Skypod system from Exotec

Innovative automated intralogistics system with autonomous warehouse robots

The Skypod system from Exotec is a forward-looking storage and picking solution for small parts. Several mobile robots - the Skypods - move freely on the surface and climb up the racks up to 12 meters. From there, they pick up bins or trays and autonomously transport them to picking stations. The Skypods move in a closed area and can therefore travel at speeds of up to 4 meters per second. They are the only active components in the entire warehouse area, the rest being steel and plastic. The flexibly designed goods-to-person system offers a wide range of possible applications and can be integrated very well into an overall logistics system from Unitechnik.

Advantages of the Skypod system from Exotec

Good scalability

More system performance:
Additional robots during operation
More storage capacity:
Expansion of the racking system during operation
More picking power:
Setting up additional stations at the weekend

High availability

No "single point of failure": The Skypods are the only active components. In the event of a defect, the task can be taken over by another skypod. This means that the entire system has multiple redundancies.

Combinability

Combination with other logistics systems:
Bin Interface enables automatic inward and outward transfer of bins. Examples: automatic replenishment from a pallet high-bay warehouse or production supply via AGV system.

Quick installation

 

The entire racking system is passive and requires no installations. Subsequent extensions can be carried out during operation. Electrical installations are only required for loading stations and for picking stations.

 

Covering peaks

 

If peak loads only occur during a very short period of the year, the robots can be rented instead of oversizing the system.

 

Save energy

 

The mass of a Skypod to be moved is comparatively low. Therefore, the power consumption is only a fraction of that of a conventional warehouse. A charging time of 5 minutes per hour is sufficient.

 

The Skypod system from Exotec in motion

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Exotec | Who We Are | Elegant Warehouse Robotics
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Components of the Skypod system

Skypod robot

 

Autonomous mobile robots that transport bins or trays between racking and picking station. They travel on the surface at up to 4 m/s, climb up to 12 m on the shelves and have a payload of 30 kg. 5 minutes of loading time per hour is enough.

 

Racks

 

Exotec's modular racking system, up to 12 m high, adapts optimally to space conditions. Storage is single or double-deep. Expansion of the purely passive systems can take place during operation. Regulations for automatic sprinkler systems are met.

 

Bins /Trays

 

Bins and trays have a footprint of 650 x 450 mm. The bins are available in heights of 220, 320 and 420 mm. The bins can be divided into 2, 3, 4, 6 or 8 compartments by removable plastic dividers. The payload is up to 30 kg.

 

Picking stations

 

Goods-to-person picking: For an ergonomic working height, the Skypod robots drive onto a station via a ramp. Exotec offers a whole range of solutions: from manual provisioning, to a put-to-light complete system, to the fully automated Skypicker.

 

Conveyor connection

 

The Bin Interface is used to transfer bins into and out of the Skypod system. It enables the connection of other logistics systems, such as conveyor lines, replenishment from other storage areas, packing stations or AGV systems for production supply.

 

Deepsky software

 

Deepsky is Exotec's Warehouse Control System. It assigns the orders to the Skypod robots and coordinates all warehouse movements. Thanks to an interface to Unitechnik's UniWare warehouse management system, the Skypod system can be well integrated into an overall logistics concept from Unitechnik.

 

FAQs about the Skypod system from Exotec

Exotec was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in Lille, France. The development and production of the Skypod system also takes place there. Other locations are Landshut, Tokyo and Atlanta. The company has approximately 600 employees. In 2022, Exotec became the industry's first Unicorn with a valuation of over $1 billion in France.

 

Yes, this is possible at any time. Exotec has a "bin interface". This enables the loading and unloading of bins via a conveyor system. The Skypod system from Exotec can therefore be used to increase the capacity of existing warehouses or to replace manually managed storage areas. In any case, it can be integrated into existing material flows.

 

Exotec uses its Deepsky software to coordinate all stock movements within the Skypod system. Data is exchanged with higher-level WMS systems via an interface. UniWare can manage Exotec's Skypod system as one of several warehouse areas and thus integrate it into the overall logistics processes of a logistics center.

 

  • Exotec's Skypod system has direct access to each bin.There is no need to dig out and rearrange bins, as is required with Autostore. As a result, the Skypod system achieves a very high level of responsiveness.
  • The height of the racks can be up to 12 m, instead of 5.40 m with AutoStore.
  • In addition to the three types of bins, the Skypod system can use trays. This offers many possible applications, such as the storage of cartons.
  • The direct connection to conveyor technology facilitates integration into an existing logistics system.

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Find out here how we go about it.

Things to know

Our whitepapers

  • The silver bullet for WMS replacement
  • Automation in intralogistics
  • AGV versus stationary conveyor technology
  • Digital twin in intralogistics
  • Modern IT and AUT concepts for Logistics 4.0
  • Stacker crane versus shuttle
  • Selection of picking systems

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M. Yusuf Kaya
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