Pre-requisites to be considered before carton shuttle’

Do we need to consider some prerequisites while implementing an automated system like a carton shuttle?

In Goods to person systems like carton shuttle shelving, orders are store, picked, and retrieved in a hodgepodge before delivering to the customer. This system has contributed to increasing the overall throughput of picking, allowing the businesses to meet their customer demands through improved order accuracy. However, to successfully deploy these systems, a few critical calculations such as process throughput, space capacity, product profile, operating plan, etc along with the technical requirement such as mentioned below need to be done carefully.

An Analysis before implementation

A thorough analysis and inspection of the warehouse, understanding the current throughput and operation is required to be done before even proposing the carton shuttle solution. It also requires a detailed report on the existing process with the average time of order fulfillment and concluding how the implementation of carton shuttles can improve the productivity and hence remove process bottlenecks like delayed order or improper inventory control.

How to compare & calculate carton shuttles productivity?

The throughput calculation considers the current SKU pace, average units fulfilled per order, and provides the expected process accuracy to be achieved by deploying these automatic systems. Interestingly, these systems are capable of picking orders of say 300 picks per hour whereas the traditional manual order picking may bid for utmost 100 picks per hour per operator. Also, these systems provide the flexibility to increase the throughput by adding more of such systems into the fulfillment center which then conflicts with the operating space available. So, space capacity is another such scrutiny that needs to be addressed before implementing the system. To get higher throughputs, increasing the height of the aisles to the maximum permissible height,i.e, 100 feet can harm the overall accuracy of the order fulfillment.

Number of SKUs –

Especially industries like E-commerce, retail, spare parts division, fulfillment centers where there are large no. of SKUs are there & product profile contributes plays a major role in determining which products need to be handled by these systems. Because these systems have technological limits on the dimensions of products and their weight, hence they need to be considered while designing automated goods to person systems.

Aisle depth:

To increase the scalability in the future, aisle length of this system can be expanded to a staggering 100 meters, depending on the volume and required throughputs, however, a deep study has to be done on the load flexibility of the single- or multi-deep storage of containers, trays, and cartons of various sizes.

A few more points to consider before installation are:

We shouldn’t ignore the mundane yet important technical requirements such as

  • Installing tracks,
  • Limit switches,
  • Network interfaces and,
  • Integration with industry’s resource management software (WCS or even WMS) with utmost focus on safety examinations.
  • Laying tracks with aligned electrical Busbar and a steady power necessity of 230 VAC, 50Hz and single-phase constitutes the primary installation desideratum after setting up the aisles, and, besides, it also necessitates the positioning of barcode labels. These barcode tapes are used by carton shuttles for distance measurements, and if the placement of these barcodes is not coordinated, they may result in poor distance measurements and in turn, affects the positioning correction by the system.
  • Along with track installation, the system also needs safety forethoughts such as placement of limit switches and external caging with automated door locking mechanism, usually, a magnetic coil-based door locks for aisles containing shuttles.
  • Software Solution – while considering the integration of WMS solutions with carton shuttles demand installation of network APs across the critical network drop locations with access to the shuttle’s server. Finally, the installation prerequisites narrow down to one last step of configuring the shuttle’s network devices and tuning the drive parameters.

An advance and scalable carton shuttle system enable accelerated picking, order sequencing and order fulfillment, driving the storage efficiency through the ceiling. With Addverb, being the first largest manufactures of carton shuttle in India, we bring a diverse and wide industry exposure in implementing a carton shuttle system. To know more reach us at automate@addverb.in

Why your warehouse needs a Pallet Shuttle??

One of the fundamental questions that concern a warehouse manager is the efficient usage of space. Conventionally, pallets have been stored through various storage methods like floor space stacking, over time newer methods like selective racking, drive-in racking, drive-through racking. Etc. have been put to use – Each of these methods has evolved as an improvement over the earlier ones. However, they failed to provide the benefits that a dense racking system with pallet shuttle can provide, in terms of space utilization, material handling safety, speed & ease of operation.

