Home > SICK’s automation technology implemented at Geberit for height control and truck capacity utilisation

SICK’s automation technology implemented at Geberit for height control and truck capacity utilisation

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article image Two automation light grids that complement each other: the HLG detects wooden pallets (Right) while the MLG detects the load height (Left)
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Safety light curtains, photoelectric sensors and bar code scanners from SICK were incorporated into a new pallet conveying and stacking facility designed to help achieve optimum capacity utilisation of the transport trucks.  

Geberit AG is a world-leading sanitation engineering company offering sanitary systems such as flushing cisterns and inner fittings, faucets and flushing systems, waste fittings and traps as well as showers and toilets in addition to pipe systems for domestic drainage and water supply.  

The components are partly produced at the new production site in Rapperswil-Jona, where they are also made available for shipment by truck to a Geberit plant in Germany. About 500 pallets containing sanitary articles leave Geberit’s production site in Rapperswil every day.  

In order to achieve the best possible utilisation of cargo capacities in the trucks, the packing units are automatically stacked prior to loading.  

Geberit commissioned plant manufacturer Graber AG in Fahrwangen to build a pallet conveying and stacking facility to optimise shipment efficiently in terms of logistics and in an ecologically sustainable way.  

The system is designed to stack pallets and packaging units, and make them available at the shipping ramp in a way that achieves the best possible utilisation of truck transport capacity.  

The pallet and stacking facility connects production with the new logistics system for truck loading. Indumont designed and merged all required plant components including scales, sensors as well as the control, conveyor and lifting systems with special focus on precise height detection of the stacks.  

In addition to safety light curtains, photoelectric sensors and bar code scanners from SICK, two automation light grids were employed to solve height control.  

The high-resolution HLG is employed to detect the wooden pallet as it has exactly the right height to detect the clearance of the pallet. The MLG automation light grid detects whether the object in question is a normal pallet or a pallet with mesh as well as the loading height.  

In addition to height detection, the stacking stations also weigh the pallets and identify them by means of their bar codes. The values known for each stack of pallets include their weight, the content of the individual packaging units, as well as the overall height and weight. This information is used as the basis for utilising the transport capacity of the trucks in the best possible way.

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