An analytical model for A-frame system design
Abbreviated Journal Title
Order fulfillment; A-frame systems; automated dispensing; warehouse; design; Engineering, Industrial; Operations Research & Management Science
An A-frame system is a highly automated piece-level order-fulfillment technology. A systematic analysis is performed in this article in order to understand the design decisions of using an A-frame system in a distribution center. A math-programming-based approach to determine the amount of A-frame infrastructure investment is presented along with the assignment and allocation of Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) to the A-frame. Then throughput considerations are explicitly considered by developing analytical models for the throughput of an A-frame and heuristics to adjust the allocation and assignment of SKUs in order for the A-frame to meet a throughput constraint. The proposed heuristic approach performs well as compared to the exact solution approaches for small problems. Since the proposed methodology is capable of solving industrial-sized problems it is applied to a case study from the pharmaceutical industry. Design testing indicates that A-frame systems provide the greatest potential in labor savings when a distribution center has high item commonality, small order sizes, and high skewness levels and in throughput when many small orders have low item commonality and low skewness levels.
"An analytical model for A-frame system design" (2011). Faculty Bibliography 2010s. 1752.