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Case study: Automated Document Applicator automates packaging line

Case study: Automated Document Applicator automates packaging line

Inther Logistics Robotics (ILR) has cooperated with partner SRD - Maschinenbau GmbH for the implementation of the Automated Document Applicator (ADA) by Alpha Tonträger Vertriebs GmbH. The ADA automates the complete process of printing documents, folding and application to parcels.

Alpha Tonträger is an innovative German distributor of music, movies, games and game consoles. The DC distributes parcels towards retail chains throughout Germany. The location is Erding, Germany. "The ADA helps us enhance our full-service distribution philosophy, by automating the outside application of packing slips to our shipping cartons as Mr. Dieter Deinert, CFO of Alpha Tonträger explains. "This is a shop-friendly solution and especially beneficial for retail-logistics, since it saves time and effort for shop employees and therefore costs for our retail customers".

Challenges & solutions

Alpha Tonträger uses a variety of cartons, varying both in size as weight. These parcels can be completely filled and heavy (~25kg) or almost empty and light. To guarantee precise applications on all cartons the ADA uses a stopper plate and gripping mechanism. A challenge with cartons without covers is the robustness of the application place on the carton. Mike Strijbos, CTO of Inther Logistics Robotics explains the project specific solution: "The stamp and roll movement of the robot normally ensures a good application. However, cartons without covers or bad quality cartons are not robust enough. As a result, the pouch application is not good enough. The ADA ensures a good application by introducing an extra roll movement".

The machine preventively warns the operator to replenish the paper or other consumables. This is done to keep the logistic process as smooth as possible. The HMI highlights other possible errors and gives a recommended solution. The ADA solves most problems automatically. Besides of that ILR provides remote support through a direct connection with the machine. Hereby investigating remotely what the problem is through video and data analysis. If required, then on-site support is given. These measures ensure not only the reliability but also a smooth problem solving when needed. Thomas Klinger, CEO of SRD – Maschinenbau adds "The most important part of a successful project is not the implementation but to provide sufficient service when needed, these measures ensure a good working system".

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