Welcome to the AutoStore Warehouse Automation Glossary! In the world of automated warehousing, understanding key terms is crucial. Whether you're a seasoned professional or new to automation, our glossary simplifies automation technology terms and other related industry jargon. Explore it to boost your knowledge and stay ahead.
3PL stands for Third-Party Logistics, which involves outsourcing logistics and distribution services to external companies specializing in these areas. Learn more.
Robots designed specifically for the task of picking up, moving, and placing cases, often in warehouse or distribution settings.
AI in logistics involves the application of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning to optimize and streamline various logistics processes, driving smarter decision-making and resource utilization.
Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are self-driving vehicles used for material transport within the warehouse.
An Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) is a computer-controlled system used for automated storage and retrieval of items. Learn more.
An automated warehouse is a facility equipped with various automated systems for efficient and accurate warehouse operations. Learn more.
An Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) is a robotic system used for material transport and handling within the warehouse.
The AutoStore B1 Robot is a compact and agile warehouse robot designed to optimize storage and performance. With its innovative design, it accommodates taller Bins (up to 425 mm) and excels in speed, boasting a top speed of 4 m/s (13.1 ft/sec) and rapid acceleration at 1.4 m/s² (4.6 ft/sec). What sets the B1 apart is its 24/7 operational capability, seamlessly swapping batteries in just 30 seconds when needed. Powered by lithium-ion batteries, the B1 Robot offers efficient and reliable performance in demanding warehouse environments. Learn more.
A device designed to read and interpret barcodes, providing real-time product information and assisting in accurate inventory tracking and management.
Picking to several customers from one Bin presentation. For example, both customer A Michael and customer B Thomas ordered the same item, so the picker takes two items from the inventory Bin to fulfill both orders at once.
Activities, ideas, and initiatives aimed at making a business better. This includes increasing revenues, business expansion, increasing profitability by building strategic partnerships, and making strategic business decisions.
A metric that describes the average depth of the requested Bins.
In the context of AutoStore, the term "Bin" refers to the individual storage containers that hold the inventory items. These Bins stack directly on top of each other within the Grid, forming a highly dense storage cube. Learn more.
A Bin presentation in the context of the AutoStore system refers to the process where a specific Bin is retrieved from its location within the dense storage Grid and presented at a workstation (Port) for access. This action is carried out by a Robot, which selects the appropriate Bin, lifts it from its position, transports it to the designated Ports, and then presents it to the operator. Once the operator has either picked items from or replenished items into the Bin, the Robot then returns the Bin to its respective location within the Grid. In essence, a Bin presentation is the mechanism by which inventory stored within the AutoStore system is made accessible to human operators for order picking or replenishment.
The term "brown field" refers to the installation of warehouse automation systems within an existing building or infrastructure. This contrasts with "green field" installations, where automation systems are set up in entirely new or undeveloped facilities. Thanks to AutoStore's high space density and efficient storage solutions, many customers opt for brown field installations, leveraging their existing buildings and infrastructure. This approach not only maximizes the utility of their current assets but also helps them avoid substantial real estate investments that would be necessary for green field projects.
Buffer Cells act as temporary storage locations within the AutoStore system. Robots place Bins into these Buffer Cells when there's a waiting line for a specific Port, ensuring efficient operations and reduced wait times. Once a Port becomes available, the Bin is then retrieved from the Buffer Cell and presented to the operator at the designated Port. This system ensures continuous robot movement and optimized workflow, even during peak demand times.
The CarouselPort is a specialized warehouse workstation in the AutoStore system equipped with three rotating arms, each designed to hold a Bin tray. Two arms at the back facilitate Robots in the placement or retrieval of Bins, while the third at the front enables Bin presentation, giving pickers direct access to the Bin's contents. The carousel mechanism ensures a consistent Bin presentation flow, optimizing efficiency in busy warehouse operations. Learn more about CarouselPort.
Controller is a Material Flow System and the main processing and command component of the AutoStore system. The Controller continuously monitors the location of every Bin, Robot, and Port. By receiving order directives, it assigns tasks to Robots and orchestrates their movements. Additionally, it manages diagnostics and troubleshooting through XHandler, ensuring sustained system uptime.
The Controller setup includes a network connection to the warehouse facility's infrastructure, a network switch, and the Controller PC. For heightened efficiency, the optional Router™ can be integrated. Learn more about Controller.
