Warehouse systems

Automated warehouse system

  Every day it becomes more clear that our world is in a rapid transition to Industry 4.0, to automated, human-free production. This approach underlies most of our decisions. We would like to introduce one of our solutions: automated warehouse system

Purpose

We focused on solving these tasks:

Who may be interested?

  Any emerging commercial or manufacturing company that seeks to eliminate errors in their warehouse operations, optimize warehouse space, reduce storage cost and optimize resource cost. Do you work with production parts, spare parts or tools?
Do you plan to deliver goods to Your customers in time? Smart Warehouse— the perfect solution for You!
In this guide You will learn more about what is Smart Warehouse and how it will impact Your business.

What do we offer?

      Let‘s think about what includes into Smart Warehouse. Let‘s examine this term in terms of its components. We have 2 of them:

1. Automated warehouse. The manipulator robot in the warehouse is responsible for the warehouse‘s autonomy, moves in a warehouse and transport containers or pallets with goods.

2. Smart. A dedicated warehouse management program is responsible for warehouse intelligence. It has a „cloud-based“ or local database and has a built-in operator interface. The warehouse operator has 3 options for accessing the program.

Each of these three options has different capabilities that complement each other.

Opportunity: to improve the accounting and control of warehouse items, we have provided the opportunity to link the warehouse database with accouting database, which  stores commercial information about goods stored in the warehouse.

 

Warehouse design

  Let‘s imagine how warehouse might look like. There will be nothing new for You: several racks that will hold special containers or pallets for storage. However, no matter how our warehouse is like a regular one, it is very difficult to call it ordinary. How is it different?                                                                                                                                                                            We can offer many different options depending on Your needs.

Lanzug-mini

    The main features of the warehouse are listed in the table below. Warehouse properties can be customized as needed or the basic version can be used.

*  Load capacity above 250kg is considered individually
**
At weight of  70kg, the width of the container should be—800mm

Warehouse has three zones:

What do you need to focun on?

      • Container or pallet handling operations inside the warehouse are performed by a special design robot that does not require much space for movement.
          Result: High density of the warehouse
      • Design of the warehouse prevent the operator from entering into the storage area.
          Result: high degree of security of goods in the warehouse
      • The warehouse can be adapted to the needs of the company at any stage of its operation.

        Result: possibility to increase the number of racks, possibility to combine with other warehouses, possibility to relocate easily and quickly.

      • It is possible to add a second (third, ...) robot manipulator, which will ensure the operation of the warehouse in case the first robot stops working.
        Result: high reliability and fast issue speed
      • The design of the warehouse is characterized by the fact that it has a fairly simple, inexpensive robot manipulator that requires minimal service.
        Result: low storage cost, low operation cost

Warehouse intelligence

    As we mentioned before, a dedicated warehouse management program, EEC WMS, is responsible for warehouse intelligence. The main program is based on the server. Access to the program is possible in 3 different ways that have different capabilities. Let‘s take a look at these features.

Web application has two main functions:

          • Administrative: registering new users and determining their roles in warehouse management.
          • Informative: provides all information about the status of the warehouse at any time(for example, what is stored in the warehouse, exactly where it is stored, when it was taken into storage and when it left the warehouse, etc.)

Desktop-program has following features:

          • Informative: provides all information about the status of the warehouse at any time (for example, what is stored in the warehouse, exactly where it is stored, when it was taken into storage and when it left the warehouse, etc.)
          • Management: Document management and assignment of tasks to warehouse operators(ordering)
          • Operational: operations with the warehouse, from the receipt of goods to the warehouse to its inventory.

Mobile application has following features:

        • Operational: operations with the warehouse, from the receipt of goods to the warehouse to its inventory.

What do you need to focus on?

