Thanks to an increased interest in warehouse operations, there are now a plethora of automated warehousing solutions available for businesses that are keen to increase their productivity. From semi-automated solutions to full blown automation, there really is something for everyone.
There isn’t a one size fits all solution when it comes to warehouse operations and what type of automation you choose will depend largely on your warehousing needs, the size of your business and the size of your customer base. However, by looking at some of the solutions on offer, you can create an automated warehouse that works for your business.
GTP, auto storage and retrieval
GTP, or goods to person, is a technology that’s been created to save on picking time. Put simply, rather than someone going to find an item themselves, an automated robot brings said item to a person instead, ready to be sorted and shipped. This process has been seen to increase productivity by cutting out ‘wasted time’ and improving throughput and service.
Automated storage and retrieval units are a type of GTP at their highest level because they automatically find and move goods using rail guided cranes. These systems can work across aisles and levels to find goods far more quickly and efficiently than the human eye.
Shuttle-based systems may also be part of the future of automated warehouses, as they are able to traverse the length and breadth of a given aisle.
The concept of mobile app use in automated warehouses is a simple one. Rather than equipping workers with clunky scanners that are difficult to use, a mobile warehousing app can be used instead. Not only could they tell a worker where an item is but also walk them through their job step by step, minimising human confusions and error.
It has been noted that this could be particularly useful for workers who are new or temporary, as they are likely to have a far more difficult time getting to grips with the layout of a new warehouse.
Pick to light
Pick to light systems are a semi-automated solution whereby lights are placed above picking stations and activated when a worker needs an item from that area. Much like the other automated systems, this is designed to reduce picking time and increase fulfilment capacity.
As ecommerce places a bigger strain on warehouses, these time-saving solutions are likely to play an important role in the future of automated warehouses.
Total Logistics are warehousing experts, providing specialist advice on warehouse design and layout. If you’re interested in automated warehouses and want to know how you can improve pick productivity, get in touch with our consultants today.