Automated warehousing in today’s world: energy saving, productivity, flexibility
Quality of service is determined by many factors, most importantly by meeting agreed delivery deadlines and the quality of the goods delivered. Warehouse automation and modern picking technology can overcome these challenges and ensure the smooth operation of the warehouse around the clock, even under extreme conditions. The goals of automation in today’s world are to increase productivity, optimize costs, reduce the workload of warehouse employees and reduce energy consumption. An important criterion in warehouse automation is also the speed of project implementation and the modularity of the equipment.
In this sense, the current main tasks of KAPELOU specialists are:
- cost optimization by increasing the usable area in the warehouse;
- reducing the workload of the employees;
- faster processing of orders through the use of efficient picking techniques;
- simplified control of the collected boxes after picking;
- faster project implementation due to the modularity of the equipment;
- lower power consumption in the warehouse;
- installation of equipment that can be quickly relocated and used in another warehouse if necessary.
Let’s look at the benefits of an automated warehouse using the example of a project carried out during the war.
Increasing the usable area is one of the steps to optimize costs
Before the introduction of automation, the shipping area of the customer’s warehouse was equipped with a forklift that required a large footprint. We replaced it with a vertical conveyor manufactured by KAPELOU, which descends from the second level of the warehouse at a speed of 2 m/s. In contrast to the oversized stacker, the vertical conveyor takes up only 0.75 m2. This measure helped to optimize costs by making efficient use of expensive warehouse space.
Reducing the tasks of employees in the warehouse
To reduce the workload of employees in the warehouse, we installed an automated start point. It helps optimize the process of assigning an order to a box and significantly reduces the time spent on this operation. The automated start point consists of a conveyor, an automated barcode scanner and a weight module. Thanks to this technology, the warehouse employee’s tasks have been significantly reduced. Before automation, the picking process looked like this: items were picked manually, the barcode was scanned, the order was weighed and passed on to other employees. Now, all the employee has to do is place the items in the box on the conveyor. The picking process is automated.
In order to reduce errors in the goods assembly and to simplify the control of the collected orders, we installed an automatic weight control system, which consists of a dynamic weight module. It checks the weight of all goods in the box, which is stored in the WMS, against their actual weight. If it matches the specified values, the order is sent to the shipping station for packing or shipping. If there is a discrepancy, the order is subjected to an additional check. To increase the quality of weight control, we have introduced the technology of automatic taring of empty boxes.
Modularity and speed
The roller conveyor, the heart of the automated conveyor system, is a flexible system that speeds up goods handling and picking and increases productivity in the warehouse. The modular design allows you to change the configuration of the roller conveyor at any time. For example, if you want to change the type or size of goods, you can simply change the roller spacing in the conveyor. The drive roller is designed so that each element can be replaced on site without having to stop the line completely. This ensures long-term, trouble-free operation of the system.
The vertical conveyor, which serves as an effective replacement for the forklift, is also modular. This means that it can be easily installed in any space. It can be easily integrated into the storage system and ensures high throughput. Installation of the vertical conveyor takes little time, and the modules can be transported with minimal effort.
Energy-saving warehouse technology
Step 1: the motor
In this project, we used a new type of motor for the vertical conveyor to save energy. The higher efficiency of the motor can reduce the power consumption by 15% on average.
Step 2: the energy-saving driven roller conveyor
By synchronizing the logical zones of the driven roller conveyor, only the sections on which the goods are located are in operation. This technology enables energy to be used sparingly. Read more about our energy-efficient driven roller conveyor at: https://kapelou.com/product/pryvidnyi-rolykovyi-konveyer-dlia-iashchykov/.
The number of employees involved in picking decreased by 50% and the total throughput of the warehouse increased by 20%. In addition, the procedure for sorting the flow of goods in 3 directions was introduced: shipping, packing, control. It helps to process a larger number of shipments faster and improve the quality of the selection process.
Technologies used in the project
- Automated start point to optimize the process of assigning an order to a box;
- Automatic taring of empty boxes to improve the quality of the weighing process after picking the goods;
- Vertical conveyor for lowering the goods from the second level to the first level;
- Automatic weight control of the picked orders after picking;
- Technologies for sorting the flow of goods in three directions: shipping, packing, control.
Equipment installed in the warehouse
- Driven roller conveyor;
- Non-driven roller conveyor;
- Vertical conveyor;
- Barcode scanner;
- Dynamic weight module.
Despite the fact that the project was carried out in the active phase of the war, we were able to fulfill all obligations to our customer on the agreed terms.
Modern technology for an efficient warehouse with energy-saving equipment from KAPELOU helps to reduce energy consumption in case of bottlenecks in energy supply. It directly affects the speed and quality of picking and reduces the workload of warehouse employees.