Warehouse Control System (WCS)

The Cirrus Warehouse Control System utilizes Windows networking and operating systems with the latest Microsoft.NET capabilities. It connects material handling equipment and subsystems to the client host system using a powerful single-port interface.

What do you do if your order fulfillment rates are rising at the same pace as the error rate in product fulfillment? Before you consider adding more people to solve the problem, consider a Cirrus Warehouse Control System. Warehouse Control Systems are leveraged to accurately track and achieve Just-in-Time inventory goals. As a result, customer service, accurate product tracking and reduced operating expenses are achieved. All product-based companies are challenged with meeting budget, time and accuracy goals and a Warehouse Control System is at the core of the solutions.
Need more information on WCS? Click Here to learn to go to our “What is a Warehouse Control System” page.

So, what makes Cirrus the best Warehouse Control System provider?

Material handling automation technologies are a key ingredient in developing a comprehensive supply chain management solution that allows companies to execute their internal distribution plans and Cirrus is a veteran of WCS implementation since 1996. Our WCS solutions can be found in many of the biggest name distribution centers in the world.

The Cirrus Warehouse Control System

The warehouse distribution market is driven by a business requirement to drive down operation costs, increase productivity and streamline the day-to-day operations in the supply chain. Cirrus Tech’s Warehouse Control Systems are designed to make you successful in reaching your financial goals as well as ensure you meet your own customer’s high expectations in this fast-moving economic environment.

With every warehouse automation provider out there, why choose Cirrus Tech, inc? Since 1996, Cirrus has stood out from the competitors in this market through developing partnerships where our goal is to make you successful. Our Warehouse Control System is a best-of-breed set of services that are only matched in quality by the dedication of the Cirrus support staff who ensure you are constantly up and running efficiently. Your success is our success.

Cirrus integrates all facets of warehouse automation systems in a plant into a single, efficient transportation system using tried, efficient work flow that allows for Just-in-Time Inventory (also called Just-in-Time Business) to become a reality at your facility.

About the System

The Cirrus Warehouse Control System utilizes Windows networking and operating systems with the latest Microsoft.NET capabilities. It connects material handling equipment and subsystems to the client host system using a powerful single-port interface. The system can connect to any legacy host system, warehouse management system (WMS), and enterprise software system software(also called enterprise resource planning software, or ERP). CirrusLink’s highly configurable interface also allows it to successfully communicate to material handling equipment of all makes and models.

Features

System Supervisor

Your warehouse operation can easily be interrupted by anything from a minor…

Your warehouse operation can easily be interrupted by anything from a minor equipment glitch to a major equipment failure. You cannot afford down time or slowdowns, so the sooner you know about a problem, the sooner you can fix it and be back up to speed.

System Supervisor from Cirrus Tech gives you that control. Notification of problems is performed both visually and audibly.

This sorter screen is designed to give you an idea of what your specific screens will look like inside the Cirrus framework. This particular screen is showing a report, cases per minute, start, stop and reset controls as well as the color legend for decoding what the different conveyor statuses mean. Of course your screen will be specific to your system. You can see that the red part of the conveyor indicates that there has been a fault while the green conveyor sections indicate that the system is running. Other statuses include paused, off, force run and line full.

System Supervisor is a comprehensive warehouse monitoring and diagnostic package that provides you with a quick and complete overview of your material handling system through continuous surveillance.

System Supervisor is a graphical representation of your warehouse system. It gives you a live, up-to-date status for all aspects of your warehouse operations. You can watch boxes travel down conveyors and if any problems arise, conveyors will change color depending on its status.

System Supervisor immediately notifies designated personnel of abnormalities in your warehouse operation. Diagnostics and help pages enable users to rectify the situation in a timely manner. System Supervisor means the difference between you running the warehouse and the warehouse running you. System Supervisor can be configured to connect to all your warehouse equipment, including but not limited to conveyors, carousels, cranes, pick-to-light systems, forklift trucks, and AGV’s.

System Supervisor Image

Clear, easy-to-interpret graphics make System Supervisor easy to understand and easy to use. Within each of the detail screens, you have the option of clicking on sections of the conveyor to retrieve data about that section and its current status.

