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Last updated: January 12, 2018

Automated Carousel Picking Systems

pick system carousels aftermarket compressor spare partsA manufacturer of large pumps, compressors, blowers, and other materials for industrial use was experiencing a common problem: an increasing amount of inventory and demand with no place to put it. As a multi-channel distributor, the company wanted a better way to make their processes more efficient to better meet customer demands. After the implementation of pick system carousels, which uses the goods-to-person principle to automatically deliver items to the operator, the manufacturer was able to consolidate their storage for aftermarket products, compressors, and spare parts to meet production fulfillment requirements with an 86% reduction in space, 50% reduction in labor hours, and 100% increase in picking productivity. Click here to watch a video showing how the pick system carousels work.

Pick System Production Fulfillment

Previously, the manufacturer shipped parts to a dedicated aftermarket distribution warehouse for handling production fulfillment of compressors, spare parts, and other products. It was determined that inventory costs could be significantly reduced with the combination of the aftermarkets parts fulfillment with production warehousing at their manufacturing facility.

aftermarket compressor spare parts production fulfillmentThe pick system carousels were installed to distribute spare parts to end users and assemble pick kits for the manufacturing floors. The smaller carousel system handles approximately 5,000 SKUs, consisting of one pod with four horizontal carousels. Two more pods of five horizontal carousels were also added, which are supported by a double-tiered mezzanine to save space. This pick system allows aftermarket and production fulfillment operations to be performed simultaneously. When the production line needs parts, they enter an order that is processed by the carousel system. The parts are picked and placed on the correct tote, which is conveyed back to the production workstation for assembly. This eliminates the need for employees to walk across the warehouse searching for products and improves accuracy by delivering the requested item directly to the operator. For aftermarket, the parts are picked and placed on a tote which is conveyed on a different line to shipping. Each carousel pod can be adjusted for different activity levels depending on current throughput, labor levels, and demand. 

For zone batch picking and order consolidation, multiple orders are positioned below an LED display. As the orders are automatically downloaded, the carousels automatically pre-position the first product to be picked. A light indicates the product and quantity to pick to fill all orders in the batch. Then the operator moves onto the next carousel, which is also already in position for picking. When all parts have been picked from a zone, the totes are pushed onto a circular conveyor where it awaits other parts to arrive from pick zones. This process continues until the order is complete and the totes are automatically routed to a shipping lane.

With the automated pick system carousels, inventory is processed in half the time with a 50% reduction in labor hours. It has also streamlined production fulfillment and aftermarket distribution to increase picking productivity by 100% and reduce overall operating costs. Click here to learn more about automated pick systems for manufacturing facilities.

Contact Us for Pick System Carousels

Southwest Solutions Group® provides design and installation services for pick system carousels for aftermarket production fulfillment of compressors, spare parts, and other equipment for industrial and manufacturing operations. We will also provide you with a free consultation to determine your exact needs and specifications before the design process begins. To learn more or to speak with a specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.

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