Warehouse Management

Warehouse Management (WMS) Systems & Software, picking, Third party logistics, Inventory control, TMS, YMS, Cross docking, Virtual Warehouse and Web based WMS for optimal stock control in the warehouse.

More in store

Dematic has expanded its solution set to include AutoStore giving omni-channel businesses the opportunity to quadruple their storage density

More in store
Dematic has expanded its solution set to include AutoStore, the ultra-high density goods-to-person piece picking system, giving omni-channel businesses the opportunity to quadruple their storage density for fast order fulfilment. By Daniel Aspin, Sales Lead at Dematic Northern Europe for AutoStore and James Smith, Business Development Manager at AutoStore.

Logistics is facing a new reality: eCommerce has shifted the focus from unit loads to singles, businesses are experiencing ever increasing demands for enhanced customer service, special events such as ‘Black Friday’ are creating huge disruptive peaks and warehouses are under constant pressure to perform – all this set against rising costs, shrinking labour availability and constricted warehouse space.

How can businesses adapt their existing warehouse operations to meet today’s new demands?

Distribution centres are now expected to do more, with less. Space is at a premium and moving location is both disruptive and expensive. So what can be done to maximise the efficiency and performance of existing sites, many of which may be of an awkward layout or restricted by columns? And how do you mitigate against rising labour costs and availability issues when you have a growing piece picking requirement?

A new partnership forged between Dematic and AutoStore may hold the answer to many of these challenges. AutoStore is a revolutionary concept, it is an ultra-compact storage and goods-to-person piece picking solution, and it is now available through Dematic, the leading global supplier of automated warehouse technology. As pioneers of cube storage, AutoStore has established a worldwide footprint of over 230 installations across 15 market sectors since its first application 15 years ago.

Whereas traditional shelving layouts are designed for people, wasting space with aisles and walkways, AutoStore offers a highly compact and cost-effective storage and order picking system for small items and packages, accessed and served by a fleet of intelligent robots.

Goods are stored in bins, stacked together in tight configuration, side-by-side and on top of each other, forming a dense block of bins housed in an aluminium grid that can be up to six metres deep and with a footprint as wide or as varied as needed. Storage space is fully utilised and, as AutoStore is built around the goods-to-person principle, robots do all the ‘walking’, fetching and putting-away, by travelling on top of the aluminium grid and then digging down to access each bin as required.

Flexibility and redundancy is assured as any robot can access any bin.

Retrieved bins are carried away to infeed/outfeed ports or picking stations, of which there are three configurations available as options, depending upon the capacity requirements of the system: conveyor port for up to 240 bins per hour, carousel port for up to 450 bins per hour or swing port for 160 bins per hour when mounted eight metres below the grid. These ports can be installed on all sides of the grid, or even under the grid when located on an upper floor.

Significantly, AutoStore shrinks the amount of space required for storage to 25% of the volume of a conventional store – which, put another way, means you can quadruple the inventory capacity of an existing building without having to extend or move. And the size of the installation can be completely variable, from just 1000 bins served by three robots, right up to a vast installation of 200,000 bins with over 100 supporting robots. What’s more, AutoStore’s inherent scalability and flexibility allows for easy upgrades and extensions to the system – simply increase the size of the grid or add extra robots as needed.

The system is particularly well suited to existing buildings, where an awkward layout or pillars may preclude other forms of automation. Its light, aluminium construction and use of intelligent robots give it immense flexibility, enabling the system to be built around obstacles and within difficult or irregular spaces – maximising storage density and space utilisation.

The robots themselves are independent units, battery operated and controlled by WiFi under the command of the AutoStore control system, with the content of the bins managed by Dematic iQ software or customer-specific WMS software. Each robot has two sets of wheels that enable the intelligent machines to traverse the grid and access any bins, as required.

Every robot is equipped with a hoist that allows the machine to pull out lower bins in the grid, which in larger systems may be 5.4m below the surface. As the bins come in two sizes – 649mm x 449mm base by 330mm for a high bin and 220mm for a low bin (designed to take a 600mm x 400mm box) – the maximum stack is either 16 or 24 units, depending on the size of bin. Although digging down takes a little longer, the clever ordering of the system places fast moving items nearer the top, with slower moving products gravitating towards the lower levels.

This makes AutoStore particularly attractive to businesses with a large number of SKUs as the Pareto principle will tend to prescribe that the top 20% of fast movers will be on top of the matrix.

AutoStore appeals to a wide range of industries and has been installed across businesses involved in apparel, hobbies and sports equipment, jewellery, pharmaceuticals, parts centres, electrical components and electronics, sanitation supplies, paper and packaging and a host of eCommerce and web shop applications.

