To get the most out of SHARK, it is important before using the system, that you are clear on how you want SHARK to be integrated into the warehouse. There is not just one correct solution. The optimal solution depends on a number of variables, such as which article types you are dealing with, expected pick frequencies, who will use the system, future requirements etc. This section will review some of the considerations and preparations that should be made before starting up.
One decisive point is whether the warehouse is already in use or if you're starting with an empty warehouse. If the warehouse is already in use, then there will naturally be a number of things which cannot immediately be changed, and it is necessary to transfer the existing information over to SHARK. Therefore it is much easier to start with an empty warehouse without restrictions.
Arranging the warehouse
SHARK must know the precise arrangement of warehouse shelves as well as the trays in vertical lifts. Therefore trays and shelves need to be arranged and it must be decided how this arrangement should be. If possible, start filling articles into the vertical lifts or onto racks before the arrangement has been decided, and preferably not until you start using SHARK. Naturally, this is not always possible especially if the warehouse is already in use, but when possible it can save you work.
Before starting up the system, several important decisions need to be made:
- What needs to be stored under SHARK. This is especially relevant if SHARK manages only part of the inventory.
- How are the locations organized. This is especially important for vertical lift trays.
- Some general ideas for storing in vertical lifts:
- Choose articles with a medium or high turnover to be stored in vertical lifts.
- The articles must have dimensions suitable for the vertical lifts.
If there are articles with a very high turnover and of proper size, it will often be beneficial to pick them in vertical lift zones, but placed outside of the vertical lifts, for example in flowracks or on pallets on the floor.
Articles with high pick frequency can be placed in the different lower trays of vertical lifts. When the system has been in operation for a while, it controls this by itself, but during start-up there is no data yet available to compute this.
If articles have a relationship to one another in such a way that they will often belong to the same order, it is an advantage to store them in the same tray
If the dimensions and weight are available for each article, it may be a good idea to store tht information in SHARK. This will enable SHARK to gain better control of the put-away process.
When possible the following rule is recommended: One article type, one location. For mixed-locations SHARK cannot handle free space management and it more difficult to pick from a location that contains multiple article types.
Location Setup in Static Shelving
Location Setup in Vertical Lifts
Trays in vertical lifts may be used in many ways. A few simple rules might help here.
Use if possible a standard modular measurement, so that you start with a small box, and then make one which is twice that size, etc. This makes it much simpler to design and easier to modify existing arrangements. You may, for example, exchange two small ones for one that is twice as big.
Try to design with "one pattern" of different sized boxes. This makes it easier to find the right box based on the screen picture.
The warehouse is divided into one or several zones. The purpose of the zones is to create a limited work area for the individual operator. In order to make an optimal zone division, you must know the necessary warehouse capacity. The capacity is the number of picks to be accomplished over a given period of time. Find the maximum requirement, meaning how many picks there needs to be able to be picked during the busiest hours. Not least in vertical lift zones, where only one person can work at a time, is this important. If 250 picks are to be picked per hour in vertical lifts during the busiest hours, and you expect being able to pick 120 per zone, you must accordingly have at least 3 zones. Here it may be important to estimate whether the needs of the computed capacity cannot be changed, whether some orders may be handled at a different time or if some orders can be delayed, for example by prioritizing the individual orders. Generally, there is no reason to divide the warehouse into more zones than necessary, whereas it is practical to have many zones during busy times, it may also be a disadvantage at other times.
Fixed warehouse zones may be covered by one or more employees with either PDA's or picking lists.
Only one person at a time can work in the automated zones.
The zones are fixed and cannot be changed once they are in use. It is therefore important to make a sensible judgment right from the start.
Estimating how many picked articles that can be handled per employee will depend on several parameters.
For automated zones:
How many vertical lifts are in the zone? If there is only one, there will always be waiting time for the next tray, if there are many vertical lifts, there will be little or no waiting time for the vertical lifts.
How much time is needed to pick the article (processing time). Should articles be counted, put into plastic bags, have labels attached, which are all things that take time and limit speed.
How good are the possibility for optimization, are there only a few high-frequent articles or many articles that are always picked at the same time.
How big should the locations be? These questions cannot be answered definitely, because many factors apply. It is, for instance, quicker operating with big locations, but the space is also poorer utilized than in cases where the same article is stored in several smaller locations. For example, consider the following:
Which factor is the most important, speed or location utilization?
