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SSI Schaefer upgrades its Orbiter: more efficient and flexible

SSI Schaefer upgrades its Orbiter: more efficient and flexible


Channel storage systems are genuine miracles when it comes to space and they deliver convincing results especially when it comes to storing large volumes of similar items.

Harnessing maximum performance from optimal space utilisation requires highly dynamic shuttle vehicles in the channel storage system.

With its latest generation of SSI Orbiter, global intralogistics expert SSI Schaefer is improving its current solution to make it even more efficient and flexible.

The enhancements of the solution focus primarily on safety and the demands from customers for improved performance and availability as well as an application that considers the challenges presented by Industry 4.0.

Increasing order numbers and the need to efficiently store pallets of varying depths requires flexible, space-saving systems. Changing needs in the market lead to requirements to optimise the entire storage volume without compromising on the efficiency or cost-effectiveness of the process.

These types of application concentrate on maximising the use of space while keeping operating costs low.

The optimal solution

Channel storage systems enable compact storage and they optimally use the space that is available. This technology is particularly well suited to handling large amounts of items with low diversity, such as in the food and beverage industry or in temperature-controlled environments that require a lot of power.

With the SSI Orbiter, SSI Schaefer has both semi-automatic and fully-automatic systems that achieve greater availability, service quality and supply capability, in addition to efficient utilisation of space.

SSI Orbiter for semi-automatic applications

In semi-automatic applications, when connected to a docking station, the SSI Orbiter offers optimal utilisation of space as well as extremely high flexibility, maximum personal safety, sustainability and ease of use in the channel storage system. It also enables vastly improved pallet handling efficiency.

Protected within the docking station, the shuttle is inserted into the central console of the required rack channel by a forklift. This prevents incorrect positioning and damage to materials whilst saving lots of time during positioning. This is a major advantage, especially in the upper levels. The bin stackers then pick up the pallet to be stored and put this down, the Orbiter picks it up and then the Orbiter transports it to the next available storage location in the channel.

Movement commands are transmitted to the shuttle using a wireless remote control. Logical and clear images on the remote control make it easy to use. Once the order is complete, the Orbiter automatically returns to the docking station.

All standard components of the system, such as rack technology, shuttle vehicles and safety elements come exclusively from SSI Schaefer production facilities and therefore meet the market leader’s high-quality requirements.

Safe technology for the highest level of flexibility

The SSI Orbiter extremely safe operation is impressive. Unauthorised access is prevented because the docking station remains on the front side of the channel.

The locking device of the Orbiter in the docking station also ensures safe transport within the storage facility. An integrated safety PLC and specially designed sensors also provide optimal personal security in the storage facility.

The SSI Orbiter high flexibility is impressive on two counts – its ability to both combine FIFO and FILO operation within the same storage facility and to simultaneously use different types of pallet.

However, the Orbiter’s features do not stop there. For example, it can also be used in earthquake areas and sub-zero environments with no issues. Its generous positioning tolerances make insertion into a rack quick and easy. It is even possible to have multiple shuttles working at the same time.

Intelligent solution for fully-automatic channel storage systems

Unlike a conventional single or double-deep high bay warehouse, a fully-automatic channel storage system manages to use more storage space and therefore helps to minimize overheads.

An efficient energy management system complements this system and turns it into an interesting alternative to the semi-automatic application.

SSI Schaefer’s SSI Orbiter LHD load handling device can be used with both the universal Exyz storage and retrieval machine and the high-performance Schaefer Lift&Run (SLR) system in temperatures ranging from sub-zero (-30°C) to warm (+45°C) and can handle a maximum load of 1500 kg.

The dynamic solution is characterised by its extremely flat design and unprecedented riding dynamics and its specially developed energy management system using power caps. These innovations ensure the highest degree of energy efficiency, even during 24/7 operation.

Optimal safety functions allow access to all storage bins even in the event of maintenance. In conjunction with the SLR system, turnover performance can also be improved several times over with no loss of storage space because multiple storage and retrieval machines can be deployed, one above the other.

Combined with the logistics software WAMAS® from SSI Schaefer, the handling processes are optimally controlled and high technical performance is achieved. In addition, the scalable layout allows individual customer requirements to be catered for.

“The SSI Orbiter represents an innovative solution that we are providing for both semi-automatic and fully-automatic applications. The enhanced version makes the channel storage system yet another level safer and more efficient, but not at the expense of flexibility and dynamics”, concludes SSI Schaefer’s Head of Product Management Storage, Andreas Koch.