A mechanism designed to transport goods and materials from A to B within the facility, reducing manual labor, and ensuring efficient movement of items. Conveyor systems can vary in design and complexity based on the needs of the warehouse. Types include belt conveyors, roller conveyors, chain conveyors, and more. Learn more.
An AutoStore warehouse workstation providing access to inventory Bins within the AutoStore Grid. As one Bin is available to the operator, another is held above by a Robot, ready for use. Equipped with safety features like smart coverings and sensors, the ConveyorPort is a simplified solution for inventory Bin access. It comes in narrow or wide configurations and can be placed on any side of the Grid. Learn more.
A collaborative robot, or "cobot," works alongside human workers in a shared workspace, augmenting productivity and safety in the warehouse.
A technology for managing a company's interactions with current and potential customers. It often uses data analysis to study various customer histories with an aim to improve business relationships and streamline processes to drive sales.
Cross-Docking is a logistics strategy where incoming goods are unloaded and directly loaded onto outbound vehicles, reducing storage time and costs.
An Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) category pioneered by AutoStore. Cube storage organizes items in dense cubic formations, fully utilizing both vertical and horizontal warehouse space. Beyond just optimizing storage capacity, it also streamlines inventory retrieval, marking a significant advancement in space efficiency for modern warehousing. Through this system, every available cubic inch is purposefully employed, optimizing storage space and operations.
Cycle counting is a periodic inventory auditing method that involves counting a subset of items within the warehouse to verify inventory accuracy and minimize disruptions.
A specialized building or facility where goods and products are received, sorted, stored, and then redistributed to various destinations, such as retail stores, wholesalers, or directly to customers. Also known as a distribution facility or distribution warehouse.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a software system that integrates various business processes, including logistics and inventory management, for improved efficiency and coordination.
A specialized facility where incoming orders are processed, packed, and dispatched efficiently, ensuring timely delivery to customers.
A high-speed warehouse workstation by AutoStore, FusionPort is explicitly designed to improve ergonomics and enhance worker experience. With tilted inventory Bin openings, optimized interfaces, and minimized reaching and twisting motions, it ensures operator comfort during repetitive tasks. The workstation boasts dual Bin openings, visual aids, and a pre-installed pick-to-light (PTL) system for rapid and accurate picking. Its adaptable design also integrates seamlessly with various warehouse technologies. Learn more about FusionPort.
A cutting-edge AutoStore workstation, FusionPort Staging reinvents order picking and staging. This workstation allows operators to stage orders and reintegrate them into the Grid until they're ready for dispatch or pickup. In doing so, it saves up to four times the space typically needed for traditional floor staging, translating to significant cost reductions. Typically, staging orders back into the Grid necessitates multiple workstations; however, with FusionPort Staging, operators can manage this all within a single port, streamlining processes.
Embracing the ergonomic principles of its FusionPort counterpart, it minimizes worker fatigue. Safety is also at the forefront with features like hatches for secure transitions between Robots and operators. Plus, the integrated pick-to-light (PTL) system, which comes pre-installed, supports pickers and ensures increased accuracy. Learn more about FusionPort Staging.
A strategic approach to managing a company's relationships with clients that have a global presence, ensuring consistent and integrated interactions across different regions and countries.
An advanced order-picking method where items are directly delivered to the worker, removing the need to travel to storage locations. With AutoStore, Robots fetch and deliver inventory Bins to a warehouse workstation operated by a human, mirroring the convenience of a vending machine. This approach considerably shortens order picking time, boosts operational efficiency, and enhances worker comfort. Learn more.
Refers to the installation of warehouse automation in a newly constructed building, in contrast to adapting it to an existing structure, which is termed "brown field."
The Grid is the foundational structure for the AutoStore system and its inventory Bins. Made from aluminum, it boasts a remarkably quick and straightforward installation process, similar to assembling LEGO blocks. This adaptable framework efficiently accommodates pillars and irregular corners, optimizing space utilization, and can even be situated across various floor levels. On top of the Grid, you'll find railway tracks that serve as the pathways for Robots, allowing them to traverse and retrieve inventory Bins seamlessly. AutoStore's modular design facilitates quick and uncomplicated Grid extensions, much like adding a room to a house, without causing operational disruptions. Learn more about the Grid.