Which put-away strategy should be used (fixed, floating or FIFO)?
How often should the warehouse be replenished?
Is the turnover rate or the warehouse profile known for each single article?
The article dimensions are, of course, also important.
First configuration for Automats
Once SHARK has been installed and put into use, the first set-up is made. The following steps are necessary:
Start and Logon.
The warehouse is divided into zones.
Set up trays and shelves.
Set up locations to which the articles are to be put away.
Set up/load master data, for those articles which are to be put away.
Set up users.
Work groups must be set up.
Define labels, if necessary.
Most likely to be hooked up with a host system.
Start up and log on
After installing SHARK, you will find that there will be one "user" called ”System” with the password ”shark”. This user name is entered the first time you log in. The system user may later be deleted or the password changed.
Push the [System] button and enter the ”shark” password.
Setting up zones and modules
The overall warehouse structure must now be set up.
Step 1. Open Systems Configuration.
Step 2. Set up a vertical lift zone (or a fixed warehouse zone).
Step 3. Give the zone a name (here ”A”).
Trin 4. Set up one or more modules.
Trin 5. Set the size of trays/shelves for the module just set up.
Next, please set up aisles in fixed warehouse zones and modules represented by vertical lifts in lift zones and racks in fixed warehouse zones.
Set up trays and shelves.
Now, please use the Tray Editor to set up:
Vertical lift trays and rack/module shelves.
Remember that only types are being set up. The actual locations will not be set up until later. The idea in first setting up a tray type is that it can easily be used several times. Therefore you only need to ”draw” it once. Some standard tray types may already be available for use.
Step 1. Open ”Tray Templates”
Step 2. Set up location types (boxes).
Before you are able to define a new tray/shelf, you must first set up the boxes (location types) in the trays. See under ”Available boxes”. If the desired box dimension is not available, push [Ny] to set up the box. Then you will be asked to enter a location cart type name. When this has been done, select the box again from the list of boxes, and enter the dimensions on the box, which is done in millimeters.
Trin 3. Set up a new tray type.
Now the necessary boxes are available.
Push [Ny] (Tray type) and fill out the menu. First, select the tray size. The tray height is set in mm, and must be correct, so that the requested boxes can be on the tray. The name of the tray may be released, but pick one that is practical to remember. Then set the next 2 module dimensions, width and depth of the tray. This determines the size of the "network" the tray is divided into. Be careful not to select too small a module dimension, since it gives very long location addresses and makes the system slower. Typically, a tray will be divided into a number of larger modules, for example into 1/16, so that if the width is 2500 mm, the module dimension is set at 2500/16=156 (always round down if the result isn't whole number).
Setting up of locations
Once a basic structure along with trays and shelves have been defined, the final locations may be set up.
Step 1. Open Administration -> Systems Configuration -> Warehouse -> Zone -> Module.
Now, return to system configuration and select the previously set up module.
Step 2. Set up tray/shelves
It is now possible to place the previously set up tray type on each shelf/lift shelf in the module.
This is done by defining which tray type is to be used for which module/rack number. As soon as a tray type has been placed on a shelf, the actual warehouse locations are being set up.
See also under the menu item System Information -> Box Statistics, where this will be evident, when new empty locations are set up.
Saving article master data
When a new installation is put into use, it is often necessary to load master data for the articles which are to be used. Master data typically constitutes an article number, article description, EAN code and other article information.
How this is done, will depend on how the installation is configured. If there is hook-up to a Host or an ERP system, data will often come from there automatically, and nothing else needs to be done.
It will also be possible to import data from a file via menu item File->Import.
The basic, but also time consuming way of setting up articles is in the ”Article Editor”.
Step 1. Open the Article Editor.
Step 2. Set up a new article.
The new article can now be set up by entering an article number and a name. Then push [opret]. Apart from this basic information, here you will find much further information on the article which may be added. This could be for example where and how you want the article to be stored or information used, upon receiving the article, to find the right space for the article.
Set up users
Set up the first users. It is usually smart to ensure that the various job functions, have access only to what is necessary. This is done by limiting access rights.
Step 1. Open Systems Configuration.
Trin 2. Select Users.
Now, select ”Brugere” [users] under System Konfiguration [systems configuration].
