Wait or Hold?

Buffering delivers a leaner, faster edition to your overall warehouse processes

Warehouse and production operations use buffer systems when their processes include a wait or hold step, material handling process requires reserve inventory to manage fluctuating demands, or when there’s a requirement for a quick and accurate order consolidation process before shipping. Without the proper buffering system in place, warehouses often waste space, and experience longer travel and search times than necessary. Using automated technology will require up to 85% less floor space than a traditional rack or shelving system.

Common buffer systems such as miniload and bin-shuttle systems manage buffer inventory well but they come with a hefty price tag. While these solutions work for larger operations, they are unable to scale down to handle smaller volumes cost effectively.

Vertical Buffer Modules (VBMs) are uniquely designed to maximise storage capacity and manage items in a compact footprint. They buffer 500 – 2.000 totes and are both, cost and energy efficient.

Implementing the LR 35 for automated buffering provides multiple benefits such as buffering for small parts in a fast and efficient manner.  Eliminates operator travel time and minimises storage footprint. There are two types of buffer that can be utilised by using the LR35:

Consolidation Buffer: To consolidate orders quickly and accurately before shipping or packing the use of a the LR 35 using Java Machine Interface (JMIF) software and automated conveyor connection is a Kardex recommended solution. Order bins are scanned, stored, and retrieved when needed without any human intervention. When all items for the order are in the consolidation buffer, the JMIF software notifies the host system and starts the retrieval when needed.

Production Buffer: The LR 35 is used in production to buffer goods between individual work steps, avoiding costly interruptions in the operating processes. It’s designed to absorb surplus production and to decouple the process sections, ensuring the highest possible production rate. Production components are mostly transported with an automated conveyor system connected to the LR 35 or with automated guided vehicles (AGVs).   For additional picking, the LR 35 can be equipped with a turntable.

Companies without buffer storage may experience waiting times between individual steps. In addition, many warehouses lose valuable space when manually buffering customer orders ready for dispatch in the shipping area. Manual storage on pallets or in static shelves is chaotic, takes up more space than necessary, and requires longer travel distances and search times for personnel. The implementation of an automated buffer system like the LR 35 for intermediate storage and consolidation of orders and goods ensures safe, fast, and smooth material flow in the production and shipping departments.

To learn more about how the LR35 can manage your order picking and consolidation requirements click here. Or contact Kardex on 01992 557237, email: [email protected]

Manufacturing Update