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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1985

Taken very much for granted, the common or garden pallet is still one of the most versatile items of materials handling equipment. It comes in all shapes and sizes and…

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Abstract

Taken very much for granted, the common or garden pallet is still one of the most versatile items of materials handling equipment. It comes in all shapes and sizes and there are countless variations on a theme: timber, metal and plastic are the most popular materials of construction, while post pallets, roll pallets, expendables, converters, collars and cages are just a few of the pallet's relations. As one of the most innovative sectors in the total handling/storage spectrum, palletisation still provides the vital link in the strength and well being of our distribution networks.

Details

Retail and Distribution Management, vol. 13 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-2363

Article
Publication date: 18 October 2021

Nour El-Hoda Khalifeh, Rudy Youssef, Farah Fadel, Roy Khalil, Elie Shammas, Naseem Daher, Imad H. Elhajj, Thomas Irrenhauser, Michael N. Niedermeier and Christian Poss

The purpose of this paper is to detail the design and prototyping of a smart automation solution for de-strapping plastic bonding straps on shipping pallets, which are…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to detail the design and prototyping of a smart automation solution for de-strapping plastic bonding straps on shipping pallets, which are loaded with multiple containers secured by a top-cover as they move on a conveyor belt.

Design/methodology/approach

The adopted design methodology to have the system perform its function entails using the least number of sensors and actuators to arrive at an economic solution from a system design viewpoint. Two prototypes of the robotic structure are designed and built, one in a research laboratory and another in an industrial plant, to perform localized cutting and grabbing of the plastic straps, with the help of a custom-designed passive localizing structure. The proposed structure is engineered to locate the plastic straps using one degree of freedom (DOF) only. An additional strap removal mechanism is designed to collect the straps and prevent them from interfering with the conveyor.

Findings

The functionality of the system is validated by performing full-process tests on the developed prototypes in a laboratory setting and under real-life operating conditions at BMW Group facilities. Testing showed that the proposed localization system meets the specified requirements and can be generalized and adapted to other industrial processes with similar requirements.

Practical implications

The proposed automated system for de-strapping pallets can be deployed in assembly or manufacturing facilities that receive parts in standard shipping pallets that are used worldwide.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first mechanically smart system that is used for the automated removal of straps from shipping pallets used in assembly facilities. The two main novelties of the proposed design are the robustness of the strap localization without the need for computer vision and a large number of DOF, and the critical placement and choice of the cutting and gripping tools to minimize the number of needed actuators.

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2020

Rui Lin, Haibo Huang and Maohai Li

This study aims to present an automated guided logistics robot mainly designed for pallet transportation. Logistics robot is compactly designed. It could pick up the pallet

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to present an automated guided logistics robot mainly designed for pallet transportation. Logistics robot is compactly designed. It could pick up the pallet precisely and transport the pallet up to 1,000 kg automatically in the warehouse. It could move freely in all directions without turning the chassis. It could work without any additional infrastructure based on laser navigation system proposed in this work.

Design/methodology/approach

Logistics robot should be able to move underneath and lift up the pallet accurately. Logistics robot mainly consists of two sub-robots, like two forks of the forklift. Each sub-robot has front and rear driving units. A new compact driving unit is compactly designed as a key component to ensure access to the narrow free entry of the pallet. Besides synchronous motions in all directions, the two sub-robots should also perform synchronous lifting up and laying down the pallet. Logistics robot uses a front laser to detect obstacles and locate itself using on-board navigation system. A rear laser is used to recognize and guide the sub-robots to pick up the pallet precisely within ± 5mm/1o in x-/yaw direction. Path planning algorithm under different constraints is proposed for logistics robot to obey the traffic rules of pallet logistics.

Findings

Compared with the traditional forklift vehicles, logistics robot has the advantages of more compact structure and higher expandability. It can realize the omnidirectional movement flexibly without turning the chassis and take zero-radius turn by controlling compact driving units synchronously. Logistics robot can move collision-free into any pallet that has not been precisely placed. It can plan the paths for returning to charge station and charge automatically. So it can work uninterruptedly for 7 × 24 h. Path planning algorithm proposed can avoid traffic congestion and improve the passability of the narrow roads to improve logistics efficiencies. Logistics robot is quite suitable for the standardized logistics factory with small working space.