          • Information about the status of the warehouse is available for viewing to all authorized users through the information network. Each user has his own rights that determine what information in the system he can see, add or change.
            Result: a high level of protection against possible mistakes.
          • All information about warehouse operations is archived and can be displayed at any time in the form of reports.
             Result: the ability to quickly identify inconsistencies
          • Containers or goods can be identified by QR codes.
             Result: each warehouse item stored in the warehouse is unique. This allows you to organize the required priority of shipment, for example this: those goods that were loaded earlier (the FIFO principle) are issued first.

 

Possibility of Linking to an Accounting database: How does it work?

       Now let's determine why we need the option of linking with the accounting database, which we described earlier.
      Most warehouse operations require accounting in bookkeeping. Every item or good stored in a warehouse has its own commercial value, which is displayed in the bookkeeping. It follows that there are 2 databases: warehouse and bookkeeping, which constantly share information with each other. Working with one database leads to work with another database and vice versa. After analyzing this relationship, we decided to simplify the search, viewing and processing of information necessary for work from two databases: we created an application hosted on the server that allows them to be synchronized.

 

 It is enough to have the participation of an accountant, who issues invoices or orders, and a warehouse operator, who will carry out all operations in the warehouse:

          • The accountant enters into the system textual and numerical information from invoices or other documents (descriptions, titles, quantity, price, etc.)
          • The warehouse operator uses pre-entered information from linked databases to work with warehouse items.

What do you need to focus on?

          • Any operations involving the movement of warehouse items, requires accounting, are permitted only after the corresponding bookkeeping operations have been completed.

 

How do we work?

   Automated warehouse system is custom made. Describe Your task to us and we will select the best solution for You, and we will show You what it is made of. We will introduce You to the full production cycle, from design to commissioning, which takes about 4.5-7 months. The exact time will depend on the warehouse characteristics you have chosen.                                                     The full production cycle consists of 8 steps:

       We will keep in touch with You throughout the production cycle: we will answer Your questions and adjust the solution according to Your requirments. Also after commissioning, we will offer the following services:

        • Staff training: we will provide You with detailed instructions for working with the warehouse, and will accompany the work of Your specialists for a certain time.
        • Service procedures: in case of technical malfunctions, our team is ready quickly to fix them.
        • Remote Support: You can get online support at any time.

 

Time to start

     Our idea presented. Now You can take a deep breath, close Your eyes and imagine that entire production cycle is in the past, and now Your are the owner of Smart Warehouse. Do you have the idea that using such a warehouse is difficult? You can forget this idea! A little patience and anyone regardless of profession and existing skills, will be able to work with this warehouse without any problems.
    To prove it, there is a small example. We all know that when the first computers came on, only specially trained people were able to work with them. That was quite difficult. Not much time has passed, and now we can’t even imagine our day without computer. We use them all the time, without any fear of the many features that a modern computer can perform, and we do not need any special training to use all those features. And that is really cool. Be-cause computers have changed our lives for the better.
       With the help of our warehouse, we can also change the life of Your company for the better!
       Let’s try to figure out how to organize a warehouse.

 

First step

      First you need to appoint an administrator. This may be the current system administrator of Your company. His duties will be similar to those that he does now.

The administrator has 3 steps to take:

        1. Register users. Complete user registration using web-site application information system

        During registration it is necessary to indicate users LOGIN, PASSWORD and thiis role in warehouse management. The user name and password must be provided to the user so user can freely access the information system. The role will define his rights and responsibilities in managing the warehouse. An example of role is given below:

2. Install software on each computer for work with the warehouse
3.
Train users to work with the software, to instruct them according to their user roles.

          The administrator will also be provided with an accurate user manual prepared by our specialists. It will provide you with accurate information about the responsibilities and step-by-step instructions for their implementation.
         Thats all. All future users are trained. All the computers, tablets and phones you need are ready. An automated warehouse is ready to begin its direct duties

 How to handle warehouse operations?

There is 8 basic operations:

        1. Receiving goods or items to the warehouse;
        2. Dispatching goods;
        3. Location management of the goods or items in a warehouse;
        4. Inventory;
        5. Accounting in the warehouse program without actually storing goods in the warehouse;
        6. Return back to the warehouse;
        7. Reservation of goods;
        8. Reservation of storage locations.

