One of the biggest challenges in large automated distribution centers is synchronizing the material flows from various pick areas so the orders arrive at the right time down in the shipping lane area. Most DC’s struggle with this operation which extends “pick wave” cycle times and the dwell time between waves. ASAP Automation recently implemented Exacta “Pacing Screens” at Japanese Food Corporation (JFC) in California. These innovative pacing screens provide instant, real-time feedback directly to each picking operator on whether they are ahead, behind, or “on pace” while picking.
Color Flat-panel monitors displaying the pacing screens are placed in each major picking area to help operators see how well they are keeping up with expected pick rates for the current pick wave. Each screen is connected to a workstation for communication with ASAP’s Exacta WMS. Simple color coded bars are used: green for good (on pace), yellow for caution ( - 10% pace), and red for off pace ( -20%). These screens allow the picking operators the direct feedback to do their jobs in a synchronized manner without having supervisors with centralized views having to get involved. This frees up supervisory time to concentrate on tasks other than synchronized material flow. Overall this has resulted in a 20% increase in wave picking efficiency for JFC.
[caption id="attachment_254" align="alignleft" width="416" caption="Exacta "Pacing Screen""][/caption] Click here for press release
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