We hear about it all of the time- Amazon and their automated warehouse robots buzzing in pre-determined synchronicity, storing items and retrieving them to be shipped to eager customers in seconds. It can sound other-worldly and high-tech enough to be movie-script worthy. Yet, it’s not that far-fetched, even in the tree nut industry.
Warehouse system automation uses software, machine learning, robotics and data analytics to automate tasks and procedures. For example, a developed pick list is generated with all of the bins needed to fulfill an order and users pick the first bins that match the pick list criteria, with exact locations, so warehouse workers perform at a much higher efficiency and warehouses themselves become higher-capacity with the possibility of greater scalability and improved performance.
And this is nothing new. This technology has existed for decades in many other iterations. Although, the tree nut industry poses some daunting challenges, like double-stacked loads and volume density issues. NutStar Software has spent nearly 3 years developing a system that works specifically for inventory management within the nut processing warehouse.
Some key innovations have been the development of a system that takes into account the fact that bins full of 5% water content plus the mass of kernels, meats and shells pose a barrier to consistent electronic signals. Our system allows the user to place a bin in any row, position and loft and autonomously track and position its content for future recall in a pick list or fulfill a job list query. This innovation eliminates the need for warehouse workers to manually log locations and contents. It also provides the user with the comfort of never leaving the seat of the forklift upon pickup or drop-off.
One of the most exciting innovations is the 2D and 3D pick list search as well as the QC filter functions. Both allow the user to search for specific categories or identify the exact location of a bin or a set of bins or super-sacks within desired parameters.
When coupled with the powerful grower purchasing, inventory management and sales tracking software, NutWare, the Virtual Warehouse System really comes alive and can be used to it’s full potential. Desktop users will be able to supply pick lists to their drivers with on-board touchpads, with displayed locations for the job. once the load is picked up and transferred to the desired location, the system automatically updates across the entire database, allowing for real-time updates and flawless traceability.
We will continue to innovate and bring you products, systems and solutions to help your operations become more efficient and profitable.