We will now delve into various reasons on why a warehouse needs a pallet shuttle:

1. Your Business is expanding – Growth is the new mantra of survival: Today’s businesses have to be agile in identifying the newer opportunities not only in existing business segments but also to fight battles in newer business segments & product categories. So, the entire supply chain needs to be responsive to accommodate these growing aspirations. With real estate prices surging up, warehousing is a major cost element today. Businesses opt either a leasing model or to build new warehousing capacity. Both options require detailed evaluation, as, within a period of 5 years, the rental costs have increased from Rs 10 per sqft to Rs 18 Sqft & the cost of warehouse construction is at Rs 1500 per sqft from an earlier figure of Rs 800 sqft. So, every penny saved on an sqft is a penny earned on it.

This underscores why optimizing the existing space is the most sought-after operational objective and dense racking with pallet shuttle is the perfect fit solution as it gives 2 to 3 times storage efficiency in the same space by utilizing the height of the warehouse.

2. The bulk of the inventory lies in a few SKUs: Storage of the inventory must ensure the smooth and quick functioning of the last leg of warehouse activities i.e picking, packing & shipping. Carefully designed warehouse slotting can be a key to achieve this by ensuring inventories of similar characteristics stay at one location. As an example, in a paint industry, where the bulk of the inventory lies in approx. 200 SKUs out of the existing 1000s of SKUs, it is important to store the bulk of SKUs in one place for easy accessibility. This also applies to other industries where the SKU count can be up to 4000-6000 and, about 80% of the inventory lies in a few selective SKUs.

The very structure of dense racking with pallet shuttle allows placing one single SKU in a row for quick access using FIFO/LIFO. Vertical utilization of height enables the bulk inventory to fit in 50% or less space than it consumes otherwise. So, the bulk inventory SKUs can be accommodated using dense racking& all other SKUs can be stored through selective racking. The same logic can be applied to industries/businesses where there is a limited number of SKUs, like Beverages, Textiles or when the businesses are medium to large scale. Pallet Shuttle would be an ideal candidate that helps to leverage its features to archive significant enhancement of storage capacity without any additional investments in warehouse real estate.

3. Absolute FIFO/LIFO is required: When inventory needs to be shipped based on its in warding order, like First in First Out or Last In First Out in an absolute manner, dense racking with pallet shuttle will aptly fit the bill. By giving access to both sides of the dense racking structure, a FIFO system can be implemented; wherein one Forklift & Shuttle can be deployed for another forklift & shuttle at the other end can be used for retrieving the pallets. In storage and retrieval operations of products like Food, and Medicines- where the expiry of the product is of utmost importance, shipping must happen in FIFO fashion. In the case of the LIFO picking system, only one end of the dense racking system will be available for access. The same shuttle can be used for both fetchings & storing the pallets. So dense racking systems can provide extremely organized & accurate inventory storage, unlike all the other pallet strong methods.

4. While storing seasonal inventory: Businesses that operate in seasonal produce earn the lion’s share of their revenues during on-season and will be typically serving demand requirements up to 3 or 4 times of their off-season demand. However, increasing disposable incomes of people due to developing economies is turning new nations into higher consumption economies, In such a scenario it is, quite common that the demand surges can be 7 to 8 times the original demand forecast.

So, to accommodate this higher inventory surges, a dense racking system with a pallet shuttle can be adopted. In the same available off-season storage space, even on-season stock storing can be achieved through maximized height utilization.

5. For improved warehouse ergonomics: Ensuring high levels of safety for operating staff, material, and equipment like racking structure, forklift. etc is of prime importance. By reducing the number of touchpoints, one can achieve this while handling the material. In the case of drive-in or drive-through pallet racking, the operator’s safety is at great risk as they need to be extremely cautious while driving into the racks to access the pallets. In the case of floor stacking method, the material is susceptible to a great amount of damage as often the lightweight items suffer damage by buckling under the weight of other heavier pallets.

