March 18, 2014

Intelligrated aims new systems at omnichannel retailers

By DC Velocity Staff

Intelligrated, a large and fast-growing provider of material handling solutions, launched four new products at Modex this week, but the company's more holistic focus, says Jerry Koch, director of corporate marketing and product management, is to help customers speed fulfillment to meet rising expectations of their own customers and the demands of omnichannel and e-commerce operations.

As a key part of that effort, Intelligrated introduced what it calls fulfillment execution systems, a new software model from its subsidiary Knighted. This model, which the company describes as an "operational brain," brings warehouse management and warehouse control under one system, dynamically balancing and prioritizing workflow throughout the entire operation.

The system, Koch explains, allows real-time adjustments to operations based on constant analyses of order priority, inventory, equipment status, labor, and other factors. "It's a real-time engine for making decisions," he said. The goal, he added, is to allow omnichannel retailers to accurately manage direct-to-consumer and wholesale and retail fulfillment from a single pool of inventory.

Other new products announced during the show include its OLS shuttle system, aimed at businesses with high-turn inventory and short order cycles. The shuttle, which would be incorporated in AS/RS systems, allows quick access to individual cartons, totes, and trays in a relatively small footprint.

Also launched at Modex was a new motor-driven-roller transfer conveyor, which facilitates a 90-degree change in direction of cases, polybags, and totes. It is specifically aimed at e-commerce and omnichannel fulfillment operations. In addition, the company's new RTD Track3 cL pick-to-light hardware from Knighted is a pick-to-light system aimed at improving speed and accuracy in high-volume DCs. The scalable system uses bright flashing lights and LED displays to provide workers clear direction to pick locations and quantitites. It is suitable for a variety of fulfillment methods, including cluster and batch picking, the company says.

Finally, Intelligrated announced that is launching sales and engineering operations in China. The company will hire local employees to work alongside international sales and engineering staff. Manufacturing will continue in the United States but plans call for expanding operations to include manufacturing in the future. The new venture wil be headed up by Rod Selby, director, Asia-Pacific business development.

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