AS/RS Controls and Interfaces. Matt Munyan November 2, 2007. Introduction. Most AS/RS operate in a fully automated mode with little or now human involvement in the handling of material except at the controlled input and
November 2, 2007
Most AS/RS operate in a fully automated mode with little or now human
involvement in the handling of material except at the controlled input and
output stations to the system. The controller usually monitors the system
status and may choose which lot
to store items and when to bring
Controller input is received
using one of a variety of interfaces,
the most sophisticated being a
Human Machine Interface(HMI).
A Human Machine Interface (HMI) is needed in some form for every AS/RS. There are many different displays, but a centrally located HMI will generally have bright blue and green colors that the operator can use to perform various tasks. The operator can enter in data, monitor item location in a plant, monitor plant performance, and generate or review reports of plant performance.
The HMIs are generally programmed
with a specific warehouse or center
in mind, and so they are custom
made. They are non-proprietary so the
buyer can update it as the operation
expands. As computers and software
capability evolves, the functions of an
HMI will likely increase.
logs kept of statistics and
In a Warehouse, the
System (WMS) is used to manage inventory, time, and equipment related to picking and processing customer orders. The Warehouse Management System receives orders from the Order Management System or the Transportation Management System, then relies on rules and priorities established by the user to optimize the space and work within the warehouse. It is a slightly more automated version of the HMI.
A PTD is essentially a remote version of the HMI. They can be placed around the warehouse to allow the user to access information on any item, such as where it is, how to assemble it, important dates, and custom
instructions. They can even be used wirelessly when traveling around the site. The system can also network with the WMS in real time and can be programmed in any language. The screen can colorfully display information and even barcodes. The system can also use voice commands for picking and give audio instructions to the operator. One PTD can control multiple locations if need be.
With a PTD, the operator can control the AS/RS in an item by item basis from anywhere near the system.
Similar to the PTD, a Handheld Scanner allows the user freedom of mobility and ability to pick various items in the warehouse for information. They are ideal for growing businesses and compatible with many different data collection devices. So even if the business is too small to warrant buying a WMS, they can be used to give real time feedback to a less expensive central control.
However, the Handheld Scanner requires a way to scan the item, so even though they are faster and more efficient than paper picking, they offer less freedom than PTDs.
2:45 to 4:00 of www.youtube.com/v/TDCciEdVemI
Early interfaces were simple. As noted, controls are versatile and adaptable as technology evolves.
15:30 to 16:20 of http://www.bastiansolutions.com/resources/case-studies/cabelas.asp
Today, HMIs are much more convenient and user-friendly, even color-coded, such as the version used in Cabelas.