Numina Group’s Warehouse Control System Automates and Increases DC Efficiency

Jennifer Maloney
August 6, 2015

The team at Numina Group understands that optimizing new or current warehouse order fulfillment operations

Optimizing new or current warehouse order fulfillment operations requires design of lean low-touch processes and warehouse software control expertise in order to manage and coordinate today’s sophisticated automated material handling technologies.

The warehouse automation software must be fast, efficient, and reliable, especially in 24/7 operations. From picking through packing and shipping, order and labor data must be fully tracked and work balanced in order to achieve the highest levels of productivity.

To gain a competitive edge in the market you need a partner who can deliver the right design, software, and leading edge technology.

Numina’s Order Fulfillment Automation Solutions

Numina’s Real-time Distribution System, RDS™, is a versatile warehouse execution and control system, (WES-WCS). RDS is a modular software platform that includes a state-of-the-art speaker-independent voice-directed picking technology that requires zero voice training.

That means faster and simpler operator training and lower cost of ownership. Combining voice picking with real-time warehouse management and material handling control  automates the entire order fulfillment operation.

RDS™ manages omnichannel, e-commerce, medical, and manufacturing distribution operations with flexible configuration tools to address customer-specific automation requirements.

RDS warehouse automation software is highly scalable and modular, allowing, for example, a customer to begin by implementing pick-by-voice technology or automate pack-and-ship tasks by implementing an automated conveyor line with print and apply as a standalone system.

RDS easily scales to provide a complete pick, pack, and ship solution when the budget permits. The RDS warehouse control software platform modules allows integration of automated material handling equipment, including vertical storage systems, carousels, ASRS, conveyors, pick-to-light, autonomous mobile robots, print-and-apply labeling, and sortation. 

RDS manages and synchronizes the work tasks throughout an automated warehouse distribution operation. It improves order and material flow, tracks and reports productivity, delivers higher throughput and increased operational efficiency and profitability.

RDS Warehouse Control System Modules

Numina Group specializes in warehouse automation design, integration and implementation of warehouse automation and order fulfillment solutions.

Our engineering staff reviews current slotting and order profiles and then works with your team to customize the material handling solution matched to business strategies and requirements to maximize ROI.

Our warehouse automation technologies are highly scalable and can be deployed to match the size and scope of your operation.

Our team of experts will first review current operational constraints and develop process improvements in combination with a warehouse automation solution tailored to your requirements to provides the best ROI.

Learn more about Numina’s Warehouse Layout Implementation Services

Pick to light or Put to Light

Light-directed picking systems are simple to use and very cost-effective for high-volume case and split case SKU picking applications. Additionally, lights can be configured to support batch picking and put-to-carton with light-directed sort/put-to-order application.

Depending upon your operational requirements, a light-directed pick or put process can be a great way to automate order fulfillment. Numina Group offers a full family of light and message displays to direct order picking, using either carts or conveyor based multi-level pick modules.

A hands-free wireless barcode scanner is used to scan and start the order pick process. The scanner also triggers pick-to-light displays at each location to display the item quantity required.

The worker moves to each location, picks the required quantity directly to the shipping carton and confirms the pick by pushing the acknowledgement display button.

Pick-to-light systems, when applied to high velocity SKUs (typically averaging 3+ item picks per 8-ft storage bay) provides pick rates of 350 to 500 or more lines per man hour.

Voice Picking Systems

Voice-directed picking technology is an extremely flexible and cost-effective picking tool well-suited to a wider variety of order picking processes including split-case high-velocity mixed SKU picking.

It competes well with pick-to-light solutions with the added advantage of lower cost and higher accuracy. It also works well in case picking and pallet picking warehouse automation.

Victory Voice™, Numina’s advanced voice picking suite, is one of the industry’s most advanced technologies using a speaker-independent natural voice engine that runs on dozens of industrial wireless PDA’s and RF terminals.

It is typically deployed as a multi-modal picking process that combines voice directed work tasks interleaved with a hands free 2D barcode scanner to validate the SKU and capture the serial and lot number in a single step pick-and-pack process.

Victory Voice can streamline both picking and other operations including receiving, replenishment, cycle counting, pallet building and shipping validations. 

When used for order picking, multi-modal voice picking can provide a 15% to 50% or more productivity gain in case and split-case SKU picking with 250 to 370 lines per man hour.

Automated Vertical Storage Systems

Vertical storage systems are similar in principle to mini load goods-to-man systems, but far more cost effective. Vertical storage systems allow items to be stored and rapidly moved to the picker, using dense shelf SKU storage.

The units take advantage of the building height – allowing in many application 4,000 or more SKU’s stored in a 12’ x 12’ space for rapid order picking. Vertical storage blends the advantages of ASRS and vertical carrousel; often performing at a 30-40% faster rate for item retrieval and picking.

It allows for a choice of picking management technology, including screen, a pick-to-light system, or voice-directed picking.

Vertical storage systems, when compared to floor-level shelf storage and cart or fork truck picking yield dramatic efficiencies. A single operator can manage the picking process of a 1 to 3 vertical storage bay picking 150 to 200 lines per man hour, while reducing floor space by 60 to 80%. 

No matter which blend of technologies best fits your requirements, Numina Group can help you determine the right blend to ensure your get the highest operational efficiencies.

Benefits include major improvement in the time it takes to complete orders, plus labor tracking and higher accuracy and quality control to increase your facility’s profitability.

Combine Best Practices and Technology to Boost DC Output

To achieve the highest ROI possible with picking automation, it is necessary to choose the right storage technology.

The first step is to analyze order profiles and SKU velocity movement data. This will not only pinpoint what picking technology and processes yield the greatest gains, it will provide the roadmap your operation requires to obtain better slotting practices and storage needs.

Blog: The Basics of Warehouse Automation

Organizing inventory storage based on high to low velocity movement with the highest moving SKU’s located in the right type of storage and floor accessible locations along shortest travel paths yields 20% or more picking productivity gains.

Numina Group reviews existing storage and layout configurations and provides guidance to help you determine how to better store products, use space and get more out of your current footprint.

We then partner and work together with your internal team to identify how to further reduce touches and wasted steps using our pack station automation and print-and-apply labeling systems.

It’s all about better throughout and lower cost per order shipped – by maximizing order flow and efficiency throughout the overall pick, pack, and ship processes!

Combining better picking and packing strategies and magnifying the improved processes with our warehouse automation tools can truly help you achieve optimal facility efficiency.

For more information on our automated order fulfillment automation systems, contact Numina Group today!

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