There are myriad warehouse automation solutions on the market today. There are also several levels of automation—from semi-automated to fully automated and everything in between. The important question, then, is what kind of automation system to select based on the goals you are trying to achieve. “There’s no one size fits all in warehousing; everything has to be thought about in the context of what problem you’re trying to solve. It really depends on how big the facility is, how you want to balance operating expense against capital expense, what your buy-ins are and how big a company you are,” according to Bruce Welty, co-founder of Locus Robotics. Goods to Person, and Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems More warehouses and distribution centers (DCs) are seeking goods-to-person (GTP) technologies when considering automation. The GTP concept is simple. Instead of workers traveling to the items to be picked, the items are brought to the worker. According to Nathan Busch, associate consulting engineer at Bastian Solutions Inc., “The throughput rates of GTP systems are typically quite a bit higher than traditional manual operations. This allows companies to reduce their overall operating and order fulfillment costs, while improving throughputs and service levels.” There are a few different types of GTP systems. Busch elaborates, “At the highest level, automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) are examples of GTP technologies because rail-guided cranes traverse storage aisles and levels to store and retrieve materials from pick-up and drop-off points. These pick-up and drop-off points interface with other material-handling equipment that eventually bring the materials to the point of use.” There are also shuttle-based systems, which are ultra-capacitor or battery powered, in the GTP mix. Shuttles traverse each level of each aisle, and each level has at least one shuttle to handle loads. Busch continues, “Another even […]
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.