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Print-and-apply units compute for Bay Networks (sidebar)

The software side of computer control
FILED IN:  Controls  > Strategy

Except for downstream sortation Bay Networks' distribution center is fully computerized. The Imtec print-and-apply labeling systems function with three networked operating software systems that process and complete customer orders. The design of the system integration of equipment in the center and installation was done by Material Handling and Storage (Fremont CA).

First is the host business system referred to as the SAP R/3 system. It's responsible for financial manufacturing and order administration duties at Bay Networks. It also maintains the inventory of finished goods within the Santa Clara distribution center. It processes or releases orders to the center transacts the ship/invoice function for customer billing.

Next in the software hierarchy is the warehouse management system (WMS) provided by Catalyst Intl. (Milwaukee WI). This system controls receiving warehousing and order-picking operations at the center. It maintains detailed inventory location records with respect to quantity and physical rack location. WMS also manages inventory "put-away" processes calculates and directs pick replenishment manages the release and status of "pickable" orders to and on the floor directs the activities of order-picking personnel and drives the printing of an order pick list.

The third system is the automated shipping manifest system (ASAM) from ASAM Intl. (Hayward CA). Integrated with the Imtec systems ASAM calculates shipment freight charges and the physical shipment of individual orders. "It's responsible for validating the shipment and carrier method for all orders" notes staff industrial engineer Charles Lindert. "It calculates the freight costs creates the customer ship-to label image and directs sortation of the individual case to be shipped."

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