http://www.sihs.com High Speed Order Fulfillment and Assembly Systems Tue, 18 Sep 2018 17:05:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 SI Systems Announces Partnership with EffiMat Storage Technology http://www.sihs.com/si-systems-announces-partnership-with-effimat-storage-technology/ Tue, 12 Jun 2018 23:18:51 +0000 http://www.sihs.com/?p=26574 SI Systems Announces Partnership with EffiMat Storage Technology June 12, 2018, EASTON, PA – SI Systems, a global provider of the fastest and most proven dispensing […]

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SI Systems Announces Partnership with EffiMat Storage Technology

June 12, 2018, EASTON, PA – SI Systems, a global provider of the fastest and most proven dispensing technology for order fulfillment is pleased to announce its partnership with EffiMat Storage Technology of Odense, Denmark. SI Systems is a Preferred Distributor for EffiMat, offering the full suite of services which include Sales, Installations, Software, Service and Support. The EffiMat product line includes the EffiMat Microload System, a patented automated storage technology that greatly enhances picking speeds when compared to a traditional vertical storage solution. Traditional Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs) are also included in the product offering, with EffiMat’s “ClassicMat” VLM line.

EFFIMAT VERTICAL LIFT VLM

EFFIMAT VERTICAL LIFT

“The EffiMat automated storage solution provides an economic advantage because it is three to five times faster than traditional vertical storage solutions,” said Dean Stavraka, the EffiMat uct Line Manager for SI Systems.

The EffiMat storage solution offers unprecedented flexibility in a compact machine profile. Excellent ergonomics are provided by the integrated tilt-tray delivery system in the pick window. The key to how the system operates is that the system selects standard totes that a customer already uses. This is much more efficient than bringing down a heavy steel tray for each individual pick, and the result is a revolutionary picking speed of up to 400 order lines per hour.

Jørgen Flemming Ladefoged, Chief executive officer & Founder of EffiMat stated, “We at EffiMat are looking forward to be working together with SI Systems which offers Effimat the best match in solutions and competencies.  In SI Systems, we have chosen a customer orientated partner with long experience in our industry and a proven track record of providing customers with the right solutions. We very much look forward to our partnership and mutual success serving our customers.”

The EffiMat product line will be available on a direct basis from SI Systems as well as through SI’s network of Dealers and Integrators.

 

 

 

SI Systems has been providing world class automated robotic A-frames and material handling systems to order fulfillment, distribution center, warehouse, manufacturing and assembly operations for 60 years.  Systems Robotic dispensing, A-Frames, towlines, software and integration services.

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Tompkins Supply Chain Leadership Forum 2018 http://www.sihs.com/tompkins-supply-chain-leadership-forum-2018/ Thu, 31 May 2018 19:08:26 +0000 http://www.sihs.com/?p=26354 Business is up, you have increasing confidence in your business cycle and your product life cycle is in good stride. So, you schedule several days at […]

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Randy Randolph- SI Systems

Our VP of Sales, Randy Randolph attended the Tompkins Supply Chain Leadership Forum in Durham, N.C.

Business is up, you have increasing confidence in your business cycle and your product life cycle is in good stride. So, you schedule several days at the Tompkins Supply Chain Leadership Forum to network, to pick up on incremental improvement ideas, and hear other business thought leaders share their market perspectives.  The attendee list and presenters represented top organizations across a broad market spectrum with everyone bringing their A-Game.

Dr. James Tompkins kicked-off the Forum with the Opening Keynote “The Digital Imperative: Dealing with Uncertainty, Speed, and Reinvention.”  In the first few minutes, Jim’s presentation delivers a diagnosis for the undercurrent of angst today’s business leaders feel when things are going well and maybe not so well.  The “Digital Imperative” is now and it is constant.   “In a world where everything is moving so rapidly, simply being fast is not enough: you have to be faster than anyone and everyone.”  Every company is vulnerable and Dr. Tompkins informs us that 23 companies have dropped off the F500 over the last three years.  Jim further challenged the continuous improvement mindset by re-calibrating the speed of change. Jim stated that future survival goes to those most responsive to change rather to the strongest or the smartest.  Jim outlines a path forward and how to embrace the “Disruption Cycle” to meet the Digital Imperative.  Check it out online (Here).

Jim challenged everyone to focus.  He offered Supply Chain as a key area of focus.   Jim stated that distribution logistics is being driven by “Amazon like” customer service expectations. Customers want the product faster and cheaper and Jim suggested that this is accomplished by putting inventory closer to the customer.  Jim offered by own example, that improved processing throughput and lower landed costs can be readily tapped by leveraging investments in automation that is Agile, Scalable and Portable.

SI Systems is a select automation partner for Tompkins Robots.  SI Systems was selected as it uniquely provides the fastest automatic order picking robots available on the market. The Mobile Matic is proven automation that can be implement in minutes vs months.  Check out how this labor saving picking solution can pick over 2000 orders/hr directly to tote or carton labor free!

If you would like to see a video of your products being picked by the “The fastest picker in the Universe” send us an email info@sihs.com or give us a call at 800-523-9464.

