Managing Complexity and Structuring “Big Data” Profitably

Date: 20.07.2021Source: SSI Schäfer
The WAMAS Warehouse Management System (WMS), Material Flow System (MFS) and WAMAS Lighthouse form a coordinated software team for any automated plant. ©iStock.com/gorodenkoff


As a result of the mounting complexity of increasingly networked, digitalized processes in logistics and material handling, the volume of data being generated is experiencing exponential growth. Data are considered the “new gold” – and not without reason. However, this characterization does imply a value that it doesn’t automatically have. The challenge consists of systematically processing and visualizing the available data. Neither the human brain nor the human eye is up to the task. Instead, WAMAS Lighthouse takes care of this function in logistics. The software solution developed by SSI Schaefer serves as a “central point of information”. It is designed to show information from interacting system parts of different providers – and other manufacturers – and then process it centrally, and display it in a role-based manner in real time in keeping with the operator’s area of responsibility. This in turn results in recommendations for action. This takes place on the web-based application, regardless of the location, in the form of easy-to-operate analysis dashboards.


Identifying problems at an early stage and preventing bottlenecks

The transparency enabled by WAMAS Lighthouse, which provides a clearer view of the warehouse, is made possible by the SCADA visualization system (SCADA = Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), which was developed to monitor and control processes. It ensures a topological view of the entire system and, as a result, all material flows, performance modules, resources, and potential bottlenecks are clearly displayed. The depth of information can be variably adjusted to satisfy the latest requirements via an infinitely variable zoom function. Amid increasing centration, users are gaining access to more and more details and information regarding the status quo of the system, individual components, and transport units. It is therefore possible to find out in no uncertain terms whether, for example, a bottleneck that might prevent orders from being processed on time is imminent on the bin conveying system. This puts operators in the comfortable position of being able to intervene and take control with preventive measures to avoid overflow or make a timely request for back-up resources for temporary compensation.


Control and continuous optimization in real time

All the information can be accessed in WAMAS Lighthouse in just a few clicks and provides a reliable source for evaluating the system’s efficiency and maintaining the system without any cutbacks. The stored event reports, error statistics, and the dedicated key performance indicators (KPIs) that serve to evaluate performance also prove useful in this context. It may all come down to the filling rate of the warehouse, the material flow and picking performance, and/or the order processing status, for instance. The result is the ability to provide comprehensive information and diagnostics in a way that already meets the criteria of Industry 4.0 and Logistics 4.0 and maps the complexity mentioned at the beginning in just one system.


System-based with peak performance throughout – in all automated warehouses regardless of industry

This software can be used in all automated warehouses, regardless of the industry. WAMAS Lighthouse records and analyzes the data from overhead conveying systems in the fashion industry just as meticulously as pick robots in the pharmaceuticals industry. It is even possible to depict whether orders, which are destined for store delivery in the food sector, are ready to ship. The same goes for systems and processes in e-commerce, where delivery quality and the ability to meet deadlines are often the difference between success and failure.


With WAMAS Lighthouse, companies benefit from an open, web-based, and user-centric information and integration platform that is modularly scalable – taking into account individual specifications – and can be expanded at any time, if necessary.

Roland Sossna / IDM

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