The Big Picture of Perfect Pick and Sure Sort
By Gary ForgerOh, how e-commerce has changed our world.
For instance, you may have just made a final visit to your local Sears store where the dominant feature this holiday season was a sign screaming 75% OFF. No tears, please. There are plenty of reasons why parcel delivery trucks now pull up to your home with a package you ordered online a few hours ago or maybe a day or two before. Clearly, we’re in a different world. But those are just some of the most visible changes that consumers see. If you have visited an e-comm fulfillment center lately, you may have noticed some major changes in how orders are processed too. It was inevitable given the differences between full store replenishment and the world of eaches for you and me.
New automated picking and sortation equipment is finding its place in the DCAt the top of that list are two solutions from OPEX Corporation called Sure Sort™ and Perfect Pick®. And even though the two were introduced only two and six years ago, respectively, both are already changing how e-comm orders are processed.
“From where I sit, these picking and sorting systems streamline processes while trimming costs and order fulfillment time. Better yet, the companies that have already installed the equipment agree with my assessment,” says the President of Warehouse Automation for OPEX, Jeff Hedges. Both Perfect Pick and Sure Sort are standalone order processing systems that highly automate item picking and item sortation. These solutions fit into the e-comm world well because they handle the vast majority of order profiles. But as Hedges points out, e-commerce is not the only application for the equipment. Any items that fit the size profile can be picked and sorted. The unique technology found in both of these solutions is the wireless robotic vehicle that transports items to pick stations or sorts items to order locations. This is where the wizardry of Perfect Pick and Sure Sort happens.
“Let me introduce you to the iBOT®. It’s the single automated component that picks up and delivers or sorts items in the system,” explains Hedges. He goes on to say, “iBOTs are autonomous vehicles that receive assignments from a central order management system. They move inventory to and from any location in the system as well as to and from the workstation. They are bi-directional, move both horizontally and vertically, and have full access to all locations in their aisle.”
In case Hedges did not make it entirely clear, these iBOTs are not shuttles - there are no lifts, conveyors or multiple transfer points that unnecessarily add to the complexity of Perfect Pick and Sure Sort. “That simplicity is why the equipment increases throughput and results in a more reliable and cost-effective picking and sortation systems,” adds Hedges. But given their similarities, Perfect Pick and Sure Sort are each tailored to their individual applications. Each is a specialist. And their performance profiles prove it. We’ll get into the details of each solution over the next few blogs. Next week we’re onto Perfect Pick including the newest addition called Perfect Pick HD for high density and high throughput.
"...simplicity is why the equipment increases throughput and results in a more reliable and cost-effective picking and sortation systems" - Jeff Hedges
Interested in learning more about maximizing the impact of automation in your operation? Click here.
Gary Forger is the former editor of Modern Materials Handling magazine and the Material Handling & Logistics U.S. Roadmap to 2030.