The emergence and development of automated warehouse was the result of production and technological development after World War II. In the early 1950s, an elevated warehouse with overhead pallets appeared in the United States. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, overhead cabs of crane-operated stacker cranes operated by drivers appeared. In 1963, the United States took the lead in establishing computer-controlled technology in overhead warehouses The first computer controlled overhead warehouse. Since then, automated overhead warehouses have grown rapidly in the United States and Europe and have shaped specialized disciplines. In the mid-1960s, Japan began to build high-bay warehouses and was growing faster and faster, making it one of the countries with the highest number of automated overhead silos in the world today.
Today, Wal-Mart, Coles, Amazon, Nike's entire warehouse are three-dimensional, with automatic transmission picking belt, narrow lane picking machine, high storage and automatic delivery of goods, pulling poor, packaged until loading. Most of the picking process can be seen manually in the single-piece loading part. In the process of loading and unloading, it is also used according to the different performance of MHE for the best cost-effectiveness, and the tracking application of the system is also in place.
Our research on elevated storage and material handling equipment started not too late. In 1963, it was developed as the first bridge-type stacking crane (Beijing Institute of Lifting and Transport Machinery, Ministry of Machinery). In 1973, China began to develop the first Computer-controlled automated high-rise warehouse (15 meters high, the Ministry of Machinery Beijing Institute of Lifting and Transport Machinery), the library put into operation in 1980. However, today's Chinese e-commerce sales have reached 1.2 trillion yuan in 2012 and are expected to rise to 2.57 trillion yuan in 2015 or so. However, taking "No.1 store" as an example, the warehouse loading and unloading depends more on labor and some system tracking lags behind the large family belonging to Wal-Mart. From a broad sense of automation, various saving such as equipment, information and information transmission Cost-effective means of improving the application of such a high in foreign countries, so low in the country, people can not help but bewildered, the question comes from:
1, the domestic labor costs are also growing, the risk is also high, but why is human-sea tactics?
2, in addition to the problem of labor costs, what restricts our warehouse application of efficient automated management tools to improve efficiency and reduce costs?
3, the cost of automation: If it is the project management warehouse, the beginning of the investment is indeed relatively high, the warehouse is semi-mechanized, semi-automated application of improved cases?
First, what factors affect the implementation of warehouse automation?
Summarized everyone's point of view, the impact of the implementation of warehouse automation factors can be summarized as the following:
1, artificial and automated which lower cost a direct impact on whether the implementation of automation. Relatively low labor costs, a huge amount of equipment investment, investors are more willing to obtain high returns with low investment. Last year, Foxconn, which shouted to start a full-scale robot instead of being made manually, suspended the "Robotic Army Program".
2, the company size and storage support enterprises choose automation. If the company's scale and storage capacity are less than a certain extent, purchasing a large amount of automation equipment and professional management personnel will result in the waste of investment. Therefore, such enterprises as Nike and Wal-Mart have relatively large market share and stable operation, automation is relatively superior s Choice;
3, the company's management experience, awareness of the company's decision to warehouse automation. If the company's management does not have a comprehensive understanding of the advantages brought by automation and control, it is difficult to promote the implementation of automation within the company; especially for manufacturing enterprises, the main operating areas in the production line, warehouse (raw material warehouse, finished product warehouse ) Usually get the attention is not high, even if attention is generally in order to speed up the turnover, the compression area for the direction of the necessity of automation is not naturally put the priority.
4, Industry characteristics also directly affect the implementation of automation, such as tobacco, alcohol, beverages, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, clothing and other industries, a single package or standard, a huge consumer fast consumer goods or a single product higher value-added automation The benefits of larger, small quantities and more varieties, packaging, irregular size and other customized products more suitable for artificial operation;
5, the future uncertainty about whether automation can be implemented. Automation equipment is a fixed asset, a huge investment, if the forecast for the future is not allowed, the decline in storage volume, will inevitably lead to waste of investment projects, warehousing orders increased, the size of the device is too small to meet the need, directly to a greater automation Expansion spending; relative to the artificial can call the immediate, play that go to the flexibility, the advantage is not obvious;
6, whether the operating system within the company have the ability to match the smooth implementation of automation. Order System, Inventory Management System, Conveyor System, Forklift Navigation System, PBL (Pick ByLight / PTL (Put To Light) systems, and their data exchange network connectivity, including signal strength (especially under pressure) for real-time transparency and contingency plans. Whether future long-term environmental models and strategies can be strategically foreseen in the current production environment and requirements, such as Bulk / PickFace / PBL-PTL flexibility, Conveyor system load-bearing / size tolerance, reverse logistics handling, Upgrade space, etc., are very test designers and implementers.