A retail establishment or section within a store that specializes in selling a diverse range of food and household items for consumers' everyday needs. Read more about automating your grocery operations.
The industry dedicated to providing medical services, promoting public health, and ensuring the well-being of individuals and communities. Read about warehouse automation for the healthcare industry.
Heinrich's Law posits that a large number of minor incidents precede major accidents in the workplace, emphasizing the importance of proactive safety measures. Learn more.
Industrials represent companies engaged in industrial manufacturing, production, and distribution activities. Learn more about warehouse automation for the industrial sector.
Inventory management is the process of overseeing and controlling the flow of goods to ensure optimal stock levels, minimizing holding costs, and meeting customer demand. Learn more.
Inventory tracking involves the continuous monitoring and recording of inventory movements and status within the warehouse.
Inventory turnover is a key performance indicator measuring how quickly a company sells and replaces its inventory within a specific period.
Item master data is an important asset for efficient inventory management. It includes crucial information about each item or product in the warehouse, including quantity, physical attributes like dimensions (length and width), weight, size, and even their shape.
This data is key to installing AutoStore or any other warehouse automation solution, as it determines what products can be stored within the automated system’s inventory Bins vs those that need to be stored outside the system, for example on pallets. WMS is typically a prerequisite to effectively manage and harness this critical data.
A Labor Management System (LMS) is a software application that optimizes labor resources and workforce productivity in the warehouse.
A software application or web-based platform used to plan, deliver, manage, and assess course content. It's primarily utilized for educational courses or training programs.
The last mile represents the final stage of the delivery process, from the distribution center to the customer's doorstep, often a critical and time-sensitive step. Learn more.
Lead time refers to the duration between order placement and the successful fulfillment and delivery of products to the customer. Learn more.
Logistics is a complex process involving the management of goods' movement, storage, and distribution from suppliers to customers. It encompasses planning, implementing, and controlling efficient and effective flow across the supply chain. Learn more.
Logistics Management entails the strategic planning and execution of all logistics activities, including transportation, warehousing, and inventory management, to achieve operational excellence.
Machine learning in logistics involves the use of advanced algorithms and data analytics to improve decision-making and enhance logistics operations' efficiency and accuracy. Machine learning is the same as AI or artificial intelligence.
The Material Flow System (MFS), or Material Flow Control System, serves as the central software that coordinates with various systems and carries out orders based on their inputs. Think of it as the brain of the operation, receiving information and directing actions accordingly. For instance, a Warehouse Management System (WMS) might relay a request, such as Thomas needing 3 specific order lines/products delivered to his location by tomorrow afternoon. The WCS software may add that 2 different inventory Bins are required to fulfill this order. The Material Flow System (MFS), referred to as the Controller (with the optional Router add-on software) in AutoStore, integrates these inputs and efficiently manages tasks by instructing Robots to transport the necessary inventory Bins to a workstation for order fulfillment. Learn more about Controller, the AutoStore material control system.
Material Handling involves the movement, storage, and control of goods within a warehouse or distribution center, optimizing operational processes. Learn more.
Maximizing warehouse space entails implementing various strategies and systems to make the best use of available space, increasing storage capacity and efficiency.
mCommerce, or mobile commerce, is the buying and selling of goods and services using smartphones and tablets. It includes activities like mobile shopping apps, payments, and banking, making it a convenient way to shop and transact on the go.
A mezzanine is an intermediate level or platform within a building or space, typically positioned between the main floor and ceiling. It serves as an additional area for various purposes, such as storage, workspace, or observation. Mezzanines are characterized by their elevated position, providing valuable extra square footage without the need for expanding the building's footprint. They are often used to optimize space utilization in warehouses, offices, retail stores, and other environments where efficient use of vertical space is essential.
A Micro Fulfillment Center (MFC) is a fulfillment center positioned separately from the primary storage and fulfillment center. It is strategically located closer to customers to enhance efficiency and convenience, typically integrated into shopping malls. By reducing lead times, optimizing last-mile delivery, cutting costs, reducing environmental impact, and offering conveniences like in-store pickups, MFCs play a pivotal role in modern commerce. Given the constraints of urban real estate, space efficiency is of paramount importance when selecting an automated MFC solution, making AutoStore a preferred choice. Learn about Decathlon's MFC in Canada and grocer Kesko's MFC in Finland.
