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Integrated Controls and Monitoring

Data Analytics in the Sortation Business

by editorial staff WORLD OF INDUSTRIES
Data analysis enables fulfillment centers to optimize their processes. To this end, Beumer's BG Insight software suite offers Industry 4.0 functions for monitoring and control.

Data analysis enables fulfillment centers to optimize their processes for greater efficiency and continuous performance. To this end, Beumer’s BG Insight software suite offers Industry 4.0 functions for monitoring and control. The software suite also makes it possible to monitor and maintain system performance and efficiency, either from the control room or remotely.

Beumer Group, a leading global supplier of automated material handling systems, has worked with data for years, using the lessons learned to extend its services to the predictive and prescriptive level. This expertise in the capture and analysis of data has helped Beumer develop a growing suite of data-driven services to enable employees at the maintenance, operational and management levels to make better-informed decisions. These services include detailed process and data analysis and concepts, simulation, and emulation.

Such use of data can assist fulfilment centres, which face many pressures and complexities – omnichannel sales, seasonal demand fluctuations, returns, overstocking, employee turnover – to make better decisions and improve the performance of their equipment and operations.

With thousands of material handling installations around the world, Beumer Group’s Big Data specialists have the experience to analyse large amounts of real-time data to support predictive maintenance, performance, learning, reporting and analysis through a single graphical user interface which enables easy monitoring and decision-making.

Using this wealth of data, fulfilment centres gain more knowledge of two main aspects of their facility – equipment and operations.

For equipment, data analytics can provide insights into component failures and even impending failures, breakdowns, and the need for replacements. Over time, asset managers will start seeing trends that can inform them about wear and tear on components, helping them plan for more efficient and effective maintenance.

In operations, data analytics provides visibility into order volumes and structures. It shows how well the warehouse control system (WCS) and sortation system are operating. This allows managers to accurately determine the numbers and types of both resources and workstations required, as well as identify any need for further operator training.

Information is continuously collected from real-time data, giving system-wide insights. The data can be captured in several ways. The WCS is a software application that, among other things, gathers data from various PLCs in the sortation system and other equipment and components such as picking systems, scanners, and robots. The PLCs detect data such as temperature, vibrations, power consumption, processing speed and much more. Equipment sensors can also collect data, while intelligent cameras can track movement patterns, item sizes and open spaces.

Full monitoring and control of the entire system is assured, allowing facility managers to maintain optimum system availability and efficiency at all times. Data provides continuous updates on operational performance, giving a constant overview of the process, flagging up abnormal situations and indicating trends.

All Beumer’s handling solutions are designed for easy connectivity, allowing data to be captured from sensors on the equipment and sent to central control facilities for analysis and action.

Source: Beumer

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