The beauty of System Supervisor is that it can be catered to your company’s specific needs. Generally speaking, your system will provide you with an overview screen and a series of drill-down screens that illustrate each aspect of your warehouse system. Some of the add-on capabilities include:

  • Scanner Statistics
  • Maintenance Mode
  • Out of Service Options
  • Alarm Monitor
  • LIVE PLC Statistics Monitoring and Reporting
  • Functionality to control conveyors

Your System Supervisor gives you full control of your system. In addition to that control; you also have the capability of running reports like the one below. In this case a graph was created with the corresponding information listed next to the graph.

System Supervisor Image

Alarm Monitor

Cirrus Warehouse Control System Alarm Monitor The CirMax ‐ Alarm Monitor System…

Cirrus Warehouse Control System Alarm Monitor

The CirMax ‐ Alarm Monitor System offered by Cirrus Tech monitors OPC tags for changes. Notifications are sent out to pre‐defined user groups. Any number of user groups may exist, depending on the content of the message and who is designated to receive those messages.

In addition to notifications being sent out, reports can be generated that recommend equipment maintenance based on run‐time and/or maintenance schedules. This is an especially useful way to create and store a maintenance log and keep officials who may not be in the warehouse every day, aware of the system and its statuses.
Alarm Monitor is an effective, PLC‐based communication tool that connects your warehouse and product with the people responsible for maintaining and distributing it.

WHY USE IT?

  • The Alarm monitor is an automatic way to keep groups of users informed of certain issues, i.e. maintenance issues.
  • You can pre‐define each member of the user groups and create as many user groups as you want.
  • If you need to add a new employee, you have the capability of editing the User groups within the Alarm Monitor anytime with ease.
  • Improved communication between warehouse operations, warehouse employees and warehouse administration.

Billing Management

You’re now in control of every other aspect of your warehouse, so Billing Management would be the next logical step to a fully organized and well-managed system.

You’re now in control of every other aspect of your warehouse, so Billing Management would be the next logical step to a fully organized and well-managed system. With features that include Computer Management groups, User Types and Email Groups, members of any department within your warehouse can be notified of any issues or completions at any time.
Our Billing Management solution will integrate and work with the Cirrus WCS and other programs to ensure that customers are invoiced in a timely fashion and no profit is left unbilled. Your customers will be happier to receive timely and detailed invoices and your bottom line will be happier when payments roll in

Inventory Control

Balancing inventory levels is the key to full shelves, happy customers and increased throughput.

Balancing inventory levels is the key to full shelves, happy customers and increased throughput. The Cirrus WMS solution will track and give you access to all aspects of your inventory so you can properly manage orders and inventory levels.

The Cirrus WMS allows you to optimize inventory control by providing audit trails of who, what, where and when products are received, shipped or moved to a location. It will also allow you to query the system for the status of any product by lot or order number.

Labor Management

While labor is one of the most significant costs of warehouse operations, it is also the most manageable.

While labor is one of the most significant costs of warehouse operations, it is also the most manageable. Cirrus Tech’s Labor Management enables you to either increase productivity using the workforce you have or find a new solution for cutting your costs. Employee turnover is significantly reduced because workers receive more feedback and are managed in a way that is more conducive to their needs and rewards them for a job well done.

Labor Management works by storing your database of standards for every key task. For each associate, the actual times for task completion are monitored in real time and compared to the standards. Cirrus Tech’s Labor Management suite uses modern engineering techniques to set the time standards based on distance, time, and other factors. Employees at all levels receive immediate feedback on their performance.

Forecast Labor Needs

Labor Planning utilizes historical data to estimate future receipts, and then optimizes the balance of overtime, regular and temporary labor needed to meet demand. With accurate forecasts, managers can improve labor efficiency, reduce overtime hours and increase customer service levels, even through seasonal fluctuations.

Successful labor management coincides with change management as well. Employees will have a clear sense of any changes or updates to the system thorough training so that their performance can continue to meet and exceed the standard that has been set.

Benefits

Benefits of the Labor Management system include:

  • Measures productivity
  • Compares performance across functional areas
  • Rewards those who exceed performance standards
  • Identifies bottlenecks and obstacles
  • Monitors all productive and non-productive time
  • Monitors performance levels in real time

Labor Scheduling

How would you like to leverage your Warehouse Management System with highly intelligent Labor Scheduling Software?

