Logistics 4.0 in practice. What are the benefits of recording the order picking process?
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The competition in the market of logistics operators is rising. It is not surprising that they implement new ideas to improve the operating efficiency and enhance the operation of warehouses. Usually, these are more or less advanced work automation solutions.
Analytics have no doubts – to gain a competitive advantage, also in logistics processes, it is necessary to optimize operating costs and increase control over the performance of individual activities. This is confirmed by the leading logistics service providers who invest in the technologies supporting warehouse processes. The solutions applied are of a different nature.
ID Logistics has recently tested in its warehouses the machine for stretch wrap management and the system of HD cameras for online recording of the order picking process. Both solutions are currently being implemented.
Consumption of stretch wrap under control
Auto-Stretch Manager (ASM) is a wrap dispenser. It is a fully automated device for the management of the consumption of stretch wrap used to wrap the pallets. The devise is very simple to operate. It resembles a coffee machine. The employee approaches the dispenser which scans his badge, collects the used rolls of stretch wrap and dispense the new ones. The devise weights the used rolls and records how many kilograms of the stretch wrap were consumed. Then, thanks to the connection with the warehouse system, the collected data may be compared with the number of the packaged pallets, boxes and global consumption of stretch wrap (in square metres). The unit indicators of stretch wrap consumption allow to determine the quantity and level of stretch warp consumption in the warehouse, check the purpose of its use and control its quality.
Stretch wrap is one of the important cost items during the preparation of pallets in warehouses. On the basis of our own idea and concept and with the support of an external partner, we have designed a device which facilities reasonable management of stretch wrap consumption and ensures significant savings,” said Marcin Smoła, Operating Director in ID Logistics Polska.
With ASM, the operator may reduce the stretch wrap consumption by about 10 percent. Therefore, the company is going to continue developing this device.
Already when the idea was shaped and during the implementation of the prototype, the new propositions of additional improvements appeared. We will now gradually implement them,” added Smoła.
The tests of the ASM prototype were conducted in the first half of this year. Currently, the device is being used in the warehouse of ID Logistics in Mszczonów.
Order picking in the eye of the camera
Mobil Eye, the second original design of the operator, is a system of rotating cameras (360 degrees), installed on a special boom on forklift trucks. The cameras record in real time the whole process of picking the pallets and goods according to the orders placed by the shops.
The recording is in HD quality, which ensures the visibility of even the smallest details, such as the code on the box. There is also an option to select camera quality, depending on the object recorded.
The recordings are delivered to the system and stored on the high-capacity servers. The information may also be connected with the data from the WMS system.
With this solution, in case of a complaint filed by the customer as regards to the given pallet, the recording can be played immediately. This enables the company to determine if the order picking process was correct and if the right items in the right quantity were collected.
The most important benefits brought by Mobil Eye include improved quality of preparation, monitoring and full control over the whole process, which reduces the number of complaints and increases the trust of the customers.
In the future, this solution will be connected to the complaint procedure system, which will allow to automatically find the recordings needed. With the code of the product from the order, it will be possible to view the video very effectively, skipping to the exact moment when the item was picked, recorded in the WMS system and the Mobile Eye system in a precisely defined time (day, hour, minute, second). It will simplify and accelerate the potential complaint procedure.
The tests of Mobil Eye were conducted in the last six months. In two warehouses two different solutions were tested. They were prepared in the cooperation with independent external partners. Both tests were successful; one of these solutions is already being implemented in the warehouse in Mszczonów. The plans to use the second one are in progress.
Photo: ID Logistics