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10 ways to automate your warehouse for maximum efficiency

Automating a warehouse to get the maximum efficiency out is key to getting the best returns from the storage, picking and distribution within a warehouse. This boosts productivity. Below are ideas to make the most out of automating your warehouse.

1) Automated conveyor system

Using conveyor systems to move items around a warehouse can be one of the single best ways to become more efficient. Studies have shown that 50% of the time in warehouses are taken up with walking and manual moving of items. Difference types of automated conveyor systems are suited to different uses, but examples include box conveyors, pallet conveyors, belt conveyors. Designing a system to make the best use of space is an important part of the automation implementation. Having intelligent conveyor as part of the warehouse system and integrated into the main warehouse systems makes the conveyor more effective with less manual operations. Find out more about our Conveyor system solutions.

2) Warehouse management system

Having a warehouse management system is an important part of getting your warehouse automated for efficient operation. WMS systems come in many forms and can range from simple standalone systems to more complex systems with features such as goods in, picking, despatch, stock checking, integration, volumisation of items in orders, reporting and other features. Having a system in place to integrate with the automated parts of the warehouse means that data and reporting can be shared and allows the warehouse to run effectively. Barcoding (mentioned below) is an important part of the warehouse system. Also, using features such as pick routing to minimise the walking that pickers do can make a big difference to getting more throughput from your warehouse picking.

3) Sortation system for despatch

Sorting into despatch lanes ready to be scanned and loaded onto pallets increases delivery accuracy and traceability. It also Saves time in manual sorting.

4) Automatic taper and strapper
automated taper and strapper

Automated tapers and strappers free the need for manually closing and taping each box. This can be part of the conveyor system to allow the despatch process to be automated. Each box can be automatically closed taped up and strapped.

5) Automated document drop
Automated document drop

Either at the start of the pick process or end, the automated document drop, drops the documents into the box without any need for a manual operation. This can be fully automated and can cut down on human error as well. The document is dropped into the box before it is closed and send to the sortation part of the system.

6) Automated print and apply
Automated print and apply

Automatically prints and applies dispatch label containing all the delivery information. This saves on manual labour applying labels and can prevent human error in applying the labels. Labels can be applied to either the top of a box/pallet or side.

7) Barcode reading and automation
Barcode reading

Barcoding the boxes/pallets in a warehouse allows for the system to track the box/pallet. Each part of the automated system can use this unique code to perform operation such as picking into the box or applying the shipping labels. This also allows for reporting and cuts down on errors by having the box scanned at each automation point.

8) System reporting
System reporting

Having automated reporting gives live information on the performance of the warehouse. Knowing where items are, what percentage of orders are fulfilled and other system reporting can be vital information for the running of the business.

9) Spiral incline and decline conveyors
Spiral conveyor

Moving items up and down floors in a warehouse can take up a lot of time that’s better spent elsewhere. Spiral conveyors allow for efficient moving of boxes or totes up and down floors and as part of a conveyor systems can save a lot of time.

10) System integration
System integration

Integrating systems together can save a lot of time and save a lot of human error. Making sure your warehouse management system and conveyor systems and other parts of your automated warehouse makes the exchange of data as fast as possible with minimum human interaction.

If you would like to know more about how to create the most efficient automated warehouse, then ask Keymas Ltd for more information. Visit our website www.keymas.co.uk for more information on how we can help automate your warehouse.

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