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MODEX 2018 – Robotic Mobile-Matic® A-frame http://www.sihs.com/modex-2018/ Wed, 30 May 2018 22:32:52 +0000 http://www.sihs.com/?p=26297 SI Systems had a great turnout for Modex 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. SI Systems featured our Robotic Mobile-Matic® portable A-Frame at the Modex show.  As we […]

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SI Systems had a great turnout for Modex 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

SI Systems featured our Robotic Mobile-Matic® portable A-Frame at the Modex show.  As we demonstrated the machines capabilities, we got a lot of great feedback from attendees and have since dubbed this machine “The fastest picker in the UNIVERSE!”  The Robotic Mobile-Matic® can pick up to 2,000 orders an hour.  Can you imagine how that will increase your productivity?

SI Systems VP of Sales, Randy Randolph talks with a student at MODEX 2018

SI Systems VP of Sales, Randy Randolph talks with a student at MODEX 2018

Our team met many people at Modex from a wide range of industries.  We connected with food production companies to candle companies to an ammunition supplier for the military, and many in between, we have a solution to move all of these products.  It was a super productive week for us and we look forward to making life easier for a lot of companies.

At the end of the week, we had student day.  Our CEO, Sham Gad and Randy Randolph, our Sales VP spoke with college students about the supply chain management industry and it’s huge future growth potential.  Brick and mortar stores are being replaced by the new normal of online sales.  As this trend continues, the industry will need the next working generation of graduates to fill the gaps in the exponentially growing supply chain industry.

SI Systems CEO, Sham Gad speaks with students about the supply chain industry at MODEX 2018.

SI Systems CEO, Sham Gad speaks with students about the supply chain industry at MODEX 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the last day of our Modex show Danny Gonzales of INDUSTRIALsage came by to interview our new Director of HR and Marketing, Diana Maglio.  She showed him how our Robotic Mobile-Matic® earned the title “Fastest Picker in the UNIVERSE!”  Danny was impressed our Robotic Mobile-Matic® at the Modex show and came up with another terrific tagline, “It’s like a vending machine on steroids!”  Check out the video below and see why everyone who sees the Robotic Mobile-Matic® in action reacts with awe at it’s incredible speed!

Interview with Industrialsage and Diana Maglio, Director of Marketing at Modex 2018

Interview with Industrialsage and SI Systems, Diana Maglio, Director of Marketing at Modex 2018

If you would like to see a video of your products being picked by the “The fastest picker in the Universe” send us an email info@sihs.com or give us a call at 800-523-9464.

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High Speed Induction System For Robots, Sorters and More http://www.sihs.com/high-speed-induction-system-robots-sorters/ Wed, 28 Feb 2018 20:41:45 +0000 http://www.sihs.com/?p=24303 High Speed Induction and Versatile The High Speed Induction Mobile-Matic robotic portable A-Frame system eliminates induction labor while providing high levels of throughput, accuracy, flexibility, scalability […]

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High Speed Induction and VersatileMobile-Matic Induction Robotic System

The High Speed Induction Mobile-Matic robotic portable A-Frame system eliminates induction labor while providing high levels of throughput, accuracy, flexibility, scalability and affordability.  This High Speed Induction Mobile-Matic system is ideal for:

  • t-Sort
  • Robotic Arms
  • Sorters
  • Conveyor
  • Workstations

Mobile-Matic Simple Operation

Inventory is stacked in the Mobile-Matic unit’s channels. One SKU per channel. Each channel’s dispenser can output up to five items per second. Each channel dispenses the proper item and quantity into the passing induction position.

High Speed Induction System Configuration

Each High Speed Induction Mobile-Matic unit has up to 16 dispensers. Units can be daisy chained in pods of four. Multiple pods of four can be integrated to work as one system.

Change SKUs quickly and easily by readjusting a channel’s size in just a few minutes. Add, subtract or move Mobile-Matic units as your system requirements change and evolve. Modular design and implementation makes this very simple.

The Mobile-Matic units are delivered pre-constructed. Roll them out of the crate and plug in standard 120v power supply and plug into your network communications system. Simple flat file, socket or your custom communications requirements are easily accommodated.

Accuracy Is Paramount

The High Speed Induction Mobile-Matic system and every channel has sensors to assure items are ready to be dispensed, have been dispensed and verifies that the correct SKU was dispensed.

Any anomalies are flagged and reported to the host system. The host generates a new request for missing product to be inducted into the next appropriate location or position.

Labor Elimination with Throughput

The Mobile-Matic system requires ZERO picking or induction labor. System re-stocking is the only labor required and this is done in bulk. A steady re-stocking rate has historically run from 1200 to 1700 pieces per hour.

When combined with the throughput speed of 2100 orders (this means multiple lines and multiple pieces per line), it’s easy to see labor reductions ranging up to 85% and more.

About SI Systems  

SI Systems has been providing world class automated material handling solutions, systems and software for order fulfillment, distribution center, warehouse, manufacturing and assembly operations for over 55 years. Solutions and systems include robotics, workstation and portable A‐Frames, document inserters, towline conveyor, AGV and AGC, WES, WMS and WCS software plus consulting, slotting and integration services.

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t-Sort Robot Piece Picking and Parcel Sortation System http://www.sihs.com/t-sort-robot/ Wed, 17 Jan 2018 22:43:00 +0000 http://www.sihs.com/?p=23118 New t-Sort Robot Piece Picking and Parcel Sortation System Is Introduced by Tompkins Robotics & SI Systems The autonomous t-Sort robot moves via the shortest path […]

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New t-Sort Robot Piece Picking and Parcel Sortation System Is Introduced by Tompkins Robotics & SI Systems

t-Sort RobotThe autonomous t-Sort robot moves via the shortest path between induction and any number of open orders or destinations. The t-Sort Robot operates like a tilt tray or crossbelt sorter minus track/conveyor path and can be integrated with Mobile-Matic portable A-Frame system for high speed product induction.

