BY VICTORIA KICKHAM, SENIOR EDITOR
CONVEYORS AND SORTERS
AS WAREHOUSES AND DISTRIBUTION CENTERS CONTINUE TO GO HIGHtech, the tools used to design them are following suit with advances that make it easier
for companies to predict how their operation will evolve to meet changing business
demands over time. Conveyor-simulation technology offers a case in point, shifting
from a tool that simply shows how a conveyor system will work into one that can help
companies plan the best system to meet peak service demands, ever-later order-cutoff
times, and the staffing requirements to handle such changes. The software programs
used to simulate conveyor-system design today use advanced algorithms and data analytics to produce those results, and experts say the added use of sensors and Internet
of Things technology is evolving to help produce real-time replicas of physical systems
(think “digital twin” technology) that can provide organizations with even more pro-ductivity-enhancing data.
“Today, a customer can expect to see a lot more [from conveyor simulation] than just
‘does the system work?’” explains Luther Webb, vice president, data science at material
handling solutions provider Trew LLC. “[We have] more advanced modeling written in
The end result is a dynamic model of conveyor technology that is helping organizations maximize throughput and minimize labor costs.