Körber Supply Chain develops a new system solution for de-palletising pallets to trays

With the launch of a new de-palletisation system, Körber Supply Chain has become the first supplier of automated logistics solutions to offer a total turn-key solution for the separation of goods from pallet to tray. The goal is to fully automate and eliminate risks and sudden downtime in the sorting process.

Downstream is a turnkey solution that de-palletises each pallet layer into individual items

New research shows that sudden stops and interruptions in the supply chain are the biggest concern for almost 90% of the companies surveyed within among others retail trade, consumer goods, and industrial production. This is one of the reasons why close to half of these companies expect to increase investments in strengthening their supply chain — including technology that ensures increased flexibility, transparency, and an overview.

To meet the market’s challenges, Körber Supply Chain has now, as the first supplier in the industry, developed a total solution to manage the sorting of products from pallets to trays. The solution is called Downstream. It is a de-palletising system that separates each pallet layer into individual items, which can be turned and tilted to fit into trays and prepared for further distribution through a conveyor belt.

It is not straightforward to break down pallets into trays in a fully automated solution with the large variety of products handled by many companies. The overview is lost, when one mistake results in sudden downtime, creating an inefficient sorting process. Therefore, a reliable and durable automated logistics system that ensured higher productivity and stability, and was future-proof for new products was needed, said René Kahr, product manager at Körber Supply Chain.

A complex operation in a simple system

The pallet to tray solution has been part of Körber Supply Chain’s portfolio for a few years, but the new version is a natural development by the tech company. The latest version is more intuitive and adaptable, thus decreasing potential downtime in the process. De-palletising from pallet to tray is not affected by unique product packaging designs, slip sheets, or changes in the assortment, which are otherwise the classic culprits for errors and downtime.

“When there are changes in packaging and assortments, problems arise in automated logistics. We now make the complex easy, and our system effortlessly sorts a pallet into smaller packages for distribution. In addition, the system can be integrated into other integrator solutions, while our software can be adapted to the individual distribution center’s quantities and sizes,” explained Kahr.

He further explained that Downstream would be able to sort up to 2,400 items per hour, with sorted packages being redistributed and loaded onto a tray with one to six items on each tray.

The new solution builds on digital enablement

At Körber Supply Chain, one of the main goals is “digital enablement”. The goal is to help companies improve productivity and operations by implementing digital solutions. The pallet to tray solution is an AI-based solution that, with data tracking of the individual products throughout the entire process, 100% automatically transforms whole pallets into separate items on trays without manual intervention. The objective is to help to move companies towards a much more efficient operation.

“There doesn’t exist a turnkey solution on the market about the redistribution from pallet to tray. With the new Downstream, we are closing that gap. It will help optimise operations, save resources, and remove uncertainty in an automated logistics process at distribution centers. The solution has already been sold to some of the leading players, so we know there is a need for the solution in several markets. The potential is high,” Ralph Korsbæk, head of sales of product solutions at Körber Supply Chain, remarked.