This new paradigm, called the “Direct Me” operating mode, manages both the AMRs and the pickers’ movements and picking duties as a single application. This is a major innovation in warehouse execution software modules, that seamlessly integrates order release, order and batch cart cubing and real-time pick by voice, along with the movement of the pickers and AMRs from order start, pick-up, and zone transport of large capacity 28 order batch pick carts throughout the warehouse’s multiple pick zones. The warehouse execution and control software application, Real-time Distribution Software, (RDS™) manages both the robots, and voice directs the pickers’ work tasks and movements. By optimizing the order release and all work tasks, picking productivity has exceeded 250 lines per person by reducing over 50% of wasted walk time and manual cart pushing across the pick and pack processes. The software and use of the large batch carts allowed a small fleet of six intelligent robots to perform the equivalent work of a fleet of 25 or more “Meet Me” type robots. To further optimize the picking process, RDS™ looks for the closest available pick cart and robot to assign and dispatch for the group of prioritized orders, and directs the transport of the batch cart throughout the pick zones. At the same time, RDS™ looks for the closest available picker and directs the picker using voice commands to each pick location, and directs by voice with hands-free barcode scanning to validate locations and items picking. Pick carts visit each required zone and the same picker movement optimization is repeated until pick completion. Carts are then assigned and delivered to the dual cart pack station staging locations. Packing has accelerated by 40% through the “keep the open pack station full” logic. Additionally, automated conveyor at the exit of packing, includes in-line order weight-dim audit, and print and apply labeling to automate manifesting, and sorting to the carrier doors.
Numina Group is the first to market with a warehouse software application that fully synchronizes people and AMRs’ work tasks across the entire pick, pack, and ship operation. By extending the capabilities of its RDS™ pick by voice suite to move operators and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) as a united pick and pack order fulfillment process, productivity nearly tripled at the client’s distribution operation! This process breakthrough is a giant step forward for the Material Handling Industry – putting AMRs within reach of small to midsize operations.
The results - software coupled with a design innovation using large order capacity batch picking carts, autonomously driven by AMRs, more than doubled the customers picking rates, and increased robot utilization so a fleet of 6 robots performs the work of 25 or more small capacity AMRs. The solution drove pick rates over 250 lines per hour, and a 40% increase in order packing efficiency by uniting robots and people across the entire order fulfillment operation.
|Category||Best Innovation of an Existing Product|