How would you like to leverage your Warehouse Management System with highly intelligent Labor Scheduling Software? We are talking software that will compute the number of employees you need in different areas at different times.

Labor Scheduling software is highly intelligent and can manage hundreds (or more) employees among several different shifts in several different areas within the warehouse. This level of forecasting and management will make times of increased demand flow smoother.

Order Selection

Additional system control is provided through the Order Selection feature of the Cirrus WCS.

Additional system control is provided through the Order Selection feature of the Cirrus WCS. Order selection, sometimes referred to as Order Dashboard, will prepare plans for batch picking or wave picking. It permits selection based on status, lot or order number.

It also allows allocation of products to orders and distinguishes between on-hand inventory and inventory assigned to orders. When inventory is not available, move reports and/or replenishment orders are automatically created.

Pick to Light / Put to Light

Cirrus’ Pick to Light Module is the fastest operator-based picking strategy…

Cirrus’ Pick to Light Module is the fastest operator-based picking strategy available to execute broken case quantity order fulfillment operations. Ideal for team-based approaches like zone picking, the Pick to Light solution increases the pick rate productivity, accuracy and cost efficiency by reducing the walk time, eliminating the reading errors and simplifying the task throughout the pick process.

Cirrus Pick to Light module is the fast-est operator-based picking strategy available to execute broken case quantity order fulfillment operations. Ideal for team based approaches like zone picking, the Pick to Light solution increases the pick rate productivity, accuracy and cost efficiency by reducing the walk time, eliminating the reading errors and simplifying the task throughout the pick process. Lights can be arranged either horizontally or vertically. This increases accuracy and productivity, especially where very high picks per SKU color. Light modules direct the next pick, and LED displays show the quantity to pick. Supervisory administrators may dynamically change zone assignments or test predictive models against anticipated work. Workload balancing for optimal performance is the objective when zone boundaries or personnel assignments are adjusted. Speed, accuracy, and security are the top features provided by Cirrus’ Pick to Light Module. Specific triggers or diagnostic data may be logged and alerts sent to your staff in an email, page, or any other popular format. Cirrus’ Pick to Light module also exports data. Performance reports may be exported to another format as a complete file. Specific data may be exported as a comma delimited text file for use with other applications such as Excel, Crystal Reports, Access, etc.

SCREENS

Pick to Light Screens Image

Cirrus’ PTL module is designed to be an all inclusive package that gives you streamlined, cutting edge access to PTL specific screens for both management and accountability of the areas within your warehouse.

REPORTS

Pick to Light Reports

Cirrus’ PTL module is designed to be an all inclusive package that gives you streamlined, cutting edge access to PTL specific screens for both management and accountability of the areas within your warehouse.

Print and Apply

Components of industrial tabletop printers are integrated into housing to form portable…

Quality Control

Look at any business in any industry and you will see an element of Quality Control incorporated into their business standards.

Look at any business in any industry and you will see an element of Quality Control incorporated into their business standards. There are some industries, like the Food Industry, where even more checks, tests and guidelines must be followed, but every company knows the importance of maintaining a certain level of product and order distribution standards.

Quality Control ensures products are performed in accordance with management directives by SKU, date, time, vendor, etc. This will prevent products from being released if there is a problem. In addition, it provides backtracking if a problem is detected to determine where the problem occurred.

One of the features most taken advantage of by customers is the ability to link quality control to in-line scales. Our Warehouse Control System will use the weight information to determine whether the box/tote is carrying the correct amount of product by comparing the actual weight with what it’s average weight should be. Essentially, we’re talking about In-line Quality Control.

Imagine your customer, vendor or store’s information when they finally receive their long-awaited package only to find that all or some of the content is WRONG! You are not only stuck with the costs associated with return shipment, but your customer/vendor is now stuck with another waiting period and is likely angry with you!

At Cirrus Tech, our Warehouse Management System (WMS) is designed to help eliminate this problem altogether! Our system provides real-time order verification ensuring that the carton contents are correct for that order through the use of an in-line scale! Picture it! Our system knows the expected weight of each order based on the items picked. If the box is outside of the user-specified weight tolerance, it will be diverted for an inspection! Of course, this method only applies where there is a measurable difference in weight and not if products are similar in shape and size or for example, only different in color.