Step 3. Set up a new user.
Right click ”Brugere” [users], and select ”Ny bruger” [Add User].
Step 4. Enter information on the user.
Click ”Ny bruger” [Add User], enter the necessary information, and click "Opret" [Add].
Subsequently the new user will be available and show up be on the logon screen as:
Set up work groups
If you need to use more than one zone, it is important to have defined the correct work groups for the system to function correctly. The work groups may be used, for example, in connection with starting pick carts and the like which will be used in several zones.
Step 1. Open Systems Configuration.
Open Systems Configuration -> Work Stations > Work Stations.
Right click ”Arbejdsstationer” [work stations] and select ”Add work group”.
Step 2. Enter information on the work group.
Select the new work group, give it a name, and select the zones belonging to the work group. Then push [Anvend] (apply).
Set up label templates for those labels which could not be printed.
For each PC from where labels will be printed, a label printer needs to be installed and a label template must be linked to the functions from where the printing is done.
Labes are set up under ”System Administration” [systems administration] and ”Label udskrift” [label print]. How this is actually done in practice will depend on the printer type, and when the labels are to be printed. Here follows a general description of the procedure.
Step 1. Set up labels for each printer type.
A template must be set up for each printer and label type combination requested for printing. You may use the same template for different purposes, if they otherwise look alike. Templates are written in the printer's printer language, you may however, often use a program which comes with the printer in order to generate the correct codes.
Templates are set up under Label Udskrift -> Labelskabeloner [label print-> label templates].
Step 2. Set up printer.
This is done from the PC that the printing is done from!
Using the mouse, right click ”Printere” [printers], and select ”Tilføj Printer” [add printer].
Step 3. Enter information on the printer.
Now enter the necessary information on the printer. It must have a name, and you must select which printer type is being used, and how it is linked to the PC from where the printing is done.
Step 4. Link template, printer and function together.
Then, we need to tell under what functions the printing should be done, with which template and to which printer and just as importantly, what needs to be printed.
Select, under ”Skabelon anvendelse” [template usage], from which function the printing is done. Here is ”Batch pick" selected, which is the label printed from the Batch pick screen. Now please select the template and printer to be used.
Then you may select which type information that needs to be printed on the previously installed template.
To activate a default template setup, copy "PrinterDefault" as shown below:
Connect to a host system
Normally SHARK is hooked up to a host or an ERP system. If the default format (XML) is used, it only requires a slight configuration to make it function. This is described in more detail in the technical documentation, please refer to SHARK Link.
Start-up and Logon
SHARK is normally started with the SHARK icon on the desk top or from the Start menu:
Start → Programs → SHARK
To use SHARK, you must log on. This ensures that the right users have access, so that you are able to control who can make what changes, and that you can later can see, who has carried out which actions.
When SHARK is started, a logon screen appears. This can have two layouts picked from the configuration. The standard configuration is showing one button for each user. The button can easily be used from a touch-screen. If the user has been given a password, a password screen is shown, which must be filled out correctly in order to continue.
If there are many users, the buttons are not very expedient, and instead you may choose that you need to write a name and eventually a password in a dialogue shown when pressing [login].
It is also possible to logon by scanning a barcode. Two methods are supported:
- SHARK prints a special barcode for each user, the barcode has encoded information including password that allows immediately logon by scanning the barcode.
- A special barcode will open the login dialog, from where another barcode with user id can be scanned. This is a simple way to scan an employer card without the need of a keyboard for login.
SHARK can be configured for auto logout after a certain idle time.
When the user has logged on, a start-up screen is shown from where the most important functions are chosen using large buttons other functions may be reached from the menu bar up above.
Main menu after logon.
The menu above is divided into logical groups:
Statistics: On the left, a number of statistical figures are shown.
Files: Log out here, SHARK is turned off, and there are some file related import/export functions.
Transactions: You can find all operations related to pick and put-away under transactions.
Administration: If the system configuration is changed, new ones set up etc., this will be done under Administration [management]
System information: Transactions log, system log, statistics and other general information are found here.
Help: Online help system and information on which SHARK versions are being used.
In the left side of the startup picture, several pieces of statistical information are shown, which can be used to gain a quick overview of where there is work to do.
- The symbol ”*” shows how many released pick orders are currently waiting. This means released orders, where picking has not yet started.
