Warehouses tend to be very basic cube-shaped spaces. Still, each one has its own nuances that make it unique. That’s why QMI Services builds custom automation solutions for each of our customers. We want to provide the exact configuration of conveyor systems, and automation processes to accelerate logistics and optimize workflow.
- Main conveyor line: The workhorse of warehouse automation; provides necessary throughput, accurate product handling, and unparalleled reliability
- Induction conveyor: The means to which packages are controlled into the main parts of the automation such as scanning, weighing, and cubing occurs.
- Zero pressure accumulation (ZPA conveyor): Maintains a buffer between products so they do not touch each other as they accumulate
- Outfeed conveyor: Recommended for checkweighers and conveyor scales to limit and/or isolate the mechanical vibrations machinery tends to impart on products often resulting in inaccurate weighing
- Sorters (bi-directional sorters, pushers, etc): Used to divert exceptions and errors, as well as sort packages by criteria such as shipping carrier or service type
- Gravity conveyor: For accumulation at end-of-line or sortation point, typically the final resting place before packages are loaded to pallets or trucks.
ROI and System Justification:
Warehouse automation is arguably the best way to reduce long-term warehouse distribution and logistics costs. Not only do automated conveyor systems reduce manual labor costs, in many cases they save tremendous amounts of floor space, thereby increasing overall warehouse capacity. With an automated conveyor system, order accuracy improves on multiple levels.
Conveyors also alleviate the need to temporarily augment the warehouse labor force during times when workflow traditionally spikes, like during the summer months or holiday seasons. A properly functioning automation system will be able to keep up with the increased output. Automated conveyor systems create such a measurable ROI that it’s practically unheard of for a company to return to conventional warehouse systems once they have established an automated system that works well.
Here’s a brief summary of areas where an automated warehouse can be expected to pay dividends.
- Optimize Existing Labor Force: Typical-end-of-line shipping areas employ the labor of people who manually scan, weigh, and manifest each shipment. With an automated conveyor system this labor is utilized in places that provide more value to the operation. Or, in certain instances it may be eliminated altogether.
- Order Accuracy Improvement: Orders are often manually inspected for quality control. Much of this work may be automated with expected weight comparison to actual weight or other means. Mistakes from boxes with mismatched labels applied are easily rectified with automated sortation and conveyor systems.
- Reduce Seasonal Temporary Labor Needs: Many DCs hire seasonal temps to keep up with spikes in demand. Automated conveyors systems are able to handle constant, year-round workflow and virtually eliminate drastic, seasonal increases in workforce.
When there is a need for an unusually extensive conveyor system, QMI Services partners with best-in-class companies who specialize in larger scope systems. This ensures 100% transparency as the customer is able to realize best pricing, service, and support for these types of solutions. Contact us or request a quote if you would like us to analyze your conveyor system needs.