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Schäfer Miniload Crane – 10 Year Success

By 14th November 2019 No Comments

10 Years of the SSI Schaefer Miniload Crane

Storage-retrieval machines such as the Schäfer Miniload Crane (SMC) are a decisive component of a cost-optimized logistics chain. This year, the SMC celebrates its 10th anniversary. A good enough reason to take a closer look at this system.

For 10 years, the Schäfer Miniload Crane has been covering the range of applications in dynamic small parts storage. It is one of the three system solutions provided by SSI Schaefer in the product range of storage and retrieval machines for automated storage systems. SMC is used for warehousing in e-commerce, spare parts supply, the food sector as well as the pharmaceutical, electrics and electronics sector to store bins, cartons and trays. To meet the high requirements of modern warehousing, SSI Schaefer optimized the technology of the proven SMC in 2017.

SMC is available as one-mast or two-mast system and offers a maximum variety of customized applications thanks to the intelligent, modular construction. In-house production technologies and an extended preliminary commissioning including functional tests ensure high quality of the standardized components. The SMC design provides direct access to all individual components for easy maintenance of the devices.

The second SMC generation is compatible with the Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) platform to increase efficiency. The TIA interface combines different individual automation components as well as control and software tools for an integrated automation solution. This increases transparency of diagnosis components. In combination with state-of-the-art device and control technology, as well as flexible, modular configuration of the SMC, TIA facilitates significant cost savings along the entire product life cycle. Integration of system data, engineering and future retrofit using the TIA portal provide users with long-term investment safety. “All in all, a long-term concept that offers operators reliable and long-lasting system availability and transparency. The TIA platform forms the basis for intelligent use of data and paves the way for future-proof Industry 4.0 functionalities,” summarizes Theresa Klembt, Product Manager at SSI Schaefer.

For 10 years, users have been benefiting from the advantages of different SMC generations.

The optimized mast vibration damping during operation highlights the future-proof focus and investment security of the devices. This enables the SMC to arrive even faster at the precise transfer position in front of the storage locations and on the conveying system. The result is higher throughput and further increases in performance. The anti-pendulum drive on the mast head is also no longer needed on the SMC from SSI Schaefer. The use of fewer materials reduces the need for maintenance and at the same time extends the service life of the devices. The integrated energy-efficiency software reduces the need for care and maintenance through measures such as automatically optimizing the cruising and lifting speeds, which has a positive effect on wear and downtimes. The software pools the monitoring tasks that are taken on by several components in conventional devices, and controls the coordinated interaction of the mechanical components.

For a decade, users have been benefiting from the advantages of different SMC generations. At Solar Denmark A/S for instance, storage bins are retrieved by eight storage-retrieval machines with a performance of 120 order-related bins per hour. Another example is the 3-aisle miniload of the Swiss pharmaceutical wholesaler Galexis. They deploy three storage-retrieval machines, type SMC 2. Thanks to the double combined telescope load handling devices, the compact devices achieve 51 double cycles or 125 storage cycles per hour. They enable automatic replenishment for order picking from flow racks.”