Improving the Labour Efficiency of a Partially Automated Warehouse: A Case Study from the Flour Milling Industry
There are three major benefits to be gained from automated warehousing. The first is the efficient use of available space.Combining racks into multiple layers increases the quantity that can be stored per unit area.The second benefit is labour-saving. No personnel are required since warehousing, delivery, and stock management are all automated. The third benefit is that stock is managed accurately and in real time.There are however, some applications that standard automated warehousing systems can not handle. One of these is labor-saving in picking operations. Normally, a rack stores a specified amount of products.Automated warehousing systems are efficient in delivering products in units of that specified amount, but usually require manual picking work when less than that amount is to be delivered. In introducing automated warehousing systems into a Nisshin plant, the efficiency of the picking work has been improved by optimizing the combination of people and facilities. Results of simulation indicate that the new method improves the picking work efficiency by 58%. The new method has enabled a reduction in initial cost, and lowered the necessary number of personnel by four persons.
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