In a dense racking structure with pallet shuttle, the number of pallet positions can go as deep as 40 & shuttle can be deployed to access them without any trouble. This ensures a reduced footprint while increasing the number of pallet positions. The safety bumper and sensors provided on the shuttle prevents collision inside the racks with any person/machine/another shuttle.

6. To increase the Speed of operations: In case of floor stacking/drive-in storage system, the speed is very low as they must remove the pallets below or on top before picking the designated pallet. In case of drive-In racks, only 5- to 10-pallet load spaces are accessible like in double-deep racking. All this results in an extremely slow operation. Similarly, in case of extreme temperatures like cold storage areas, the average lift trucks operating in a cooler of freezer lose up to 50% of battery charge and life cycle due to extreme temperatures.

Pallet shuttle can be the best fit for use as it offers a carrying speed of up to 1.5 meters/sec. Besides this pallet shuttle operates effectively in a wider temperature band. Along with this, the simplicity of operation through remote control & the safety features through bumpers, and sensors provide smooth and safe operation.

So, all in all, the never-ending quest of companies for operational efficiencies, aggressive business targets, and increasing regulations for safety demand flexible & safe warehousing space.

Having Pallet Shuttle in your material handling armor would drastically improve warehouse functioning either in a semi-automatic mode through forklift or in advanced applications like mother-child shuttle/complete AS/RS system.

Watch this space to know more insights on why your warehouse needs a pallet shuttle or how it helps in achieving your business targets!!

Have you met this duo yet, to transform your storage space?

Mother-child shuttle system aka mini-load ASRS has been having a bit of a moment from the last few years due to its extensive adoption in warehouses and order fulfillment operations. This technology utilizes the capacity of the warehouses in cubic feet over the earlier means where it used to utilize its capacity in square feet. It is designed to optimize the space used within the warehouses in order to obtain a higher level of productivity and efficiency. This system integrates the automated hardware with the software for the accurate picking and replenishment process. This results in a reduction of inventory level and material handling inconveniences while increasing the productivity and accuracy of the warehouse as compared to the manual storage systems. But why we are calling it Mother-child specifically and how is it different from the already known ASRS of your dictionary? Let’s delve deeper into its functioning to unravel all these mysteries.

How does it function?
The mother-child shuttle system is a fully automated and equally versatile storage and retrieval mechanism for multi deep pallet storage. It consists of a Mother shuttle powered by bus bar, which runs on a track perpendicular to the pallet storage in the racking system. It has a pallet shuttle aka child in it which performs the function of storage and retrieval. This system is integrated with vertical lifts that carry the load to its destined position. Once the vertical lift reaches its designated position, the mother shuttle reaches there along with the child. The child takes the load and gets inside the Mother shuttle to again move on the track in order to reach the next destination. Retrieval of loads also happens through the same process.

Industry 4.0, individualization and digitalization are making such storage technology more important than ever, especially in retail, e-commerce, and multi-channel. The mother-child shuttle system is suitable for multi-deep storage and provides high throughput & facilitates storage up to 10 pallets per square meter. You can avail the benefits mentioned below by adopting Mother-child shuttle system in your warehouse:

• Every loading level has one mother and one child aka pallet shuttle which can go up to 15 levels high.
• In this system, the Mother shuttle offers a carrying speed of up to 3 m/s, and the child gives a speed of 0.8 to 1.1 m/s with an acceleration of 1.5 meters per second squared. The Lift offers a throughput of 60 to70 pallets /hour.
• It has a high load-carrying capacity. The whole system can carry a load up to 1500kgs.
• With a fast battery charger, it can get charged in 30 minutes and lead a cycle of 10 hours.
• It involves advanced safety and accuracy features that provide 100% accuracy in the positioning of the load and the pallet.
By incorporating the mother-child shuttle system into your warehouse operation, you can achieve a significant boost in efficiency, cost-savings, and productivity. Today automation is the key and is being adopted by many industries where storage is one giant task. There are various Automated Storage and Retrieval systems in the market and which technology ultimately makes the most sense for you to include in your operation depends on a number of factors including rate, your typical order, the type of product that you handle, and more. If you are also looking for an efficient storage and retrieval mechanism for your warehouse, then Addverb technologies are one such stop.

