Smart logistics is an integrated scenario application of automated and intelligent technology, empowering all links, effectively realizing a substantial increase in storage space capacity, and quickly and accurately implementing parts storage, delivery, sorting, information processing and other operations. Through the analysis of monitoring operation data, we can accurately grasp the business pain points, continue to optimize business capabilities, reduce costs and increase efficiency. The application of technology and big data analysis based on smart logistics will become the main direction of the development of parts logistics, as an important indicator to measure the level of enterprise logistics operation and management.
1. Help companies to save costs significantly
The application of four-way multi shuttle system makes full use of the height of warehouse to realize the intensive storage of materials and improve efficiency; the automated intensive storage and the front conveying system reduce labor cost, reduce labor intensity, and improve efficiency.
2. Safe operation
Ergonomic order picking stations can improve operator performance and reduce error rates.
3. Increased processing capacity
The warehouse handling capacity is 2-3 times that of traditional automated warehouse.
4. Improvements on information construction
Realize the whole process management of materials in and out of storage through information management methods. At the same time, it has related query and report management to provide data support for warehouse management.
5. Flexible, modular, and expandable
According to business needs, more shuttles can be flexibly added to improve efficiency.
NANJING INFORM STORAGE EQUIPMENT (GROUP) CO.,LTD provides a well-known automobile company with an easy-to-expandable box-type four-way multi shuttle system solution, to help the company optimize the automated storage system to achieve high space utilization, rapid cargo storage, and precise inbound and outbound control requirements to ensure the timeliness of order response, improve the efficiency of the enterprise, and effectively save manpower and operating costs.
The well-known automobile company that INFORM has cooperated with this time is an active practitioner of smart logistics in the auto parts industry. The company is mainly responsible for the operation of the after-sales spare parts central warehouse. Previously, multitier mezzanine and pallet racking were used for storage. With more and more categories of spare parts, there are still many problems in warehousing, picking and outbound process, which need to be solved through intelligent logistics warehousing solutions. After many considerations, the box-type four-way multi shuttle solution provided by INFORM can better meet current business needs, adapt to the company's development and subsequent business extensions, and help it to ensure the timeliness of order response, improve the efficiency of the enterprise, and effectively save the demand for manpower and operating costs, and achieve significant results.
Project Overview And Main Process
This project covers an area of about 2,000 square meters, and has built an automated dense storage warehouse with a height of nearly 10 meters. There are nearly 20,000 cargo spaces. The turnover box can be divided into two, three and four compartments, and can store nearly 70,000 SKUs. This project is equipped with 15 box-type four-way multi shuttles, 3 elevators, 1 set of racking-end conveyor line and front conveying module, and 3 sets of goods-to-person picking stations.
The system is configured with WMS software to connect to the enterprise's ERP system, and configure with WCS software, responsible for the decomposition, distribution and equipment scheduling management of job tasks.
WMS software WCS software
Products inbound and outbound process are as follows:
◇WMS system manages the binding of the bar code of turnover box and material, laying the foundation for inventory management;
◇Complete the online work of turnover box manually. Turnover box enters the conveying system after scanning the code and super-elevation detection without abnormality;
◇Turnover box that enters the conveying system, according to the system distribution logic, will be transferred to the designated position by elevator and four-way multi shuttle.
◇WMS updates the inventory information after receiving the instruction to complete the delivery of four-way multi shuttle, and the warehousing work is completed.
The materials that need to be stored are classified into the three categories of ABC based on the previous big data judgment, and the system cargo location planning is also correspondingly designed based on ABC. The cargo space of each floor directly facing the elevator sub lane is defined as type A material storage area, the surrounding area is type B material storage area, and the other areas are type C material storage area.
In type A material storage area, since it faces the elevator directly, shuttle car does not need to switch to the main lane mode when picking and placing this type of turnover box, which saves the time of acceleration, deceleration and switching between sub- and main-lane, so the efficiency is higher.
◇System automatically generates picking waves after receiving the ERP order, calculates the required materials, and generates material turnover box outbound task according to the storage unit where materials are located;
◇Turnover box is transferred to the picking station after passing through the four-way multi shuttle, elevator and conveyor line;
◇One picking station has multiple turnover boxes to operate in turn, so operators do not have to wait for turnover box;
◇WMS software client-side display screen is equipped, to prompt the cargo compartment information, material information, etc. At the same time, light on the top of picking station shines into the goods compartment to be picked, to remind the operator, thereby improving the picking efficiency;
◇Equipped with multiple order boxes with button lights on corresponding positions to remind the operator to put materials into the lighted order boxes to achieve fool-proof and reduce errors.
After an order box is picked, system automatically transfers it to the warehouse conveyor line. After scanning the turnover box bar code with PDA, system automatically prints the packing list and order information to provide a basis for subsequent collection, consolidation and review. After the small order materials are merged with other large order materials, they will be shipped to the customer in time.
