maximizing space and order processing with Horizontal automated carousels
A pharmaceutical and variety retailer was experiencing rapid growth in their warehouses and new store locations that caused severe space limitations, tight delivery turnaround, and rising costs in distributing split-case quantities of merchandise. In addition, their manual process of picking from shelving and flow racks to totes on carts was too time-consuming, labor-intensive, and error-prone. In order to continue growing, the company needed to increase productivity, reduce the amount of used floor space, and reduce picking errors. To do this, they chose horizontal automated carousels.
increased picking flexibility with automated horizontal carousels
The pharmaceutical warehouse integrated 24 horizontal carousels to provide high density storage along with the added benefits of increased picking flexibility, productivity and accuracy. On average, 510 lines are picked at each work station every hour, with the number of work stations varying between 6 to 12 depending on the day. The automated carousels allow them to easily change their work pick station numbers to meet current workflow requirements. This cost-effective system allows them to meet peak demands and seasonal lows efficiently. During periods of light demand, they are even able to decrease picking labor by 50% while still keeping efficiency at 100%.
The pharmaceutical warehouse also integrated a pick-to-light system with the horizontal automated carousels. With this technology, the put lights at batch stations indicate how many items to place in each store’s tote bin. As the product is being placed, the carousels position themselves for the next pick. This new system process improved their picking accuracy substantially. The automated carousel system also takes up substantially less space than static shelving, bins, and totes, requiring only 25% of the floor space that would have been required had the flow rack system been expanded to house merchandise.
The carousel control software utilizes a transaction processing system that runs on PCs and interacts with the warehouse’s existing warehouse management system (WMS) to access the SKU locations on the carousels. All transaction information, including inventory levels, pick lists, and transaction logs, are kept at the host level of the WMS.
contact us about increasing picking flexibility with Horizontal automated carousels
Southwest Solutions Group® provides design and installation services to warehouses and companies needing to facilitate the growth of their business. SSG will even provide a free consultation to determine your warehouse’s exact needs before the design process begins. To learn more or to speak with an industrial material handling system specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.