Pallet Shuttle – A Warehouse Space Odyssey

In the next decade, as much as 85% of the businesses are projected to adopt a digital route around the globe thanks to Industry 4.0. With increased impetus on scalability across geographies, speedy deliveries and the demand for global products, continual innovation in the logistics & warehousing sector has emerged as the need of the hour for all businesses.

Be it e-commerce, food retail or manufacturing giants, the location of their warehousing facilities is one of the pivotal pillars for their operational excellence and supply chain planning. Ideally, warehouses need to be closer to the cities to reduce the transit time for goods. However, close-by lands often come with higher rentals. An optimal solution in such cases of higher rentals is to utilize the height of the warehouse in an efficient manner. Flying high does make sense if you intend to utilize the space of the warehouse efficiently. To utilize the height of the distribution centers and warehouses, it is essential that they equip themselves with Pallet Shuttle which assists in increasing the warehouse space through vertical stacking of the inventory.

What is Pallet Shuttle and how does it work?

Pallet Shuttle is a semi-automated compact storage solution that reduces operating costs while simultaneously improving the efficiency of the warehouse storage. Pallet Shuttle facilitates dense racking, which does not require aisles between storage racks, thereby efficiently utilizing the warehouse space.
In traditional storage systems, forklifts drive through each of the aisles and store pallets in the racks. However, in these systems, the depth of storage is compromised as a lot of space gets wasted to make room for forklift’s movement. Through dense racking, Pallet Shuttles have reduced this dependence on forklifts, thereby maximizing the space that can be used for storage. In a Semi-Automatic Dense Racking storage system, the operator only needs to drive the forklift that places the pallets on the channel’s entrance. Then the operator activates the pallet shuttle by sending a remote wi-fi signal. Thereafter, Pallet Shuttle moves the pallets horizontally until it finds an available location, where it deposits the pallet. Pallet Shuttle then returns to the entrance of the channel and repeats the process till the entire channel is filled. A similar process is used to retrieve the goods from racks as well.

Advantages of using Pallet Shuttles

• High Storage Space: Through Pallet Shuttle, aisles can be eliminated in warehouses as forklifts are not required for end-to-end loading and unloading. In dense racking, you can store 2.84 Pallet /m. sq. as compared to 1 Pallet / m. sq.
• High Throughput: Since operators aren’t required to drive the forklift in the aisles, loading and unloading time reduces considerably
• Scalability: You can easily customize the dense racking systems according to your requirements. More shuttles can be easily employed as the per production requirements. Also, Pallet Shuttles can work in both FIFO and LIFO mode.
• Safety: Pallet Shuttle is equipped with safety sensors and an automatic braking system to avoid any collision and accident.
• Ease of Operation: The system is quite easy to install, maintain and run.
• Maintenance: Owing to the way the structure has been built, chances of damage to the metallic racks are minimum. Also, the shuttles require minimum maintenance

Application of Pallet Shuttles

• Although Pallet Shuttles are quite customizable, when we consider economies of scale or special circumstances then the following industries will benefit the most from it: –
• Warehouses that require higher throughput. This translates to a high number of pallet storage locations(More than 5000).
• Seasonal Products: Pallet Shuttle system comes in handy when items are stored all throughout the year, but the withdrawal of the products happens extremely fast based on the season.
• Captive Distribution Centers: Pallet Shuttle based dense racking system is very beneficial for large captive DCs that are attached to factories in the FMCG sector
• Cold Storage: Attaining cold temperature becomes increasingly difficult and expensive upon expanding the size of the warehouse. Here, Pallet Shuttles can provide immense relief by utilizing the existing space efficiently.
• Beverage Industry: It is ideal for operations where the number of Stock Keeping Units is less, and the inventory turnover is high.

