Alpi Sistemi S.r.l. has designed and built the automation of the SMC ITALIA warehouse for the new operational headquarters in Brugherio (MI). The automation is divided into two main systems plus a freight elevator for pallets and trolleys.
The first part of the plant is the "ASSERVATION LINE" and manages the handling of the boxes for picking up items from the shelves of the Toyota warehouse, developed on two levels, and transferring them to the 10 unloading bays for the "consolidation zone" areas where operators prepare the customer order by picking up the items from the crates and placing them in the shipping boxes for the end customer.
Once prepared by the operators, these boxes are loaded onto our second part of the plant called "CONVEYOR SHIPPING LINE" where we manage the automatic weighing and labeling operations with sorting on the destination bays. The freight elevator is used for the transfer of heavy goods, pallets or trolleys, from the ground floor to the first floor of the Toyota warehouse.
After the automatic weighing of the boxes and the barcode recognition by means of a Cognex photo reader, we automatically apply the shipping label on the upper side of the box according to the specific courier's specifications (TNT, Bartolini, DHL).
In addition, the pneumatics that applies labels is entirely made up of SMC supplies.
The installed systems are managed by two 15" industrial PCs where our management software is installed.
PCs rely on the proven stability of Windows 10 and are equipped with a Touch Screen for quick access to all control functions.
From the workstations it is possible to monitor the situation of the entire system thanks to a dedicated subnet that allows you to manage the Interroll Multicontrol Drive, the PLC and all the other connected peripherals such as laser readers, printers, scales and more.
The Interroll elevator connects the raised transverse line for the unloading of the bays with the loading of the crates from floor 0 and floor 1 of the Toyota warehouse.
The positioning control is carried out by means of an absolute SICK laser encoder which allows us to command the motor inverter with high precision, guaranteeing perfect positioning.
The vertical conveyor consists of a column structure and a steel and aluminum trolley on which the transport system is mounted. The lifting procedure is carried out by means of two rotating toothed belts whose motor is flanged laterally upwards on the motor shaft.
The management software, entirely developed by Alpi Sistemi technicians using .NET technologies.
It manages the entire movement of the roller conveyors via an Ethernet IP card dedicated to the dialogue with the MultiControl Drive Interroll while the rest of the automation, such as the management of the automatic lift, is controlled by PLC.
Every single event and function of the control software can be monitored remotely, thus giving a complete remote assistance service to the customer.
The interface also represents in "real time" the position of all the cases and boxes in order to immediately give the customer a quick check in case of control needs.
The crates of material from floors 0 and 1 of the Toyota warehouse are sorted into 10 destination bays based on the information read in the crate barcode by means of a Cognex photo laser reader mounted on the roller conveyor.
The platform used offers highly efficient technology for high performance and at the same time extremely silent operation thanks to the 24V power supply. The Interroll MCP was the ideal choice as it can be flexibly adapted to the most varied customer specific needs.
Another innovative detail was the use of the self-braking magnetic rollers on the descents with idle rollers to ensure a controlled arrival of the heavier crates despite a high slope of unloading given the limited space available to be able to descend the crate in the "consolidation zone".