Robotic Warehouse Order Fulfillment System
With new challenges facing manufacturers today, robotic automation offers flexibility, innovation, and cost-effective solutions. One area that can be problematic is warehouse order fulfillment systems, especially with the increased need for mixed load palletizing or made-to-order pallets.
MESH successfully came up with an innovative solution for a customer that solved their order fulfillment complications. The customer wanted to process imported, boxed goods from incoming pallets to made-to-order pallets in a quick and efficient manner. MESH resolved the challenge with a new robotic pallet automation process solution that saved them time and money, leaving the customer very satisfied with the results.
- Interface to WMS - The MESH PLC package receives the orders from the warehouse management system and prioritizes and processes them for directing the robots to pick and place the goods
- Flexible Automation - The system of high payload robots and fast and accurate servo driven RTUs, using a universal modularly controlled end-of-arm tool and the assist table allow the system to carry one box or a complete layer of boxes, or any combination in between.
- PLC System - Easy to use operator interface
- Bar Code Reading - Each box has a printed bar code from the manufacturer. MESH used this identifier to locate and verify the box for the pick and placement onto the outgoing pallet of goods.
- Product Tracking - Each order is tracked, each box counted, and each order is reconciled. Overall orderliness in the warehouse was dramatically improved with this system.
1. Order Fulfillment
The system processes homogeneous pallets of materials into mixed pallet orders automatically. Customer orders are placed directly into the warehouse management system throughout the night and processed the next day. MESH supplied the interface to this ordering system, the optimization software to receive the data and build the mixed pallets to complete the orders in the most optimal manner.
2. Robotic Picking, Placing, Pallet Stacking
Two stand-alone robotic pick and place systems do the work. Each system uses a FANUC M-410 315kg payload robot equipped with a universal vacuum tool and an assist table all mounted to a linear robot transport unit. The robot picks up one or more boxes of material to a complete layer of boxes from an incoming homogeneous pallet of goods and places it on the assist table. The robot moves from pallet to pallet, systematically building an order. The robots also handle the empty pallets, placing them where and when needed for building a new pallet to order.
Layers are built on the assist table and delivered to the outgoing goods pallet located at one of the exit pallet locations on a chain conveyor. Finished pallets, which range from a few boxes of goods to full pallet loads of goods, are sent out to a wrapper, and readied for shipment.