Pallet Shuttle – Cruiser: What Lies Within

Warehouses in India have witnessed a transition from manual operations to fast and reliable automated processes. One of the key changes as highlighted in our earlier piece, “Warehouse Odyssey” has been the transition from “Traditional Racking” and forklift-based operations to “Dense Racking” and Pallet Shuttle based operations. Pallet Shuttle enables organizations to gain a competitive advantage and increase the storage and throughput capacity of their warehouses.
Consequently, Pallet Shuttles are one of the most adopted technologies across the globe and Cruiser, pallet shuttle manufactured by Addverb is one of the largest deployed Pallet Shuttle in India. It’s imperative to understand what enables Cruiser to gain such an edge, how does it function, how does it ensure a SAFE operation. To understand all these aspects, let us explore the nitty-gritty of what makes Cruiser, our Pallet Shuttle, one of the most coveted and popular Pallet Shuttles in India.

PLC Control system:
The heart of the entire Cruiser system is a ‘PLC-based control system’. This PLC control system takes the input commands given through a tablet on an android platform & processes them based on a customized program & takes decision-related to storage and delivery operations. This PLC control system ensures accurate control of the Cruiser movement on the rails of the dense racks.

Sensors & Customized Bumpers:
They form another part of the crucial components that help in achieving the safety feature, for both humans & shuttle. The sensors detect the obstacle and alert the shuttle to slow its speed & stop at a defined distance with respect to the obstacle. The bumper is a protective device installed on the front of Cruiser to protect its front from collisions with material/human. It avoids potential trapping or crushing risks. The customized bumper fitted with bumper guards on both sides in the direction of movement protects Cruiser against any damage while it is operating.
For the pallet shuttle system, the important hardware components are Tab for Connectivity, Shuttle Unit, Battery & the Battery Charger.

Pallet bumper

Tablet/ Shuttle Controller:
The entire operation of the shuttle can be controlled through a wireless tablet. With a very simple configuration, and easy to use features, the system doesn’t require much installation time once the racking set up is done. The tablet is connected to a wifi-network & acts as a communication medium between the operator and the shuttle. The operator provides input through the tab on an easy to use interface and gives commands to the shuttle to either drop a load or pick a load from the aisles. In the case of Cruiser, it can be operated in 2 modes; manual & automatic.

Pallet shuttle tablet

Shuttle Unit:
It’s a battery-operated trolley, with an ability to carry the pallet loads swiftly along the rails. In a semi-automatic system, an operator places the shuttle (with the help of a forklift) at the beginning of the rail where the storage/ retrieval/reshuffle operation needs to be performed, upon which depending on the input command, shuttle performs the operation. After successful completion of the operation, the shuttle comes back & rests at the source position.

Battery System:
Battery management is often overlooked when it comes to industrial equipment, and good battery management is still an exception rather than something obvious. With small improvements to the equipment & the processes, most of the time, we can achieve the best results. Cruiser battery is also designed on similar lines; with easy to change the system, and various features like advanced technology, heat management, smart charging & emergency power handling mechanism, Cruiser offers up to 16 hours of battery life, hence can be used for two whole shifts without any intervention.

A unique feature of this battery pack is the absence of a “memory effect”, so it is possible, in an emergency, to recharge for less than the optimum time for charging.

Battery Charger:

The battery charger is designed to ensure safety and reliable performance. With a smart charging feature, the charger automatically stops charging when the battery level reaches 100%.In our next blog, we will be writing on ‘Top 5 reasons to have a Pallet Shuttle in your warehouse’. Watch this space!!

Addverb Technologies is incorporated in 2016 with an aim to help Indian companies to embrace Industry 4.0 in all walks of their supply chain operations. If you have any automation related requirements, do write to us at our email id automate@addverb.in.

