Versatile and Flexible Rack Feeder for Container Racks

RackRacer in the Rack
© Fraunhofer IML

The idea

An automated shuttle warehouse without a lift or other expensive customization seemed to be impossible - until now. The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics presents an innovative solution to this problem: the »RackRacer«. The new climbing shuttle moves autonomously in horizontal and diagonal directions - without a lift or additional rails. This process is enabled by so-called »crawler elements« which support themselves on specific climbing or supporting spots. By using this technique the shuttle has the ability to store items or take them out of stock autonomously at any position inside the rack. Inside the rack motions towards the storage location can be conducted without indirect routes. This makes the »RackRacer« a genuine revolution in intralogistics and a reasonable alternative to existing solutions, such as stacker cranes or shuttle-lift-systems.

Areas of application

The RackRacer is a completely new development for versatile use in automated storage systems. In addition to the ideal direct drive on the shelf, further advantages include the encapsulation of all functionalities in one device as well as the self-sufficient operation of a battery. Commissioning and monitoring are done via radio, so that individual RackRacer can be flexibly placed in a rack or removed. The vehicles can also enter and exit directly in the lowest shelf level. For multi-aisle warehouses, the transverse distribution can be done through tunnels, which leads to a better use of space.

Overall, the RackRacer system is ideal for scalable and versatile mid-range warehouses.

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