3D software aids warehouse planning


A new generation of 3D simulation software has been launched to help companies with warehouse planning and decision-making.

Hyster has developed Incontrol Simulation Software BV, a realistic virtual tool that allows companies to optimise operations by being able to see how a warehouse would theoretically operate.

The technology can be used for a new developments or changes to an existing operation.

Robert O’Donoghue, general manager for Hyster’s Warehouse Products, says that while simulation is not an exact science, it can provide a realistic indication of the viability of various fleet options.

“Warehouse managers will be able to consider different fleet mix scenarios and develop a good idea of potential pallet throughputs and related costs.”

O’Donoghue says the need for realism has been a key consideration in the development of the warehouse simulator.

“Each simulation takes into account significant details of the warehouse operation: battery discharge, re-charging, changing times and rates, dwell and radio data terminal access times, operator shift patterns, break times, and ability/permission to drive certain truck types, creep speed when forks are lifted and the degree of truck slow-down when cornering or when nearing another truck,” he says.

“The programme can also simulate a variety of order-picking methods and will show in clear graphical form where and when congestion occurs.”

Customers will work with a Hyster warehouse expert to input all the relevant data for their operation.

The information collected and analysed helps identify the optimum fleet mix to maximise productivity and minimise the total cost of the warehouse operation.

Customers are able to view 2D and 3D representations of their operations and see a series of graphs illustrating the utilisation and throughput of each operational area throughout the day.

“The simulator allows the warehouse owner to know if he really has the right mix of trucks,” O’Donoghue says.

“The Hyster warehouse simulator can vividly demonstrate how the selection of a slightly different mix of trucks can reduce cost and improve overall efficiency.”

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