Tompkins Robotics and SI Systems have partnered to introduce this  revolutionary new item piece picking and parcel sortation system.

Induction is done using Mobile-Matic portable A-Frame dispensing systems and Right Hand Robotics’ smart gripping robot capable of handling thousands of different shaped items. Items are dispensed and placed on the top of each t-Sort robot and the t-Sort Robot automatically speeds to its destination, tilts the product into the order tote and then returns for more products.

This flexible modular system is capable of being rapidly scaled to meet varying demands in both small and large operations without any interruptions or downtime. Robots can be added to the system in seconds.

Cost Effective and Flexible System 

A unique feature is the system is purchased on a seasonal or annual basis deferring the capital investment and fully utilizing the asset at all times, unlike a traditional sorter that one buys for their long-term growth plan. A typical installation takes only three to four months to go-live.

The Robot system provides redundancy to mitigate risk. The entire system has zero single points of failure. All elements are plug and play, and there is system redundancy including software, servers, and power.

The standard t-Sort Robot system operates on two levels and allows sortation of a wide variety of goods. Individual items range from extremely small cosmetics to gallon containers of liquids. The t-Sort Robot system is ideally suited to handle apparel and footwear, general merchandise, single items and innerpacks.

Parcels sorted include bags, boxes, and mailers. Overall the system handles items up to a 30 x 36 inch footprint. The t-Sort Robot easily transport cylindrical and other difficult items through unique tray designs.

Each Mobile-Matic unit can have up to 16 SKU positions. Multiple units can be daisy chained to increase the system’s capacity. The Mobile-Matic portable A-Frames require zero picking labor and has multiple sensors to assure the proper item has been picked and onto the correct t-Sort robot.

Tompkins Emerging Technology Center Live Demonstration Featuring t-Sort Robot

February 21 and 22, the newly innovated and updated Tompkins Emerging Technology Center (ETC) will be hosting discussion sessions and live demonstrations featuring the latest Robotic piece picking and parcel sortation system. Visit the Tompkins Robotics Event page for details.

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New 2018 Tax Cuts Aids Robotic A-Frame Equipment http://www.sihs.com/2018-tax-cuts-aids-robotic-a-frame-equipment/ Wed, 17 Jan 2018 02:53:11 +0000 http://www.sihs.com/?p=23103 2018 Tax Cuts Aids Robotic A-Frame Equipment Making It a Necessity for The New Year The 2018 tax cuts aids robotic A-Frame equipment for warehouses and […]

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2018 Tax Cuts Aids Robotic A-Frame Equipment Making It a Necessity for The New Year

2018 tax cuts aids robotic A-Frame equipmentThe 2018 tax cuts aids robotic A-Frame equipment for warehouses and distribution centers. They will be automated with order fulfillment equipment faster thanks to the tax bill. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which President Donald Trump signed into law on December 22, 2017, the effective cost of buying new equipment will drop.

Organizations with significant or growing labor requirements for their warehouses and distribution center operations have been evaluating and investing on automation in the form of robotic A-Frames, document inserters and other high yielding automated material handling equipment.

Historically, key automation “drivers” that have often yielded fast ROI (return on investment) have been a combination of:

  1. Eliminating labor while increasing productivity
  2. Increasing throughput velocity to meet shrinking pick window and delivery time frames
  3. Improving order fulfillment accuracy and customer satisfaction

2018 tax cuts aids robotic A-Frame equipment and the ROI math will accelerate with the new tax law. Companies will be able to write off the cost of new order fulfillment automation equipment immediately rather than amortizing, thereby lowering their short-term taxes. Historically organizations implementing robotic Dispen-SI-matic A-Frame automation can see an ROI in as little as nine to 18 months.

The new law not only accelerates equipment depreciation, but permanently cuts the corporate tax rate to 21% from 35%, and will repatriate the profits of U.S. companies that are held overseas. This will mean billions of dollars available for investment. According to a Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey, 35% of senior executives said they would use the cash for capital expenditures including order fulfillment automation.

Automation Details Detailed: If an organization will save $1000 in wages and benefits per pay period by eliminating or avoiding hiring each additional laborer in 2017, its after-tax savings is $650 ($1000 savings less $350 paid in taxes). If the organization does the same in 2018, its after-tax benefit is $79 ($100 in savings less $210 paid in taxes). The organization retains $140 more by reducing each laborer in 2018 than in 2017, an increase of more than 20%.

Because money is worth more now than in the future (the time value of money), organizations will save more in the long run from the deductions than they would have previously. With this provision set to begin to phase out in five years, organizations looking to automate are under the gun.

“With the current pricing of robotic A-Frames and document inserters, you will see companies accelerate their plans to buy equipment,” said Deb Mertz, chief financial officer SI Systems. “If a company is planning on investing in equipment, the tax savings will be greater doing it sooner rather than later.”

Retail trade groups have, by and large, supported the legislation. The National Retail Federation called it “a major victory” that will “jumpstart the economy, encourage companies to invest here in the United States, increase wages and expand opportunities for employees.”

