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IT optimises cross docking

12 December 2012

Find items quickly on a busy warehouse floor using Locate-it.The software forms part of the Houndit suite from Skillweb and is compatible with PCs and PDAs. Cross-docking offers companies a means to react effectively t

Find items quickly on a busy warehouse floor using Locate-it.The software forms part of the Houndit suite from Skillweb and is compatible with PCs and PDAs.

Cross-docking offers companies a means to react effectively to fast moving supply chains and keep handling overheads to a minimum.While the concept may seem simple, requiring reduced put-away, storage and picking, the express nature of the operation creates its own set of challenges and demands, with speed and efficiency key.

Dynamic location solutions can streamline cross docking operations by increasing product traceability, reducing labour requirements and improving the speed of availability. Companies can utilise a range of tracking, real-time location systems and RFID to make the most of their warehousing.

Houndit, a suite of technology solutions to give control and visibility to the movement of people and goods, has launched Locate-it that allows operatives to quickly find items wherever they are on the warehouse floor using ruggedised handheld computers or PDAs. The system is ideally suited to fast moving cross docking operations where traditional warehousing is not viable or where storage space is tight requiring dynamic location of items to allow flexible storage.

Locate-it utilises an innovative combination of item tracking technology and a real-time location system, enabling fast and efficient unloading and quick and accurate location of key items, ensuring vehicles depart on time with the maximum load. The solution incorporates barcode scanning with the ultra wide band real time location system making it possible to fill a pallet, cage, stillage or tote with items and cost effectively track them.

Many warehouse operators may have previously considered active RFID tagging solutions but been put off by high infrastructure cost, complex wiring requirements and poor location accuracy. Locate-it is said to offer a costeffective solution which can cover an area of up to 100 x 100 metres simply by installing four sensors requiring only a single Ethernet connection each. The system is accurate to within 15cms.

Product locations can be communicated in real-time over Wifi to a mobile computer allowing the operator to find the goods quickly and efficiently without referring to potentially inaccurate shipping or unloading lists. This added level of visibility provided by Locate-it can optimise just-in-time operations serving high volume fulfilment operations and pallet networks, for example.
 
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