Our expertise in warehouse automation comes from decades of designing, installing, and supporting turnkey material handling systems in omni-channel fulfillment centers, distribution centers, reverse logistics centers, and warehouses internationally. It is an expertise that enables us to take an elegant mix of disparate warehouse automation technologies and warehouse execution software and blend them into a cohesive warehouse automation system.
This expertise, which we refer to as the art of intralogistics, demands a wide array of disciplines collectively focused on a singular goal: To create warehouse automation systems that integrate the flow of material goods with the flow of real time information in a way that maximizes resource allocation and optimizes productivity. That is what we do.
In doing so, we ensure that the performance of your warehouse automation system is pre-determined by thoughtful, up-front engineering decisions, rather than arrived at through tweaking and “fire-fighting” in the field. And, as an independent material handling systems integrator, free of affiliations pressuring us to supply parts that are anything less than ideal for your application, we choose only those warehouse automation technologies that are optimal for your unique requirements.
Warehouse Automation Systems
Below are some of the technologies we use in designing and building our warehouse automation solutions.
Sortation conveyors are an accurate and efficient means of sorting, routing, consolidating, and diverting parcels types to locations for the purposes of order fulfillment, picking, packaging, unitizing, storing, and shipping. A component of many warehouse automation projects, sortation conveyors (aka sortation systems)can transport parcels ranging in shape, weight, and size from sheets of paper to fully loaded pallets — and can do so at speeds that range in excess of 20,000 parcels per hour.
At Invata we utilize a variety of automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) technologies to supplement traditional conveyor and static storage approaches to warehouse automation. An ASRS is used for applications such as high density storage, sequence buffering, and for goods-to-man order fulfillment. Some of the ASRS technologies we use in our warehouse automation solutions include the One Level Shuttle, multi-level shuttles (aka 3D Shuttle), Mini-Load Crane, Unit Load ASRS, elevators, automatic inserter/extractors, and various types of carousels.
Invata’s expertise in packaging automation includes cartonization, carton identification, carton erection, automated product placement, auto-bagging, product protection (fugitive glue, void fill insertion, hold-down wraps, and more), packing list insertion, print/apply labeling, carton and bag sealing, and exceptions processing. We are experts at the “last 100-feet operation” where the packaging demands of a warehouse automation system can make or break the entire production line.
Invata takes advantage of all of the common modalities for directed paperless order fulfillment activities, which include pick and put-to-light (PTL), voice, and radio frequency terminals (RF). These Order Fulfillment Systems are used to guide operators through tasks such as discrete order picking, case picking, put-based sorting, packing, and quality check in warehouse automation operations.
The conveyor systems we use in our warehouse automation systems are specifically chosen and configured to meet the requirements of the parcels to be transported and the speeds at which they must travel. Parcel types can vary from sheets of paper to odd shaped cartons, and from garments-on-hangers (GOH) to pallets. Speeds can reach up to 100′s of feet/items per minute. Accuracy and consistency are the critical measures of performance in executing tasks such as buffering (accumulation conveyor), transporting items through pick areas (transportation conveyor), and routing and sorting parcels for shipment (sortation conveyor).
Invata employs Pallet Conveyors aka Pallet Elevators, Shuttles, and Transfer Cars in warehouse automation systems to move heavy loads and to serve as interfaces with Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS). Conveyors, shuttles, and lifts are selected and designed based on the transfer rates and capacities required by the interface applications.
Invata uses a variety of material handling systems integration components to ensure its warehouse automation systems operate at peak capacity. Scanners and cameras are used for in-motion reading of one and two dimensional bar codes as well as text (Optical Character Recognition OCR). Laser and camera technologies are used to get accurate linear and cubic dimensions and volumes of fast moving packages for use in labeling, sorting parcels to packing stations, and for parcel shipment manifesting.
In-motion weighing technology (in-motion weigh scales) serves as a critical component of the manifesting and shipping process as well as for quality control purposes. And specially configured printer/applicators are used for printing and applying a variety of labels to virtually every parcel type that can be conveyed.
Each of these warehouse automation technologies play a critical role in building a cohesive warehouse automation system.