The National Grocers Association has commended it as a “weight lifted off [its] shoulders [that] will allow stores to invest more in their companies, employees, and communities.” To be sure, any company considering how to increase service levels and productivity through new technology investments, will evaluate multiple moving variables before doing so.

Everyday more and more organizations deploy new automated order fulfillment systems such as robotic A-Frames and document inserters to improve their operating efficiencies and create a competitive advantage in their marketplace. The new tax bill will accelerate and simplify the justification of these investments benefiting both improved short and long-term performance.

SI Systems provides free order fulfillment data audit and ROI analysis. Please call 800-523-9464 or email to learn more details.

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Order Fulfillment Improves Customer Retention and Profits http://www.sihs.com/order-fulfillment-improves-customer-retention/ Mon, 27 Nov 2017 16:33:36 +0000 http://www.sihs.com/?p=22532 Three Steps To How Order Fulfillment Improves Customer Retention & Increases Profits Order fulfillment improves customer retention as well as increases profits.  A recent study determined that […]

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Three Steps To How Order Fulfillment Improves Customer Retention & Increases Profits

Order Fulfillment Improves Customer Retention

Order fulfillment improves customer retention as well as increases profits.  A recent study determined that it costs seven times more to acquire a new customer than it is keeping one existing customer. Customer acquisition costs are steadily increasing, so the key is to assure every new customer is satisfied and stays a customer. Likewise, studies show that the holiday and Q4 period is often the time when organizations generate the most first-time customers.

There are many important steps in obtaining and satisfying customers, but the most critical step in keeping happy customers is the warehouse. Your order fulfillment and distribution system will often make or break an organization’s success.

So how does the warehouse make (not break) and keep happy customers?

  1. Orders delivered on-time.
  2. Orders are accurate.
  3. Items are in great shape.

An order delivered not only on-time, but as promised… and that promise must include processing the order in just a few hours from receipt with late cut-off times. So, we are talking about taking orders and fulfilling them within 2-3 hours before pick-up. This may not be a big deal if you are processing hundreds of orders per day, but how about thousands?

A piece of cake with the right automation equipment. A Dispen-SI-matic® A-Frame or portable Mobile-Matic™ A-Frame system can often pick 2,200 to 4,200 orders per hour while utilizing zero order picking labor. Imagine your warehouse without the hassles and costs of a significant portion of your labor. Items are automatically picked by the Dispen-SI-matic A-Frame directly into totes or shippers and then routed to packing and shipping (for completed orders) or to the next zone (for SKUs required to complete the order).

The goal is to automate in an A-Frame the 20% of the fastest moving SKUs which often account for 60% to 80% of your orders. Hours of human labor translate into minutes of automated order picking.

Order accuracy beyond 99%…  an Dispen-SI-matic A-Frame system utilizes multiple sensors to assure the proper item and its quantity has been dispensed into the correct order.

The A-Frame system reads an inducted tote’s or shipper’s license plate. The WMS/WCS assigns the Dispen-SI-matic A-Frame controller the content for each order or an order can be started by the A-Frame controller by automatically assigning an order to a specific tote or shipper. Either way, as the order goes through the center of the Dispen-SI-matic A-Frame, each dispenser automatically inserts the correct item(s) and quantities of items in the order.

Sensors on every channel in the Dispen-SI-matic A-Frame helps assure there is inventory ready to be dispensed and that it has been dispensed into the correct order. In the rare case, any anomalies are flagged and communicated to the WMS to be re-routed for manual checking.

Items are in great shape… The item moves from the dispenser directly onto a slide pan and into a tote, shipper or belt. The distance a dispensed item moves is often dramatically less than the distance a manual picker drops an item into a tote. As an example, a large contact lens distributor has used Dispen-SI-matic A-Frames for over 20 years. Their Quality Control considers a pin-head dent on a box as “damaged.” In the decades, since the system has gone live, it has processed millions of units through the Dispen-SI-matic A-Frame. Our customer and just as important… their customers are very happy with the results.

So, organizations looking to retain their new and old customers should be reviewing their warehouse practices and looking to automation that provides their customer’s demands and its management’s financial requirements. As you can see, order fulfillment improves customer retention and increases profits.

About SI Systems

SI Systems has been providing world class automated material handling solutions, systems and software for order fulfillment, distribution center, warehouse, manufacturing and assembly operations for over 55 years. Solutions and systems include workstation A-Frames, portable A-Frames, document inserters, towline conveyor, carousels, VLMs, AGV and AGC, WES, WMS and WCS software plus consulting, slotting and integration services.

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Pitless Drive Towline Conveyor Increases Performance-Reduces Costs http://www.sihs.com/pitless-drive/ Tue, 26 Sep 2017 15:45:33 +0000 http://www.sihs.com/?p=20708 New Pitless Drive Towline Conveyor Diminishes Costs & Improves Performance The new Pitless drive system,  for SI Systems Lo-Tow® towline conveyor system helps reduce system investment, simplify maintenance, […]

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New Pitless Drive Towline Conveyor Diminishes Costs & Improves Performance

pitless driveThe new Pitless drive system,  for SI Systems Lo-Tow® towline conveyor system helps reduce system investment, simplify maintenance, and speed up implementation.