Carton shuttle – the carrier of cartons

Waiting for a cheeseburger at the next-door McDonalds outlet or for online ordered next party dress; waiting is the single biggest source of frustration. It only increases more when as a business you are making your customers wait. The rise of the e-Commerce industry not only challenged the status quo of warehouse operations but also gave birth to many new products. Shrinking lead times, on-time order fulfilments, squeezing operational costs, and ensuring the highest customer satisfaction levels is not an easy job unless every single point of the supply chain is tuned into the same rhythm. Storing large pallets in the warehouse saves space, but to fulfill individual orders like in e-commerce, breaking the pallet & again palletizing is an intense activity, it consumes not only time but labor. Hence direct storing of the cartons after depalletizing a pallet is a great operational move for high-velocity items, especially in consumer industries like FMCG, Ecommerce, Retail, and fashion.

So, after breaking the pallets the individual cartons have to be stored efficiently and have to be retrieved quickly for order packing. Hence quick throughputs for the material handling are important, to achieve the same was invented the carton shuttle system as a mini-form of the Pallet Shuttle.

What is carton shuttle & how it works?
Carton shuttle is used to store and retrieve carton loads in dense shelve racking. It’s a fast-moving vehicle that facilitates quick movement of cartons within the racking system or to the outer points like to the next picking zone. Carton shuttle interacts with the vertical lift, which with double side conveyor belts moves up and down between the racks with carton loads to be stored/ retrieved. The entire throughput of the system depends on the number levels of the shelving structure, speed of the vertical lift, depth of each row & also and the no. of rows throughout the storing lane. However, with a speed of 3m/sec, it moves cartons very quickly.

The entire system consists of a rack structure, vertical lift, carton shuttle per each aisle, controls and WMS/WCS software to give instructions. Cartons from the depalletized area will be routed to carton shuttle shelving through the conveyor network. After taking these cartons, the vertical lift will move up to a designated aisle as per the instructions given by WMS/WCS transfer them on the buffer conveyor of the rack, from where the carton shuttle will shuttle them to the exact locations & drops them. Retrieval of the cartons also happens in a similar fashion, and the retrieved cartons will be moved to the picking zone, where picking will happen. The half-filled or empty cartons will be transferred to the next picking station or to the shelving area again. The entire carton shuttle system calls for impeccable and instantaneous communication across all the units involved.

Carton Shuttle Benefits:
High Throughputs: Though the throughput of the entire system depends on the feeding capacity of the vertical lift, fast movement of the shuttle ensures quick turnaround cycles.
Safety: Carton shuttle system is equipped with safety sensors, bumper, and automatic braking system to avoid any collision & accident.
Ease of Operation: The entire picking operations of the shuttle system are quite easy and require little human intervention.
Minimum Maintenance: Owing to the way the structure has been built, chances of damage to the metallic racks are minimum. Also, the shuttles require minimum maintenance.
Scalability: The Carton shuttle shelving system is easily customizable with the addition of multiple levels and shuttles according to the requirement. More shuttles can be easily employed as per production requirements.
High Storage Space: Through Pallet Shuttle, aisles can be eliminated in warehouses as forklifts are not required for end-to-end loading and unloading. In dense racking, you can store 4.2 cartons /SqMtr.
Carton shuttle will give more benefits like:
Single unit orders: In distribution centers where the average size of most orders is one. This is best applicable for industries like Fashion, Ecommerce, consumer electronics
Store level picking: In B-B-C business models, where the picking happens for individual small orders but at a store level.
Spare parts picking: In manufacturing assembly operations, where the most common items with high throughputs can be stored.

Key factors to consider before implementing Pallet Shuttle (Cruiser)

Well begun is half done as the saying goes. The same is true while making a decision to implement a pallet shuttle in a warehouse storage setting. The decision to implement a Pallet Shuttle (Cruiser) makes the job half done, but how to implement it will lead to another important part of the question, which requires careful thinking. It is important that the solution should last long, sustain the rigor of operations, and achieve the required throughput along with achieving the highest safety standards. For all this, there are some important check-points to be verified before implementing the system and we would like to ponder over them.

