A Guide to Warehouse Automation Technology

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A guide to Warehouse Automation Technology

Our experience in warehouse automation projects delivery and implementation means we’ve developed an in-depth understanding of the various warehouse automation technologies available. We can help you navigate the options to help you find the right automation solution for your business – for now and for the future.

Here’s a quick at-a-glance guide to some warehouse automation jargon you might come across:

  • Auto-boxing & Auto-bagger

    Auto-boxers enable the automation of the packing process and can enable much higher pack rates than a manual packing operation. They can also aid in reducing the amount of packaging required and therefore the amount waste and space taken up on transportation. These packing solutions can integrate with other solutions to insert invoices, leaflets, and courier labelling.

  • Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)

    Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) provide a wide range of applications, from tuggers and load transporters to unit load carriers. They follow fixed routes and are great at completing repetitive manual tasks that can free up your workforce to complete more complex activities.

  • Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs)

    Similar to AGVs, Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) have a wide range of applications, from picking to inventory robots. The key difference is that these vehicles are ‘autonomous’ meaning they can plan their own routes and make decisions to move around obstructions. In addition, they have an ability for ‘machine learning’ which means they can become more efficient through constant use.

  • Carton Erection

    Carton erection machines remove the repetitive manual task of creating boxes and ensure that pickers and packers always have a steady supply of the right size box.

  • Conveyors

    Conveying technology comes in a wide range of applications and acts to join up parts of your manual or automated warehouse.

  • Goods-to-person (GTP) systems

    GTP systems offer highly accurate and fast picking, bringing the goods to the person and removing all that wasted travel time for pickers. Whether picking single, multi or batch orders, these systems are great in e-commerce environments where the average number of order lines is low per order.

  • Hanging garment systems and pouch sortation

    Hanging garment systems provide multi-layer storage for fashion retailers, enabling the sortation and picking of items. Pouch systems have developed as an effective means of high-speed sortation especially when items can be picked in batches for multiple orders and sequenced to pack stations through a hanging pouch sortation system.

  • Hive storage systems

    Hive systems (or grid systems) are a matrix of bins with picking robots sitting above them. These systems are great for storing small SKUs in small quantities, offering incredibly dense storage with fast pick rates.

  • Mini-load systems

    Mini-load systems are designed for low to medium throughput rates and provide dense storage for a varying range of SKU sizes and can be installed in different temperature environments.

  • Pick to Light (PTL) systems

    Pick-to-Light (or Put-to-Light) systems offer an effective sortation method for breaking down batch picks of SKUs into individual customer or store orders. They reduce the amount of wasted travel time for pickers and come in a wide range of formats dependant on the SKU type.

  • Robotics

    Robotics are quickly gaining momentum into the supply chain and logistics space because of the potential to remove repetitive and expensive manual fulfilment tasks. De-palletising, kit stacking, and sortation systems are becoming common in the industry with order picking robots quickly gaining momentum.

  • Sortation

    Sortation systems enable fast, efficient and reliable order processing. They often form part of more complex automated solutions but can be integrated into more manual operations.

  • Shuttle systems

    Shuttle systems are designed for medium to high throughput rates and provide dense storage for a varying range of SKU sizes that can be installed in different temperature environments. Often, they are implemented alongside Goods-to-Person technology as the supply engine.

  • Zone picking systems

    Zone picking or conveyor systems are an effective means of transporting totes or pallets through multiple product zones so that orders can be completed as necessary, and are effective to split up products by type or volume

From smaller-scale operations to large, complex state-of-the-art warehouse facilities, we can design, develop and implement your warehouse automation solution.
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