MagicLogic Optimization Inc.
From cartonization to complex mixed palletizing using robotics, MagicLogic’s BlackBox offers an innovative solution for load planning.
By Kat Zeman
Most system providers and integrators don’t believe in magic. But there’s a fast-growing software company that is making non-believers wonder.
Meet MagicLogic Optimization. Formed with a vision of supplying the best and most complete logistics solutions for load planning, this Vancouver, Canada-based software company has earned a reputation for its powerful algorithms that are capable of handling even the most challenging loads.
When it comes to the development of optimization algorithms with a particular focus on load planning, palletization and cartonization, MagicLogic has the magic touch.
“Nobody else can do quite what we can do,” says Tim Smith, chief technology officer. “We fit into a highly specialized niche.”
From cartonization to complex mixed palletizing using robotics, MagicLogic is occupying that niche with its proprietary BlackBox software. One of its most important features is the optimized selection of cartons or boxes. But the BlackBox has a list of features that make the system an integrator’s dream.
The Magic Box
As is true with most companies, MagicLogic has a star product. Its BlackBox is one of the company’s most innovative products that adds load planning, cartonization and palletizing capabilities to most WMS, TMS, ERP and e-commerce operations.
“It’s easy to integrate, saves money on shipping costs and helps companies to reduce their environmental impact by reducing the number of containers shipped,” Smith says. “You’re shipping less air and more product in each container.”
Bristling with industry-standard interfaces, the BlackBox allows plug-and-play with minimal work to achieve integration with existing systems. Its proprietary, state-of-the-art loading algorithms are condensed into a simple plug-in module. It’s a system in which only the input and output characteristics are of interest – regardless of its internal mechanism or structure.
‘Fast and Easy’
System integrators love the BlackBox’s application program interface (API) features that leverage the power of industry-standards such as SOAP, REST and TCP/IP.
“That’s what gets the most interest from IT guys because it makes their jobs simpler,” Smith adds. “It’s fast and easy to integrate into existing warehouse management software.”
In addition, the BlackBox helps save money through optimal carton/container selection, achieving maximum fill for containers, trucks, trailers, railcars and ULDs. The BlackBox also can accommodate specialized rules for cartonization and palletizing.
Complex mixed-case pallet stacking, including robotics or manual pack stations, are all supported. The BlackBox will instruct a person or robot on what size box to use, how to fill it, where to put it and how to stack it.
“We get more into a box,” Smith says. “And you can quantify how much we have saved you. A recent case study showed a 12 to 15 percent increase in per-carton revenue.”
Some of the BlackBox’s other features include a full-scale SQL database with flexible import and export via XML and Excel and user-definable loading rules for orientation, stacking, sequencing and spread. In addition, it offers interactive 3-D graphics, step-by-step loading diagrams and loading by pick or drop sequence.
The BlackBox is also available with a special “mixed palletization” option. Whereas the original BlackBox has maximum fill rate as its main objective, the mixed palletization (MPE) version has pallet stability as its main goal.
“When you get into mixed palletizing, it’s a very complex problem that needs to be solved and it can only be done with very smart algorithms,” Smith says. “And that’s why are we are unique. We can solve difficult stacking problems in a fast way.”
The BlackBox’s speed is especially evident when real-time cartonization for rate shopping at website checkout kicks in. “It’s unbelievably fast,” Smith says. “By the time you click the checkout button, the Blackbox software has already finished the carton selection based on the customer’s order and from that you can calculate the best shipping rate. And it can handle a thousand people clicking to checkout at the same time and be just as fast.”
MagicLogic’s innovative logistics solutions are developed in-house and utilized by a comprehensive range of industries, including well-known supply chain providers, major brands and household names. The BlackBox engine can already be found as a built-in feature in leading warehouse management and transportation management systems from Tier 1 providers like HighJump, JDA and Swissslog.
When it comes to running the software, MagicLogic allows its customers a free test trial and will work with them to demonstrate its benefits and ensure a good return on investment (ROI).
Recognized as a market leader, MagicLogic has thousands of installations globally and has been serving the industry for more than 24 years.