One efulfilment business in the Netherlands gained 75% more storage capacity per square meter following the implementation of an AutoStore system with 30,000 plastic bins. The company now works four times as efficiently as before and has a significantly reduced error rate.

Security can also be an important consideration for many businesses. As humans cannot easily access product in an AutoStore grid – as there are no open shelves and walkways – the system is inherently secure. What’s more, power consumption is low too. Ten robots use the same energy as one vacuum cleaner, and unlike people, they don’t need lights.

Built in redundancy is another big plus factor for AutoStore, particularly when compared to AS/RS and other more traditional automated solutions for feeding goods-to-person systems. If a crane goes down, that’s quite a problem. However, if a robot develops a fault it can be simply taken out of service and its task will be taken over by another robot – so essentially no, or little, downtime.

Of course, creating a solution with a capacity geared to the needs of an expanding business requires close consideration and analysis of throughput, SKU range, pick rates and peaks, as well as a view on expected future demand. The scalability and flexibility of AutoStore allows each installation to be configured specifically to the demands of just about any business, as almost any speed can be achieved by adding enough robots, bins and workstations. In fact, the system can be configured to realise thousands of picks per hour.

Businesses looking for a step-change in performance from their existing manual operations may well find AutoStore the best all-round solution ¬– without having to move or extend the warehouse.

AutoStore is an important addition to Dematic’s wide portfolio of automated storage solutions for supporting goods-to-person piece picking operations. For further information go to www.dematic.com

BITO to spotlight highly productive solutions at IntraLogisteX 2020

On stand 116 BITO will discuss the latest intralogistics techniques whether they are for SMEs seeking simple storage or large operations systems.

Electrolux productivity gains from BITO racking and shelving

A case study from BITO on its installation of a Very Narrow Aisle (VNA) racking and shelving solution at the new Electrolux spare parts warehouse

Revved up by 50% picking efficiency improvements

Leading US online auto parts supplier & distributor is optimising inventory, space & resources via a best-of-breed WMS system.

Coach House automates warehouse operations and optimises space with Jungheinrich

Achieving significant savings and ROI in under two and a half years

New Jungheinrich AGV for Sauer Polymertechnik

Automated material flow between production and high-bay warehouse - AGV, high-bay warehouse and warehouse IT from a single source

SnapFulfil gives Vax a tidy profit in D2C sector

Global floorcare market leader Vax enjoying huge growth in its ‘direct to consumer’ ecommerce channel, because of very low overheads & bigger margins

Indigo enhances C-Suite with 3 key appointments

Indigo Software has enhanced its executive management team with a series of appointments at C-X level.

Augustin Group reaches zero error rate in order picking with Zetes

Managing more than 40,000 line items, Augustin Group has streamlined every critical warehouse process

Snap to it and take data analytics to another level...

WMS innovator SnapFulfil launched fully featured and configurable analytics & reporting solution to help customers instantly identify business trends.

Can your WMS help future proof your business?

The role of the Warehouse Management System (WMS) in today’s supply chain and why it has to be able to adapt to the evolving needs of a business.

Gousto Cooks Up Successful Warehouse Operations with JDA

London-based meal kit provider manages a 10x increase in customer orders without adding physical labor or warehouse space with JDA WMS solution

Bahrain’s Al Jazira Boosts Operational Efficiency with Infor CloudSuite WMS

Al Jazira, a leading Bahraini retailer and distributor automates its warehouse with Infor to support rapid expansion

HighJump Empowers Good Eggs with Future of Warehousing & Logistics for Ecommerce Grocery

Online grocer evolves cold storage and food and beverage distribution for today and beyond with HighJump WMS

Europa Warehouse renews contract with E.T. Browne

Europa Worldwide Group extended its long-term relationship with international drug and cosmetics company, E.T. Brown

Minus 35 degrees: Jungheinrich builds fully automated warehouse for blood plasma

Comprehensive intralogistics concept controlled by the Jungheinrich Warehouse Control System

Milaha Deploys New Warehouse Management System in Qatar

Qatari-based heavyweight, Milaha Maritime has chosen Infor SCE to digitalize its supply chain and warehouse management operations.

Six in 10 Plan Warehouse Automation to Augment Labor by 2024

Eighty-seven percent of businesses plan to expand warehouse footprint over next five years

Top supply chain and logistics specialist snapped up…

WMS innovator SnapFulfil has strengthened its sales team with the appointment of a retail software expert.