Club members have participated in a logistics center with private enterprises using AS / RS, tens of millions of this set of equipment, CEOs use analog video to broadcast to you about the degree of automation of their warehousing center, I feel the enterprise "not bad money, quite rich "But in a circle, the actual situation is very different. The equipment is really advanced. The picking is automatic and fast. It is also good for the bulk cargoes, workers and equipment that need to be unpacked, but can not keep up with the trucking companies. Ship dock is also very small, pick-good goods piling up in the shipping area, the equipment had to stop, the workers can only chat while waiting for loading, so can not allow automation equipment in the warehouse a meteoric rise suddenly, the entire The rhythm of the warehouse is also important.
7, Facilities and equipment management capabilities and supplier management capabilities also affect the smooth implementation of automation. Such as response time, service costs, coordination and coordination. The more automated libraries there are, the more potential bottlenecks. Daily precautions and tests become mandatory tasks compared to regular maintenance, which usually requires only builders. Currently, the capabilities and range of such service providers in the country are also Will be a challenge
8, personnel training, maintenance and discipline execution is also the challenge that automation must face. Automation is a double-edged sword: on the one hand, requires trained trained hands to operate, on the other hand requires the person to make repeated mechanical movements, requiring people to operate as a machine generally no difference in the frequency, amplitude, to now After looking at the characteristics of the workforce after 90, looking for a suitable operational team is a major challenge for managers.
9, the level of awareness of security is also affecting the automation process. Mature established enterprises in Europe and America that "safe" in the storage center will always be the first need to be considered. Some domestic and foreign enterprises in Europe, even if the calculated return on investment is ugly, some multinational corporations set up warehousing centers in China. Regardless of the design or operation, they will bring the shadow of foreign headquarters warehouses and refer to the design standards and requirements of their global warehousing centers. For example, NIKE was designed according to the LEED green standard in the logistic center design of Taicang and also got the platinum certification. The return rate of investment is "relegated to second-line" in front of safety.
Second, the perfect automated warehouse?
Let us look at the advantages of automated warehouse:
1, due to take full advantage of the vertical warehouse space, the storage capacity per unit area is much larger than ordinary single-storey warehouse (usually single-storey 4-7 times). At present, the world's tallest three-dimensional warehouse up to 40 meters, capacity up to 300,000 cargo space.
2, All mechanized and automated warehouse operations, on the one hand can greatly save manpower, reduce labor costs, on the other hand can greatly improve operational efficiency.
3, the use of computer storage management, you can easily do "first in, first out" and prevent the natural aging of goods, deterioration, rust, but also to avoid the loss of goods.
4, cargo concentration, easy to control and management, especially the use of electronic computers, not only to achieve the job of automatic control, but also for information processing.
5, can better adapt to the dark, cold, toxic and other special environmental requirements. For example, film studios store film reels in an automated warehouse. Computer control allows film reels to be moved in and out of storage completely under dark conditions.
6, the use of pallet or container storage of goods, cargo damage rate significantly reduced.
The same is true of automated stereos:
1, due to the complex structure of automated warehouse, supporting equipment are more, so the infrastructure and equipment investment needed is relatively large.
2, shelf mounting accuracy requirements, construction is more difficult, and the corresponding longer duration.
3, storage flexibility is small, it is difficult to cope with the peak demand. Difficult to cope with multiple types of storage needs.
4. There are certain restrictions on the types of goods that can be stored. A separate storage system is needed to store long, large and bulky goods as well as goods requiring special storage conditions.
5, automated warehouse, overhead cranes, automatic control systems are all highly technical equipment, high maintenance requirements, it must rely on suppliers, in case of system failure to get timely technical assistance. This increases the dependence on suppliers.
6, Before the establishment of the library process design requirements, when used in production should be strictly in accordance with the process operations.
7, over-reliance on automation there will be a big risk, such as when an unplanned power outage, summer power outage, or the system unexpected crashes how to do?
Third, how European and American enterprises in China warehouse automation?
Understand Nike's "top secret warehouse", you will find that even in such a huge volume of storage and shipments, packaging relative to standard enterprises, such as adult clothes, pants and shoes or less the same model can basically use the standard size of the box, they It is also only fully automatic implementation of the sub-section, from the entire warehouse management, they are still a semi-automatic warehouse.
Fourth, the conclusion: my company should not be automated?
Quote Member Simon
Wen's return to a statement, "The choice of automation and labor do not have an absolute standard answer, according to local conditions, for their own company like." There is no doubt that in China, the gradual rise in labor costs, automation is an inevitable trend Although it may cause some people's unemployment, it is not the trend of every industry and every enterprise. This is closely related to the level of economic development, industry maturity and industrial consumption stability, corporate strategy and management, and corporate management awareness relationship.
Automation also does not mean that you must completely replace the labor with the facilities and equipment, and the optimization of information and processes will do a good job with less investment. For example, raw material warehouses will be placed by product series instead of material types and on this basis Consider automation and manual combination, should be more appropriate.