Planning is Everything: The basic floor plan needs to consider such things as location of receiving and shipping docks, where the staging areas are, the racking vendor and layout, pallet shuttle, budget, and timelines for the whole project… etc.. While allocating budget during investment decision, it is very important to work out a cost-benefit analysis. One should keep in view that the best solution need not be the cheapest solution. An investment made should be able to justify by working for a long period without having to make frequent changes to adapt to increasing demands of storage and throughput.

In the case of a greenfield project, it is recommended that the height of the structure needs to be built keeping in mind the scalability and future requirements.

Let’s divide the pre-requisites into 3 major components:
1. Pallet Racking System: Pallet Shuttle (Cruiser) runs in specially designed rails supported by pallet racking frames fitted with special support beams. Clearance above load and opening are kept in such a manner so that space can be utilized fully. Entry width can be adjusted to suit various kinds of loads. Before installing the racks, it is important to ensure that industrial flooring with appropriate specifications, finish and grade is laid out.
Key points to inspect are:
– Floor Levelling: Civil construction anomalies cause leveling differences on the floor anywhere between 2mm to 10mm. This surface unevenness can lead to excessive vibration on lift trucks while moving, gaps at the joints of the rail/track which leads to early wear and tear of the shaft and wheels of pallet shuttle. In fact, these leveling differences make the whole system unstable. So, it is essential to carry out a compliance check of floor leveling as per FEM 9.831 standard. Within the permissible limits, we use “simplets” to make the flooring even, thereby ensuring the entire racking structure would be sturdy.

– Floor Capacity: The second most important thing to be considered is the floor capacity, which plays a key role in deciding the number of levels a warehouse can accommodate. In a dense racking system using a Pallet Shuttle (Cruiser), the height of the racking can go up to as high as 15 meters. So, to decide the number of levels the criteria of point load or per square meter load must be measured accurately.

– Seismic Zone: While building the entire system, seismicity of the zone needs to be considered and accordingly the design of racking structural members, dimensions & supporting systems must be carried out. In a seismic zone of 4 and 5 classifications, the thickness of the upright, width, supporting systems like bracing structure, densely inter-twined side beams.. etc will essentially play a major role in finalizing the layout and design.

– Channel end Stopper: At the beginning and end of the rail channel, stoppers have to be installed to prevent the shuttle overriding from its end stop position.

– Sprinkler System: The roof / In-rack sprinkler system needs to be implemented as a best practice to prevent the chance of fire mishaps within the storage system.

– Forklift fenders: Guards for the racking system to prevent bumping of a forklift on to the racking system.

2. Pallet Shuttle: Pallet Shuttle (Cruiser) facilitates movement & storage of pallets in the dense racking system. Simple instruction will be sent to the shuttle by the operator using the remote-control unit. The shuttle checks the dimension of the pallet load and aligns itself at the assigned point before lifting and moving the load. After placing a pallet in the channel at the predetermined position, usually the last empty position in the channel, the shuttle will automatically return to the front face to receive the next load. The same is applicable in case of retrieval assignment, where the shuttle finds the first pallet in the rail & brings it to the front of the channel to feed the forklift. Absolute LIFO/FIFO options could be configured.

– Supply Chain Integration: Any automation solution needs to be integrated with the existing systems for seamless functionality. In the case of a pallet shuttle, it is important to establish a communication protocol with the right parameters among all the inter-connected systems like Pallet Shuttle PLC system, WCS, WMS/ERP system.

– Peripheral Equipment: VMT (Vehicle Mounted Terminal) may need to be implemented with the ERP system to make the operating process smooth, efficient and paperless.

– Reach Truck selection: Reach trucks come with various features like advanced auto-level settings, sound alarms, vision systems. etc. Throughput, number of levels, and the overall project budget are to be kept in mind and accordingly suitable reach trucks need to be finalized.

– Vision System: In cases where the racking system is beyond certain limits of height, forklifts with integrated vision systems are employed. This vision system facilitates ease to forklift operators to see the racking and load beyond normal eye level for better placement of shuttle/load.

– Storage Pattern: The higher one goes the longer the operation cycle time. Hence fast-moving items should be kept at the entry of the aisle which facilitates quick retrieval and not sacrifices retrieval time.

