Increasingly companies are having to deal with a growing trend of customers demanding more shipments of fewer products. There are now several automated solutions on the market to help them deal with this challenge. Viastore, which supplies automated material handling solutions, showcased two such products at the NA2010 Material Handling and Logistics Show in Cleveland last week.
Viapick provides fully automated order picking for interpacks. A tote full of interpacks is placed at a pick station, and Viapick scans that tote and takes a picture of the product. Viapick then tells the robotic arm where to pick the interpack. The system is significantly faster than a human picker would be. Human workers can retrieve approximately 300 picks per hour, Viapick can consistently achieve 600 picks per hour.
Another solution that Viastore offers is its High Performance Picking System (HPPS). This system provides automated storage and replenishment on the back end of the pick module. An automated carrier inserts totes into each pick slot. Once the picker has picked all the orders for that particular item, the same carrier returns and removes the tote from the pick slot and stores it in another location. The carrier then places a new tote with a new product in the pick location. Because a pick location is no longer permanently tied to a specific product, the HPPS helps a DC use its space more efficiently and cuts down on the travel time for order pickers.