The Pitless drive utilizes a steel housing that is mounted in a shallow recess rather than a pit.  The Pitless drive simply embeds into the concrete slab when the trench is poured during installation.  Also, the Pitless drive’s take-up does not require a pit either and installs in a 6” deep trench.  By not having to form pit walls, the installation of the Pitless drive and take-up system saves a considerable amount of time, labor and cost.

For decades, towline, drag chain and other similar “in-floor chain” conveyor systems required large pits to house their drive and take-up system.  Appropriately, OSHA considers pits like these to be a “Confined Space” and has developed a standard (29 CFR 1926 Subpart AA) which can require permits, training, and other construction and maintenance complications.

Reduces Investment

With SI System’s pitless drive/take-up system, the need to design, form, pour and create a pit is eliminated.  The labor and materials associated with a pit’s civil/concrete work can often cost over $12,000 per pit.

Eliminates Confined Space Requirements

Towline pits typically satisfy OSHA’s defined criteria for a “confined space,” as follows:

  1. Large enough for a worker to enter it;
  2. Limited means of entry or exit; and
  3. Not designed for continuous occupancy.

Depending on your local building laws and OSHA representation, companies may have to schedule an on-site OSHA evaluation, get permits, create employee training procedures, provide the proper ventilation equipment, safe entry and exit documentation and training, create a ventilation system, deploy an air testing procedure, have available personal protective equipment (PPE) and more.

The Lo-Tow pitless drive system eliminates all of this concern, cost and risk associated with the OSHA regulations, allowing easy access without entering a pit.

Easy Pitless Maintenance

SI System’s pitless drive and take-up system are easily accessible by maintenance personnel.  Simply remove the cover plates and access the components from floor level.  There is no need for ladders and special OSHA equipment/procedures.

About SI Systems

SI Systems has been providing world class automated software and material handling systems to order fulfillment, distribution center, warehouse, manufacturing and assembly operations for over 55 years. Systems include order fulfillment A-Frames, towline conveyor, AGV, AGC conveyance systems, document inserter systems, WES, WMS, WCS Warehouse Software, and full range of integration services.

 

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New Mobile-Matic Portable A-Frame Picks up to 2,200 Orders Per Hour http://www.sihs.com/new-mobile-matic-portable-a-frame-system/ Wed, 20 Sep 2017 19:21:58 +0000 http://www.sihs.com/?p=20578 New Mobile-Matic Portable A-Frame Pick to Shipper Model Picks up to 2,200 Orders per Hour   The Mobile-Matic portable A-Frame provides high levels of flexibility by […]

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New Mobile-Matic Portable A-Frame Pick to Shipper Model
Picks up to 2,200 Orders per Hour

 

New Mobile-Matic Portable A-Frame

The Mobile-Matic portable A-Frame provides high levels of flexibility by being able to change product sizes and system location in a matter of minutes. Likewise, the system’s modularity allows SKU positions to be quickly added and subtracted.

The patented Mobile-Matic portable A-Frame is comprised of up to 16 channels which contain one SKU per channel and are mounted on a wheeled cart. Up to four carts can be integrated into one system. Each channel has a dispenser at the bottom which automatically inserts the correct SKU and quantity for each order as the shipper/order passes. Every channel can dispense up to five items per second.

The Mobile-Matic portable A-Frame can be easily integrated into new and existing operations. The type of products and organizations that benefit from a Pick-to-Shipper A-Frame are numerous because the system can handle SKU sizes ranging from .6” to 10.5” wide, 2” to 12.4” deep and .4” to 4.5” high.

With the ability to pick up to 2,200 orders per hour directly to shippers with near perfect accuracy and a fraction of the labor associated with piece picking systems, the Mobile-Matic A-Frame system often provides a Return on Investment (ROI) of under 12 months.

About SI Systems

SI Systems has been providing world class automated material handling solutions, systems and software for order fulfillment, distribution center, warehouse, manufacturing and assembly operations for over 55 years. Solutions and systems include workstation A-Frames, portable A-Frames, document inserters, towline conveyor, carousels, VLMs, AGV and AGC, WES, WMS and WCS software plus consulting, slotting and integration services.

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PR14021-0917

 

For additional information, word document or high resolution images, please contact Ed Romaine, 610-559-4043, romaine@sihs.com

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Dispen-SI-matic A-Frame Robotic System Reduces Labor Staffing http://www.sihs.com/dispen-si-matic-a-frame-robotic-system/ Wed, 20 Sep 2017 18:40:26 +0000 http://www.sihs.com/?p=20573 Dispen-SI-matic A-Frame Robotic System Eliminates 2/3 Warehouse Labor Recruitment..Today Likely you are being challenged weekly to keep warehouse workers employed, trained and productive based on the […]

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Dispen-SI-matic A-Frame Robotic System Eliminates 2/3 Warehouse Labor Recruitment..Today

Likely you are being challenged weekly to keep warehouse workers employed, trained and productive based on the latest Wall Street Journal report. With the dramatically increasing demand for warehouse workers at a record high 948,500, organizations are looking at robotics and automation to save labor in their order picking processes.Dispen-SI-matic A-Frame robotic system

The issue is, robotic order picking technology isn’t quite there today, which is why A-Frame robotic technologies are filling the void.

A Dispen-SI-matic A-Frame robotic system helps organizations not only reduce their warehouse and distribution center staffing demand, but improve their throughput, accuracy, order capacity and inventory turns while utilizing zero order picking labor and filling up to 4,200 orders per hour.

