Our Asmech Systems conveyors are bought by warehouses to support in automation and sortation, here we look at the role they play.
Warehouse automation is the process of moving tasks such as repetitive physical work and manual data entry from humans to machines with as little human interaction as possible. This involves automating the transportation and movement of goods from A to B which speeds up the process, improves safety and reduces error. The scale and nature of the products is dependent on how much of the warehouse needs to or can be automated. A more modern fulfilment centre needs more human interaction in packaging and loading areas due to the difference in sizes of products, and can be more difficult to automate. Warehouses however, that generally process the same items will usually have maximum automation.
To work, automated systems need a Warehouse Management System (WMS) that collects, stores and generates data. Products, pallets, containers and vehicles are tagged and then their locations can be read with barcodes, meaning that warehouse managers can know where these items are at any given time. Some companies use a Warehouse Control System (WCS) that is more precise using multiple sensors that is more necessary when items head into sortation.
The role of the conveyor
However a warehouse uses an automated system, there is an essential item at the heart of it – the conveyor. The conveyor is not as simple as it may seem and has speed and precision to support the functioning of high volume warehouses.
The most common conveyor is the belt conveyor, products are loaded onto it and can be quickly moved from one part of the warehouse to another. Combined with a warehouse control system, items can be picked from high shelving using reachers and grabbers and placed on the conveyor to speedily move it on its way.
For packages that need to take different routes the conveyor switches to a roller system, where with the use of scanners tracking the items, diverters will pop up through the rollers or the wheels will change to smoothly send individual packages to where they need to be.
Warehouses with high vertical climbs or drops, a spiral conveyor efficiently utilises space to enable a high volume flow of items with the added benefit of a modest energy consumption.
Warehouse automation is an efficient and cost effective way of updating warehouse management and as you can see conveyors are an integral part of that. Asmech Systems provide a diverse array of conveyors suitable for all needs so if you are looking to automate your warehouse and wish to discuss your needs further please contact us.