Have you considered automation within your warehouse operation? If you have not, you probably should before your competition does first and gets a leg up.
When is Warehouse Automation is Right for You?
For those unfamiliar with it, warehouse automation uses robotic systems programed to pick and store products on a pallet racking system. Warehouse automation is one of the fastest growing trends in industries like Refrigerated Warehousing and Retail/E-Commerce.
There are a lot of signals you can look for when considering the benefits of automation. These signs include:
- Increasing product volume that puts a squeeze on available space.
- Inefficient order fulfillment that backs up other parts of the warehouse.
- Rising labor costs.
- Difficulty in hiring; especially for special conditions, like a blast freezer.
- An excess of operator error and order inaccuracies.
- Safety issues with incumbent storage systems.
Looking in, beginning a journey on the pathway to warehouse automation seems intimidating, but it is actually easier than you would imagine. It starts with gathering data related to your current operations and determining the right degree of automation to rectify them.
Semi-Automation – The Pallet Mole® Deep Lane Pallet Rack Solution
A smart way to foray into the world of automation is through a semi-automated system, like Frazier’s Pallet Mole®. The Pallet Mole® is a shuttle that runs underneath pallet loads on rails within a deep lane pallet rack system. It has nearly unlimited lane depth and maximizes use of a warehouse’s cubic space. Companies with high volume and low SKU counts have improved their productivity by over 30% through use of the Pallet Mole®. The key to this is simultaneous movement – both the Pallet Mole® and lift trucks operating different tasks at the same time; the Pallet Mole® handles all the product moves within the pallet rack, while the fork truck operator continuously loads/unloads the rack’s face positions. Some of the benefits reaped by Pallet Mole® users include:
- Up to 50 pallet moves per hour per Pallet Mole® unit, with a 40% cost savings.
- Increase in pallet positions and throughput by up to 30%.
- Less than 30 minutes to load or unload a trailer.
Want to see it to believe it? Check out our Video Here.
Full Automation – Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS)
While semi-automation is a great way to ease into the world of automation, there is nothing wrong with going fully automated right off the bat if you have the right product mix. Since the 1970’s, companies have been using AS/RS technology to fulfill their warehousing needs. AS/RS systems use cranes and satellite transports to automatically move product within a rack system. They can come in the form of both a free standing rack system, or a Rack Supported Building that uses the storage racks as support for the roof and walls. Frazier’s industry-leading team has a proven record of accomplishment working closely with leading Automation Integrators for over 45 years to implement AS/RS systems.
Where Rack Supported Building AS/RS projects are concerned, there are additional benefits to reap:
- Elimination of expensive architectural and conventional construction costs.
- Building is considered equipment and may be subject to the advantages of accelerated depreciation (should be discussed with your tax advisor).
- Footprint savings of up to 15%.
- Quicker to build than conventional warehouses.
No other manufacturer matches Frazier’s knowledge or experience for Rack Supported Buildings; we pioneered the concept of rack supported construction.
Invest in the Future
You do not have to begin down the pathway to automation alone. Frazier Industrial Company welcomes the opportunity to assist anyone interested in racking solutions for automated systems with determining the best fit for their needs. Pick up the phone and call us at (800) 859-1342 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to begin the process of investing in the future of automation.