The robotic action in the live demo of Cimcorp 3D Shuttle™ at IMHX 2013 was literally a show-stopper, turning the heads and freezing the feet of passing visitors.


Unveiled to the UK market for the first time at IMHX, this innovative order picking system from Cimcorp, the Finnish robotics specialist, is perfect for retail, foodservice and e-commerce distribution centres. Cimcorp 3D Shuttle™ is an ASRS solution for goods-to-person order picking of plastic crates, totes and trays that is based on proven gantry robot technology. Its unique feature is a shuttle device that is integrated into the overhead gantry to transport required totes back and forth.

Six times more efficient

Cimcorp 3D Shuttle™ can make order picking six times more efficient than a manual solution. The system creates stacks of totes on entry to the storage area, which are collected by one of the robots and deposited on the floor. Modular in design, the floor area of the system and the number of robots used can be varied to suit each application’s throughput. When a particular SKU is required to fulfil an order, a robot retrieves the nearest corresponding tote and deposits this on the shuttle device. The shuttle travels along the gantry and transfers the tote to the outfeed conveyor, from where it is fed to the picking stations. Once picking from a tote is complete, it is conveyed back to the entry point. With goods accessed from above, there is also no need for space-wasting aisles, resulting in very high storage density. The system can take care of a distribution centre’s entire operations or, alternatively, may operate as an ‘island’ of automation within a manual facility.

Unrivalled efficiency

The unrivalled efficiency of Cimcorp 3D Shuttle™ results from several factors. Firstly, the gantry robots’ stack-handling capability makes the storage of incoming totes significantly faster – infeed capacities can exceed 5,000 totes per hour. Secondly, the use of independently operating shuttles for the retrieval of required totes allows the robots to return to storage tasks sooner, boosting efficiency further. Thirdly, the high speed of robotic handling contributes to efficiency, with Cimcorp 3D Shuttle™ able to retrieve up to 1000 totes per hour from the storage area. The solution has a low investment cost through an excellent cost/storage capacity ratio and secures significant savings by requiring no racking.


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