There are dozens of warehouse automation systems on the market these days. Each one touts a unique way of improving warehouse efficiency by reducing labor and improving accuracy. No matter what kind of warehouse you are working in, there are solutions that are just right for your needs.
One of the most common ways to boost warehouse efficiency is through the use of an RFID system. While not automation in the strictest sense RFID Scanners automatically read tags, which can greatly reduce your reliance on manual barcode scans, paper orders and manual location tracking. Additionally, employees can use a hand scanner to instantly gather all necessary data about an item or location and move on to the next one.
Another good use of automated technology is the implementation of conveyor systems that assist with sorting of products and packages. These conveyor systems can be used to transport goods quickly throughout your warehouse and make sure that each product or tote arrives in the proper location, whether that is in your warehouse racks or on the shipping dock. Incoming items can also be sorted for repacking or quality inspection before they head deeper into the warehouse to be put away.
Vertical Lift Modules and Carousels
VLMs and carousels both offer a simple way of transporting products directly to your pickers. In most cases this means that your pickers are able to remain stationary while conveniently gaining access to all of the product needed for their orders.
Pick to Light
Pick to light systems are gaining popularity as they drastically reduce accuracy errors in order fulfillment. With a pick-to-light system your picker is given a visual cue to deposit products in to order totes by quantity. This makes it possible for a single employee to fill up to six or more orders at a time.
There are even automation systems that will help prepare your orders for shipment and get them out the door in a timely manner. With the help of a WMS, these systems include everything from automated carton builders, to display maps which allow your pickers to pick directly into a predetermined box size. These systems can also be used to label and seal cartons before they are placed on a truck.
Today there are automation solutions designed to solve challenges during each step of your warehouse operation. You can take advantage of these technologies to improve warehouse efficiency across the board by combining any number of these solutions to fit the exact specifications of your warehouse needs.