With the pool of available labour shrinking and costs rising, how will omni-channel businesses continue to grow and maintain service levels? At IMHX 2019 (stand 18 N30) Dematic will be demonstrating technology that holds the answer.
The new reality of today’s tight labour market means businesses are faced with tough challenges when it comes to planning for growth and maintaining operational performance.
With fewer people available to carry out manual picking operations, many retail organisations are turning to the intelligent use of automation to boost the productivity of their labour force. Automation applied to the right processes can free up people for tasks that require the human touch or where sight and judgement are essential – tasks such as packing and inspecting returns.
One technology that has the potential to transform operational performance in the fulfilment centre, and free-up human resources for valueadding activities, is Dematic’s Pouch System – see a live demonstration on stand 18 N30 at IMHX 2019.
Dematic’s overhead pouch sortation system offers a flexible and highly scalable, dynamic buffering solution appropriate for both fulfilling ecommerce orders and assembling store-friendly sequenced replenishment.
Dave Bull, Sales Dematic, explains: “The Dematic Pouch System does two things. It sorts independently picked items into order sequence and delivers the order directly to the packing stations. So your two big efficiencies are in picking and packing”. Another key benefit is that it facilitates a batch pick, which means much higher pick rates are achieved, often presenting a 200 – 300% improvement on traditional methods.
“You can easily vary the batch sizes, which creates flexibility,” says Dave Bull. “Importantly, the controlling Dematic iQ software supports a manual process too, so you can run manual picking alongside the batch picking operation during peak periods.”
The operation is simple. Batch picked items are delivered to highspeed induction stations where individual items are scanned and slipped into a hanging pouch. The fast overhead sortation system allows items to be stored in pouches within dynamic picking loops, buffering them until they are called off by the warehouse management system for specific orders, with items being delivered in sequence to the packing stations for efficient packing and despatch.
Utilising available headroom, the Dematic Pouch System is easily integrated into existing operations and as it comes in modules – each currently capable of sorting 7,500 items per hour – scalability can be readily achieved. For example, four modules together can give a sorting capacity of 30,000 items per hour.
Dematic’s Pouch System also brings huge gains when handling returns, as buffering returned items dramatically cuts time and effort in processing goods for re-sale.
In Dematic’s Centre of Excellence for Pouch Sortation in Bielefeld, Germany, further great advances are being made in developing automated induction and auto-drop. Some 1200 items an hour can be inducted, completely automatically, with similar rates for auto-drop.
“All in all, the Dematic Pouch System offers the flexibility needed to optimise fulfilment performance in a tight labour market,” concludes Dave Bull.
See Dematic’s Pouch System working ‘live’ at IMHX 2019, stand 18 N30. Register at www.dematic.com/IMHX Search Dematic Pouch System for more information.