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Movu Provides KDL with Automation System

A Movu Robotics atlas pallet shuttle system gives leading logistics service provider Kris De Leeneer (KDL) approximately 45,000 storage locations and the capacity to manage a potential throughput of up to 11,000 pallet movements a week. Importantly, this automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) fulfils KDL’s need for flexibility by allowing pallet throughput to be increased simply by adding more shuttles, while the modular rack can be extended to increase capacity to help futureproof the facility.

This project represents the first Movu atlas system for the third party logistics (3pl) market. The solution meets the issues of 3pl industry by providing flexible in product handling and throughput. In this sector it can be hard to foresee accurately future business levels, types of customers, the resulting throughput and number of pallets required, so flexible intralogistics is a must.

The Movu atlas shuttle system was installed in summer 2022 to provide a high density, multi-pallet position AS/RS. Without the need for lift truck aisles, the atlas system maximizes storage capacity on a given footprint, while also removing manual handling, helping to reduce both personnel risk and picking errors.

Movu designed a system comprising a 28-meter-high atlas rack comprising ten levels, with a footprint of 60 x 100 meters to accommodate the 45,000 locations. Pallets are moved and organized within the rack on a fleet of 20 Movu atlas pallet shuttles. These self-powered robotic carriers transport pallets on the rails of the rack’s storage lanes, where the pallets are housed, and on the rails of the main lane that runs across the storage lanes. Movu WES software manages the shuttle traffic within the rack, issuing orders from KDL’s Warehouse Management System (WMS). Movu has also provided an app that allows authorized operators to control the system from their smart phones.

Next to the atlas installation is the DC’s dispatch area and three mezzanine levels, each having an area of approximately 2,000 meters square, which are served by elevators and used for processing the goods. Movu collaborated with Ceratec to provide integrated in/outbound zones, advanced conveyers and turntables. Together, these systems offer a seamless flow of goods from storage to the dispatch area, where there are ten loading docks.

The inherent flexibility of the Movu atlas system was a key advantage for KDL over a stacker crane-based AS/RS. With Movu atlas, shuttles can easily be added or removed as demand requires. A swap facility allows the shuttles to change levels automatically so if, for example, there is a large number of pallets on one level, a shuttle can be brought in from a less busy level to improve its throughput.

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