Features

When data is king

MHD speaks to Diverseco’s Rhett Talley about how the Cubiscan is bringing automation in warehouses to the next level.

As everything from tiny parcels through to pallets leaves an Australian DC, they will pass through a variety of touch points. Trucks, trains – maybe airplanes – shipping ports, sorting centres, the baskets of postmen or the back of delivery vans. 

One thing they all have in common, is that almost every one of these items will pass through a Cubiscan dimensioning system. 

“Cubiscan really are the pioneers of automated dimensioning,” says Rhett Talley. Rhett is the Marketing & Business Development Manager – Automation at Diverseco, the exclusive distributors of Cubiscan in the region. “Everyone is our customer. Australia Post is our customer. DB Schenker is our customer. We are a supply chain centric business.”

Cubiscan is one of the world’s most used dimensioning systems, with thousands of units installed across five continents. Shipping, freight and postage services the world over trust Cubiscan to measure the dimensions and weight of packages for one very important task – among others – determining what to charge clients. 

It’s in borrowing this tool from freight companies that warehouses and DCs can super charge their automation processes, Rhett explains. From the macro to the micro, the more data companies can integrate into their systems the better, and what better data to have than every measurement possible on each Stock Keeping Unit (SKU).

“For us at Diverseco, we’re about drilling down to the individual SKU that’s in the warehouse,” says Rhett. “In order for automation to function effectively, fulfillment centres need to have an accurate system feeding an intelligent WMS, that can handle the information of the individual SKU. The WMS needs to not only understand the physical characteristics – the length, the width, the height and the weight – often it needs to understand other physical attributes.” 

Cubiscan has been on the market for more than 20 years. It can measure all these aspects needed for dimensioning, as well as weighing for legal trade systems, and verifying that data for trade use. It’s this trust in the data being produced that makes it so attractive to use the Cubiscan in the warehouse for best-in-class automation. 

“Lots of supply chain managers realise how critical and important this is,” says Rhett. “It’s like the fundamental aspect of what’s happening in warehouses and distribution centres.” 

At the inbound level, Cubiscan is invaluable in providing accurate SKU dimensional master data, that is required by WMS systems to make intelligent processing and optimising decisions. 

“There are a variety of ways to supercharge your WMS with dimensional master data,” says Rhett. “When the SKU arrives you can know where to put it in the warehouse, what bin to use to transport the SKU throughout the warehouse, and when the order is in, how to get it out. Intelligent WMS systems can make these high-resolution decisions for individual SKUs.” 

On the outbound level, Cubiscan can automate the process of dimensioning and weighing SKUs to pack individual orders right through to larger pallets. It can export accurate item measurement data for a transport management system. 

As e-commerce is increasing, Rhett is seeing more and more customers take advantage of this level of automation. 

“With e-commerce, the point of sale has shifted from the physical location to the buyer’s computer screen. We’re finding more and more companies that need to measure, automate and data capture at the warehouse level.” 

With this focus on smart data, Diverseco does much more than just sell equipment. 

“We’re not merely a hardware supplier. We are a real systems and robotics integrator too,” says Rhett. 

“Most of the measuring automation solutions that we supply provide critical item level data in real time that is exported to the user’s host IT application. We support that for the full life of the equipment, locally here in Australia, in real time.”

Rhett notes that while Diverseco is WMS agnostic, the more intelligent the WMS, the better.

With the big picture in mind, Rhett says Diverseco is helping Australia move towards a future of full automation. 

“We’re looking to automate the intralogistics in DCs,” he says. “The ideal scenario is a Lights Out DC that can function with minimum human staffing.” 

In addition to representing Cubiscan, Diverseco is also an agent for a number of robotics companies, including Kawasaki, Doosan, OnRobot and more. Rhett explains that as a full systems integrator, Diverseco is interested in sourcing the best technology in the market as Australia increases its automation in warehouses. Perhaps one day it won’t just be our parcels that all are all touched by Diverseco, but every item that makes its way into our homes. 

“We’re able to combine all of these different capabilities in a seamless single solution from a single vendor,” says Rhett. “We see ourselves as a supply chain single vendor powerhouse.” 

For more information on Diversco, click here.

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