Computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) collects and analyzes data from automated systems to plan and execute a preventive lifecycle maintenance program. This enables fast-paced distribution operations to maximize uptime and productivity of automation investments, all with reduced overtime and paperwork. However, fully capitalizing on these benefits requires an effective, fully developed implementation. From vendor expertise to customer involvement, this white paper lays out five keys for avoiding pitfalls and ensuring a successful material handling CMMS implementation.
E-commerce distribution requires meeting tight delivery schedules and quick turnaround times, directing a wide variety of items from storage to shipping to meet customer demands. Keeping the automated distribution puzzle running efficiently requires the highest levels of sortation accuracy, with speed and precision to avoid jams, recirculations, and product and equipment damage. This white paper discusses a new type of patented diverting technology for cross-belt sortation systems called dynamic discharge compensation, engineered for maximum accuracy when handling the variable product mix and order sizes of modern e-commerce operations.
High-throughput distribution operations depend on automated material handling systems to route orders swiftly and accurately from storage to shipping. In the event of an unplanned outage, the mission-critical nature of automated systems intensely magnifies the cost of downtime. By combining the power and intelligence of central with responsiveness and familiarity of local support, innovative field service providers can now offer both the fastest response time and the highest repair quality.
Accumulation conveyors can be critical equipment in a material handling system, providing buffer zones to hold product until downstream options have available capacity. Medium-pressure, zero-pressure and zero contact are three types of accumulation conveyor that regulate product flow through automated systems, allowing operations to run more smoothly and accommodate fluctuations in product movement. Understanding the product mix and throughput rate requirements helps select the technology best suited to meet operational goals.
The rise of omnichannel fulfillment requires retailers to manage larger quantities of individual SKUs, handle seasonal peaks and direct each picking typical of e-commerce, while simultaneously meeting the demands of traditional in-store operations. To overcome these challenges, distribution centers optimize order fulfillment systems and processes to maximize productivity without compromising accuracy. This white paper covers Intelligrated’s pick-to-light hardware and Warehouse Execution System software options that deliver error-free productivity in a range of complex fulfillment scenarios.
The complexity and speed of omnichannel commerce drives retailers to pursue increasingly competitive service level agreements, with cross channel orders mandating increased process and labor efficiency in stores. In-store fulfillment demands require accurate management and tracking of backroom inventory and fulfillment processes. Implementing proven warehouse solutions in the retail store, like labor management software, can provide store managers with the data-driven intelligence to drive significant cost savings savings and the efficiency necessary to solve cross-channel challenges.
With flexible, scalable layout configurations and the ability to handle high-volume, lightweight loads in a variety of containers, AS/RS shuttle technology delivers increased efficiency and accuracy for operations struggling to cope with rising land costs, demanding order fulfillment requirements and a shrinking industrial workforce. In order to implement a successful solution for maximum throughput, flexibility and efficiency, companies must consider several important factors as they evaluate and implement shuttle technology.
For e-commerce operations, low shipping costs and delivery speed are key to profitability and customer retention. Implementing a sortation strategy known as zone skipping allows fulfillment centers to assume some of the handling steps typically required of carriers, thereby reducing shipping costs and increasing delivery speed. This white paper explains this strategy and outlines the best-fit sortation technology, based on criteria like packaging type, footprint, labor availability and throughput requirements.
With dimensional weight pricing in effect for packages less than three cubic feet, fulfillment operations face new challenges in the distribution center to keep shipping costs low. However, operators face a difficult balancing act to reduce excess packaging while ensuring products have sufficient protection and travel smoothly on automated equipment. This white paper provides guidelines from industry experts to determine the handling capabilities of existing equipment, upgrades to automated systems, useful software modules and scanning tips to keep high-throughput fulfillment operations running efficiently.
A shrinking qualified labor pool and pressure to increase operational performance places a premium on maximizing workforce productivity. Understanding the relationship between labor yields, processes and facility output creates a virtuous cycle to optimize the workforce and improves operational efficiency. With automated functionality, in-depth reporting and thorough analysis, LMS frees management to look beyond simple labor tracking to unlock new levels of productivity that eclipse the capabilities of alternative solutions.
