The Language Of Materials Handling

"The Language Of Materials Handling"

DistribuTek Glossary Of Terms

Please find below a glossary of common materials handling terms.

AMBIENT: Describes areas of the warehouse where the atmosphere is NOT climate-controlled.
AUTOMATIC SORTATION: Electronic recognition (by scanning of a bar code or reading of an RFID tag) and separation of batch-picked items, enabling the assembly of individual orders.
AUTOMATIC WAREHOUSE: A storage facility in which a substantial part of the receiving, put-away and pick functions are performed without manual handling of materials.
BACK ORDERS: Items (or SKU’s) that are not available (or out of stock) when ordered, but are left on order until they are available. Back-ordered items should be immediately identified during the receiving function so the item can be used to satisfy the original order as soon as possible.
BALANCE-ON-HAND: The quantity of an item that is available in the warehouse at a given point in time.
BAR-CODE: Series of vertical bars of varying width that can be “read” by a laser scanner and translated by software into human readable language. Items are identified by the information contained in the bar code which can include the SKU number, quantity per master carton, expiration or sell-by date, warehouse location, etc.
BATCH-PICK: Method of grouping SKU’s from several orders together, performing a single large pick and then sorting the SKU’s into the individual orders. This maximizes productivity by reducing the pick travel path. In other words, instead of 1 item being picked 50 times, 50 items are being picked at one time. SKU commonality determines how the batch-pick is constructed. See also: Zone Picking and Wave Picking.
BLOCK STACKING: The method of storing cartons or pallet loads without using racking or shelving. This method tends to create handling problems and is a very inefficient use of space.
BROKEN-CASE (Or Split-Case): Less than one case (or master carton) of an item.
BULK STORAGE LANES: Warehouse floor areas that are marked, identified, and dedicated to floor storage. Storage lanes are usually used in shipping and receiving dock areas.
BULK STORAGE: The storage of full pallet loads by block stacking or in drive-in racks.
CANTILEVER RACK: Storage rack having uprights that are weighted or supported at the rear of beams that are installed perpendicular to the aisle. Cantilever rack is designed for storage long loads and is common in lumber yards.
CAROUSEL:xxx Vertical / Horizontal
CARTON ERECTOR: A machine that unfolds flattened cartons. There are many types of carton erectors, and can be manual, semi-automatic, automatic, or fully automatic, depending on the amount of touch labor involved.
CARTON FLOW RACKS: Storage that employs inclined rollers or belts and uses gravity to bring items forward to the pick location. The rack is usually replenished from the rear and is ideal for FIFO storage.
CARTON SEALER: A machine that applies tape or glue to carton flaps and closes the carton. There are many types of carton sealers, and can be manual, semi-automatic, automatic, or fully automatic, depending on the amount of touch labor involved.
CASE: A carton containing a predetermined and consistent quantity of SKU’s. See also: Master Carton.
CATALOG NUMBER: A unique number assigned to an item. See also: SKU number or part number.
CLIMATE CONTROLLED: Describes an area or room that is maintained at certain temperature and / or humidity levels. For example: a cooler or freezer.
COMMONALITY: The similarity among SKU’s of single or multiple orders. See also: Batch-Pick.
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