Innovating for the future: Maximum efficiency to meet changing demands

Dec. 14, 2017

As you evaluate whether new software would be a good fit for your warehouse, consider these implications

By Chris Merta - product manager, automation, The Raymond Corp.

Today’s warehouse challenges include heightened demands for products, faster shipping times, quicker turnaround from e-business companies and a more-transient workforce. To address these increasingly important industry needs, companies have developed navigation solutions software to help operators reach higher proficiency levels faster and make operations run more efficiently.

The primary features of navigation solutions software are:

  • Aisle identification
  • Zone identification 
  • Positioning
  • Integrated point-to-point positioning

If you’re considering investing in automation, navigation solutions software can be a great transition as it uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) sensors mounted in the floor of a guided aisle to travel an optimal path, upon command, between picking and put away locations. As you evaluate whether this software would be a good fit for your warehouse, consider these implications:

1) Productivity

The software allows a truck to be preset by an operator to go from point to point. It uses RFID tags that are placed in a warehouse at specific distances along the floor to calculate the location, speed and local characteristics of the truck. To reach a truck’s target location, the RFID tags communicate with a reader or writer on the truck to take the quickest, most-effective route, significantly improving warehouse productivity. Allowing for maximum speed while ensuring correct deceleration when exiting the aisle, this technology can also help make operations more productive and reduce human miscalculations.

2) Cost advantage

The pressure to meet fast turnaround and order fulfillment timelines can put extra stress on employees and result in an increased chance of damaged goods or facility destruction. To help avoid some of these potentially preventable errors, navigation solutions software adapts to in-aisle building constraints, such as roof beams, ventilation, and shafts, to improve workplace safety and reach maximum efficiency.

3) Workforce development

Today’s workforce has varying levels of warehouse experience. Software that helps train new operators can take training time off your warehouse managers’ plates, relieving them of stress and freeing up their time to be allocated elsewhere.

4) Safety

During peak season, when there’s an increase in product demand, navigation solutions software can be especially useful for new operators to gain great proficiency in a short amount of time. With an influx of short-term workers, using technology that ensures appropriate truck speed for any situation can help reduce facility damage events and improve operator safety.

5) Flexibility

The software can be fitted retrospectively to allow full flexibility and scalability, making it possible to match the solution to specific warehouse demands. You can use trucks that already exist in your fleet and your operators are accustomed to – just with new software to help streamline your warehouse production.

Designed for increased productivity, enhanced accuracy, and improved working conditions, today’s warehouse demands and overall operational efficiencies can be met with the help of navigation solutions software.

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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