For 3PL companies of auto parts, there are common pain points in the warehousing, storage, replenishment, and picking and removal of parts. While reducing operating efficiency and increasing enterprise costs, it also brings more difficulties to the storage management of manufacturers:
①SKU keeps increasing, it is difficult to plan and manage goods
Conventional auto parts warehouses are mostly divided into pallet warehouses that mainly store large parts, and light duy shelving or multitier mezzanine that mainly store small parts. For the storage of small items, as the number of SKUs is increasing day by day, the long-tail SKUs cannot be removed from the shelving, and the workload of planning and optimizing management of cargo locations is relatively large.
②Low utilization rate of warehouse storage capacity
For the standard warehouse, there is a clear space of more than 9 meters. Except 3-tier multitier mezzanine, other light duty shelving has the problem that the upper space cannot be fully utilized, and the rent per unit area is wasted.
③Large storage area and many handling workers
The warehouse area is too large, and the running distance is too long during operation, resulting in low efficiency of single-person operation, so that more workers such as replenishment, picking, inventory, and shifting are required.
④Large workload of picking and unloading, error-prone
Manual operation warehouses mostly use the pick-and-seed method, lack of fool-proof methods, and often encounter problems such as missing codes, throwing the wrong boxes, more or less postings, that requiring more manpower during later review and packaging.
⑤Increasing demand for information
With the advent of the Internet of Things era, the demand for product traceability is gradually increasing in all walks of life, and auto parts are no exception. Smarter information methods are needed to manage inventory information.
INFORM has been deeply involved in the auto parts industry for many years, and has rich experience in the fields of racking and automated handling equipment; there are nearly 100 system integration cases in the manufacturing industry alone; the project implementation has both hardware and software, and can provide turnkey projects and save management. On the other hand, INFORM, as a listed company, has stable operations. It has sufficient protection for all kinds of risk control during project implementation and follow-up maintenance services. Therefore, the company chose to cooperate with INFORM to build this project.
Project Difficulties And Core Highlights
In the design process of this project, many technical difficulties were overcome:
◇There are many SKUs at site, so INFORM designed turnover box separation scheme. Turnover box can be divided into 2/3/4 grids, and multiple materials can be placed in the same turnover box. In the information processing, accurate positioning of each grid in turnover box is carried out to ensure that the direction of turnover box does not change during picking, which will lead to deviations in the picking guidance system.
◇Due to the mixing of materials, it will increase the time for operator to determine the goods, and the error rate of judgment will increase. INFORM used the light picking system on the goods-to-person picking station to promptly remind operators to improve work efficiency and reduce errors.
◇With the increase of business volume, the efficiency of warehouse entry and exit can be flexibly improved, and the transition will be smooth. INFORM adopted four-way multi shuttle solution to solve the problem. Initially, each layer is equipped with one shuttle car. Later, it supports to increase the number of shuttle car at any time, to achieve multiple operations on the same level, so efficiency will be improved.
Through continuous efforts to overcome difficulties, the project was successfully implemented, showing many bright spots during the implementation process:
1. Design of the large and small loop conveying line system
In the scheme, three picking stations faces three elevators respectively. Therefore, in the normal picking operation, turnover box required by each picking station is directly in and out of the corresponding elevator. The path is short and the efficiency is high, this is the small loop path of the conveyor line. In other links such as full box storage, during picking, inventory and other process, turnover box needs to pass through a horizontal conveying loop, which runs through three small loops. This is the large loop, the aorta that connects each node.
2. Multifunctional picking station design
The picking station is equipped with multiple temporary storage positions for material turnover boxes and order turnover boxes. After finishing the picking of one turnover box, in the process of replacing turnover box, operator can pick other turnover box, which will not cause waiting time, and ensure efficiency.
The picking station is equipped with a human-computer interaction screen, a light picking system, and a button light confirmation system, which improves efficiency while preventing fools.
In addition to picking function, the picking station also has an inventory function to ensure that operators can also inventory individual materials when performing wave orders.
3. Escorted by mature software system
The auto parts in this project need lean management, and the equipment needs to be intelligently scheduled. Therefore, WMS system and WCS system in this project are developed on the basis of standard processes to meet the actual needs.
WMS mainly provides functions such as conventional inventory management, inventory query, product traceability, and inventory warning. At the same time, It can directly import order information from ERP in time, automatically start placing orders after merging waves, and track the execution process of orders, feed back execution results, update inventory information, and accumulate operational data.
The system is equipped with WCS system, which decomposes the job tasks from WMS system, schedules and manages the execution of various hardware devices. The core logic includes: the dispatch logic of multiple four-way multi shuttles on the same layer, the elevators in and out, shuttle cars layer change, turnover box cross-picking station scheduling, etc.
4. Configure a real-time monitoring system to help customers understand operational information and key warnings in a timely manner
At site, a large touch-sensitive monitoring screen is configured to display the operating efficiency of each equipment in real time, and the related parameters of order task execution, so that on-site managers, leaders and visitors can understand the on-site operation status at a glance.
At the same time, the large monitoring screen can display important alarm information in real time, and remind operation and maintenance personnel to handle alarms in time through sound and light to ensure operation efficiency.