1. Before we plan and design automation system, we must confirm storage strategy and warehouse operation process.
When starting an automated warehouse system for e-commerce, first of all, do not consider which types of equipment to use, but should determine the storage strategy and operation process. For example, do we use fixed store mode or random store mode? Do we need to distinguish between fast selling products and slow sales products? Do we need to set up storage area separately, adopt the mode of stock picking and separating, or do we only set up picking area in the whole warehouse, and use stock picking mode? Can picking technology be sorted according to order picking, batch selection or process selection? Do picking methods use relay picking or regional picking? This series of warehousing and operation processes are the basis of the design of the warehouse automation system, which should be determined according to the prediction of the future orders and the attributes of the stored goods, and then match the appropriate automation equipment. Conversely, it can not only meet the needs of warehousing and operation of e-commerce providers, but also lead to excessive investment in equipment.
2. Pay attention to the balance and redundancy design of the whole operation process.
Usually, after warehousing strategy and operation process is determined, warehouse layout design is started, such as warehouse partition, area function setting, and storage location and so on. In order to achieve regional functions, what automation equipment needs to be selected and how much area is needed is needed; in order to realize the function of the whole warehouse, each area needs to use which transport equipment to connect the entire area of the warehouse. At this time, we need to pay attention to the balance and redundancy design of the whole process.
For the storage area and the picking area, it is only necessary to determine the storage equipment used, and then the storage strategy and the prediction of the goods stored in the future add the undulation relaxation, and the number of storage equipment needed is calculated and the area of the area can be obtained. In the same way, for packaging, allocation, sorting and other operating areas, it is necessary to calculate the number of automatic equipment or the number of manual workstations according to the prediction of the future order structure and the prediction of future work efficiency, and then obtain the area of these areas. In this process, we need to ensure that the capacity of every operation process not only achieves the design goal, but also basically keeps balance. In the use of transport equipment to connect the various areas, special attention should be paid to the flow of each route, especially in areas involving confluence and diversion, to ensure that the selected equipment can meet the requirements of the flow of lines in the transport capacity, and the accuracy of the coming will be predicted according to the historical data, and the allowance is placed as appropriate.
In the design of the whole e-commerce automation system, the audit of capacity and flow is not only to consider whether the capacity of the automation equipment is matched, whether the flow can be satisfied or not, it also needs to consider whether the manual work is matched between the manual work and the automation equipment, and whether the flow can be satisfied. In this regard, we can consider eliminating the waste caused by equipment or personnel waiting by keeping buffer area in every process area.
3. Do not let WCS become a bottleneck that limits the implementation of equipment capacity.
After the complete design of the automated warehouse system, all areas and processes have been balanced and redundant, but after the completion of the project, many automation devices are found to be unable to achieve the original design capacity. A very important reason is that the control logic of WCS leads to the failure to fully exert the capacity of automation equipment. For example, the problems in the control logic of the conveying equipment at the split shunt will lead to the failure of the transmission line’s hardware capacity to make full use of its own capacity and become a bottleneck; the stacker and shuttle system will lead to the decline in throughput because of the control logic problem, and then become a bottleneck. Therefore, for each area of WCS control, it is necessary to specify the specific requirements of flow and capacity. In the design phase, we should fully communicate with the WCS design and developer. We must ensure that all parts of the confluence, diversion and other devices meet the capacity requirements.
4. We should give full consideration to flexibility, expansibility and maintainability in system design.
Although it is based on the prediction of future orders and the design of automated storage system for the future storage of goods, the business industry is directly facing the individual consumer industry, and the individual consumption behavior is often the most difficult to predict, so the prediction cannot be done very accurately. In the system design phase, it is best to know the confidence interval of the predicted data, and to analyze the potential prediction errors, and to assess what effect the prediction distortion will bring to the entire warehouse automation system, which is the prediction of failure analysis. By designing redundancy and two scalability of the system, we can cover the influence brought by prediction distortion. Besides, in the layout design of all the equipment, we must consider future maintenance and maintenance operations, and maintain maintenance space.
The development of China’s electricity supplier industry has been competing for market share from horse racing enclosure to today’s development stage. As an automatic equipment to improve the operation efficiency and reduce the cost of operation, e-commerce automation storage system will be more and more widely used in the future. Although a variety of automatic equipment as a direct replacement of manual hardware, is an important component of the entire electric business automation system, but the whole system can operate efficiently and low cost, not mainly depends on the automation equipment, but the design idea and background algorithm of the storage management system play a key role. A set of WMS systems, which can not only support the design of various storage processes flexibly, but also match all kinds of storage automation equipment, is the soul of the entire automated warehouse system.