We have found that the majority of companies use the flexibility of our system to specify certain QC criteria. For instance, if you want to check behind a new employee’s work for 2 weeks, you can specify to have those boxes/cartons diverted to your QC area automatically. Or in other cases, customers have decided that they want to verify every Nth carton. In this case, you get to decide (as a business practice) that you want to verify a certain number of cartons per wave, order, day, week, etc.

Quality Control Screens

Within our WMS, we use multiple screens to control the QC portion of your system. The first screen is the QC Setup screen. This allows you, the customer, to be in control of your own QC settings and update them as you deem necessary. The QC Setup screen looks like this:

Quality Control Screen Image

This example shows user settings for a certain weight tolerance and checking orders for the operator(s) specified.

Below is an example of a main QC screen. This particular example operates by LPN. When the carton arrives at the QC Station, the operator simply has to scan the carton’s LPN and the order information will appear. There are several options here for handling cases at QC.

These options are highly customizable by customer, but the intention is to give you an example of how some of our customers utilize this feature of the WMS!

Receiving

The Receiving feature of our Warehouse Control System integrates with purchase order documentation and ASN (advance shipping notification). This feature will issue warning notifications to the purchasing department with regard to discrepancies.

The Receiving feature of our Warehouse Control System integrates with purchase order documentation and ASN (advance shipping notification). This feature will issue warning notifications to the purchasing department with regard to discrepancies.

This feature improves the communication between departments within the warehouse as well as the purchasing department and consumers if there is a problem with their order. We’re talking real time results and a real time ability to contact your customer to solve the problem.

With the Receiving feature in place, you will know what truck is coming when. You will see in other areas of the Cirrus WCS that this information can then be used to aid in Labor Scheduling and Yard Management

Slotting

Picking without Slotting? It’s not uncommon for customers to implement a state-of-the-art pick/put system without utilizing Slotting.

Picking without Slotting?

It’s not uncommon for customers to implement a state-of-the-art pick/put system without utilizing Slotting. If you have a product placement system in place that works for you, that’s great. If you don’t, why spend all of that money putting a Pick system in place without optimizing the actual pick locations?

Slotting optimizes product placement in pick locations within a warehouse. By optimizing product placement, you are further optimizing your pick/put system in order to achieve increased productivity.

 

Sorter

This screen displays the number of items diverted by the sorter from the current day to…

This screen displays the number of items diverted by the sorter from the current day to 10 days in the past. Total counts are grouped per divert lane. The number of rows in this table will differ from customer to customer and will reflect their system’s sorter divert lanes. Every day, all data shifts to the right so that the screen is always up to date. This information is also copied in the system’s database.

The lower part of the screen displays the accumulated divert count for all the divert lanes for each month. At the end of the year, this information will be reset, unless otherwise specified by the customer.

Traffic Cop

The Traffic Cop element of Cirrus Tech’s Warehouse Control System (WCS) is designed…

The Traffic Cop element of Cirrus Tech’s Warehouse Control System (WCS) is designed to optimize the efficiency of your warehouse equipment, including AGV’s (automatic guided vehicles), cranes, carousels and more! Traffic Cop manages this process by setting up routes and assigned tasks associated with particular zones.

Vertical Carousels

Vertical Carousels is a leading edge vertical storage system that…

VERTICAL CAROUSELS

Vertical Carousels is a leading edge vertical storage system that delivers maximized space utilization, efficiency and productivity in all types of applications, including small parts and tool storage. Vertical Carousels utilizes Put to Light software technology. Some of the benefits of vertical carousel technology include:

  • Increased productivity because walking and searching times are significantly reduced
  • Our industry exclusive dual-chain guidance system provides for maximum cube utilization, multiple carrier depths, multiple carrier clear heights and widths, all in combination with a maximum carrier capacity of up to 2,200 lbs.
  • 100% out-of-balance capabilities allow carrier profiling to be dictated by the user and not the restrictions of the carousel capacity.
  • Vertical carousels provide significant space savings over traditional static storage solutions – the increase in storage density can result in floor space recovery as high as 75%.
  • Large shelf capacity to increase productivity and product accessibility
  • Dual-motor drive enables greater width capabilities and provides redundancy for continuous up-time
  • Our automated storage and retrieval systems are easily interfaced with many warehouse management systems or other host architectures.