Labor Shortage and Demands

“The challenge of replacing workers as they leave is difficult enough, but when we create new positions such as seasonal, it truly feels that we are looking at the unemployable” said Diane Fasco, VP of DFS Warehousing. She continued, “the moment a competitor or new distribution center opens up in the region, they pay $0.25 more an hour and it creates a major staffing challenge.”

The Dispen-SI-matic A-Frame robotic systems can fill thousands of orders per hour and requires no order picking labor. This often translates into allowing organizations to eliminate 75% to 90% of their labor issues.

The Dispen-SI-matic A-Frame Robotic System system stores inventory in a series of channels on each side of a conveyor. SKUs are automatically dispensed into the required tote, shipper or conveyor position as it moves by… effortlessly. The only human interaction is replenishment. Since replenishment requires only a fraction of the labor the net savings are tremendous.

A-Frame systems come in a number of models including “plug and play” portable units to systems which pick directly into shippers, totes or belt for maximum flexibility.

Sensors and software validate the proper item(s) are in position to be picked, have been dispensed and in the correct order. A-Frame order fulfillment is so fast that it’s throughput is measured in orders per hour, not lines. Since A-Frames can range from dozens to thousands of SKUs in one system, the order rate remains constant.

The labor savings, increased throughput and accuracy levels help create a Return on Investment (ROI) which is often under two years.

“It all depends on the application, but I just showed an organization how they could reduce 178 order pickers into 44 and with a higher throughput and accuracy levels than they have ever achieved with the Dispen-SI-matic A-Frame system,” said, Ed Romaine, VP Sales and Marketing of SI Systems. He continued, “robotic A-Frame systems have the proven reliability and return on investment that most organizations are looking for.”

As the Wall Street Journal chart illustrates, staffing and re-staffing your warehouse is proving to be beyond challenging and potentially threatening your organization’s future growth. Look towards robotic A-Frame solutions as a means of solving your labor issues.

About SI Systems

SI Systems has been providing world class automated material handling solutions, systems and software for order fulfillment, distribution center, warehouse, manufacturing and assembly operations for over 55 years. Solutions and systems include workstation A-Frames, portable A-Frames, document inserters, towline conveyor, AGV and AGC, WES, WMS and WCS software plus consulting, slotting and integration services.

 

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Towline Cart Code Readers Brought to Life http://www.sihs.com/towline-cart-code-readers/ Tue, 25 Jul 2017 20:14:43 +0000 http://www.sihs.com/?p=19793 Towline Cart Code Readers Fixed, Added or Replaced Towline Cart Code Readers using legacy “code reader” technologies on their towline carts or carriers has been commonly […]

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Towline Cart Code Readers Fixed, Added or ReplacedTowline Cart Code Readers

Towline Cart Code Readers using legacy “code reader” technologies on their towline carts or carriers has been commonly used for decades. They allow towline systems to marry inventory to a cart, know where in the system the cart is and route it to its proper destination.

These code readers were sometimes barcodes, but most of the time proprietary hybrid codes developed by a scanner manufacturer to “work properly” in their system, but it kept competitive technologies and companies from fixing and changing the system in the future.

Towline Cart Code Readers Repaired and Rejuvenated

With many of these “code reading” organizations and towline manufacturers no longer in business or simply not supporting their old technologies, SI Systems R&R (Rejuvenation & Retrofit) team is ready to help. Whether your organization is looking to replace your existing obsolete code readers, fix or change existing logic or add new functionality to your existing towline carts, the R&R team is ready to demonstrate.

Why is fixing old code readers important? By utilizing new barcode reading technology organizations can dramatically improve their systems performance, allowing old systems to increase their levels of capacity and throughput. Likewise, new Human Machine Interface (HMI) makes maintenance simple. A one push multi-function key provides immediate access to relevant functions (likely not available on legacy systems) such as: test mode, auto learn and auto setup. Modular connection boxes, extended fieldbus and ethernet connectivity makes future modifications and increasing functionality simple and easy.

SI Systems’ R&R team can provide decades of engineering experience, off-the-shelf solutions and proprietary equipment to bring your system back to life and operating better than when it was new. Call 800-523-9464 or email SI Systems for a free consultation.

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A-Frame Automation Reliability is Unsurpassed http://www.sihs.com/a-frame-automation-reliability/ Mon, 24 Jul 2017 18:46:30 +0000 http://www.sihs.com/?p=19781 A-Frame Automation Reliability Unsurpassed When taking your order fulfillment performance to the next level it’s all about: Reducing labor Increasing order accuracy Increasing throughput Reducing delivery […]

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A-Frame Automation Reliability Unsurpassed

A-Frame Automation ReliabilityWhen taking your order fulfillment performance to the next level it’s all about:

  1. Reducing labor
  2. Increasing order accuracy
  3. Increasing throughput
  4. Reducing delivery time

These improving metrics help turn a warehouse from operating overhead to a profit center.

A-Frame Automation Reliability – The spoiler… is Risk.

What and how much risk are you introducing to an operation and what are the true benefits? The common thought is the more automated a facility, the more downtime is possible.

In some automated technologies, this is can be true, (single point of failure) but for other technologies such as an A-Frame, the system keeps producing (short of a facility power outage).

