Automated case picking: Everything You Need To Know!

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Automated case picking

It seems like we have reached that peak point with the automated case picking where the increased need for accuracy and decreased cost of automated systems along with the manual price of picking full cases is pushing the business industry forward into the world of automated case picking. It is becoming an important part of the business industry. With the advancement of the technological era, the automated segment of the industry has to come to light and has become one of the major backbones of growth and development of the companies.


This technological era has brought many new aspects of the business to light and automation is one of the biggest contributions of technology. It has changed the entire working culture and helped us in the rapid development of the businesses. As the companies begin to be involved in this same, they first need to identify the best automated full case picking that most suited for their business type. Out of different picking systems in a warehouse, an automated picking system is highly practiced in certain sectors.

How to Modify your Picking System

The solution to this problem is not an easy or simple one. Just like a suit that needs to modify and customized according to its owner’s body, the concept is quite similar to an automated picking case picking system. The automated full case picking system needs to be modified according to the business that it is going to serve. Mostly all the elements and features of the system are regular and standard. However, the entire system needs to be specifically customized according to the requirements of the company that is buying a particular system.

Many business and mechanical design aspects should be considered while designing all these complex systems. However, whatever may be the requirement be, every system has three major components that are depalletizing/replenishment, palletizing, soring/picking. The most suited method should have opted for these three components. Data and information should analyze and questions should be asked before deciding which method is best suited. Lets us see some steps for these:

Modifying your case picking system

Step 1- Determine the overall requirement of the firm

The primary step is to determine the throughput requirements of the system concerning the requirements of the firm. Every requirement should be determined carefully so that every aspect of the requirement is met within the system. The requirements and components of the company are to be determined properly so that a suitable method can opt for an automated case picking system. After determining, the numbers that are identified are going to act as the point of establishment of requirements of each given section.

Step2- Analysing the sales data

It is very important to analyze all the given company data with the utmost granularity before getting started with the formation of the system. This particular data that will be collected in a detailed format will determine how the cases need to picked or sorted, palletized, or depalletized/replenished. It is one of the primary steps because without analyzing your company’s data you can’t get started with an onboard system

Step 3- Evaluate technologies

The next step is t to identify the most suited technology that will help in supporting all the segments of the system. Here different methods or technologies are identified that will be suitable for each section’s requirements. This means that only those technologies are chosen that can work best according to the requirement of the organization. This is very important and should be carefully done because one option might work best for one segment but proves to be problematic in other areas. Each operative segment is different and thus the technology to support the same should also be different or unique for that particular area.

Step 4- Plan the financial regiments

The last and final step is to determine the financial requirements that will be needed to justify the technological or automated support of each section. It might be determined that some sections of the system need to be completely automated and supported by the technology, whereas some other parts of the section might just require partial automated support. Even there might be some completely non-automated areas.

Examples of automated case picking

To understand the basic operation of the system, let us discuss some example:

Beer distributor

Let us first take an example of a large fulfillment center for beer distribution that distributes over 15 million cases among all the annual loose cases and carrying almost 200 SKUs. The average throughput of the entire system is estimated to be 3,600-4,000 cases per hour. Upon taking the detailed analysis upon the sales data, it was found out that almost 97 percent of the cases are most probably automatically palletized with a robotic or conventional layer palletizer.

Soda distributor

All the beer distribution centers have a similar throughput but their financial justification and sales data may lead to different paths. A soda distributor is quite similar to that of a beer distributor. However, the financial and sales data might differ in the same way in which other beer distribution centers may differ.

Paint distributor

Let us take an example of a paint company that has worked with a throughput rate that covers only four cases per minute. The number of SKUs is 100. For such a system neither a mini-load ASRS nor an Innopick can be justified. Nevertheless, an automated case picking robot picking up new cases from parent pallets can be very much justified. This justified only because the robot itself has performed all the primary component operations in a flow rack all by itself. 

Conclusion

As we read in the article above that all the automated case picking systems are not the same. Each is different and unique in their segments. Each system needs to be modified according to the company’s needs. The only key to success in the automated case picking system is to make sure that all the components that are included in the same are the right ones for the customers. If you are looking for an automated case picking system for your business, you need to first analyze your company’s data of the automated system. then proceed with it accordingly.

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