The Satellite Review Magazine 2021 Issue 7 - Page 7

In either scenario , the technology behind automated warehousing can help your business run smoother and smarter :
Automated Storage / Retrieval System ( AS / RS ) – AS / RS technology is a modernized warehousing and storage solution . Typically , these systems are made up of technologies including storage / retrieval machines ( S / RMs ) for pallet and case handling , automated layer pick systems , case release systems , conveyors , shuttles , etc ., to name a few . With AS / RS , the entire warehouse process can be automated from production through outbound staging and shipping and everything in between .
At Westfalia , these systems are customizable to fit the space and support the underlying data metrics supporting the design . Storage depths can vary from single deep to 18 deep , with storage areas between aisles able to be serviced by both aisles to provide redundancy . AS / RS technology can often double or triple storage capacity and throughput , enabling future growth and often eliminate the need to purchase more land or build off-site .
Automated technology like smooth conveyance equipment and layer picking solutions not only makes the production , storage and distribution processes more efficient , it also reduces the number of touches on a particular product , which can improve product accuracy , quality and freshness .
Warehouse Execution Systems ( WES ) - A WES uses real-time data to optimize material flow throughout your warehouse , continuously providing an efficient use of space and equipment . The cloud-based data analytics offered with a WES increases order accuracy , reduces losses , and boosts throughput and productivity — and can be integrated seamlessly into your existing technology !
Integrating a high-density AS / RS with a WES can manage the automation , issuing tasks to machinery seamlessly , while also managing any remaining manual operations such as truck loading , or low volume case picking , which may not have been fully automated due to economic justification results .
Are There Downsides To Automation ?
For a newcomer to warehouse automation , the process can seem overwhelming and it ’ s no secret that having the latest technology and overhauling a facility for automation can be a significant investment . But you ’ ll find that payback periods are generally less than 5 years , and once you experience the benefits , it ’ s hard to imagine operating a facility “ the old way ”. Your automation partner will work with you , streamline the process , and be able to design the best solution for your warehousing needs .
What ’ s In It For Me ?
Despite initial costs , warehouse automation will prove to be the smartest decision you can make for your business . Here ’ s why :
# 1 . Efficiency - Automated systems speed up warehouse processes in order fulfillment and shipping , meaning you can take on more orders and push more orders out the door faster . # 2 . Flexibility - When demand skyrockets and your operation isn ’ t equipped to handle it , an automated warehouse can operate 24 / 7 and take full advantage of the time available . When properly designed , orders can be pre-picked and staged for the next day , and peak shipping days are handled more productively as the automated systems operate at higher utilization levels . # 3 . Safety – While improved efficiency is often measured using labor standards , having an automated system means you have machines doing the heavy lifting for you , turning what could have been a safety hazard into a riskfree boost in productivity . Free roaming fork-lifts can be hazardous , and automation simply reduces this risk significantly . # 4 . Smaller Footprint – Whether you ’ re looking to minimize square footage or reduce energy usage or cost , an AS / RS is designed to use space more efficiently . Westfalia ’ s high-density automation technology allows warehouses to store pallets up to 18 positions deep and can generally support racks up to 140 ’ high . This can reduce energy usage by 30 % and reduce space needed by 40 % - 200 % ( depending on system height and density ) when compared to a conventional warehouse .
Where Do You Go From Here ?
Every warehouse is different , facing unique challenges that need customized solutions . Westfalia ’ s dedicated team of experts is here to help find the right solution to fit your unique needs . Our team ’ s approach starts with a comprehensive data analysis , which allows us to take a deep dive into how your business operates and find the right solution for your business needs .
www . WestfaliaUSA . com The Satellite Review 7