VERTICAL CAROUSEL PRINCIPLE

You have read about the benefits of Vertical storage systems, but here is a look at the principle behind this method of storage. It’s simple, really. The carousel rotates its series of shelves, loaded with product in order to produce the item(s) requested.
You can see by the height of the carousel that its primary purpose is to act as a space saver in your warehouse by storing product vertically, rather than horizontally.
You will also see that there are all types of carrier configurations for boxes/totes shown on the following page.

CARRIER CONFIGURATIONS

Examples of carrier configurations can be seen below. Vertical carousels support a variety of different carriers based on the sizes of the boxes/totes required for each customer.

FEATURES

Productivity

  • Materials delivered directly to operator, minimizing walking, climbing, bending or reaching for heavy objects.
  • Pass-through design eliminates time consuming transport of items from floor to floor.
  • Parts are closer to the operation, eliminates trips to cribs or stock rooms.

Space Utilization

  • All available vertical height is utilized, thereby reducing floor space requirements
  • Under-used racks, shelves, and cabinets are eliminated and aisles are clear of clutter.
  • Carriers can include shelves, dividers, 100% extendable pull-out drawers and drawer divider systems to create discrete storage locations with a single carrier

Control

  • Pick product by carrier number or part number
  • Shortest path retrieval system speeds picking efficiency
  • Host interface capability for advanced inventory management and control
  • Manual carrier job buttons to override automated machine control

Safety

  • No more risk of injury from climbing ladders to retrieve heavy or bulky boxes.
  • A wealth of state-of-the-art safety features like photo-eyes, upper/lower pressure limit switches, maintenance door limit switch, e-stops and motor overload sensors.
  • All materials are delivered to operators at waist high position, reducing potential back injuries.

Voice Pick

Voice software enables your workers to do their job hands-free and eyes-up.

Voice software enables your workers to do their job hands-free and eyes-up. The difference can be dramatic: many companies report faster pick rates, fewer mistakes, and improved workplace safety after deploying a voice solution.

Because workers are prompted and must respond correctly, Cirrus’ Voice Pick solution ensures that errors almost never happen. It’s like having a “manager on the shoulder” of each worker. In fact, you will find that new employees get up to standard performance levels more quickly with Cirrus’ Voice Pick solution, and your supervisors will spend less one-on-one time to get them there.

Cirrus’ Voice Pick solution includes voice recognition that is “Powered by Voxware.” Voxware pioneered voice picking software for the warehouse, and the technology we license from them has proven to deliver the highest recognition accuracy in the most demanding industrial environments.

Cirrus Pick Software is designed to coordinate multiple picking technologies and has the following features and benefits. It manages light, voice, or wireless based order fulfillment tasks necessary to provide outstanding performance.

Supervisory administrators may dynamically change zone assignments or test predictive models against anticipated work. Workload balancing for optimal performance is the objective when zone boundaries or personnel assignments are adjusted.

Speed, accuracy, and security are the top features provided by Cirrus’ Pick Software. Specific triggers or diagnostic data may be logged and alerts sent to your staff in an email, page, or any other popular format.

Cirrus Pick Software also exports data. Performance reports may be exported to another format as a complete file. Specific data may be exported as a comma delimited text file for use with other applications such as Excel, Crystal Reports, Access, etc.

Yard Management

Yard Management is the System Supervisor of the outdoor area of your facility.

Yard Management is the System Supervisor of the outdoor area of your facility. The Cirrus Warehouse Control System offers the Yard Management feature so that management does not halt at the shipping doors. In order to further management and organization of your warehouse, it is necessary to manage the flow of inventory arriving and leaving your facilities.

The Yard Management feature of our Warehouse Control System can connect to your shipping schedule in order to manage shipping arrival and departure times. Added security is an additional built in feature as you will have real-time information accessible for each carrier and always have a location for trailers stored in your yard.

In addition, the Yard Management feature will allow you to run inquiries and reports in real time in order to determine which tasks are complete and which are not.

Zone Manager

Cirrus Tech’s Warehouse Management System also offers zone level control through our Zone Manager feature.

Cirrus Tech’s Warehouse Management System also offers zone level control through our Zone Manager feature.

Zone Management allows you to setup zones for cross docking, manual storage and automated storage. Its’ highly intelligent and random put away algorithms consider size, velocity and weight of products when optimizing your storage zones.