Order fulfillment encompasses the complete process from order placement to successful delivery to the customer, involving various stages such as picking, packing, and dispatching. Learn more.
An order line (also known as item, SKU, article, or product), refers to an individual item or product that is part of a customer's order. In the context of order processing and fulfillment, an order can consist of one or more order lines, with each order line specifying a particular product, its quantity, and any other relevant details.
An Order Management System (OMS) is a software solution used for processing and managing sales orders throughout their lifecycle, ensuring seamless coordination and customer satisfaction. Learn more.
Order picking is the process where individual items are selected from storage areas in preparation for shipment, a critical component of order fulfillment. Learn more.
Palletizing involves stacking goods onto a pallet in an organized manner, facilitating easier and safer transportation. Learn more.
A strategy or system to manage a company's interactions with current and potential business partners. It often uses technology to automate transaction and relationship tracking.
A professional responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with business partners and driving sales through these partnerships.
Pick and Place Robots are specialized robotic systems designed for picking up items from one location and placing them in another, enhancing efficiency and precision in warehouses.
Pick to Light systems, use light indicators to guide warehouse workers to the correct items and quantities during the order picking process. Also referred to as Pick by Light. Learn more.
A public-facing AutoStore warehouse Port that enables contactless in-store pickup for online orders, supporting an omnichannel retail strategy. It comes in narrow or wide configurations, doesn't require extra space, and enhances customer attraction, retention, and revenue growth. The PickUpPort ensures safety with features like warning labels, safety bars, dampers, and LED indicators. Learn more about PickUpPort.
In the AutoStore system, a "Prepared Bin" is an inventory Bin that has been retrieved by a Robot and strategically placed on top of a stack within the Grid. This positioning optimizes accessibility and efficiency during the order fulfillment process.
Workstations that present inventory Bins for item picking by an operator (warehouse worker). Examples include CarouselPort and RelayPort. Commonly known as workstations in the warehouse automation industry. Learn more about AutoStore Ports.
Put to Light systems use light indicators to guide warehouse workers where and how many items to place during the restocking or sorting process.
A periodic review conducted every quarter to discuss and assess business performance, strategies, and future plans.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology uses electromagnetic fields to identify and track tags attached to objects, providing real-time visibility and enhancing inventory management.
A Real-Time Location System (RLTS) provides instant visibility of assets' and goods' whereabouts within a facility, ensuring effective tracking and management.
Replenishment is the process of restocking items in the warehouse to ensure that there is always an adequate supply to meet demand. Learn more.
A high-speed AutoStore warehouse workstation designed for heavy workloads. RelayPort presents inventory Bins to a warehouse worker with exceptional speed, capable of exchanging Bins in just 2.5 seconds. It can handle up to 650 Bins per hour, making it highly efficient for optimizing warehouse operations. Learn more about RelayPort.
The R5 Robot is an iconic and highly efficient member of AutoStore's robotic workforce. It plays a vital role within the AutoStore AS/RS. Each robot operates independently, receiving orders from the Controller, and working tirelessly to retrieve, transport, and reorganize inventory Bins within the Grid for optimal performance. These robots are known for their impressive speed, boasting a top speed of 3.1 m/s and a lift speed of 1.6 m/s. Beyond their reliability, R5 Robots are highly energy-efficient, reducing operating costs and contributing to sustainable operations. Their integrated batteries and Grid-based chargers ensure continuous operation without interruptions. Learn more about the R5 Robot.
The R5+ Robot builds upon the legacy of the R5 Robot, offering enhanced capabilities and extra capacity. These robots are specifically designed to handle all three AutoStore Bin sizes, including the tallest 425 mm Bin. They are renowned for their reliability and efficiency, receiving orders from the Controller and tirelessly retrieving, transporting, and organizing inventory Bins to and from workstations (Ports). With a similar top speed of 3.1 m/s and lift speed of 1.6 m/s, R5+ Robots are known for their exceptional performance. Just like their predecessor, they are highly energy-efficient and seamlessly integrate into the AutoStore system, ensuring swift and reliable order fulfillment while accommodating larger inventory Bins. Learn more about the R5+ Robot.
Placing items or SKUs in a specific order for further processing.
An SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) is a unique identifier for each distinct product or service that can be purchased, facilitating inventory tracking and management. Learn more.
