Case Studies > InterChange Group Enhances Cold Storage Efficiency with IoT Integration

InterChange Group Enhances Cold Storage Efficiency with IoT Integration

Technology Category
  • Functional Applications - Warehouse Management Systems (WMS)
  • Robots - Autonomous Guided Vehicles (AGV)
Applicable Industries
  • Specialty Vehicles
Applicable Functions
  • Procurement
  • Warehouse & Inventory Management
Use Cases
  • Inventory Management
  • Picking, Sorting & Positioning
Services
  • System Integration
The Challenge
InterChange Group, a cold-storage warehousing and distribution company, was faced with the challenge of increasing the efficiency of its cold storage facility to better service a local customer. The company needed to prove its capability to handle growing volumes in the future. The specific challenge was to integrate their new fleet of semi-automated forklifts with the Camelot Excalibur Warehouse Management System (WMS). The deployment of this technology investment, especially with temperature and date-sensitive food products, within a tight timeline, posed significant challenges.
About The Customer
InterChange Group, based in Harrisonburg, VA, is a company that performs cold-storage warehousing and distribution for major U.S. food producers and other suppliers around the world. The company was looking to increase the efficiency of its cold storage facility to better service a local customer and prove its capability to handle growing volumes in the future. InterChange Group made a significant investment in semi-automated forklifts and needed to integrate this new fleet with the Camelot Excalibur Warehouse Management System.
The Solution
Camelot worked closely with InterChange to understand the automation technology and operational requirements. The project was divided into two parts: integration of the semi-automated forklifts with Excalibur WMS for full-pallet picking and putaway, and implementation of the layer-pick operation using a more centralized replenishment system. The Camelot Excalibur WMS used an intermediary interface to communicate directly with the forklift’s onboard computers. As orders were received via EDI from the supplier, Excalibur determined the most efficient pick-location and forklift to pull the order. The layer-pick line was used for order quantities that were less than full-pallet. The WMS had the intelligence to recognize if the layer-pick line or a hand-pick process should be used to fill the order.
Operational Impact
  • The integration of the semi-automated forklifts with the Camelot Excalibur WMS and the implementation of the layer-pick operation using a centralized replenishment system significantly increased the efficiency of the warehouse. The WMS was able to determine the most efficient pick-location and forklift to pull the order, and also recognize if the layer-pick line or a hand-pick process should be used to fill the order. This resulted in a smoother, more efficient operation with fewer people involved. The successful implementation of this solution has strengthened the relationship between InterChange and Camelot, with both companies sharing a focus on growth and understanding the needs of the customer.
Quantitative Benefit
  • Integration of semi-automated forklifts with WMS for efficient full-pallet picking and putaway
  • Implementation of the layer-pick operation using a centralized replenishment system doubled the throughput
  • Efficient order fulfillment with fewer people involved

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