Conveyco Automated Shipping System
The Automated Shipping System automates the manual tasks associated with checking and shipping orders in a fulfillment operation. A single Automated Shipping System can replace 15-20 manual checking and parcel manifesting stations. The system also helps address Dimensional Weight surcharges that are assessed by small parcel carriers.
Ensuring a carton is “shipment ready”
Parcel conveying systems are at the heart of any order fulfillment system. Order selection and material movement throughout the DC are essentially useless if the carton they are placed into is not 100% “ship ready”. The Conveyco Automated Shipping System is designed to maximize the throughput of the orders through the shipping process within the distribution center and also maximize the accuracy of the overall shipping process.
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There are multiple functions that this sub-system performs:
- Prevent Dimensional Weight Surcharges
- PANDA (Print and Apply) functionality while carton is in motion
- Inline weight verification and error correction (in motion scale)
- Automated manifesting and rate shopping integration
Avoid Dimensional Weight Surcharges
One of the major benefits associated with implementing C.A.S.S. is reducing Dimensional Weight surcharges from impacting your cost of fulfillment. These charges implemented by small parcel carriers in an effort to make up for lost revenue related to light items shipped in really large packages. The size of these packages used taxed the available throughput capacity of the carrier’s fleet of trailers and aircraft as well as conveyor processing systems. A calculation was created to apply a surcharge to these “non-compliant” packages.
There are two ways the Conveyco software system can fight these charges: the first is to make sure that orders are shipped in the optimally sized packaging. We call this process cartonization. The second process to 100% be sure that operator area hasn’t occurred to is use the DWS component of the Automated Shipping System to verify the correct packaging has been used and that the order does not fail the Dim Weight calculation test. In the event that the dimension and weight collected via a system of sensors, when collected and applied to the formula, get “flagged” the package in question can be redirected from the shipping dock to a repacking and inspect area. The order can be evaluated and repacked into a more appropriately sized carton, if possible given the product contained on the order, to prevent Dim Weight Charges.
Weigh In Motion Scale (WIM) & Dimensioning (DWS)
Critical to accurate scanning and processing through the DWS (Dimensional Weight Subsystem) is to separate inbound cartons for processing. The pitch (or head to head carton distance) that is required is calculated in advance and is accomplished through speed changes or a dynamic raising or lowering on a series of belts. This allows cartons to be presented to the Weigh In Motion scale to ensure that only one carton at a time is on the unit at one time as required to capture the correct carton weight.
A weigh in motion (WIM) scale essentially is a belt conveyor mounted atop load cells to capture the weight of a carton while it is motion. Mounted atop the WIM is a device that is Integral to capturing the remaining attributes of cartons required for shipping processing. This device is called the Dimensioner. With this unit, we can capture all of the dimensions of each carton on the system. This information is packaged together and is sent to the correct system for further processing.
Automated Manifesting System – Rate Shopping
The WES has a parcel carrier manifesting engine capable of rate shopping for the lowest cost carrier based on shipping service requirements and shipping location. This provides the opportunity to realize the lowest possible shipping cost by comparing major carriers for parcel and LTL shipments. At the end of the system, a verification scan checks that the correct shipping label matches the carton ID. Confirmed cartons are sorted to the specific carrier lane for palletizing or direct loading.
Print & Apply System (PANDA)
Placing a label while cartons continuously flow on the system is accomplished by integrating a Print and Apply or (PANDA) subsystem. Once the correct shipping method is determined and the label string is ready to be transferred by the manifesting engine it can be sent to the PANDA system for processing. By maintaining the product alignment and separation achieved earlier in the dimensioning and weighing subsystems we can accurately present the cartons to the PANDA system for processing. Label applicators can be configured to place the label on either the front, sides, or tops of cartons while they travel in motion.
New Systems or Retrofits
The Conveyco Automated Shipping System increases order accuracy while reducing the checking and packing labor. It can easily be retrofitted into existing operations or designed into a new order fulfillment facility. The hardware and software components are modular to create the RightFIT solution for each client’s unique needs.