Manhattan Named a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Systems for 7th Consecutive Time

Gartner, 'Magic Quadrant for Warehouse Management Systems', C. Dwight Klappich, Simon Tunstall, 8 May 2019

SnapFulfil survey highlights subcom industry focused on future

The future of the UK’s fast expanding subscription box market (subcom) looks bright if trends in the US are anything to go by

Making fulfilment intelligent

Retail has become a hugely complex business. To cope, the warehouse needs to become intelligent – and Dematic has the iQ to deliver

Free app gives BITO box users security

BITO Seal+Track app to provide secure, easy and reliable goods monitoring

omNovos Announces Acquisition of Inventory Management Solution OptiView

New technology plays key role in omnichannel customer engagement offerings

Synergy Launches Innovative Robotic Warehouse Cart

Synergy has launched an innovative robotic fulfilment cart, SnapCart.

Rhenus Contract Logistics introduces AutoStore systems

Compact storage and order picking system – 21,000 bins – 19 robots

Wehkamp Plots Double-Digit Growth Trajectory With Manhattan Associates

Dutch ecommerce giant selects Manhattan WMS as the core technology for its DC expansion and modernization initiative

Doosan launches advanced 3-wheel electric B15R-7 Series

Doosan has launched a versatile new range of three-wheel electric counterbalance forklift trucks, the B15R-7 Series

Growth continues at Jungheinrich

All time highs – incoming orders: €3.97 billion, revenue: €3.80 billion, EBIT: €275 million

ETV 216i reach truck wins prestigious Design Award

World's first fork lift truck with permanently integrated battery

Doosan powers ahead at CV Show 2019

Doosan will be exhibiting some of its latest products for the logistics sector at The Commercial Vehicle Show 2019

New Sales Manager Announced For Snapfulfil

Synergy Logistics – the company behind the award-winning SnapFulfil warehouse management system (WMS) - has appointed a new sales manager in the UK.

Touchpath To Install WMS System In Global Manufacturer Renold’s New China Operation

China will be the fifth WMS in TouchPath’s 12-country, 23-site Renold roll out for the global chain and gear manufacturer

MASKWORLD Masters Peak Season Shipping Volumes Using Descartes pixi* WMS™

Descartes announced that MASKWORLD has deployed the Descartes pixi* WMS to keep pace with peak season spikes in shipping volumes

Fashionable storage

Online fashion retail has a special requirement for flexible storage solutions, says Edward Hutchison, managing director of BITO Storage Systems.

E.Leclerc automates their Gellainville warehouse with a CMC CartonWrap

Logilec has successfully installed a CMC CartonWrap in one of their sites in Gellainville.

Warehouse 101: Using lessons learned from fulfillment across the organization

It’s no secret that the warehouse plays a critical role in driving a better customer experience.

Connected intralogistics thanks to digital solutions

Highest possible energy efficiency by battery and energy management

Dematic widens portfolio with AutoStore’s Black Line technology

Dematic is to offer AutoStore’s revolutionary new Black Line cube-storage solution – designed for applications requiring very high throughputs.

Beauty Retailer Is Looking Good Thanks To New Warehouse Management System

A leading supplier of beauty and hairdressing products has smartened up its customer fulfilment after choosing the Snapfulfil cloud WMS

Doosan launches rugged electric B45X-7 Series for reliable outside performance

Doosan has launched a powerful new range of four-wheel electric counterbalance forklift trucks, the B45X-7 Series offering greater durability

Packing a punch

Fast and automated, customised packaging is reaping big rewards for environmentally conscious outdoor-pursuits specialist retailer

Mills CNC goes for heavy handling with Doosan’s gentle giant

Mills CNC is a business quite literally at the cutting-edge of engineering technology

Snapfulfil Reveals Top Fulfilment Trends For 2019

Warehouse management solution specialist, Snapfulfil, has published its top trends to look out for in warehouse management and fulfilment for 2019.

Jungheinrich and Fricke found joint venture

Access to new market potential within e-commerce and the independent after market

BITO’s EQ container fleet returns Parker Hannifin’s investment in one year

BITO Storage Systems has provided Parker Hannifin's Engine Mobile Filtration Division with a fleet of its EQ Collapsible containers

Is your warehouse 'choc full' of stock? How to manage excess inventory more efficiently

Holding excess inventory can be a costly strategy and now, because of future economic uncertainty, the practice is becoming widespread.

Flexible Automation Delivers Improved Warehouse And Fulfillment Center Operations

So, how can those companies successfully compete in an increasingly automated industry?

Doosan leads the field at LAMMA 19

Doosan will be exhibiting at LAMMA 19 (hall 18, stand 516), the UK’s top farm machinery, equipment and services show

6 River Systems Is First Collaborative Robot Solution to Fulfill 1 Million Units in a Week

Warehouse automation provider demonstrates its robots reliably scale to meet holiday demands