The Satellite Review Magazine 2021 Issue 7 | Page 21

Automated Storage / Retrieval Systems ( AS / RS ) are mitigating many of the demand and disruption issues plaguing today ’ s warehouses . Aftermarket Service Teams are here to provide the knowledge you need to stay ahead of automation challenges and provide best practices when moving to and maintaining AS / RS .
Reactive vs . Proactive Maintenance
Traditionally , planned downtime is primarily reserved for quarterly equipment inspections . Little time is allocated for repairs stemming from these inspections , cutting into the time needed for the next planned inspection . With this approach , warehouses experience more and more unplanned downtime windows that inevitably have a major impact on production over time . Follow-up is slow after these routine inspections and a reactive strategy is costly , especially if the Service Team is located hundreds of miles away . To make each visit cost efficient , a large amount of work is usually consolidated into a short downtime window . However , this reactive strategy requires a larger , more costly workforce to perform all required maintenance in limited time and often need to take place on weekends and nightshifts to reduce impact on production — driving up costs even further .
There ’ s a better way to perform necessary maintenance in your warehouse : Lean , frequently recurring planned maintenance broken down into smaller windows of time results in significantly shorter downtime episodes with little to no impact on operations . Plus , follow-ups for corrective action are significantly quicker if issues arise , instead of waiting for the next quarterly maintenance window .
What used to be an intrusive , reactive , and slow-torespond upkeep schedule suddenly turns into a quick , flexible , and proactive maintenance strategy . This is , however , only possible with a regional Aftermarket Services presence from the specific AS / RS supplier .
A Regional Approach
Customers are often spread out geographically from their equipment and maintenance supplier , adding significant travel costs or extended downtime to sustain the value of each service visit . This often pushes much needed maintenance off to a later date .
However , a regional Aftermarket Service Team can provide preventive maintenance much more frequently , shifting the cost from travel time and expenses to value-added maintenance hours . In the event of unplanned downtime , the team is just around the corner to save the day , with specialized tools on hand and in some cases even key spare parts nearby . And most importantly , regional service teams allow for a much faster response time to provide repairs after preventive inspections , instead of waiting for the next quarterly event .
With this proactive , regional approach , system availability and reliability are unmatched . Ultimately , system availability is the entire bottom line when investing in automation . In addition to proactive and preventive maintenance , there are several ways warehousing and manufacturing companies benefit from an Aftermarket Service Team to ensure system availability including :
1 . Onsite spare parts inventory : Spare parts availability is crucial to the success of timely maintenance , planned or unplanned .
2 . 24 / 7 software remote support : Helping in the event of warehouse management and execution software issues , and even with customer IT environment challenges .
3 . 24 / 7 controls remote support : Using over the phone and real-time system analytics to support resolution of system disruptions .
4 . 24 / 7 emergency parts support : If onsite inventory has a gap , your provider should have common key parts in their inventory and get that part to you as quickly as possible .
5 . Emergency on-site support dispatch : Specialists that physically come onsite to help solve any issues when the issue cannot be resolved remotely .
6 . Training : Invest in Knowledge Management to standardize , optimize and preserve best practices . Your solution provider should offer custom training opportunities to further increase proficiency of your operations and maintenance resources .
Being proactive is the key to warehouse efficiency , flexibility , and ROI . With a dedicated Aftermarket Services Team , your warehouse will successfully adapt to shifting markets and industry disruptions . Westfalia Technologies is a dedicated partner not only during periods of maintenance , but from the very beginning of a project to ensure proper installation , equipment selection , and longevity of the solution . We proudly design and manufacture our automated systems in the U . S ., using only top shelf industrial component suppliers , providing the highest quality solutions , and supporting it with a customer-focused team concentrated in key regions .
www . WestfaliaUSA . com The Satellite Review 21