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 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-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.
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:
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 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.
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 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.