Solutions for any space and operation needs
Productivity, storage capacity, reduction in labour and errors: an automatic warehouse represents a smart and cost-effective solution.
INCAS KNOWS HOW TO DO IT
- With “tailor-designed” warehouses, starting from a careful analysis of spaces and operational issues.
- With vertical warehouses, miniloads, multilevel shuttles and shuttles: the ideal machine for every application.
- With intelligent architectures in order to ensure a perfect integration of the system with the logistic process.
Wherever handling and context features provide sufficient levels of standardization and stability over time, the automatic warehouse offers great benefits in terms of productivity and storage, with the same space requirements. Many are the solutions to implement an automatic warehouse, which must be carefully designed considering spaces, features of the product to handle and mission frequency needs. Every machine, ranging from heavy automatic warehouse with stacker crane, to miniloads, vertical mobile shelving systems and shuttle machines, has its own capacity and picking systems, which determine the system features in terms of speed, flexibility and productivity. Every component must be assessed with extreme care during the design phase: head, shelving to assist handling units, mechanics and actuators, management software. The creation of proper performance automation systems requires an intelligent and flexible architecture.
The expected results are:
• Space optimization, greater use of storage volume
• Reduced labour
• Reduction of errors to zero
• Guaranteed order and procedure compliance
• Stock control and management
• Projectable performance and output per hour
• Integration and IT exchange in real time with company management systems
To achieve these results, a perfect integration of the system with the logistic process is required, through an in-depth preliminary study aimed at determining the best solutions suitable to obtain organized flows and ensure quick operations.
The following lines of actions must be pursued:
• “Tailor-designed” solutions to satisfy the specific requirements, for revamping or for a new installation
• Systems made of standard modules to ensure reliability and maintenance over the lifecycle
• Reliability and manageability over time, since the service life of an automatic warehouse is over 30 years
• Optimized ROI with the possibility to make choices that guarantee performance and maintainability and also take TCO Total Cost of ownership into account
The introduction of an automatic warehouse requires a prior correct definition of:
• Logistic and service objectives to achieve
• Structure for hosting the stock units and their variability
• Volumes to store
• Targeted performance (productivity)
Such automation requires standardization levels that can be maintained over time (e.g.: pallet sizes or type of tote), and a well defined hourly handling capacity; these are sustainable rigiditiesif the operational logistic environment is well defined and opportunely organized, offset by benefits offered by space optimization, reduced labour and errors and procedure compliance.
An automatic warehouse is made of four macro components: shelving for Handling Units that must ensure a range of requisites in terms of capacity and stability over time (e.g.: beam arrow), mechanics and actuators moving the vehicle (axis X, Y, Z), PLC system governing stacker crane and head, PC SW managing in / out stock, picking and/or storing missions. This latter is integrated with WMS and ERP to receive information on the items present and on the missions to execute. Extreme attention should be paid to the gripping device, which can be with forks for pallet handling, belt type for tote lifting and handling, with side arms for unloading totes or packages stored on linear shelves.
The in/out areas can be united, separate or multiple according to project logistic application requirements.
For example, for machines serving production aisles, there can be “n” exits/entries near the workstations: in this case, the warehouse serves directly the production, optimizing spaces and times. In certain cases, heads with re-circulation lines may be required to prevent the same products from being entered and recalled more times. The video and case history section describes many other applications implemented by Incas.