A warehouse floor is a bustling place. Many processes go on in warehouses simultaneously, and they can benefit from material handling automation to keep things running smoothly. Receiving, picking, and packing goods at distribution and fulfillment centers can be made easier with robots and conveyance systems working alongside employees. We'll review the most significant automation opportunities within receiving, picking, packing, dispatching, and put-away processes.
Both receiving and picking can benefit from automating physical material handling processes or optimizing data entry and data management. There are multiple systems companies can use to improve the traceability, accuracy, and efficiency of their picking processes, including:
Picking system automation or smart picking systems can include integrating robotics to sort stock, group products into an order, or move products with a conveyance system. Pick-to-light and put-to-light systems use LED lights to guide employees to the correct area to pick or put goods and sometimes include using robotics to scan and trace products. These systems are paperless, reduce the amount of time employees need to find products, and improve accuracy.
JR Automation is a leading provider of automated material handling solutions. Our RFSS system provides an accurate solution for inventory management with real-time visibility into what's on hand at any time. It also automates the physical movements required during pick operations. This means more efficient workflows; increased throughput rates; reduced labor costs; fewer errors due to misplacement or incorrect placement of items in bins, racks, or totes; lower risk of injury due to repetitive motion injuries; and better customer service because goods are delivered faster than ever before.
Automation can improve material handling, package preparation, and staging orders for shipping. Warehouses can use the same systems for dispatching and outbound processes as they use to pick and receive. For example, you can integrate an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) for goods-to-person picking and packing, retrieving goods by a carousel or vehicle and moving them to the employee. Robotic palletizers can prepare large packs or totes at higher volumes and cycle rates than through manual labor alone. Automated warehouse robots for dispatching and outbound include:
Putting away stock from receiving is one of the most traditionally manual processes within large warehouses. Depending on the type of facility, put-away processes can be complex, including sorting boxes or totes with many kinds of products. Just like receiving and picking, data accuracy is crucial. Companies can turn to multiple machines and intelligent systems to make these processes faster, more ergonomic, and more accurate. Systems include: