Sustainable development calls for an efficient utilization of natural and human resources. This issue also arises for warehouse systems, where typically extensive capital investment and labor intensive work are involved. It is therefore important to assess and continuously monitor the performance of such a system to identify possible improvements in the system configuration. We believe that a modular system architecture and an accompanying performance monitoring method serve this purpose. In this paper we advocate a system architecture with a decentralized hierarchical control structure. The architecture allows easy adjustment of system configurations and control heuristics to deal with ever-changing warehouse requirements. We also propose a performance monitoring method that only requires little shop-floor data. This method is based on the concept of effective process time and it can be used to generate key performance indicators of the warehouse. By applying the system architecture and the performance monitoring method, we believe that more efficient ways of utilizing resources and capitals can be identified to improve the sustainability of warehouse order picking systems.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the XIV Summer School 'Francesco Turco', 15-19 September 2009, Porto Giardino, Italy|
|Place of Publication||Italy, Porto Giardino|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|