Using radio frequency or RF communications in a high rise warehouse environment ensures that the tight communications link between the materials handling technology and the product facilitates rapid movement by the crane to gather stock.
The RF communications system translates into better management in warehousing environments with varied stock keeping units (SKUs).
In the right environment, RF crane systems are far more efficient than a fleet of forklift trucks. Apart from being expensive to operate and tricky to maintain, forklifts involve a lot of human input and have been identified by WorkSafe bodies as a leading cause of personnel injury.
Moreover, with energy price hikes forecast across Australia in the coming years, forklifts can easily put the squeeze on warehouse operators with large premises. Floor space costs are also increasing everyday.
Managing Director of Industrial Conveying, Mr. Don Erskine says that companies in this situation require accuracy of selection during the materials handling process but find it hard to reduce damage to product while maintaining multiple choice of picking.
Industrial Conveying developed the high bay stacker system to help warehouse operators increase efficiency in space utilisation.
High bay stacker systems are essentially sortation systems managed by RF communications that allow fast and accurate use of very high spaces within a warehouse.
It combines with automatic truck loading systems for pre-assembly of loads waiting for the next truck to arrive, which makes a positive difference to operating costs. Loads can also be cubed to optimise truck space usage.
The automated stacking retrieval system (ASRS) in conjunction with high bay warehousing eliminates the cost of running a forklift fleet for such applications and increases the occupational health and safety levels in warehouses by almost eliminating human interaction with moving equipment.
Stacker crane technology can reach much higher than the tynes of forklifts and will operate across a wide temperature and environment band to facilitate all types of industries, conditions and atmospheric variations.
According to Mr Erskine, stacker crane technology is configured to be extremely cost-effective regardless of how high or how low an altitude it is handling - the technology is scalable and cost efficient.
ASRS suits general transport logistics services, the food and beverage processing industry, snack foods warehousing, general industrial warehouses and retail warehousing operations.
In high-rise warehouses, RF-guided ASRS stacker crane systems are the most effective way to store pallets because they can achieve far more efficient aisle movement, lift- and lower-times, as well as placement and retrieval than human-operated forklifts.
The technology can be used in atmospheric conditions where heat and/or humidity are required in the warehousing environment all the way down the other end of the temperature scale where frozen products are being stored at -30ºC.
The ASRS integrates easily with Industrial Conveying's expanding suite of pallet dock loading and dispatch technologies, which can be entirely automated or made to work in synchronicity with dock loading forklifts.
Key benefits of ASRS include excellent efficiency of space, order picking accuracy and speed as well as a very high level of OH&S around its use.