As distribution and fulfillment operations become more complex, many companies abandon their outdated manual processes and move to automation. While manual methods were once effective, they cannot keep up with e-commerce in 2021.
Shorter delivery requirements result in more errors, and return processing means more labor and additional shipping costs. It also causes frustrated customers.
Old-style storage shelving can waste a lot of time. They are typically placed 3 to 4 feet apart for operator access and 10 to 12 feet for forklifts. There is so much time spent walking up and down the rows storing and retrieving items, and it puts a serious drain on productivity.
Looking for items stored in containers, behind other products, and above and below eye level wastes even more time. The same disadvantages hold true for storing items, too.
These conventional material handling systems require more workers (who are in short supply right now!). The methods tend to be tedious, requiring large amounts of data maintained regarding the location and quantity of the stored products. All of this takes a lot of time, resulting in a slow process chain in a warehouse.
Fortunately, there are alternatives.
Automated Storage and Retrieval Solutions (ASRS) deliver the items directly to the operator, reducing handling times in picking and restocking. Visual picking aids allow the operator to quickly identify the requested item and quantity, resulting in substantially higher picking rates along with improved accuracy.
An ASRS provides time savings by taking advantage of the latest technology and integrating with warehouse management systems (WMS) and enterprise resource planning systems (ERP), if necessary. A single contact point (the operator) accesses the automated warehouse controls, and the system collects real-time data and provides for status and user input.
Manufacturers get higher throughput from a high-density order management system compared to the conventional shuttle rack systems. Pallets and crates move through quickly because the flexibility of ASRS means it can be installed to maximize efficiency.
Multiple Solutions to Save Time
The Vertical Lift Module (VLM) and Horizontal Carousel top the list of automated storage and retrieval systems that boost productivity in manufacturing facilities and warehouses. Built with standard industrial components, these modern systems are faster to repair, minimizing downtime. They also provide easy access and quick retrieval of almost any item.
It’s all but impossible to match a VLM warehouse storage solution for saving time and space. With vertically arranged trays in the front and rear of the unit, a VLM will rapidly extract an item and deliver it to the access opening—no wasted time walking, searching, and bringing it back.
A horizontal carousel saves time in much the same way as a VLM but moves the items horizontally instead of vertically. Although horizontal carousels do not utilize vertical space as efficiently as the VLM, they also eliminate unproductive travel and search times and provide much higher density storage capacity than old-style racks or shelves.
A vertical lift module or horizontal carousel will be a time-saving addition to your manufacturing, warehouse, or distribution operations.
Save Time With One of Our ASRS Solutions
Make Kardex Storage Systems your strategic partner in meeting your objective of an efficient storage facility. One or more of our solutions can help you save floor space, increase productivity, and become better organized. Contact us to discover how!