Sometimes material handling equipment just doesn’t work the way it should. Maybe your operation has outgrown the original volume parameters of the installation. Or your handling processes have changed and the equipment can’t keep up with the shift.
That’s what happened to a leading e-commerce apparel retailer, who asked Pyramid to resolve serious problems with two autobagger automated order fulfillment bagging lines.
Among the issues were poor order fulfillment accuracy, with error rates averaging 1,000 articles per shift. Additionally, the control system wasn’t communicating correctly with the warehouse management system (WMS), causing server crashes, unpredictable availability, and unscheduled downtime.
The solution started with replacing the existing autobagger control platform with Allen Bradley/Rockwell ControlLogix, for which Pyramid is an authorized solution partner. This aligned with the rest of the facility’s internal service infrastructure, allowing for on-site technicians to support the equipment. Additionally, the existing bagging machine was selectively re-engineered with new input/output (I/O) and automatic identifications scanners.
Further, the existing PC-based supervisory system—which was unable to provide visibility/reporting on operational performance, exception reporting and critical system diagnostics—was replaced with Pyramid Director Warehouse Control Software (WCS). This enabled seamless integration with the WMS host for order information, real-time supervision of all control systems, easy-to-use graphical interface, exception reporting, and alarm management.
The system now allows merchandise, invoice and collateral to be merged, verified and inserted into the bagging machine automatically. Within the autobagger, the package is sealed and a GS1 standard compliant shipping label printed, applied and verified. The upgraded and re-engineered line now handles up to 20 orders/minute.
Want to learn more? The complete application brief is available here.