SHARK WCS

The SHARK Warehouse Control System provides an easy to use interface for automation hardware. It hides the complex control of hardware devices like vertical lifts, conveyors, etc. and allows an easy integration into ERP and WMS systems, without a native automation interfaces.

The SHARK WCS interface is generic and hides the communication with the hardware. Hardware from multiple vendors can be integrated into existing ERP and WMS systems with a minimum of effort.

Stock is always maintained by the host system, but to handle the complex location structure, often found in automation hardware, SHARK WCS has the possibility of location management where location structures can either be created by the WCS or by the Host System. If SHARK WCS maintains the location structure, graphical display of picking locations are possible as well as pick-by-light pointers in vertical lifts can be controlled.

Why use SHARK WCS?

  • Easy and simple integration of warehouse automation hardware like vertical lifts into standard ERP and WMS systems.
  • Multi vendor support of vertical lifts like: Logimats, Lean Lifts, Kardex Shuttles, ClassicMats, Effimats, Compact Lifts, Megamats
  • Customization and installation support are available. New device drivers can be implemented on request. 
  • Optional User Interface for pick-list handling.
  • Optional location management.

SHARK WCS Driver

Low-level Warehouse Management Control System with standard interface to automation hardware like:

  • Vertical Lifts with support for Logimats, Lean Lifts, Kardex Shuttles, Compact Lifts, ClassicMats, Effimats, Megamats.
  • Pick-to-light pick carts. Direct support for KBS pick-by-light systems.
  • Pick-to-light stationary modules.
  • Label printers.
  • Conveyors.

Basic features:

  • Driver level access.
  • User interface maintained by Host System.
  • Multiple vendor support for vertical lifts.
  • Hardware Simulation

 

 

 

 

 

 

  SHARK WCS

Send a simple pick list to SHARK WCS and it will perform the picking and controlling the hardware. 

  • Simple graphical pick list display.
  • Everything host controlled
  • Graphical editor for creating locations
  • Graphical display of the picking locations
  • Integrated support for pointers and light bar in vertical lifts
  • Picking sequence maintained by SHARK WCS to minimize the walking distance.
  • Optional location management in SHARK

It can be complicated to create and maintain location structures in automats. To help with this, SHARK WCS has an option, where the locations are created in SHARK. 

Note that this is only a way of maintaining the locations. What is actually stored on the locations, quantity and article numbers are fully controlled by the Host system. If it is more convenient to view the vertical lifts as a black box where the quanties and locations are fully maintained by SHARK, have a look at SHARK WMS - there is a solution available that will provide exactly that.

Host Interface

There are diffferent protocols for interface to SHARK WCS, they all contains the same information.

Supported Protocols

  • REST
  • XML Files
  • CSV Files
  • Groovy Scription: SHARK WCS has support for a scripted file interface. Files are automatically imported and triggers a script that will interprete the content of the file.

User Interface

The user interface is started from a web browser and will adopt to the size of the screen. 

Advanced features

  • Pick-by-light
  • Picking Sequence
  • Adjustments: The user may be allowed to adjust the picking quantity or reject to pick a line.
  • 0 Location Confirmation: If the Host expects a location to be empty after the last pick, the user can be requested to confirm that the location is empty.

The REST Interface

The default interface to the hardware is a REST based HTTP protocol. It's simple to use and easy to test using a standard web browser.

An example of how to get tray 3 from an automat called A1.

http://localhost:8095/wcs/device/automat/a1/fetch?carrier=3

This command can be entered directly into a web browser for testing.

 

 

File Interface

An alternative to the REST protocol, is a simple file based interface with limited capabilities. Simply drop a file, in a predefined folder, that contains a command of what-to-do, for example fetch a tray from a vertical lift.

The basic Automation Controller supports direct low-level access to the hardware. For vertical lifts, it means get a tray, return tray, read status, get configuration, etc. There is no user interface for the operator, only for configuration. If a user interface is required look at the options pick list handler and location management.

Support for installation and customization are available.  

Pick List Requirements

As minimum the following infomation must be available in the picking list for integration to vertical lifts:

  • Automat name
  • Tray number
  • Quantity
  • Article Number
  • Location

This is required information for controlling the hardware. SHARK WCS can also be used to process picking list, without controlling hardware, for picking in shelving and pallet areas using for example truck or hand held terminals. 

Additional information that can be used:

  • X, Y Coordinates for pointer or light bar

The user information will display supplied information to the user. The format and content is defined by the Host and it is simply a number 

Advanced Logistic Setups

 

Controlling an advanced logistic setup with many vertical lifts in multiple zones, conveyors for transporting the goods, pick carts etc., can be a rather complex job. By using SHARK WCS the control can be a simple file for each order, containing the lines to pick and the basic information to be displayed for the operators.