Warehouse Automation

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Warehouse costs are skyrocketing. Smart warehouse operators are squeezing every last dollar out of their facilities though increased density and automation technology.

Raymond West is the premiere warehouse automation supplier in Orange County. To speak with an automation expert, give us a call today at (714) 790-9300.

Across the West, warehouse space is priced at a record setting premium. Online E-com operations have put tremendous pressure on inventory and as a result, rental costs throughout the region have risen by double digits in recent years, particularly in LA County, the Inland Empire and Orange County.

As storage costs accelerate, it's vital to make sure that you're using your facility space as efficiently as possible. For savvy warehouse managers, that means leveraging greater density and automating processes wherever possible.

Luckily, high performance material handling technology has advanced rapidly in recent years, allowing you the opportunity to increase your efficiency and density at unprecedented levels. Storage tech is swiftly changing the very nature of warehouse storage solutions.

Warehouse Automation

Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) are revolutionizing the warehouse. Some of the main concepts behind investing in AS/RS systems:

  1. Massive increases in efficiency. AS/RS systems slash labor costs, save floor space, reduce accidental inventory damage, and increase throughput.
  2. More products. Efficiency gains mean that enterprises can add more stock items and increase the volume of their operations for even greater profitability.
  3. Forklift operating cost reductions. An automated warehouse system slashes lift truck hours and distance traveled.
  4. Enhanced Facilitation. Automated solutions allow for intricate sequencing and buffering options that can be integrated with loading times and route options.
  5. Quality oversight. AS/RS systems are incredibly precise and are more suitable for handling detail oriented tasks than humans.
  6. Enhanced safety. Less human intervention equates to fewer safety mishaps.
  7. Versatility. When it comes to order consolidation, assembly/enrichment, storage, put-away and replenishment, AS/RS systems are transforming into increasingly adaptable tools.

Automated Storage and Retrieval System

So what exactly is AS/RS? There are several types of technologies that are categorized as AS/RS systems, including the following:

  • Vertical lift modules
  • Horizontal carousels
  • Vertical carousels
  • Fixed aisle systems

Vertical Lift Modules

Like a vertical carousel, vertical lift modules are vertically positioned systems that store receptacles in an upright metal casing. In contrast to a carousel, a VLM has a puller mechanism that travels vertically in the center of the column, retrieves individual bins and hands them directly to the user.

Horizontal Carousels

Horizontal carousels are in some ways like that rack your dry cleaner uses to fetch your clothes. These carousels are typically used for less bulky products and they are an array of trays attached to an elevated rail. Quite often they will be coupled with pick-to-light systems or voice picking systems.

Vertical Carousels

As one would expect, vertical carousels are vertically aligned, and are conceptually similar to a Ferris wheel with trays mounted to a revolving system that spins on a perpendicular horizontal axis. They are generally housed in an upright metal casing.

Fixed Aisle AS/RS

Fixed aisle systems are typically designed with two columns of racking with a narrow aisle in between. In the center of the aisle is a raised steel rail with a tall mast that maneuvers its length. Attached to the mast is a vertically maneuvering carrier outfitted with a load handling apparatus.

This mast and carrier device is referred to as the crane or SRM. Most systems use a single SRM per corridor, but more specialized systems may have more than one.

Categorically, there are two classifications of fixed aisle systems. Unit-load systems are designed to handle bigger loads on pallets. Mini-load systems (oftentimes known as a case-handling system or tote stacker) are lightweight implementations that can handle cartons and smaller items.

Warehouse Solutions

We're here to help! If you need support in reviewing warehouse automation options for your Southern California material handling operation, contact a specialist at Raymond West by calling (714) 790-9300.

Our technical team will work with you to evaluate on-site equipment design for your warehouse or distribution center. We'll help you develop a business case including process, conditions, future requirements, training and overall cost.

We provide service and support from our locations throughout California, Nevada and Arizona. Whether you need new or used equipment, maintenance, parts, service or training, we offer a complete range of material handling products and services.