“Plug & Play” solutions for partial automation of logistics processes
To speed up logistics processes and reduce costs, partial automation options are worth considering. As your partner, SSI SCHAEFER is available to advise you. An intralogistics specialist, SCHAEFER not only provides equipment for complex logistics centers, but also offers intelligent combinations of logistics solutions for smaller and medium-sized companies interested in taking their first steps towards automation with straightforward “Plug & Play” components and at attractive prices.
In any warehouse, the processes and workflows are designed according to specific requirements that can change over time. The number of items can increase and lead to storage space bottlenecks; walking distances and item searches can take too much time. Perhaps picking also becomes too slow and error-prone, negatively impacting the satisfaction of the customers the warehouse supplies. Fluctuating demand and increasingly dynamic markets, as well as a shortage of skilled workers, are making day-to-day warehouse and logistics operations even more difficult. Partial automation of certain areas and processes offers many benefits, such as faster processes, lower error rates, more effective space utilization, more ergonomic workflows and lower costs.
The first step: Introducing simple technology
Partial automation of one process or area can serve as the first step. For example, workstations can be connected more efficiently through a short conveying section. The conveying system can also lead directly to a vertical lift module, which is perfect for compact storage and rapid picking of small parts. However, installing a conveying system demands a fixed storage area, which may not be an option in some locations. In such cases, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) offer a more flexible option that does not interfere with flexible space utilization. They are also equipped with intelligent sensors, allowing safe use in manual warehouses with mixed traffic.
Intelligent system combinations for typical storage requirements
With intelligent combinations of storage and picking systems, SSI SCHAEFER makes it easier for smaller and medium-sized companies to take their first steps towards semi-automated logistics processes – with a simple “Plug & Play” approach and attractive prices. Semi-automated systems allow optimization of the following typical warehouse requirements:
Space savings thanks to mobile racks and AGVs
When existing warehouses need to be upgraded or new buildings require smaller dimensions due to other limiting factors, more and more companies opt to use mobile racks in combination with automated guided vehicles. Both systems allow flexible integration into the existing layout of the hall, save space, enable a constant material flow around the clock and help to permanently reduce operating costs.
Small parts picking in tight spaces with WEASEL® and SSI LOGIMAT®
The WEASEL is a cost-effective solution for your first steps towards automation of internal transport and can be combined with the SSI LOGIMAT vertical lift module to create an efficient storage and picking solution. This approach increases storage density and throughput and significantly improves picking quality.
Fast picking times with SSI mobile robots and static rack systems
Static racks in combination with mobile robots can significantly reduce picking and order throughput times, are ideal for e-commerce, can be installed quickly in existing properties, are easy to scale up at any time and reduce logistics costs in the long term. In addition, this innovative solution handles work steps with poor ergonomics, heavy goods and repetitive, tiring tasks so warehouse employees don’t have to.
State-of-the-art logistics software for optimal process control
However, automation doesn’t necessarily have to start with technical components – another option is a warehouse management system. SSI SCHAEFER's WAMAS® logistics software allows seamless integration into companies’ system infrastructure and connects upstream and downstream systems into an intelligent overall system. It supports order consolidation and inventory and controls all stock movements in transparent processes.
Whether software or technical components – the step towards automation doesn’t mean a complete about-face. Instead, it involves incremental partial automation and digitalization of selected warehouse areas and processes in order to adapt storage and logistics to the company’s development. The advantages offer greater efficiency and lower costs, bolstering the company’s competitiveness.