If you have selected the option that links with the accounting database, the operations will be performed using the following documents

.

      If you have need, automated warehouse can be linked to varioius ERP systems (Enterprise Resource Planning) like Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP or similar. The warehouse can also be integrated with the existing warehouse management system in the company.

 

Let's view each operation in more detail

Receiving goods     

     Inbound of incoming goods into storage is one of the most important operations in an automated warehouse, because if there is nothing to store into the warehouse, there is no warehouse
      The 1st part is working with documents. Using a desktop application, You need to add to the database a document by which the goods are taken in a warehouse. Later on, You should create order of incoming goods to the warehouse, which should indicate what goods, in what quantity and where should be placed in the warehouse. If You use the possibility of Linking to an Accounting Database, then You just need to find this document in the database and activate it. The result of this operation is a unique QR-code that will later identify this specific good.
    The 2nd part is working with the good. According to previously added or found document, the good must be placed in storage. This task could be realized using the mobile application, it is also possible to use desktop application for this operation. Now you need to stick a QR code on the good, scan it and put it in the container(or pallet) intended for it. The automated warehouse will take care of this container, and move it to the storage place.

Dispatching goods 

   Dispatching goods from the warehouse is another important operation of warehouse. This operation also can be splitted in two separate parts.
   The 1st part is working with documents. Using a desktop application, You need to add document according to which the item will be issued from the warehouse. If You use the possibility of Linking to an Accounting database, then You just need to find required document (invoice or waybill), which is already activated in a database.
   The 2nd part is working with the good. According to a found document, good should be issued from warehouse. This task could be realized using the mobile application, it is also possible to use desktop application. After the automated warehouse will bring You required containers(or pallets) it is necessary to scan the QR code of each item and unload it from the container or pallet.

What to remember?
The operator should scan each QR-code, which contains unique information about particular item.
Result: It is not possible to mix similar goods, it also helps You to keep principle of FIFO (first in first out)

 

Location management 

    We thought about the operation as „Product location management“ or goods movement inside the warehouse. For this operation accounting document is not required, but data about movement will be stored in the warehouse database. Why then we need this operation? Like in the regular warehouse, there are places more or less convenient for storing a particular product. For example, the goods can be sorted by need, the more frequently the goods are needed to dispatch from the warehouse, the closer the goods is to the place of dispatch from the warehouse, so robot will be able to dispatch the goods faster from the warehouse. We also can sort the goods by weight, the heavier the goods, the lower they can be stored.
  To perfom this operation, the task must be formed in a computer program, in the form „Movement“, then You can carry it out using the mobile application or computer program.

Accounting in the warehouse program without actually storing goods in the warehouse

   There could happen situation when received goods are not necessary or cannot be loaded to the warehouse for storage. This can happen if the item has an unusual size, which is not designed for particular warehouse, or item requires some work on it (for example repair). For situations like this we have virtual locations. They are displayed in the warehouse management system, but they are outside the automated warehouse.
  This operation requires the same steps as a regular incoming goods to warehouse, but without actually loading them into the warehouse. The purpose of this operation is to provide and scan QR code that activates product information in the database. After that item could be placed at any place provided for such use.

Inventory      

Each warehouse requires inventory to find any discrepancies between what is actually in the warehouse and what is stated in the accounting. You can take an inventory an individual container or a specific product. An inventory is considered succesful if all the scanned QR codes correspond to the information in the database. Dates of all inventories are saved.

Return back to the warehouse 

If the wrong item has been released from the warehouse, it can be returned. To do this, the application for a return should be filled, with this filled application accounting works the same way as with an invoice. Returns are made using the QR code, if it is available, or item can be returned according to the document according to which the items were issued from the warehouse, or items can be returned back to the warehouse by creating a new document. Afterwards, it is necessary to load the item into the selected container or pallet and return the item to the warehouse via mobile application.

