The OSR Shuttle Story

Press information: Published on in Technology

On April 1, 2002, the first OSR Shuttle was put into operation at Richter Pharma AG in Wels (Austria). It was not only the first small-parts warehouse with a shuttle system to be put into operation for KNAPP, but also the first shuttle system in the world. With two aisles of ten levels each and a total of 3,600 storage locations, the OSR Shuttle in the Richter Pharma warehouse system was an ideal first startup system. This OSR Shuttle is still in operating today and func-tions to the full satisfaction of the customer.

KNAPP made fundamental changes to the logistics market with the shuttle technology. In the first years, the OSR Shuttle systems were something new and exotic. Back then KNAPP had to work hard show that the shuttle-systems were reasonable alternatives to other automated stor-age systems for small parts. Since then, shuttle systems have become the state-of-the-art, and customers are constantly discovering new ways to use these fast small-parts systems. Shuttle systems have established themselves on the market;  in addition to KNAPP, other companies have appeared on the market with various shuttle technologies and specializations.

Having been the pioneer of shuttle technology, KNAPP has by far produced the most installa-tions. The growth is best seen in the number of shuttles produced: Up to now, about 10,000 shuttles have been installed. Yearly installation in the first two years topped at 120 shuttles, but in the last two years KNAPP installed 4,200 shuttles per year. In 2012, about 3,000 more shut-tles can be added to the total.

As the world market leader in shuttle systems with 153 installed OSR Shuttle systems, KNAPP has an impressive number of references. KNAPP is not just a leader with respect to the number of references: The highest, longest and largest shuttle systems in the world were realized in KNAPP systems.

Ten years ago, a height of six metres and a rack length of 30 metres were considered ade-quate. A “large” system had three aisles and 60 shuttles. Separating the horizontal transport of containers from the vertical, the foundational principle of OSR Shuttle™ systems, proved itself so well however, that further ideas for shuttle systems were quickly implemented. Meanwhile, an entire family of shuttle products is now available for a wide variety of applications:

  • The OSR Shuttle with single depth storage of loads up to 15 kg was specially devel-oped for the pharmaceutical wholesale sector. The tray system optimally supports both picking and goods-in processes.
  • Originally developed for the picking of larger products, the OSR Shuttle with single depth storage of loads up to 32 kg now is employed above all for the buffering and sorting of dispatch containers.
  • The OSR Shuttle Sorter for supplying goods in flow racks eliminates the existing dis-patch sorting rack. By making the switch from conveyor components to a shuttle, the costs for this function can be lowered by about 30%.
  • The new generation of OSR Shuttle has made the multi-depth storage of containers and cartons possible. Containers with a total weight of 50 kg can also be stored in with this system.
  • The width of the telescope arms will be adjustable on the next shuttle model. With this feature, containers and cartons with different dimensions can be stored in one system.

For all of these systems, different lift designs can be selected.
KNAPP is expecting exciting new challenges to come in the next ten years. Which OSR Shuttle systems will be available? Answering this question is not that easy. However, a few trends can already be seen. The development process will shift from introducing new systems to opti-mizing costs and performance. The systems are becoming larger and the demand for flexibility in the system is increasing. We will probably one day chuckle over the record dimensions of which we are so proud of today. One thing is sure: KNAPP will again be right out in front.

OSR Shuttle record systems

Highest OSR Shuttle system: Cofares in Guadalajara, Spain, 28 metres
Largest OSR Shuttle system: Hermes Fulfilment in Haldensleben, Germany, 840 shuttles
Longest OSR Shuttle system: Olymp Bezner GmbH & Co.KG in Bietigheim, Germany, 105 metres