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Article:

Warehouse Automation: High-Density Solutions 

Automation is a popular bullet point in most meetings across the United States when speaking about efficiency, safety, and high density in warehousing and distribution. In conversation, taking your warehouse fully autonomous sounds like the golden ticket to higher throughput, better inventory management, and return on investment — but implementing this kind of system seems like a daunting task, and that’s about as far as the conversation goes.

That’s where DAK Equipment & Engineering comes in. Our project engineers take the application from warehouse design phase to implementation to fully supported services, training, and maintenance. But first, let’s delve into what this application is all about!

 

Shuttle-Based Pallet ASRS 

Robotic pallet shuttles and satellites are autonomous vehicles that are capable of nearly infinite ramp and ramp down positions. This allows your product to be transported quickly and gently, with precision as accurate as 3 millimeters. The typical configuration includes one inbound finished pallets entry and one outbound finished pallets exit. It’s that efficient! 

 

Inbound 

  • One forklift driver takes product to inbound conveyor line 
  • Pallet conveyed to shuttle 
  • Shuttle conveyed to satellite 
  • Satellite conveys shuttle to bay position 
  • Satellite offloads shuttle into pallet position 
  • Shuttle offloads pallet into pallet position 
  • Shuttles are recycled throughout the entire application 

 

Outbound

  • Outbound pallets are picked up by shuttle 
  • Shuttle loads onto satellite 
  • Satellite takes shuttle to outbound conveyor 
  • Shuttle offloads pallet onto outbound conveyor 
  • Pallet is conveyed to one forklift driver 
  • Forklift driver loads pallet into outbound truck 

 

When this system is done correctly, the only movement done by a forklift operator is loading and unloading a truck — decreasing the staging aisle by nearly 90%.

 

Primary Industries 

There are many industries looking at becoming completely autonomous with their materials handling systems, but the primary industry leaders are beverage, food, and cold storage, as well as paper and consumables. 

 

Food and Cold Storage 

  • Increased storage capacity 
  • Fewer production changeovers 
  • Reducing reliance on labor 
  • Increasing overall efficiency and safety of the warehouse 

 

Operating oversized, manual, and energy inefficient cold or freezer warehouses costs a lot of money. Taking the warehouse into automation can increase storage by 50-70% thanks to more efficient warehouse layout, reduces energy by 10-20%, and eliminates labor in freezers. 

 

Beverage Storage 

  • Flexibility 
  • Increase in speed and reliability 

 

Changing customer preferences have led to increases in SKU and products, package sizes, and demand. Fully autonomous solutions provide more throughput, requires less space, 100% inventory accuracy, and reduces dependency on labor. 

 

Paper Storage

  • Precision 
  • Speeds 
  • Safety 
  • Low cost of ownership 

 

Automated warehouse solutions can handle loads up to 4,500 lbs and accurately position them within 1/8”.

 

Pains Solved 

Warehouse efficiency is production and customer driven — so there are a lot of “pains” a warehouse can experience without the correct application implemented. Fully autonomous high-density solutions provides the efficiency needed to see the largest return on investment. 

 

  • Space: more pallet rack positions, less spacing between aisles, and staging areas. AS/RS take advantage of every inch of your warehouse, whether that’s the length, depth, width, or height. This saves costs in the need for large warehouse footprints, and can even help utilize an existing building more efficiently. 
  • Labor: reduction in labor and labor dependency. Automation works 24/7, 365-days a year. Co-collaborating with automation also makes the life of a warehouse employee easier, safer, and more efficient. Less aisle traffic, pedestrian traffic, and time for a truck to travel from A to Z adds on to the efficiency! 
  • Throughput: a little redundant, but throughput increases with added efficiency. Reduction in production change over and reduction in truck loading time gets your product in and out in “no time.”

 

System Configuration

DAK Equipment & Engineering will supply throughput analysis, inventory analysis, and supporting operation analysis. This includes initial site walk-through, computer-aided design layouts, and budgetary pricing for integration, equipment, and installation. 

 

Operational 

  • Process improvements 
  • WMS/WCS Systems 
  • ROI Realization 

 

Automation 

  • Design & Justification 
  • Implementation 
  • Testing 

 

Support 

  • Technical services 
  • Training programs 
  • Site monitoring 

 

In addition to initial project scope, DAK will provide any additional engineering and installation support, shuttle commissioning, and maintenance training. Supplying a turn-key application lowers risk of implementation, increases functionality, and provides customer satisfaction with the integration.

 

More Information

If you are interested in more information regarding this type of system, would like a site consultation, or have any questions, feel free to contact DAK Equipment & Engineering. We will provide you with a project engineer! 

 

 

(630) 516-1115 | projectmanager@dakequipment.com

DAK Equipment & Engineering 857 N. Larch Ave. Elmhurst, IL 60126

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