The highest level of the pyramid example we have used in previous discussions involves the implementation of automation equipment such as vertical or horizontal carousels, “smart” conveyors and pick‐to‐light equipment. These systems need corresponding WMS software to optimize their operation. They can be combined with traditional RF‐based warehouse management systems to create a complete high‐efficiency warehousing solution.
The benefits of automation equipment include:
Carousels. With carousels, bins are brought to pickers at a fixed workstation significantly reducing travel time. Carousels can also let the warehouse store a high density of product in a smaller area.
“Smart” Conveyors. Cartons and totes can be tracked and routed through the warehouse making consolidation for shipping much more efficient. Routing happens automatically via fixed scanners on the conveyor and barcodes or RFID tags located on the cartons and totes.
Pick‐to‐light systems. Pick‐to‐light systems offer paperless picking using lights to identify bins from which picks are required. In addition to identifying the bin, the quantity for each product is also displayed.
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