Originality/value

This is a new innovation for pallet transportation vehicle to improve logistics automation.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 41 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1972

Gustav R. Grob

The success of the pallet began with the development of the fork‐lift truck and with increased mechanisation of piece‐good transport since the Second World War. This…

Abstract

The success of the pallet began with the development of the fork‐lift truck and with increased mechanisation of piece‐good transport since the Second World War. This brought with it a world‐wide revolution in distribution which has still today not yet run its full course. Specialised educational faculties, technical magazines and industrial management positions have been established for the “TOTAL DISTRIBUTION CONCEPT” discipline since the latter part of the Sixties and there is talk of enormous unexploited rationalisation reserves in this field which commences at the end of the extraction or manufacturing process and terminates either with the subsequent processor or the final consumer.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0020-7527

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1977

Oliver Richter

The Fourth International Biennial Conference on Warehousing and Centralised Distribution, organised by the International Association of Chain Stores (CIES), presented…

Abstract

The Fourth International Biennial Conference on Warehousing and Centralised Distribution, organised by the International Association of Chain Stores (CIES), presented delegates with three days of intensive instruction on everything from increasing productivity to the role of the security officer. Held in Zurich towards the end of last year the conference attracted speakers from France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, North America and Britain—Oliver Richter of GKN. His paper on the development of a national pallet pool is published below. It is followed by the paper given by W.H. Jonkers of van der Berghs who urges less emphasis on low prices and a move to greater efficiency fostered by close links between manufacturers and retailers.

Details

Retail and Distribution Management, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-2363

Article
Publication date: 4 October 2011

A. Mazeika Bilbao, A.L. Carrano, M. Hewitt and B.K. Thorn

This paper seeks to frame and model the environmental issues and impacts associated with the management of pallets throughout the entire life cycle, from materials to…

1890

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to frame and model the environmental issues and impacts associated with the management of pallets throughout the entire life cycle, from materials to manufacturing, use, transportation to end‐of‐life disposal.

Design/methodology/approach

A linear minimum cost multi‐commodity network flow problem is developed to make pallet‐related decisions based on both environmental and economic considerations.

Findings

This paper presents a review of the environmental impacts associated with pallets by life cycle stage. The types of materials used to fabricate pallets, the methods by which they are treated for specific applications, and various pallet management models are described with respect to embodied energies, toxicity and emissions. The need for companies to understand the cost, durability, and environmental impact tradeoffs presented by pallet choices is highlighted. The paper introduces a model to assist in choosing both how pallets are managed and the material they are constructed of that balances these tradeoffs.

Originality/value

There is limited research on the environmental impact of different management approaches of large‐scale pallet operations. The proposed model and approach will provide companies seeking to engage in more sustainable practices in their supply chains and distribution with insights and a decision‐making tool not previously available.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 34 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 October 2008

Antonio C. Caputo and Pacifico M. Pelagagge

This paper aims to discuss some relevant issues in the design and operation of material handling and storage systems (MH&SS) characterized by complex material flows and…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss some relevant issues in the design and operation of material handling and storage systems (MH&SS) characterized by complex material flows and high‐traffic intensity. The paper seeks to provide solution examples and an analysis methodology to face large increases of materials flows through a redesign of the material handling and storage system.

Design/methodology/approach

At first, possible strategies to improve system performances when facing strong increments of material flows are presented and discussed. A significant case study is then analyzed in order to present a practical application of the proposed methodology. Resorting to discrete‐events simulation, the alternatives are verified, correct design choices are identified, and the resources are properly sized to develop a streamlined layout.

Findings

The paper recognises that design and upgrade of intensive material handling systems is a complex task asking for a careful study of alternatives and detailed system analysis, otherwise capacity problems and bottleneck phenomena may not be effectively solved.

Research limitations/implications

This work focuses on a specific case study. The paper, therefore, will be of interest mainly to managers and designers of similar plants and large – intensive material handling systems.

Practical implications

The paper shows how the correct planning and analysis of design alternatives integrated with a detailed system simulation enable a drastic reduction of bottleneck phenomena, thus meeting the required capacity improvement goals when upgrading and redesigning complex and high‐volume material handling systems.

