Food Retail

Food retail – refreshingly different

The never-ending challenge of food retail

An ever-expanding range of articles as well as constantly changing packaging present a major challenge for the distribution network. Along with bulk deliveries to stores, new business segments are also becoming increasingly important, such as home delivery for e-commerce or drive-through concepts. KNAPP not only meets the demands of the food retail sector in top quality, but also focusses on optimizing the entire process chain. Numerous customers around the globe trust KNAPP’s innovative technologies and solutions.

Here, we present you with just a few of our refreshing ingredients and recipes for successful food logistics. Craving more? Contact your KNAPP representative or

These companies have already acquired a taste for technology and rely on solutions by KNAPP.

Rudolf Hansl, Executive Vice President | Director Food Retail Solutions

Rudolf Hansl

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT | Director Food Retail Solutions

OSR Shuttle™: No expiry date on this technology

The OSR Shuttle™ forms the heart of a modern intralogistics system. KNAPP, as an inventor of the shuttle technology, has many years of experience and expertise in tailoring systems to perfectly suit individual requirements and warehouse processes. High performance, flexible access to all articles in the system, gentle handling of the entire article range: only the OSR Shuttle™ delivers. Even raw eggs are no problem for the high-performance storage and picking system.

Pick-it-Easy: The perfect blend of ergonomics and high performance

The Pick-it-Easy work stations are perfect for preparing customer orders and are also the main place where man and machine interact. Today, a work station is defined by flexibility, performance and ergonomic design: KiDesign. The Pick-it-Easy work stations offer a unique work station concept that integrates precisely these three factors. Whether this means picking small quantities into order containers or arranging store-based pallets or roll containers – with Pick-it-Easy Shop, Pick-it-Easy Move and Pick-it-Easy Tray we meet all the demands of food retail warehousing.

Fully-automatic palletization: A stack-full of efficiency and gentle handling

Automatic palletizing and picking are gaining significance in food logistics. Here, a difference is made between depalletizing processes that work layer-by-layer and those that depalletize whole stacks. In order to build a compact, stable order pallet or order container, efficient stackers and robot systems are used that are adapted to the respective mix of articles or handling units. The result: an economical and gentle packing process using the perfect amount of automation. The specialized software KiSoft Pack Master ensures not only that goods are securely transported to the stores while taking up minimal space, but also reduces the work in store to a minimum.

KiSoft: Crystal-clear supply chain

The comprehensive, integrated KiSoft logistics software offers a tremendous platform for logistics processes. KiSoft covers the processes along the entire supply chain, optimizes them and comprehensibly presents it all to the user in a crystal clear format. The intuitively operated solutions guarantee transparency at all times, even in the complex environment of multi-channel food distribution. This opens up a completely new level of logistics. The software palette spans an entire range of options, from the control system level to a fully-integrated Warehouse Management System (WMS). With over 100 installations in food distribution, KNAPP’s experience speaks for itself.

KNAPP has incorporated the special demands of the food retail sector such as date mark management, lot tracking, diverse order structures and packaging hierarchies into its systems to ensure that all these issues are catered to in the best way possible. Additional modules such as labour management, route management and end-to-end order tracking to the customer or the store with Track & Trace, generate added value in your daily operation.

KiSoft Vision: Seasoned innovation

With KiSoft Vision, KNAPP sets new standards in paperless picking. Vision technology displays information for pickers visually while the integrated camera detects and verifies any barcodes. The system handles navigation within the facility and guides the picker to the pick location accurately and efficiently. As a result, picking is not only a very intuitive process, it’s practically error-free. KiSoft Vision combined with KiSoft Packmaster, calculates the best possible way to build a load unit considering criteria such as article category, stability and stacking properties. The system indicates the exact location for the item on the target load unit; the employee sets down the item and confirms the action.

Open Shuttle: The next evolutionary stage

The free-moving Open Shuttles cover complex transport networks within the warehouse and can process all transport tasks swiftly and flexibly. The Open Shuttles move completely autonomously, without any form of optical or physical aids. As an alternative to a classic conveyor system, the Open Shuttles are a flexible and space-effective option. In food retail, Open Shuttles are particularly skilled at handling pallets. They either transport pallets from the goods-in area to various other warehouse areas, or bring source pallets to the Pick-it-Easy Move work stations. With the latter, the Open Shuttles convey the pallets either directly from the goods-in area or from the high-bay pallet racking to the work stations. What’s more, the Open Shuttles also collect the pallets completely autonomously.

