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Automated Tote System

fully automated picking of full totes (fresh) and beverage cases

ATS enables the fully automated picking of shipping totes which have already been filled with goods from the in-house production department or by the supplier. These totes are automatically collected in ATS, buffered, picked, stacked onto a dispatch unit in a customized and/or store-friendly manner, and staged for outbound delivery.

These applications are most commonly found in the fresh areas of distribution centers in food retail. ATS is also used for the efficient picking of beverage cases.

What is more, the complete avoidance of strength-sapping lifting and carrying of heavy totes means that ATS is also setting new standards in ergonomics.

With ATS, the entire material flow is significantly simplified and accelerated. First, various fresh products already packed into totes and onto single-item pallets by the supplier, are delivered to the distribution center. A single identification process takes place centrally in the receiving area. Follow-up in the system is guaranteed by indirect target tracking, thereby completely disposing of the need for time-consuming physical labeling of individual totes with barcode or other identification. Based on the flexibility of the system, it is possible to use totes with different sizes and different heights - 600 x 400 and 400 x 300. It is also possible to pick Euro Pool totes.

Once the stacks of totes have been slid off the inbound pallet and then separated, highly dynamic stacker cranes known as Coordinate Rack Shuttles (CRS) place the totes in the AS/RS. The sequence buffers that are responsible for the highly dynamic and store-friendly sorting of the totes based on specifications of the respective supermarket, are integrated in the AS/RS. After the so-called stacking process - which means the order-friendly stacking of single totes to tote stacks, these stacks will be pushed onto a dolly, secured, labeled, and transported to the dispatch area.

Based on the order situation and the departure times of the respective tours, the pallets containing the tote stacks can also be buffered in an automated pallet warehouse after the receiving process, before they are transported to the AS/RS.


Level of automation:

Picking units:
Totes / cartons / beverage boxes

Store-friendly stacking of single totes, cartons, beverage boxes

Industry sector:
Fresh food + fruits & vegetables + beverages


  • Fully-automated picking system for full totes and beverage cases
  • No need for personnel within the material flow process
  • Automated depalletizing in form of tote or case stacks
  • Automatic separation of totes or cases
  • Intermediate storage of totes in an automated small parts warehouse, similar to a tray AS/RS
  • Possible to store tote/case stacks as well as single totes/cases
  • Store-friendly picking of individual totes / cases by means of stacker cranes to one customer order
  • Automatic palletizing and stretch-wrapping of the order pallets