are also improved: picking accuracy is increased, as is the quality of picked pallets.

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