A-Frame


The installation pictured above is a total fulfillment solution that is integrated around an A-Frame automated picking system. This fulfillment solution also consist of automated sub-systems that includes; packing stations, returns sorting, mailing systems and a WCS controls that coordinate fulfillment operations.

A-Frame Description
A-Frame is a self contained automated piece picking machine designed to process a high volume of less than full case orders at a low operating cost. An A-Frame system is composed of four basic integrated modules:

  • A Storage Module - consisting of a series of vertical channels positioned in an “A” shape to straddle the order collection module (described below), and to store the individual items of various sizes and shapes to be dispensed as required by an order.
  • A Picking Module - positioned between storage modules to pick the quantity of a line items in a specific order.
  • An Order Collection Module - a tote or conveyor belt running through the center of the A-Frame system to collect picked items to a designated order space or tote on the belt as it passes picking modules.
  • A Controls Module(s) - Can be a stand alone, off the shelf PC based or proprietary system powered by one or several software modules. These controls are capable of interfacing with a wide range of Host systems to receive orders and upload post picked information. Also interfaces with pick module microprocessors to control all picking activities, monitor performance and print useful reports.

A-Frame Configurations (Four Basic Unit Types)

How A-Frame Works

A-Frame picking occurs when a micro processor in a pick module receives picking instructions from a controls module. An A-Frame system can dispense multiple orders at one time enabling it to pick at rates of 250 to 4,000 orders per hour. Orders can be picked directly into a tote, carton, bucket, or to the designated space on the order collection belt. Items picked to the belt are conveyed to the end of the A-Frame and are deposited into a waiting tote or shipping carton. Orders picked directly into a tote, carton, bucket, and those deposited into a waiting tote or shipping carton (depending on the system configuration) are then conveyed to an order packing station where they are checked, packaged, labeled, and then conveyed directly to shipping.

The Pick-To-Bucket configuration is similar to a Totes-Through system except with a continuous chain of linked buckets for the collection of orders. Pick-To-Bucket systems convey and deposit orders directly to a packing station. The Pick-To-Bucket configuration is similar to Totes-Through system but with a continuous chain of linked buckets for collection orders. Pick-To-Bucket systems convey and deposit orders directly to a packing station.

Mobile A-Frame Cart

In addition to these three A-Frame technologies previously described there is also a newly introduced Mobile A-Frame Cart system available.

A-Frame Mobile Cart System:
A cost-effective way to handle increased picking requirements is to add targeted automation, such as the A-Frame Mobile Cart, designed to complement an increased manual picking requirement and to allow distribution managers to balance their work force while still maintaining a high average lines / per hour operator pick rate.

The Mobile A-Frame Cart system is designed to augment manual picking systems by providing automated order picking for a reasonable investment. As your fulfillment needs grow Mobile A-Frame Carts can be added and or moved to other locations throughout a distribution center when and where needed. These Mobile units are; Portable, Wireless, Plug and Play, and Scalable. Example applications where a Mobile A-Frame Cart is suited are:

  • Seasonal or promotional volume bursts
  • Squeezes more volume out of tight warehouse space
  • Increases picking efficiencies without increasing employ

Determining When You Should Consider A-FRAME Technology

Typically A-FRAME technology is desirable for applications where there are a large volume of orders that have a low number of piece counts per line item. Order profiles for a typical A-FRAME application generate 80% of the single piece order requirements from 20% of the SKU inventory.

The Chart below provides a guideline for choosing the best technology for piece picking applications.

Replenishment:

Replenishment occurs without interrupting the picking process. Replenishment of A-FRAMES is easy and rates of up to 2,000 pieces per hour per person are achievable.

Replenishment Assist Tools:

  • Trolleys to support Cases
  • Voice / RF Directed Replenishment
  • Low Level Indicators on channels or frames.

Channels:

A-FRAME split case picking machine has product channels ranging from 60” to 95” arranged on both sides of the structure. Each channel has an individual 24 Volt DC electric dispenser which ejects the product from the stack in the channel.

  • The width of each channel is easily adjusted for various size products.
  • For wide or long product, double width or extra length dispensers are available.

Technical Specifications:

  • Min, Product Size: 2” x .6” x .6”
  • Max. Product Size: 12.4” x 10.5” x 3.8”
  • Pick To Belt Rate: Up to 1,200 Orders per Hour
  • Pick To Tote Rate: Up to 4,000 Orders per Hour
  • Dispenser Rate: Up to 5 items per second
  • Product Stack Weight: Up to 35 lbs

Controls:

The A-FRAME Control System is a stand alone, state of the art, off the shelf, PC based system powered by one or more software modules. The control system has a simple interface with a wide range of Host systems to receive orders and unload post picked information and interfaces with the dispenser microprocessors to control all picking activities, monitor performance and print useful reports.

Features and Benefits:

  • Unsurpassed Picking Accuracy at Minimum Labor
  • Can Pick Directly into Shipping Cartons
  • Dynamically Maximizes Throughput for all Orders
  • Dispense stack weights as high as 35 lbs
  • Durable (Few Moving Parts)
  • Easily Adjustable Channels
  • Easily Expanded
  • Ultra high throughput – up to 4,000 totes per hour
  • High Replenishment Rates up to 2,000 pieces per hour per person.
  • Wide Range of Product Handling.
  • Gentle Picking.
  • Low Maintenance and Quick dispenser change
  • Simple, easy to use PC control Architecture.
  • Standard Trouble Shooting and Performance Reports
  • 24/7/365 Customer Service Support.
  • Off site Support / Remote Diagnostics via Secured VPN Connection.
  • Clean Operation
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