Goods-to-Person (G2P) is a famous term in warehouse automation which refers to the use of digital solutions to deliver the correct item or good to the right operator or workstation. As they do not require humans to spend time searching for the required goods, G2P is known to increase productivity and maximise labour utilisation. With the rise of e-commerce, the number of items in warehouses, stores and shipping has increased. Hence, infusing such technologies in warehouse automation has become necessary. This blog will explain all you need to know about G2P.
A Simple Definition for G2P
As G2Ps is a system that allows warehouse managers to automate the process of supplying a container and an order collection container to a worker, it significantly maximises productivity on the warehouse floor. There is a range of G2P technologies whose specialised functions mainly focus on picking and retrieving items from storage locations. The type of G2P, however, may differ based on the industry or even the business needs. G2Ps can mainly be categorised as Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) and Automatic Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS).
Here is an overview of what they are and how they help a warehouse manager:
This refers to types of robots that can move independently. They are an upgraded version of autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) that rely on predefined paths to guide themselves in the warehouse and even then require an operator to oversee it. As AMRs are infused with AI and ML capabilities, they can understand their environment with the help of data retrieved from the various sensors installed in the warehouse. Suppose they are interrupted by a certain item obstructing their way. In that case, they will automatically activate a collision avoidance technique to either slow down, completely stop or change their route, finding an alternative way to complete their task fully. A range of AMRs can be implemented in this respect are used to retrieve specific SKUs found in the shelving.
- Stacker-Bot & Carton G2P System: This is a standard G2P tool that is used to retrieve items from one place and move them into a different facility. Note, however, that a stacker-Bot is specifically used to retrieve items a picker needs. Around five things can be collected in one go, although the entire bundle can only be 102 inches tall.
- Go-Fer Bot Rack and Shelving G2P System: This type of G2P can is used for order picking and fulfilment, transporting items required for manufacturing, store replenishment, BOPIS, kitting, and more. It can go under racks and lift items when needed and move intelligently on the floor to queue at the correct workstation for the operator.
- Exotec Skypod AMR/ASRS Hybrid G2P System: This high-density AMR is designed to help order fulfilment operations. It has a skypod robot capable of three-axis movement, which can move vertically up and down the storage rack to retrieve products and deliver them to the workstation.
AS/RS include a range of equipment that handles, stores, and retrieves materials. It is fast and precise and can differ in size, whether it is a uni-load or mini-load. This is very similar to AMRs, with the only difference being that the former is a horizontal storage solution, whereas AS/RS is a vertical storage solution. They are generally paired with warehouse execution or management software, whereby any commands given will be executed by the microprocessor of the machines. Unlike AMR, they move in a fixed rail or track system to move or store objects. In other words, their mobility is restricted to pre-determined paths. This also makes it much harder for them to adapt to different changes in the business. There are multiple AS/RS systems; here are a few of them:
- AS/RS shuttles G2P System: Products are delivered through an autonomous shuttle that runs on a rack structure to retrieve the intended item. Where this includes cases, totes, trays or pallets, the bot can move either in one level or cross over multiple levels in a rack using a vertical lift.
- Mini-Load G2P System: Best for case-sized storage, the mini-load G2P system can automatically find pick locations like carton-flow. It has an automatic crane and travels in narrow aisles, retrieving items in tall racks based on requirements in real time.
- Horizontal Carousel G2P System: This system includes a series of bins with shelves supported by an oval track. It uses the shortest path to retrieve items. It is similar to how a merry-go-round spins, where the bins rotate bi-directionally. The shelves can be resized, thereby providing a flexible inventory system.
How Does It Work and Why Do You Need It?
G2P are easily scalable technologies that increase SKUs (Stock Keeping Units). When an order is required to be sent for delivery, the workstation screen displays what the item is. The G2P technology thereafter goes and picks it up accurately without delay.
G2Ps are usually implemented to pick small or lightweight products that take too long. Unlike a human workforce whose speed may depend on their strength, the time of the day, and being interrupted by small talk, a G2P keep the momentum going. In this sense, it also improves worker ergonomics as no one will need to consistently bend, lift, and stretch themselves, thereby eliminating the potential of facing a workplace injury.
As the workstation specifies the items, it significantly reduces errors generally attributed to warehouses of e-commerce which demand a high-speed environment. Every time an order is picked from the shelf, the inventory is updated in real-time, allowing you to keep track of everything easily.
Other benefits warehouse managers can gain from implementing G2P include the following:
- Increased precision
- Increased throughput
- Increased storage capacity
- Reduced labour costs
- Utmost scalability
- Enhanced customer satisfaction
- No single point of failure (SPOF)
- Rapid ROI
- Quick deployment and greater flexibility
Cerexio Smart WMS: A Ready-Made G2P Solution
Cerexio Smart WMS is an all-equipped solution for warehouse managers looking to automate all their operations. The solution suite is powered by industry 4.0 technology and includes AI, ML, data analytics, digital twin, IIoT and other capabilities. It optimises storage areas and streamlines distribution centres through information systems. It is compatible with a range of G2Ps as any robotic forklift fleet will be empowered by advanced AI, AGVS, RGVs, IGVs, AMRs, UAVs, RFIDs, NFCs and other sensors. It is equipped with predictive AI technologies, warning you of impending anomalies and recommending solutions where the warehouse lacks perfection. Improve consumer and supplier relationships and keep track of your warehouse operations with one smart screen.
Connect with us to learn what G2P tools are most suitable for your warehouse operations.
You Should Be Ready to Adopt G2P
At the rate at which warehouse operations are being digitalised in 2023, a warehouse manager should ideally be ready to adopt G2P systems. As many types of G2P systems are available, you have a range of options to choose from. This also means that even SMEs can implement such a system depending on their financial budget and organisational needs. Increase employee safety, be more financially feasible, and optimise the picking-up process with the help of G2P.
This article is prepared by Cerexio, a leading technology vendor that offers specialised solutions in the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Sector. The company is headquartered in Singapore and has offices even in Australia. Cerexio consists of a team of experts that have years of experience and holds detailed knowledge on a range of subject matters centric to the latest technologies offered in manufacturing and warehouse operations, as well as in predictive maintenance, digital twin, PLC & instrumentation setup, enterprise integrator, data analytics and total investment system.