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Automated storage and retrieval systems To maximize DC productivity, automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) are a connected material handling technology that dramatically increases inventory density while significantly reducing picker travel and item search times. Working in conjunction with warehouse management software, AS/RS support a variety of order fulfillment processes, such as: mixed-load, full-case and break-pack handling; product sequencing and buffering; route-based delivery sequencing; returns processing; kitting; and auto-replenishment of pick modules. Performance and inventory data from this automated material handling system can be further mined to enhance fulfillment productivity. The most recent designs utilize shuttle-based storage and retrieval modules that travel throughout the cubic storage structure. Multiple shuttles are deployed to select totes of required items and deliver them to goods-to-operator stations. After the necessary items are pulled from the totes by either workers or robots, shuttles return each tote to its designated storage location. Additionally, the system continuously analyzes system density, automatically reshuffling storage locations and signaling for replenishment as needed to maximize inventory availability and throughput. The addition of more shuttles and storage modules as needed allows AS/RS technology to scale in alignment with consumer demands. Order picking technologies Deploying order picking technologies — such as pick-to-light modules that indicate the location and required quantity of a given item — generates substantial increases in order fulfillment accuracy and workforce productivity. Offered as a standalone or fully integrated, semi-automated material handling technology, tightly integrated pick-to-light hardware and software flexibly scale up (or down) to meet shifts in order volumes and seasonal peaks. These systems also deliver greater insights into worker performance by providing real-time monitoring and support smart batch picking, building pick assignments based on priority, and enabling one picker to fill several orders in a single path through the warehouse. Voice-guided solutions Mobile workers have a […]
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