An A-Frame dispenses inventory into a passing open order shipper, belt position or tote at up to 4,200 orders per hour (not lines, but orders) with zero picking labor. The throughput is great, but the key benefit is the uptime and reliability the system provides.

A-Frame Automation Reliability – Let me go into more detail…

If an A-Frame were to experience a hardware problem, it would likely be a component in a channel’s dispenser. Because a system can have up to 2500 dispensers (one for each channel), if any dispenser were to fail, it simply means one SKU position didn’t dispense but all other dispensers in the A-Frame are still performing.

Every dispenser has three sensors to detect a problem. If a sensor detects a problem, it is instantly communicated to the A-Frame controls. The controls then instantly flag that specific order.

If an order is flagged, the A-Frame controls either:

  1. Directs another channel with the same SKU to fill the order before it leaves the A-Frame
  2. Diverts the order for manual inspection when it exits the A-Frame and reports it to the WMS
  3. Re-circulates the order via conveyor back into the beginning of the A-Frame to be filled

Any dispenser issue is immediately reported to the controls. The A-Frame’s controls instantly logs and reports the failure to the supervisory station. An operator is then immediately dispatched to check on product blockage or damage that may have created the failure and to correct the problem. If it’s not a product issue and truly a dispenser hardware issue, within 15 minutes, a new dispenser can be mounted and fully operational.

Another channel with the same SKU is used while the dispenser is being changed. The A-Frame never stops running: orders keep getting filled and zero productivity is lost!

This is a major differentiator between A-Frame automation and other technologies. The eliminated labor, unsurpassed levels of throughput, accuracy, uptime and reliability, make the A-Frame a logical warehouse automation tool.

Interested in seeing how an A-Frame operates? Watch this video: click here

Want a free ROI analysis to see how your organization can benefit from an A-Frame system? Email me at: romaine@sihs.com or call 484-894-5211.

 

 

 

 

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Best Solution For Converting AGVs For Decades of Reliable Use http://www.sihs.com/converting-agvs/ Wed, 07 Jun 2017 16:48:57 +0000 http://www.sihs.com/?p=19176 Converting AGVs Solution: Repurpose the AGV Hardware with Towline Conveyor AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles) have become a standard means of transporting materials within a facility. The […]

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Converting AGVs Solution: Repurpose the AGV Hardware with Towline Conveyor

converting AGVsAGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles) have become a standard means of transporting materials within a facility. The overwhelming issue has been the “cost of ownership” , converting AGVs and reliability. Most organizations underestimate the amount of increasing maintenance resources and redundancy that is required to keep their AGV system.

A major AGV supplier states that the “norm” for AGV serviceability is “7-10 years in most industrial applications” at which time the AGV owner will experience “significant increased maintenance cost.”  If the AGV owner decides to rebuild or refurbish the aging units, this “generally costs half the price of the new equipment and generally yields 5-7 more years of useful AGV life.”

SI Systems has a better solution: repurpose the AGV hardware with Towline conveyor.

A significant percentage of an AGV value is in the cost of the physical cart. The vast majority of the maintenance and reliability issues are with the drives and controls, not the cart. By integrating the AGV carts with the simplicity of a Towline conveyor’s drive and controls system, the benefits are significant:

 

  • Reduced Maintenance Costs: Imagine servicing one motor/reducer/PLC control system on the Towline conveyor compared to one motor/reducer/PLC control system per AGV unit.
  • Increased Lifetime of Service: SI Systems Towline conveyors have demonstrated a useful life that can extend beyond 40 years!
  • Less Downtime/Increased Production: Because the Towline conveyors are simple and reliable, you will realize significantly less downtime. Of course, less downtime results in reduced maintenance costs and increased throughput.
  • Higher Quality: SI System’s Towline conveyor NFF (No-Fault Forward) technology works with your production system to prohibit non-compliant product to proceed to the next assembly station.

 

Converting AGVs Ideal for All Types of AGV Vehicles

There are two basic types of AGV vehicles: “load carrying” and “tunneling.”

Load carrying AGVs “piggyback” the load directly onto the AGV so the AGV both bears the load and transports it.  In this case, SI will convert the AGV into a simple four-wheeled “cart” by removing the AGV’s driving mechanisms, add a towpin and guidepin to the unit, and transport it with a reliable, low-maintenance SI Systems’ Towline conveyor.  All other features such as tooling and fixtures typically can be reused “as is.”

Tunneling AGV conversion is even easier.  With a tunneling AGV, a standalone four-wheeled dolly supports the load and the AGV only propels it.  With this version, the AGV hardware can simply be discarded and the remaining dolly is converted in a Towline cart with the addition of a towpin and guidepin.

This conversion allows organizations to recoup a significant portion their investment while eliminating their increased maintenance costs.

The bottom-line is that your SI Systems AGV-to-Towline conveyor conversion will be more productive, more reliable, provide a better bottom line and certainly less headaches!

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Towline Conveyor Dependability and FAQs http://www.sihs.com/towline-conveyor-dependability-faqs/ Tue, 28 Mar 2017 19:04:18 +0000 http://www.sihs.com/?p=16672 Towline Conveyor Dependability and FAQs Part 2 Towline Conveyor Dependability and Frequently Asked Questions (part two) is designed to inform organizations looking to acquire the best conveyance system for […]

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Towline Conveyor Dependability and FAQs Part 2

Towline Conveyor Dependability

Towline Conveyor Dependability and Frequently Asked Questions (part two) is designed to inform organizations looking to acquire the best conveyance system for their unique applications.