Flexible Case Picking: An all-rounder for the entire range

Full flexibility, full power

Intelligent use of automation when applying innovative technologies and systems has a name: Flexible Case Picking. With this system concept, KNAPP presents the latest generation in food retail picking systems, designed to handle the growing demands for flexibility in order structures, packaging and store-friendly delivery. One important success factor is using the right degree of automation. This customizable solution can respond flexibly to all the demands in food retail. Fluctuating order volumes are no problem for a solution that is both adaptable and scalable. Flexible Case Picking provides the same performance as an automatic solution, but for a much smaller investment.

Flexible combination for all article groups

The core technologies used with Flexible Case Picking are the ergonomic work stations, Pick-it-Easy Tray and Pick-it-Easy Move.
The Pick-it-Easy Tray work station can handle fast, medium or slow-moving articles. Together with the OSR Shuttle™, Pick-it-Easy Tray provides the perfect combination of dynamic storage technology and ergonomic picking. KiSoft Pack Master, the packing arrangement calculation software, guides staff through order processing and calculates the ideal structure for the load unit. Pick-it-Easy Move is designed mainly to process the fast-movers of the food retail article range. Articles are picked directly from the incoming pallet to the target load unit – the time and costs usually involved in depalletizing, separation and storage are saved. Source pallets are supplied from out of the high-bay racking. This could be a manual process, handled by a classic pallet conveyor system, or by the driverless Open Shuttles.

FAST Picking: The high-quality recipe for quick cuisine

Based on its low complexity warehouse philosophy, KNAPP believes in a sensible level of automation to guarantee optimal flexibility and maximum profitability. With the Fully Automated Standard Tray (FAST) Picking system, KNAPP offers a modular system for automatic and high-performance picking of standard handling units. The OSR Shuttle™ and newly developed depalletizing and palletizing systems form the heart of the solution.

Automation solutions for fresh foods

With fresh foods in particular, there are a high number of standard handling units, perfectly suited to automation. Full pallets arrive in the warehouse and then go through a special splitting procedure to form handling units that are delivered to stores. Any remaining articles from this procedure are automatically depalletized together with other containers, crates and cartons and buffered in a high-speed buffer system – the OSR Shuttle™. Separate trays and a newly developed washing system make for a very clean operation and practically dirt-free handling. Handling units that are ready for outbound delivery are retrieved from the powerful and energy-efficient buffering system in the ideal sequence before being conveyed to the heavy-duty stacker. The palletizing criteria can be configured flexibly to ensure consistent quality and a 100 % error-free delivery.

E-Grocer: The recipe for new gourmet cuisine

Online food retail is growing rapidly and the E-Grocer system has been developed specifically for this segment. KNAPP combines its industry expertise in picking small quantities with the special demands of e-commerce. Online trade poses numerous challenges with respect to picking. The range of goods is huge and stored in several temperature zones. Heavy articles must be picked one at a time. The order transit times must be kept as low as possible, with perfect sequencing and hygienic requirements must be complied with. E-Grocer reduces the picking times dramatically. This results in minimal order transit times and optimized dispatch volumes. This solution offers an excellent cost-benefit ratio with the perfect combination of manual and automated processes.

Proven technologies mixed with innovation

The E-Grocer approach to online grocery retail includes an optimized combination of proven technologies and innovative developments. Fast movers are picked directly from the pallet to the shopping bag using KiSoft Voice or KiSoft Vision. Medium and slow movers are stored in the OSR Shuttle™ and ergonomically picked according to the goods-to-person principle at a Pick-it-Easy work station. Once picking has been completed, the transport container is stored in a fully-automated dispatch buffer, also provided by the OSR Shuttle™. At the right time, the transport containers are conveyed in the optimal sequence (route departure time and Reverse Truck Load) for automatic loading on a pallet.

Reusables Management Solution (RMS): Added value with reusables

With RMS, KNAPP goes full circle for the food retail industry with its sustainable solution for empties management. The RMS reusables system for bottles, containers and cases also ensures that subsequent processes at the point of sale are highly efficient and require fewer resources. Various concepts can be used to manage empties that differ from each other in terms of the level of automation.

Automatic, high-performance sorting for different types of crates

This special solution for different standard crates focusses on automatic handling and sorting. The portfolio spans from the automatic opening and closing of foldable crates, automatic palletizing and depalletizing to crate washing using an integrated washing system.

Automatic single bottle sorting

KNAPP also offers the ideal sorting solution for bottlers and breweries as well. Unmixed empties are particularly important for bottlers. Automatic pallet and crate handling and the integration of bottle-sorting robots are all standard.

Deposit and crate management

Besides providing a prompt and accurate crediting system for deposit values, KiSoft RCS (Reusables Control System) ensures transparency across empties handling processes – from receiving empties right through to handing empties back to the manufacturer.