Originality/value

The paper, while providing insights to practitioners engaged in design and management of complex MH&SS, outlines a methodological approach which can be useful when facing major capacity improvement projects.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 19 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 February 2018

Bhavin Shah and Vivek Khanzode

The contemporary e-tailing marketplace insists that distribution centers are playing the roles of both wholesalers and retailers which require different storage-handling…

Abstract

Purpose

The contemporary e-tailing marketplace insists that distribution centers are playing the roles of both wholesalers and retailers which require different storage-handling load sizes due to different product variants. To fulfill piecewise retail orders, a separate small size-fast pick area is design called “forward buffer” wherein pallets are allocated from reserve area. Due to non-uniform pallets, the static allocation policy diminishes forward space utilization and also, more than practically required buffer size has been identified as wastage. Thus, dynamic storage allocation policy is required to design for reducing storage wastage and improving throughput considering non-uniform unit load sizes. The purpose of this paper is to model such policy and develop an e-decision support system assisting enterprise practitioners with real-time decision making.

Design/methodology/approach

The research method is developed as a dynamic storage allocation policy and mathematical modeled as knapsack-based heuristics. The execution procedure of policy is explained as an example and tested with case-specific data. The developed model is implemented as a web-based support system and tested with rational data instances, as well as overcoming prejudices against single case findings.

Findings

The provided model considers variable size storage-handling unit loads and recommends number of pallets allocations in forward area reducing storage wastes. The algorithm searches and suggests the “just-right” amount of allocations for each product balancing existing forward capacity. It also helps to determine “lean buffer” size for forward area ensuring desired throughput. Sensitivity and buffer performance analysis is carried out for Poisson distributed data sets followed by research synthesis.

Practical implications

Warehouse practitioners can use this model ensuring a desired throughput level with least forward storage wastages. The model driven e-decision support system (DSS) helps for effective real-time decision making under complicated business scenarios wherein products are having different physical dimensions. It assists the researchers who would like to explore the emerging field of “lean” adoption in enterprise information and retail-distribution management.

Originality/value

The paper provides an inventive approach endorsing lean thinking in storage allocation policy design for a forward-reserve model. Also, the developed methodology incorporating features of e-DSS along with quantitative modeling is an inimitable research contribution justifying rational data support.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2014

S.H. Masood and Hussain A. Khan

This paper presents an investigation on the development of different pattern placement strategies in robotic palletisation of box packages in the packaging industry with…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper presents an investigation on the development of different pattern placement strategies in robotic palletisation of box packages in the packaging industry with practical implementations for one, two, four and five block patterns with the aim of improving the operational efficiency in robotic palletisation.

Design/methodology/approach

The work involves considering the gripper design and maximum number of picks and various process parameters that affect the robotic implementation of pallet patterns and develops a methodology to form different patterns for a given pallet size.

Findings

The proposed methodology represents an efficient approach for pallet pattern implementation and results in reduced number of placements required for a given number of boxes per layer and reduced time for palletisation.

Originality/value

The paper introduces a novel technique for pallet loading problem (PLP) considering the physical aspects and restrictions encountered when using the robot and the gripper size to generate the pattern on the pallet. Traditional solutions of PLP do not consider these aspects in pattern placements.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 1965

The Origins of the Argosy and its Progressive Development from the AW.66 through to the Hawker Siddeley Series 222 Argosy including a Description of the Various Freight…

Abstract

The Origins of the Argosy and its Progressive Development from the AW.66 through to the Hawker Siddeley Series 222 Argosy including a Description of the Various Freight Handling Systems Devised for Use with the Aircraft and Concluding with a Review of Operational Experience. ALTHOUGH it was some years later that the name Argosy was given to the aircraft, the project began in 1955 when Sir W. G. Armstrong‐Whitworth Aircraft were invited to tender for a Medium Transport Aircraft to meet OR.323. This requirement called for an aircraft capable of carrying a payload of 10,000 lb. over a stage length of 1,500 nautical miles, with operation from 2,000 yds. runways at I.S.A.C.+30 deg. C. It had a freight hold over 42 ft. long, 9 ft. wide and 8 ft. high with a built‐in ramp/door at the rear for loading and supplies dropping. Inward opening paratroop doors were fitted on each side of the rear fuselage and there was an outward opening freight‐cum‐passenger door on the port side of the front fuselage. In this proposal the company considered various approaches for the tail configuration, a twin‐tail boom layout, a single tail boom layout and a twin‐tail boom layout with the booms projecting from the rear of the fuselage. This last layout was the one selected for submission as it gave more freedom for the loading ramp and a stiff tail support. Fig. 1 shows a model of the aircraft, powered with two Napier Eland engines and known as the AW.66.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 37 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

1 – 10 of over 3000