Direct Connect

Numina Group’s ability to Direct Connect automated material handling equipment and automation processes to SAP’s WM, warehouse management module unifies distribution and business processes leading to important competitive advantages.

Today many SAP users are looking at expanding the role of SAP to incorporate the warehouse and distribution operations and consolidate their supply chain and warehouse management by eliminating their third party warehouse management systems (WMS). SAP’s WM module has continued to evolve over the last few years with many of the core features needed by sophisticated distribution operations. It is now positioned to rival the capabilities of many of the higher feature-rich WMS packages that are referred to as “Breed WMS”.

As companies migrate from legacy WMS to SAP WM a solution is needed to “Direct Connect” automation to SAP. Numina Group (Burr Ridge, IL) Real-Time Distribution System (RDS), a product specifically developed to address the requirements of warehouse control and automation has recently incorporated SAP’s JCo communication toolset for linking automation seamlessly to SAP. RDS is a versatile industrial multi-function control platform used in conveyor control, printer/applicator systems, high-speed sorting, vision capture and analysis, scan/weigh/cube systems, and other material handling applications.

RDS with Direct Connect manages the real-time control and integration of new or existing material handling equipment without third-party middleware. This eliminates additional software development service, support costs and simplifies the automation process. Using Direct Connect, SAP users can easily leverage their existing equipment investments; while improving operations, shipping accuracy and bottom line results without the expense of maintaining dual inventory and warehouse management systems.

One such SAP user, Forest Pharmaceuticals (Earth City, MO) decided to eliminate a legacy WMS in favor of Numina’s RDS Direct Connect to manage its existing pick-to-light systems, in-motion scale for parcel weight audit, and conveyor and sorting equipment in 2005. The initial project phase moved their warehouse inventory and business rules to SAP. Dan Hanrahan CEO of Numina Group explains, “We worked with the Forest Team to reuse almost all of their existing investment in the control hardware, pick to light system and conveyor and directly coupled the material handling equipment into R3.”

Since then, Forest has expanded the automation at their main distribution center by adding a three Print & Apply Label Applicator System, to automatically apply a combination packing slip and shipper label at their shipping docks. “The Print & Apply System uses the same RDS Direct Connect Toolset, software design, and RFC libraries developed during the initial projects. This enabled Forest to more easily incorporate the Print & Apply process to their operation. “The labeling process reduces labor cost and improves carton shipment rates by automatically applying and validating that the proper labels are applied to shipments,” Hanrahan stated.

Hanrahan adds that “intelligent” material handling and automation directly linked to SAP provides businesses with significant competitive advantages that can dramatically improve profits and customer satisfaction.

Numina Group is a leading system integrator and material handling automation supplier, providing warehouse controls and automation solutions in manufacturing and distribution facilities throughout the US. Headquartered in Burr Ridge, IL. Numina Group specializes in both new and control retrofits for new or existing facilities. It’s highly experienced in SAP data interface as well as the latest warehouse automation technologies.

For more information: Dan Hanrahan, Numina Group, 60 Shore Drive, Burr Ridge, IL 60527. Phone: (630) 323-0110 x 404, or visit the Web site: www.numinagroup.com .

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