Understanding the differences in towline conveyor systems, their applications and design requirements is vital to a successful system. SI Systems, as the towline industry leader is often asked to make suggestions and recommendations to obtain maximum performance and best value.

Here is SI Systems second installment of common FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) topics which can help guide your engineering path to success.

4. Towline Conveyor Dependability?

Towline Conveyor Dependability is an understatement. Yes, towlines are one of the most dependable conveyors available.  In fact, SI has had towlines in services or 40+ years!  The USPS uses towline in many of its distribution centers because of its reliability.  In these applications, the towlines basically run 24/7 year round delivering carts of mail throughout the facility.  It is typical that a system like this will run for 20+ years without significant maintenance.  In comparison, the average life cycle of AGC/AGV vehicles is estimated at only 7 years maximum before replacement or major rebuild is necessary.  Without doubt, towlines are built for the long haul!

5.  Isn’t Towline Conveyor Complicated?

No, they are not.  In fact, quite the opposite: one of the biggest attributes of a towline is its simplicity.  For a typical multi-cart system, there will be one motor, one reducer, and one controller, all easily maintainable with common hand tools and resources.  In comparison, AGC/AGV technology will have one motor, one reducer, and one controller per vehicle plus additional technology for wireless communication, guidance, and a myriad of other technology just to travel from point to point.  Of course, maintaining a fleet of AGC/AGV vehicles requires highly specialized tools and resources.  The simplicity of the basic towline design provides for reliable operation, easy maintenance, and the best possible ROI over its lifetime.

6.  What About Towline Conveyor Controls?

The beauty of towline is that SI Systems mixes simple hardware with sophisticated state-of-the-art controls.  The use of VFDs allow significant speed ranges of the towline chain.  Applying encoders allows the PLC controller to track the carts and loads inch-by-inch as they travel the path.  SI has recently developed an assembly tool call No Fault Forward (NFF) which prohibit non-conforming work from proceeding to downstream assembly stations, flagging assembly issues as they occur to increase throughput, decrease rework, and minimize downtime.  By applying the most current electronics to the towline hardware, SI provides the most reliable and adaptable conveyance available on the market.

As the industry leader in towline conveyor technology, SI Systems manufacturers multiple chain, track and drive options to optimize every organization’s exact application needs and requirements.

About SI Systems

SI Systems has been providing world class automated material handling and software systems to organizations for their fulfillment, distribution center, warehouse, manufacturing and assembly operations for over 55 years. Having manufactured towline conveyor systems since 1965, SI Systems has one of the largest installation bases of towline conveyor systems. The entire Lo-Tow® product line of towlines is focused on longevity and performance, which translates into a fast return on investment and low cost of ownership.

SI Systems welcomes your questions and comments on the proper design and selection. Please feel free to email Jim English, our senior applications engineer directly or visit our website www.sihs.com for more information

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A-Frame Order Re-Circulation http://www.sihs.com/a-frame-order-re-circulation/ Mon, 27 Mar 2017 21:30:22 +0000 http://www.sihs.com/?p=16660 A-Frame Order Re-Circulation is Impossible MYTH (FALSE) The myth A-Frame order re-circulation is impossible is completely untrue. It’s impractical to re-circulate a pick-to-belt order back into the […]

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A-Frame Order Re-Circulation is Impossible MYTH (FALSE)

A-Frame Order Re-Circulation The myth A-Frame order re-circulation is impossible is completely untrue. It’s impractical to re-circulate a pick-to-belt order back into the A-Frame. However, it’s simple to re-circulate a pick-to-tote or shipper A-Frame model order.

Why would you want to re-circulate a tote or shipper back into the A-Frame? The major reason is it will eliminate any human intervention. If an item didn’t dispense into the order it’s flagged by the A-Frame controls and automatically re-routed via conveyor back into the A-Frame where any anomalies are corrected.

This is especially helpful when you have the clear majority of your picks quantities within a “normal” range. Instead of slowing down every order’s throughput because of the anomaly order, the normal range of items in a line are dispensed and then re-circulated back into the A-Frame to complete the order. This is just one of the reasons pick-to-tote or shipper A-Frames are usually more than twice as fast and efficient as pick-to-belt models.

About SI Systems A-Frame systems. SI Systems has the largest breadth of A-Frame models in the industry to meet customer’s exact application requirements. Models include: Pick-to-Tote, Pick-to-Shipper, Pick-to-Belt, Dual Tiered, Document Dispensing and Portable A-Frame Systems (patented). Likewise, SI Systems A-Frames are data driven and Return on Investment (ROI) “business solutions” to your organizations business requirements.

Want to see if your facility can benefit from an A-Frame system? Call or email for a free data and ROI analysis. Feel free to download our White Paper or Literature.

About SI Systems A-Frame systems. SI Systems has the largest breadth of A-Frame models in the industry to meet customer’s exact application requirements. Models include: Pick-to-Tote, Pick-to-Shipper, Pick-to-Belt, Dual Tiered, Document Dispensing and Portable A-Frame Systems (patented). Likewise, SI Systems A-Frames are data driven and Return on Investment (ROI) “business solutions” to your organizations business requirements.

Want to see if your facility can benefit from an A-Frame system? Call or email for a free data and ROI analysis. Feel free to download our White Paper or Literature.

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