Control Freaks

Wish you could whip your warehouse into shape with minimal fuss? It’s possible — if you invest in material handling control systems (MHCS) software. According to a new report from ARC Advisory Group, MHCS applications are must-haves in any distribution center that wants to be flexible, efficient, up-to-date, and fully connected to historical and real-time data.

At its most basic level, a control system acts as an intermediary between material handling applications and higher-level programs such as warehouse management systems. Because it is uniform, an MHCS program can communicate directly with a wide variety of equipment, including conveyors, sorters, AGVs, ASRs, and robots. But its usefulness doesn’t stop there. Its ability to provide a complete and accurate range of data enables timely process improvements in warehouse equipment and staffing, as well as elimination of error-prone manual business tasks.

Shipments of control systems totaled nearly $494 million in 2001. The ARC report predicts a compound annual growth rate of 13.8% for MHCS software and services over the next five years.

For more information, contact Maryanne Flynn at ARC Advisory Group, Three Allied Drive, Dedham, MA 02026; phone: (781) 471-1160; fax: (781) 471-1060; e-mail: mflynn@arcweb.com.

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