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21 февраля 2012

Which Automation System is Right for Your Warehouse?

avtomatizaciya skladaWhich Automation System is Right for Your Warehouse?

Implementing modern automation systems in your warehouse can greatly save distribution costs for a variety of industries.

Automated workflow allows products to move quicker through the warehouse and, what is even more important, with a greater accuracy. How can your warehouse be automated and which system would suit your business best?

There is a great number of different warehousing industries, and there are even more industrial distribution services that can be implemented to meet customers' needs.

Automated Warehouse and Distribution Services: How They Work?

A warehouse that is fully automated depends both on physical equipment and on software, guiding that equipment. Software helps to coordinate materials flow, which means that you can improve shipping and order placement. Order fulfillment speed is greatly increased with automation of a warehouse, especially in comparison with manual labor order fulfillment.

Depending on your particular needs, you can either fully or partially automate your warehouse. Companies, providing industrial distribution services offer customized or semi-customized systems, meeting your particular needs and requirements.

Types of Warehouse Automation

There are several types of warehousing automation. Below you can see a brief summary, describing each of these distribution services:

Carousel Systems: Such systems can be vertical or horizontal. With a horizontal system, shelves suspended from above are being rotated. It allows delivering items directly to workers in the packing area, which is one of the greatest benefits of this system. So, instead of looking for and bringing goods on their own, your employees save considerable amounts of time (since the goods are delivered to them automatically). Therefore, a horizontal carousel increases your operational efficiency.

With a vertical carousel, shelves are being moved up or down, depending on your employee's command. This allows your employees to reach for the objects that would otherwise be too high. With the help of this system, packing becomes considerably quicker, since your workers do not have to use ladders anymore.

Automated Storage and Retrieval. Also known as AS/RS, these systems are managed by computer controls. The combination of computer commands and automation makes automated storage and retrieval methods incredibly fast. This system implements machines, moving up and down the aisle to bring specified goods and retrieve them to the designated area. With the help of this system you can greatly optimize your inventory access and storage density. They are perfect for the environments where employee safety is of prior importance (harsh environments, for instance cold storage or food storage).

High Speed Sorting Systems. They are perfect for increasing shipping accuracy. If you have equal amounts of large and small orders, these systems are designed for you. High speed sorting systems are operated via cross belt-sorters and/or conveyers.

Tray Sorter. These are high speed systems that can be adjusted to operate with a single, dual or quad tilt trays. They are useful to sort small goods, such as books, jewelry, personal care items, CDs, etc. Tray sorters discharge goods directly to the specified containers. Their adjustable size makes them appropriate for a wide range of items.

Conveyor Combination Systems. A system that can be customized for your needs. It is common for some distribution industries to use more than one conveyer system. The most typical solution is conveyers combined with tray sorting systems. It allows maximizing your operational efficiency, especially when implemented with voice directed picking or print labeling.

Long-Term Considerations

To sum it up, distribution services are a secure way to cost reduction due to the reduction of a workforce. In addition, they allow faster order fulfillment. Even more importantly, distribution services increase employee safety and optimize tracking and inventory control. Certain systems allow increasing storage space and optimizing inventory access and storage density.

Still, all of these systems are drastically different. In particular, you have to pay your attention to selection and installation. Do not try to save every penny if you are going to work long-term. Less expensive systems cannot be as useful as high end systems. Most likely, they will not last long enough. Even more, software might appear inefficient, or details might be of low quality, or support may come to be unsatisfactory.

Think of quality rather than price. Find a vendor who would be professional enough to understand your requirements and let him and his machines do the job.

Источник: www.sklad-man.com

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