Perfect Pick® is a truly unique robotic goods-to-person picking technology that was engineered to simplify order fulfillment.
HOW IT WORKS
Unlike more traditional goods-to-person solutions on the market today, Perfect Pick is a self-contained, standalone point solution. A Perfect Pick aisle is comprised of modular, high-density racking along with a fleet of autonomous robotic delivery vehicles, iBOTs, which can access every storage location within their aisle – both horizontally and vertically. iBOTs deliver inventory directly to a workstation located at one or both ends of the aisle. This direct interface eliminates the need for complex conveyor systems or transfer equipment, such as elevators or lifts, which add complexity to the system. Perfect Pick’s traffic control software monitors the position of all iBOTs in the aisle and directs their movements to ensure full resource optimization and operational efficiency.
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iBOTs are patented robotic delivery vehicles, which were first introduced in 2005 as part of the Mail Matrix – the OPEX high-speed mail sorting system. This proven iBOT technology is the only automated component in Perfect Pick. iBOTs navigate along track integrated inside the racking structure storing and retrieving totes/trays. iBOTs deliver the inventory directly to a workstation located at one or both ends of the storage aisle – no lifts, conveyors or transfers. Because each iBOT has the ability to move both horizontally and vertically, they have access to 100% of the storage locations in their aisle. They race along a geared tongue and grove track integrated within the racking structure.
iBOTs are powered by highly efficient onboard ultracapacitors, which recharge as they move throughout the system - on the fly. In fact, because Perfect Pick does not require additional automated components such as lifts, elevators or conveyors, it is a very energy efficient system. Autonomous iBOTs can literally be driven in and out of Perfect Pick in a matter of minutes without causing a major disruption to ongoing operations. This ability to introduce and remove iBOTs means that Perfect Pick can adjust throughput rates to ever-changing demands and business cycles.
Dense storage racking runs down both sides of a Perfect Pick aisle. Custom totes measuring 20” x 30” are stored inside the racking. Inventory can be placed directly in totes or in boxes on top of trays. Totes can be divided into up to twelve storage cells. These totes come in multiple heights – 8”, 10”,12”, and 14”. Their large cubic footprint allows them to hold considerably more inventory than a standard European-sized tote.
Perfect Pick’s small footprint better utilizes warehouse and distribution center space. It also supports a flexible growth option, expanding at the actual rate your business grows. Aisles can be expanded to add more storage capacity. Backend workstations can be added to support increased future throughput needs and iBOTs can easily be introduced as your picking rates increase requiring faster system throughput.
Perfect Pick’s ergonomic workstation(s) are integrated into the aisle and can be located at one or both ends – either at ground or mezzanine level. Vertical track at the ends of the aisle form a bump out configuration, for picking or putting (replenishment). Replenishment can be done in a number of ways including picking at one end while putting at the other end or picking and putting simultaneously.
Monitor and light directed picking make Perfect Pick incredibly accurate. Operators follow text and visual prompts on a screen located at their workstation that directs picking and putting operations. Additionally, a light from above shines down into the cell from which the item is to be picked or placed. When the operator indicates the final pick or put is complete, the software releases the tote and the next tote is immediately driven into position for the next sequence. Upon delivery, the iBOT tilts for ergonomic positioning to reduce strain and produce a more comfortable ergonomic workstation for the worker. This tilt mechanism can also be automatically adjusted to the height of a specific picker.