Micro-Fulfillment Case Study
RFC is no stranger to helping material handling solution providers in the logistics and supply chain, industrial automation, warehousing and retail industries remain one step ahead.
We consider ourselves a solutions provider of integrated metal components. And we don’t just produce any metal components. We engineer, form and solve providing custom metal components unlike our competition, and yours.
We partner with design and tech engineers, program and product managers and buyers early in a project’s design phase and lifecycle.
We have engineers in every department within our organization as we specialize in custom solutions and are very process oriented in development, execution and delivery.
Ever heard of Sales Engineers? Technical business development people with a personality?
Well, they exist because we have them.
Our Sales, Business Development and Product Development teams partner with your technical teams on the engineer and design aspect as the metal components are not just a means to an end in the world of material handling, particularly when it comes to fulfillment and micro-fulfillment centers.
For fulfillment centers, we understand the challenges caused by the accelerated demands of consumer shopping behaviors. Automated micro-fulfillment centers located relative to those existing fulfillment center locations is a viable solution to meeting consumer delivery demands.
By utilizing existing spaces to operate as micro-fulfillment centers, you can meet those demands more quickly right where the consumer demand is locally generated. What challenges could there possibly be?
Micro-fulfillment is taking a tried and true supply chain system on the macro level and scaling it down to a single retail location model.
- Automation at this scale has been traditionally viewed as unsustainable and not profitable.
- Customer demand considered to be too varied and order size fluctuation would make the cost model too varied.
- System design has to allow customers, such as grocery stores, the ability to fit this in an existing space, no expansion required.
- It also incorporates an existing industry leading technology. Risk in terms of development are low.
- Consumers want accurate and timely order fulfillment.
- Retailers want a system provider and system that is easy to use and drives accurate and timely results of consumer order fulfillment.
Integrating the right metal components, custom designed for your robotics, technologies and software is integral to the overall success of overcoming these challenges and meeting consumer demand and expectations.
We are a roll former. To learn more about what roll forming is and the advantages it has to offer over other metal forming manufacturing methods, please immerse yourself with our roll forming page dedicated to this topic.
We not only roll form but we also weld, bend and cut via in-line processes, secondary processes or adjacent technologies. Ultimately, we form solutions.
In order to meet expectations of your customers and consumer demand and provide solutions to micro-fulfillment system challenges, you need a scalable system comprised of custom structural and precisely formed metal components.
- You need structural metal components even in small spaces. The precision and positioning required in the rack structure uprights and rails in a pre-existing confined space of the back of a retail location is paramount. Structural components allows you to maximize height of a space and the structural integrity of the space and system operating within.
- You need custom metal components for innovative and one of a kind systems. Your innovative ideas – robotics, software and technology systems – require uniquely designed and integrated products. It’s required to remain one step ahead in your marketplace and offer differentiating products than your competition. Period.
- You need precise metal components for the fluidity of your robotics and SRS systems. The precision of metal components, and its features such as hole punching or notching, is crucial for successful technology integration. The robot only knows where product is located within a warehouse and aisle by tracking features of the rail component and positioning itself from its starting point to access the exact product needed to be picked. Precision and repeatability of the rails assembled together creates a fluid pathway when the shuttles travel the rails. Precision, partnered with high tolerance quality, also ensures order fulfillment accuracy.
- You need quality metal components for accuracy of order fulfillment. When dealing with large volumes of custom metal components, the repeatability and tolerance quality of each and every part must be exact for order fulfillment accuracy, right down to the hole features. As a custom roll former, we provide tolerance precision in fractions of millimeter variation, not the 1/8” or 1/16” of an inch construction industry standards.
- You need kitting and assembly of metal components for installation efficiency and success. This means partnering with a supplier who has kitting and assembly expertise of the large volume metal components produced. Not just because they are going into confined or minimal spacing but also in terms of delivery as components must be packaged and delivered in a way that they can flow right into installation. Stores cannot shutdown for weeks like a construction site. Products are kitted so that they are getting the exact parts they need in the sequence they need them.
Lastly, you need an expert of steel processing as your metal components partner. You aren’t experts at steel processing. But we are. And the metal components are not just a means to an end.
Your Ideas + Our Metal Components = Making Big Impacts In Small Spaces
This is how we engineer and form solutions together.
voestalpine Roll Forming Corporation offers custom roll forming, welding, bending and laser cutting services specializing in the production of high volume, high quality custom shaped open profiles and tube components.
We like to partner with design engineering and operations teams early in the product life cycle discussions. To our current material handling market customer base, this is what makes RFC a true partner rather than just a supplier. To learn more, visit our Material Handling market page and explore our technologies, services and solutions.
Roll Forming Corporation is part of the voestalpine group. In its business segments, voestalpine is a globally leading steel and technology group with a unique combination of materials and processing expertise. voestalpine, which operates globally, has around 500 Group companies and locations in more than 50 countries on all five continents.