An automated warehouse design validation using discrete simulation

By Peixoto, R.; Dias, L.; Carvalho, M.S.; Pereira, G.; Geraldes, C.A.S.

IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, Proceedings, ITSC



In this paper we discuss the use of discrete simulation technique to support the redesign process of an automated warehouse system of the Brazilian Air Force unit. This unit is responsible for the supply of all uniform items and other military support material to their military forces. In particular, our work aims at analysing the inclusion of an automated sorting system to prepare uniforms individual kits in order to release downstream supply chain from this task. The main challenge was to investigate the impact on the existing storage system of a new sorting system and, simultaneously, to explore if additional management measures are required to satisfy both throughput levels and overall supply chain requirements. To accomplish a solution for such a complex problem simulation models were developed using ARENA software. Results have shown that the use of simulation allows not only the assessment of the impact of the new sorting equipment but also to test different warehouse management strategies that should be adopted concurrently to ensure that desired throughput levels can be achieved in the new scenario. In fact, this research illustrates the flexibility of the simulation tool to address several complex management issues simultaneously such as the introduction of picking sequencing rules, the use of a class-based storage policy, the addition of new picking stations, and an increase of the number of the available boxes used for transportation.


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