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Automation – Is It The Future?

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Multi Depth Automated Shuttle System

Modern warehouses have had to evolve and adapt to deal with changing logistical challenges. One way they have been able to do this is by creating a “goods to person” system through automation. This enables a business to improve their business efficiencies at all levels.

What is Automation?

Thanks to ever improving and developing technology, a large number of every day activities are carried on in a smart and connected digital world. Automated solutions are making tasks quicker, safer and more accurate.

Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) are computerised systems which are controlled by corporate ERP systems. They are able to move goods around the warehouse via shuttles and cranes, for either storage or fulfilment.

Stacker cranes, shuttles and VLMs can all work independently or as part of an integrated warehouse solution to provide a number of operational advantages and cost saving benefits.

What are the benefits of automation?

Automated technology helps businesses address the requirements of modern warehouses by providing a range of benefits. Along with maximising process times, storage density and flexibility, automated solutions can reduce handling errors, create safer working environments and improve stock management.

  • By storing products within one system, the operator is able to access all their order picks from one location. This speeds up the picking process by eliminating the time spent walking and searching for parts.
  • Maximises storage capacity and reduces the storage footprint by providing high density storage and taking advantage of the full warehouse height
  • Order accuracy and traceability is improved as the machine delivers the product directly to the operator, reducing error rate.
  • Heightened operator safety as heavy lifting and movement around the warehouse is limited
  • Stock security is enhanced as all orders are managed through the corporate ERP system

That said, despite all of these benefits, the cost of implementing automated solutions might prohibit its implementation in many warehouse. Although they are costly, they provide excellent value for money thanks to the payback due to increased pick capacities and lower error rates.

What automated solutions are available?

We offer a range of automated solutions which can benefit your business;

Clad-Rack is a method of creating a warehouse using racking as the building structure and incorporating AS/RS systems into the design

AS/RS Stacker Cranes use single or double mast frames cranes with telescopic forks to retrieve pallets from single or dual depth shelving

Pallet Shuttles run on rails within storage channels to retrieve and store pallets in multi depth locations

Miniload AS/RS uses stacker cranes to provides high picking and storage performance for light goods in containers, plastic boxes and trays

Handling Shuttle Fast Ring is a monorail shuttle that connects the automation of the entire warehouse, providing the continuous movement and flow of goods

Vertimag Vertical Lift Modules (VLM) consist of two sides of racks with metal trays, which are served by a lift device for the storage and management of a variety of materials

Whether the requirement is for a warehouse designed with racking as it’s structural support, or to utilise the height of the warehouse, we are able to meet these needs with innovative automated solutions. Contact us today to find out which solution is the best for your warehouse.

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