- From each zone, you see how many of the total released orders that will be processed in this zone. The figure shows <waiting>/<partsly picked> [not initiated>/<partly picked]. Please note that the sum may be bigger than the total, since an order may operate in several zones.
- Here you see how many of the released lines that have not yet been picked (awaiting). Total and for each zone. The sum can also be larger than the total if an order line has more transactions in several zones.
- How many put-away transactions that have been done in the last hour. Total for each zone.
- When the last pick or put-away was accomplished in the said zone. Based on ”*” shows the most recent time of picking or putting away of articles in the warehouse.
- How many picks have been done within the last hour. Totals and for each zone.
Overview of the pick carts
The pick cart overview shows which carts are in use, and which zones they will be picking from/putting away in.
This function is only activated when using pick carts.
Configuration of displayed info
There are different possibilities of adjusting the startup window to the actually needs. This is done from the System Configuraiton menu and requires administrator rights.
Registry → SHARK Application → Forms → MasterPanel
Show Pick cart statistic.
Number of seconds between screen refresh.
Configuration of Functions
Which push buttons are available can be configured as well.
Registry > SHARK Application > Config
Show button for putaway cart.
If true, login with a barcode is possible.
Default for the Auto logout feature in minuts. 0 disables the functionality.
Registry > SHARK Application > Config → workstation name
Auto logout in minuts. 0 disables the functionality.
Auto logout is set individually for each workstation,.
Setting the Logon method
To the change the way the login window looks, open
Maintenance → System Configuration → System> System Configuraito
Set the Parameter NormalLogin to 0 or 1.
If 0 the login window will show a list of user names (buttons), if "1" a login dialog is used where the user has to enter a name and password.
SHARK supports optional multiple owners for the same article number. It means that equal article numbers will be handled as separate numbers, if they have different owners. When an order is picked for a specific owner, only article with this particular owner will be picked. It allows multiple stocks to be kept in the same physical warehouse.
The Order Statistic function is used to see information about the picking rate. For example, how long does it take for the warehouse from an order is received until it actually is picked. It is an effective tool to monitor if the warehouse is working satisfactory and how changes influences on the output. Statistical tools are important for the ongoing optimization of warehouse operations. It is for instance possible to see:
- Picking frequency divided up into zones/users/order types and time intervals.
- Order lead times.
- Picking frequency for trays in vertical lifts.
Here is the number of transactions divided up into how many per hour for one day. The best utilization of the warehouse is achieved by operating at full capacity for as short a time as possible.
Some of these statistical calculations are very demanding and can load the database seriously. Therefore, avoid prolonged use of statistical functions when SHARK is in normal operation, since it could potentially cause longer response times for users.
Menu: System Information -> Picking Statistics -> Order turnaround (tab).
In the upper part of panel select the data to be displayed and how.
Date from: Only orders completed after that date are included.
Data: Only orders completed before that date included.
Source: Choose here whether to display pick orders put-away orders, etc.
Order Form: Select the specific type of order to be displayed.
Display Type: Select whether to display a histogram or a general average.
[Save]: Save the information in a file (text or Excel).
[Update]: Updates the graph and table.Can only be used when the setup is changed. Updates the panel even after approx. 5 seconds if there is pressure within.
Histograms show the selected orders in the graph and the table and read as:
1. The blue bars are the number of orders that are completed at the given time.If, for example, the resolution is "day", every column displayed are the orders for the current day. The number of the orders shows on the left y-axis. For example will the column for "5 days" to show how many orders were completed within 5 days.
2. The black graph shows the summed number converted to percent.Used to see how many orders were completed within a given time. Percent is on the right y-axis. Example, if you want to see how long it takes before 60% of orders are completed you can read the summed graph out for 60% (approximately 5 days).
The same information as the graphs shown can also be seen in the table.
You receive up to a maximum of 100 hours or 100 days, so in some cases, the accumulated numbers do not reach 100% (if there are orders that have been more than 100 days on the way).
The average is calculated as a standard average over the specified period (start and end date).
- The blue boxes show the number of orders for that period, the number shown on the left graph.
- The black graph shows the average number of days for the order and read on the right graph.
- The gray graph is a trend or tendency graph showing the trend over the period in question, read on the right graph (calculated as least-mean-square of the average).