Automation is the key to profitability of logistics or warehouse operations. While companies recognize that to improve warehouse operations, warehouse automation is going to be a primary driver, they fail to leverage the design principles that could maximize the warehouse performance. In this research, we develop stochastic models using queuing network theory to analyze design trade-offs and to evaluate the performance of high-density Autonomous vehicle-based storage and retrieval system (AVS/RS). In such systems, vehicles are self-powered to travel in horizontal directions (x- and y- axes), but typically use lifts for vertical motion (z-axis). The queuing models provide design insights on the impact of tier configuration parameters, zones, and dwell point policies on transaction cycle times. Further, we analyze trade-offs with respect to two vehicle configurations of AVS/RS: tier-captive vs. pooled vehicle configuration. Insights from such studies can be especially useful during the design conceptualization stage of warehouses with autonomous vehicles.
Debjit Roy is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of Management of Technology and Innovation at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University. He received his Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA in July 2011. He was also a research assistant at the Center for Quick Response Manufacturing. He holds a B.Tech degree in Manufacturing Engineering from National Institute of Foundry and Forge Technology, India, an M.Sc (Engineering) in Management Studies from Indian Institute of Science, India and an M.S in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. His research interests are in the area of stochastic models for decision-making, with applications in manufacturing, logistics, and service systems. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including 2009 and 2010 Wunsch prize for best technical paper in material handling, 2009 and 2010 scholarships from Material Handling Institute of America, and best IIE annual conference paper award (facility logistics track) in 2011.
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The KLU Lecture Series is a forum for scientists and practitioners to talk and discuss on state-of-the art topics related loosely to logistics and entrepreneurship.