Smart Warehousing involves integrating advanced technologies like IoT, AI, and automation to enhance efficiency, accuracy, and productivity in warehouse operations. Learn more.
Soft Backlog refers to potential or unconfirmed orders that have not yet been finalized, indicating potential future demand.
Software in warehousing and logistics encompasses a wide range of applications and systems aimed at streamlining and optimizing various operations, including inventory management, order processing, and the control of warehouse robotics. The latter plays a critical role in differentiating high-performing robotics from low-performing ones, as it governs the operation and coordination of warehouse robotics systems.
An SME, or Subject Matter Expert, is an individual with deep knowledge and expertise in a specific area or topic, providing insights, guidance, and solutions in that domain.
Stock mismatch happens when recorded inventory does not match the actual physical stock, typically due to errors or fraud. Using a Warehouse Management System (WMS) is essential for correcting these discrepancies. Automation systems like AutoStore provide added security against theft and aid in keeping inventory accurate.
Supply Chain Automation involves leveraging technology to automate and streamline various supply chain processes, from procurement to delivery, driving efficiency and accuracy.
Supply Chain Management (SCM) encompasses the comprehensive oversight of all activities involved in the production and distribution of goods, ensuring efficient coordination from suppliers to customers. Learn more.
Supply Chain Planning involves strategizing and forecasting to optimize the flow of goods and resources throughout the supply chain, ensuring timely deliveries and cost-effectiveness. Learn more.
Advanced technologies, such as AI, IoT, and robotics, used to enhance various aspects of the supply chain, from inventory management to transportation logistics.
SwingPort™ is an AutoStore™ workstation designed to connect Grids on one floor with picking stations on another. It uses two rotating arms to efficiently transport Bins between floors. As one Bin is made accessible to the operator, another waits on the opposite side. This system guarantees a swift 3-second exchange time and a smooth workflow. Prioritizing safety and user comfort, SwingPort offers an ergonomic design and a safety hatch over the Bin opening, reducing noise and ensuring protection.
A TAM, or Technical Account Manager, is a professional who oversees and manages technical aspects of a client's account, ensuring optimal solutions and support.
A Transportation Management System (TMS) is a software solution that optimizes and streamlines transportation operations, ensuring timely and cost-effective deliveries. Learn more.
A Vertical Lift Module (VLM) is an automated storage system that maximizes vertical space, providing storage and retrieval of items.
Warehouse Automation involves integrating various automated systems and technologies to streamline and optimize warehouse operations, reducing manual labor and increasing efficiency. Learn more.
Current and emerging trends in warehouse automation, including the adoption of AI, robotics, and IoT technologies to revolutionize warehousing.
A Warehouse Control System (WCS) is a software application that manages and coordinates various automated systems within the warehouse. Learn more.
Strategies and practices implemented to enhance the productivity, accuracy, and overall operational performance of a warehouse.
A Warehouse Execution System (WES) is an advanced software solution that coordinates and optimizes various warehouse activities, from order picking to shipping. Learn more.
Warehouse Layout refers to the strategic arrangement and organization of storage areas, workstations, and pathways, ensuring optimal flow and efficiency.
A Warehouse Management System (WMS) is a software solution that optimizes warehouse operations, from inventory management to order processing. Learn more.
Designated areas within the warehouse where orders are packed securely and efficiently in preparation for dispatch.
Software solutions designed to optimize and streamline the order picking process, ensuring accuracy and speed in fulfilling customer orders.
Designated areas within the warehouse equipped with advanced systems and technologies to optimize various warehouse processes, from picking to packing. Learn about AutoStore warehouse ports.
Robotic systems specifically designed to enhance various warehouse operations, such as picking, packing, and transporting goods. Learn about AutoStore warehouse robots.
Strategies, guidelines, and best practices implemented to ensure the safety and well-being of workers and assets within the warehouse. Learn more.
Specifically configured areas within a warehouse, equipped with essential tools and advanced technologies, to enable workers to perform specialized tasks with utmost efficiency and precision. In G2P (Goods-to-Person) systems, these workstations serve as the point where Robots deliver inventory Bins to workers, facilitating order picking and inventory replenishment processes. Learn about AutoStore workstations.
Zone Picking is an order picking method where workers are assigned specific zones or areas within the warehouse, picking items only from their designated zones.
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