Storage & Distribution
Intralogistics means the process of optimizing, integrating, automating, and managing all of the logistical physical flows of supply, production and distribution within a distribution or fulfilment center. By optimising the integration of information processing with the latest material handling technologies and software achieves optimal productivity for both manual and automated systems.
It is not just material handling technologies doing specific tasks like receiving, sorting, picking, and packaging, it’s much more than that. Intralogistics solutions make effective use of sophisticated database and warehouse execution software, which is constantly analysing and optimising the performance of operations. By regulating the system performance at all times ensures that processes are efficient at all times. With an intralogistic system equipment and labor resources are optimised at all times improving complete overall operational productivity.
Intralogistics is an art or philosophy with a top down approach. First starting with an audit and discovery, data, and only then applying the appropriate equipment and software. Smart intralogistic processes can reduce a lot of waste within the process itself.
Benefits of automation
A typical warehouse or distribution center will receive stock of a variety of products from suppliers and store these until the receipt of orders from customers, whether individual buyers (e.g. mail order), retail branches (e.g. chain stores), or other companies (e.g. wholesalers). A logistics automation system may provide the following:
Automated goods in processes: Incoming goods can be marked with barcodes and the automation system notified of the expected stock. On arrival, the goods can be scanned and thereby identified, and taken via conveyors, sortation systems, and automated cranes into an automatically assigned storage location.Automated Goods Retrieval for Orders: On receipt of orders, the automation system is able to immediately locate goods and retrieve them to a pick-face location.Automated dispatch processing: Combining knowledge of all orders placed at the warehouse the automation system can assign picked goods into dispatch units and then into outbound loads. Sortation systems and conveyors can then move these onto the outgoing trailers.If needed, re packaging to ensure proper protection for further distribution or to change the package format for specific retailers/customers.
A complete warehouse automation system can drastically reduce the workforce required to run a facility, with human input required only for a few tasks, such as picking units of product from a bulk packed case. Even here, assistance can be provided with equipment such as pick-to-light units. Smaller systems may only be required to handle part of the process. Examples include automated storage and retrieval systems, which simply use cranes to store and retrieve identified cases or pallets, typically into a high-bay storage system which would be unfeasible to access using fork-lift trucks or any other means.