Picking is the most labor-intensive operation within the warehouse, making it one of the most popular supply chain processes to improve with voice technology. Voice-directed solutions unlock myriad benefits thanks to their hands-free, eyes-up workflow. This white paper explains how the right combination of software and hardware brings a voice project to life with financial business benefits and improved efficiency throughout the supply chain.
Order volume, size, throughput demands and labor requirements can push operational capacity to the limit. Re-evaluating fulfillment processes offers a path to meet performance goals amid these challenges, providing enhanced speed, accuracy and scalability. Implementing a goods-to-operator workflow using a AS/RS solution alleviates the congestion and time that comes with employees roaming aisles for picks, enabling increased throughput and accuracy for high-volume e-commerce fulfillment. This white paper highlights how best to leverage AS/RS technology to maximize operational efficiency in direct-to-consumer fulfillment.
The prolonged operating hours of today’s automated fulfillment and distribution centers leave little time for repairs, preventive maintenance and benchmarking the relative health of a system. In order to avoid costly downtime, more and more DC operators and e-retailers recognize the value of a resident maintenance program that offers guaranteed uptime, staffing and unlimited access to engineers and support staff. This white paper covers five mission-critical benefits of implementing a resident maintenance program, supported with real-world anecdotes.
With pressure to reduce operational costs, it may be tempting to cut corners with non-original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts. However, these parts are often risky and can cause costly system failure. This white paper compares a preventive maintenance program featuring OEM-engineered replacement parts versus the true cost of cheaper "knockoffs" and examines the impact of each on operational performance and safety.
With high costs and multiple employee touch points, today’s distribution and fulfillment centers provide prime opportunities for robotic automation. This white paper examines the current and future state of robotics and their migration into DCs, examining methods for day-to-day operations to increase productivity and workflow in receiving, put away and replenishment, order fulfillment, pack out and shipping.
Most manufacturing and distribution warehouses rely on conveyor systems to keep their daily operations running. However, when conveyor systems experience unplanned downtime, the costs add up quickly, especially during peak seasons. In this white paper, you'll learn how well-trained operators and maintenance technicians can reduce the risk of downtime by executing a preventive maintenance plan.
Many innovative companies are exceeding planned payback calculations and ROI parameters on the cost of their robotic palletizers. This white paper examines how to reconfigure, re-scale and redeploy industrial palletizing robots and automation to meet the demands of a growing operation while exceeding financial goals.
As more manufacturing facilities and distribution centers discover the benefits of robotic material handling solutions, the decision of how best to control the robot must be made. In this white paper, we will review PLC-based robotic controls to help readers determine if it’s the best choice for their application.
Whether from growth, consolidation of facilities, mainstreaming of processes, business acquisitions or simply a need to become more efficient, there are several reasons to consider automated sortation solutions. The purpose of this white paper is to guide readers through the process of evaluating and selecting the right sortation solution for their facility.
Is Conventional Palletizing Dead? Rather than getting immersed in ambiguous statistics and marketing buzz words like “flexible” or “fixed automation,” this paper will look at the specific applications that favor each technology to determine if the future of palletizing is exclusively robotic.
Order fulfillment is the most crucial and labor-intensive process within the distribution center. In this white paper, we’ll discuss what in our experience comprises the top three order fulfillment metrics from a DC manager’s perspective, and provide guidelines for implementing measurement solutions within your distribution center or warehouse.
For the fulfillment operation currently using manual paper picking, the question inevitably arises - when is the right time to make the move from manual paper picking to paperless picking, such as pick-to-light or voice picking, and what can we expect if and when we make the move?
In today’s credit-strapped economy, squeezing greater performance out of existing infrastructure and equipment is a key DC management strategy. By optimizing the efficiency and utility of buildings, equipment and systems that have already been paid for, companies can realize bottom line-enhancing productivity gains without major capital expenditures.
Companies spend millions of dollars annually to design, build, and operate distribution centers, warehouses, and fulfillment operations. These operations will experience changes to their business that will impact their customers, peers, and financial bottom line. The challenge is identifying these change indicators early and addressing them before the facility is completely out of control.
Today’s manufacturers have started looking downstream more and more for automation opportunities. And when they do, more are choosing robotic systems. According to the Robotic Industries Association (RIA), material handling applications for robotics grew by 60% in the first three quarters of 2010, and they expect to see continued growth in this sector in 2011.