At the 2019 IMHX show, RARUK Automation introduced its new, EffiMat® intelligent small parts pick and storage system. Unlike comparative systems that can only pick a single item at a time, EffiMat can pick five items within its vertical shelving and deliver them all to the picking station on the same tray.

EffiMat attracted many enquiries at the show from UK companies wishing to explore the productivity enhancing and cost savings benefits this system is already demonstrating in mainland Europe. A typical beneficiary is Denmark’s Billund Airport that is set to transform the way it handles duty free goods with its EffiMat investment.

Billund Airport serves as one of the country’s busiest air cargo centres and is connected to most major European airports via multiple daily scheduled flights. Indeed, its success has prompted an ambitious expansion programme. This includes a new 6,650 square metre storage facility which has been constructed next to the terminal building and, to optimise the use of space, two EffiMat storage systems have been specified.

As well as providing greater capacity for storage, the EffiMat systems will be used to provide fast picking of items to re-stock the duty-free shop in the adjacent terminal building. Before, these goods were stored in a separate warehouse so delivering them to the shop incurred time and the cost of internal transport.

The new facility will allow goods to be delivered directly to the EffiMat storage robots on the ground floor. Warehouse staff will then pick the duty-free items on the second floor. The vertical systems will take full advantage of the height of the warehouse to reduce waste of space. They will also greatly improve picking productivity and provide employees with good, ergonomic working conditions.

An interface between the airport’s ERP system and EffiMat storage robots will register in real time when an item is bought in the shop and the system will automatically pick a replacement to ensure stock is replenished. As well as providing an immediate productivity boost, this investment is seen as being a vital step in ensuring the airport is ready for further growth in line with expectation.

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