Reservation of goods       

    If there is a need, You can reserve certain warehouse items for upcoming issuing operations. To reserve goods or materials, an accounting document is not required.
   To reserve a certain position, You must create an electronic application for this task. This application will be similar to a regular order for the issuance of goods where you will specify the item name and quantity of the desired goods. This order will be on the regular order list and will keep items in stock until they are issued or the order is deleted or canceled.

Reservation of storage locations  

   If there is a need, You can reserve warehouse space for the specific incoming positions. To reserve place an accounting document is not required.
    To reserve a space in warehouse, You must create an electronic application for this task. This application will be similar to the usual order for adding items, in which You indicate the place of its future location. This order will be on the order list until the specified items are in stock or order is deleted or canceled.

 

Warehouse management system EEC WMS

EEC WMS Provides automation and optimization of the main processes of storage and movement of goods or materials at industrial or commercial enterprises.

The system has a service-oriented architecture and interacts with accounting modules (like 1C Accounting) via HTTP to synchronize documents and goods in the system. The basis of the system is a server application (API+ Web-client) and „cloud“ database. This system architecture provides greater flexibility and scalability of the system, and it is also easy to debug and configure.

Network intercation between system components can be organized directly on the Customer‘s equipment (database server, application server) or hosted on a virtual server in the „cloud“

 The main tasks of the EEC WMS:

        •  Management of storage and movement of storage units in the process of production and/or sale of goods;
        •  Implementation of manless storage and handling technology;
        •  Reducing the duration of warehouse operations;
        •  Implementation of the principle of complete traceability of the goods or materials history;
        •  Remote online access to the necessary information for authorized users;
        •  Ensuring full reliability of information on the availability and location of storage units;
        •  Invetory automation in warehouse.

Main functions

        •  Monitoring status and obtaining information on stocks;
        • Receiving and issuing goods or materials from warehouse;
        • Barcoding (qr code) of goods entering to the warehouse;
        • Receiving data on minimum stock balances;
        • Scanning and receiving product data on mobile devices and Android tablets;
        • Search for goods by order number and category;
        • Container inventory;
        • Ability to store goods not in robotic warehouse, but in any convenient place (on a rack or a dedicated place);
        • Import of documents and synchronization with accouting software;
        • Receiving data on containers (occupancy by mass, by volume, container status);
        • Display information about the documents;
        • Dedicated server and database in the „cloud“, the ability to access from anywhere from a mobile application on Android, or through a browser. The ability to monitor the status of the warehouse;
        •  Control over the issuance and entrance of goods into warehouse. Issuance and entrance to the warehouse is carried out according to documents from the accounting system;
        • Ability to work manually with the addition of data on documents;
        • Printing of accompanying documents (list of positions, details);
        • Identification of goods by (bar code or label) for shipment and return;
        • Authorization and staff access to the warehouse;
        • FIFO principle implementation (First In First Out).

Advantages of EEC WMS

        • Full extendability;
        • The possibility of parallel operation of several warehouses, they will be serviced by a single API server. This allows joint accounting of goods with different weight and size parameters, as well to speed up the issuance and loading of goods;
        • Flexible architecture and API availability make it easy to install and run the system;
        • Availability of data backup on the server and periodical backup of databases;
        • The presence of the API allows you to create services for synchronization with various accounting programs;
        • The system is placed on a remote server in the „cloud“ (allows access from anywhere in the world via the internet connection) or the company‘s local server (information is stored on a local server and could be accessed only inside the local network). Local location implies access to the warehouse only from the local network. The warehouse must be located in the local network of the company.

The advantages of remote placement include:

        •  Ability to quickly and remotely troubleshoot;
        •  In case of server failure, no replacement or purchase of equipment is required;
        •  Operative system updates.

The advantages of local placement include:

        • Protection from outside access (if available and properly configured firewall);
        • It does not depend on the speed of the internet connection and connection problems with the provider.

General work scheme of EEC WMS

If you would like to check our Automated Warehouse , please contact us at the following contacts:

 
E-mail: 
info@euroec.lt
www.euroec.lt