3. Safety:– Cautionary signs, safety notices and fire suppression/first aid equipment must be placed in work areas prone to accidents, thus preventing mishaps by sensitizing peoples working in and around the system. These MUST also be in accordance with the applicable codes of the city, county, and federal regulations. It is always a good practice to have these caution and signboards in local spoken/read the language to increase acceptance. – Limit switches: They ensure the movement of shuttle cars within battery limits. – Persistent Speed Monitoring System: This will ensure that the shuttle runs constantly at the programmed speed, this feature will help the shuttle work satisfactorily as per design norms.

An automated Pallet Shuttle naturally places high expectations on account of throughput and efficiency. An extensive analysis of your inventory characteristics, storage pattern, safety requirements & local regulations will provide many views on the automation prerequisites, thereby helping to achieve enhanced operational parameters. A competent and experienced team of experts will aid in achieving better project planning, design, procurement of all systems and execution of a Pallet Shuttle project.

Being the largest selling pallet shuttle company in India, we bring a diverse and wide industry exposure in implementing a pallet shuttle system. To know more reach us at automate@addverb.in

LIFO/FIFO applications of Pallet Shuttle

Movement of stock within a warehouse is very critical as the warehouse is the backbone of logistics and supply chain management. The movement is based on how the goods inward happen, where the stock is stored and how the outbound flows. The storage logic should be based on maximum space utilization with no stock damage and the movement logic should always ensure quick and easy movement of goods. Along with product characteristics, the movement of stored goods in LIFO/FIFO fashion depends on the layout of the warehouse, storage space available, costing and sometimes the method of accounting. etc.

Pallet Shuttle is a compact semi-automated pallet storage solution that operates independently to move the pallets inside the racking system. Remote-controlled pallet shuttle is a highly efficient alternative to live storage and drive-in racking and can be used in both LIFO/FIFO alternatives.

Optimization of space with FIFO / LIFO
Pallets can be stored and retrieved either as FIFO or as LIFO. A FIFO system requires two access aisles- one to load the pallets and the other to unload them. Whereas LIFO can have just one access aisle.

FIFO (First In First Out)
Using the first in first out method ensures that the first stock that comes into your warehouse is the first to go out. It is possible for two shuttles to be operated in the same lane. These are controlled from both entry points and a no collision model is available. This FIFO system is relative, or by batch, recommended for the complete loading, or unloading of a level.

Application – FIFO ensures perfect fast-moving rotation with maximum space efficiency, high turnover of material. FIFO operation is best suited where perishable goods like Food, Medicine, Cosmetic or Products with limited shelf-life and seasonal stock.

LIFO pallet racking systems are ideal for any warehouse that needs to maximize storage and, products have no expiration or obsolescence, so the first pallet stored is not necessarily the first one to be retrieved. This is because LIFO racking works by positioning the most recently stored inventory to be picked first and enabling dense storage density. Pallet shuttle – automated storage is the perfect solution in this storage method because it allows automatic storing and retrieving from the same side of the racking system.

Application – LIFO operations are best adopted in situations such as cold storage where operating personnel have to endure cold temperatures for a long duration and it becomes difficult and expensive to expand storage area in any warehouse. In such cases, a Pallet shuttle can provide better utilization of existing space. Examples of industries that could adopt LIFO: Beverages– where the SKUs are less and the turnover is high; Textiles – where the SKUs are less and the expiration is not of concern.

Benefits of using Dense Storage System through Pallet Shuttle

– Maximizing Storage density
– Increase productivity by reducing the amount of time taken to travel between storage locations
– Easy to handle material with the large volume of SKUs on shop floor/warehouse
– Maximum exploitation of the stock volume
We can enhance performance efficiency in any warehouse by deploying an adequate number of shuttles. We guarantee the highest possible storage density for any application to deploy our pallet shuttle. We have the highest market share in India for pallet shuttles. Find the perfect fit pallet racking storage solution for your requirement @ADDVERB!!