Automated Storage Retrieval System

Assembly Line

Walmart’s Earnings Call Is A Delight For Supply Chain Professionals

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Steve Banker

🔖 Topics: COVID-19, RFID, Automated Storage Retrieval System

🏢 Organizations: Walmart, Symbotic

After having too much inventory for several quarters, driven by supply/demand mismatches caused by COVID, they returned to inventory efficiency. The world’s largest retailer had lower markdowns, improved in-stock service levels, and lower inventory. Walmart’s U.S. inventory was down 4.5%, Sam’s was down over 8%. In the US, the company is investing in automation that they predict will lead to a higher level of inventory accuracy over the next few years. Walmart reports that investments in artificial intelligence have also improved inventory management.

Sam’s Club performed 35 million fewer tasks in the store last year. A lot of that was artificial intelligence that helped associates manage inventory better. They also report using RFID and computer vision, as well as digital displays and labels, to improve operations. New digital tools that automate repetitive tasks or eliminate heavy lifting have increased associate productivity and customers are benefiting from improved in-stock rates and associate accessibility, leading to customer experience scores up over 140 basis points in fiscal year 2024.

On the logistics front, the retail behemoth reports that they have retrofitted 13 regional distribution centers with varying levels of automated storage and retrieval systems. They are implementing technology from Symbotic in a phased deployment. The level of automation in a Symbotic solution is hard to grasp; it really has to be seen to be believed.

Read more at Forbes

Skechers Launches High-Tech Warehouse With Hai Robotics' Automated Goods-to-Person System

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: Warehouse Automation, Automated Storage Retrieval System

🏢 Organizations: Hai Robotics, Skechers, MHE Solutions

Skechers USA, a leading global footwear and apparel company, turns to Hai Robotics (“Hai”), a leading global provider of Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS), as they launch their new distribution center in Minato City, Tokyo, Japan. Using Hai’s automated goods-to-person system, Skechers is maximizing warehouse operational efficiency, fulfillment speed, and order accuracy.

Within Skechers’ facility, the HaiPick System covers 139,705 square feet and is operated by 69 HaiPick Autonomous Case-handling Mobile Robots (ACRs), which are integrated with Manhattan Associates’ cloud-native warehouse management system (WMS). ACRs are highly intelligent, tall pieces of equipment that autonomously navigate narrow aisles of an ASRS constructed of almost any industry-standard racking or shelving with a vertical reach extending up to 32 feet. The robots pick containers off the shelving — transporting up to 8 at any given time for maximum order-batching efficiency — and deliver them to human-operated workstations.

Read more at Hai Robotics News

Automotive works on its mojo

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Gary Forger

🔖 Topics: Parts Supply Strategy, Automated Storage Retrieval System, Track Trace, Autonomous Mobile Robot, RFID

🏭 Vertical: Automotive

🏢 Organizations: ORBIS, KPI Solutions, JBT

Top of the list here is reducing transportation costs. In fact, transportation is the largest single cost in the supply chain for automotive, says Matt Bush, vice president of engineering and innovation at KPI Solutions. The challenge, he says, is to increase the density of parts and components inside the trailer. But as Freeberg points out, LIB components can easily weigh out a truck faster than it can be cubed out. The other challenge is to maximize the return ratio of collapsed containers on their trip back to the manufacturing plant, wherever that might be, says Freeberg. The standard ratio today is 3:1, reducing the number of trucks needed to return sustainable containers by two for every three shipments.

As Bush of KPI explains, it’s a continuing battle for automakers to manage the flow and relative state of assembly completion of parts and components lineside, where space is at a premium. For instance, a key question continues to be: Is it better to send kits of parts to the line or stage all inventory there for on-the-spot assembly? “The kitting process takes space but reduces the number of steps people must take along the line,” adds Bush.

Read more at Modern Material Handling