More than one part on the same Buffer shelf level depending on the product size


This is going to be rather long question so sorry about that. Or actually 3-4 questions.

Is it possible to make a Buffer shelf that lets you store 1 or 2 products on the same level of the shelf depending on their size?

The idea is that I have a Buffer shelf that has 3 levels and the levels are for example 2 meters deep. And I have 2 different sized products that are either 1 meter deep or 2 meter deep.

If AGV brings 2 meter deep product to that Buffer, then because it is as deep as one level of that shelf, the product fills that one level and there is no space for more.

However, if the AGV brings 1 meter deep product to that same Buffer with 2 meter deep levels, then the product doesn’t fill the whole level and there is space for another 1m deep product in front of this last product.

So is the scenario on the picture above possible to do in VC 4.5 Professional?

After I have delivered the products to the Buffer shelf, can I retrieve 2x 1m deep products as a pair from the Buffer shelf (Like in the picture)? And In case the product is 2m deep, AGV only picks one.

The products go to the next process (To Conveyor). Is it possible that this “To conveyor” process requests if it wants the AGV to retrieve 1x 2m deep product or 2x 1m deep products from the shelve?

If this is too complex, then I can live with a compromise that this pair of 1m deep products are destroyed in the Buffer and replaced with some other part that visually looks like there were 2 x 1m deep parts when in reality it is just one part. However it must be different that 2m deep part.

But even in this case it would be mandatory that the “To conveyor” process can ask some specific product or products to be retrieved from the Buffer based on the product parameters. Is this even possible in VC 4.5? Some guy asked this on the forum while he had VC 4.3 but didn’t get an answer as far as I understood.

Thank you in advance.

Probably better to ask detailed questions such as this from the support, but I’ll try to give a short answer.

  1. I don’t think this is possible. Maybe you could have one buffer assigned so that it can accept 2m boxes, and then have another buffer that can only accept 1m boxes.

  2. If you want to combine two boxes into ‘one’, you should attach these items together. This is not possible in a buffer, but you could use TransportIn, Attach, TransportOut to do this.

  3. You can have TransportIn statement in the ‘To Conveyor’ and change the AcceptedProductTypes setting. This could be used to control if the process requests a large box or small boxes.

There is still a limitation with this option that at some point the system can go to a deadlock if there is no suitable space available in the storage.
Storage_test.vcmx (1.4 MB)
I don’t know if anyone can think of better alternatives.

Thank you very much Este for this reply.

I know that my question was a bit vague, but I just didn’t have a clue how to even begin making a buffer that is needed.

I hope VC adds a feature that allows buffers to be “Double deep” as they are very often used in real life storage applications. Especially with stacker cranes, but also with AGV:s. I currently have a few projects at work and every one of them have this “double deep” storage.

I will study your lay-out and ideas and I will get back to this topic, if I end up banging my head to the wall again with this.

Thank you again.

The current pm shelves do not have the capability but e.g the rack of old school warehouse layout in ECat does. Utilizing that requires a few lines of Python: stacker cranes, rack, controls …After all quite doable.

Excellent tip Juhahai, thanks!