Each operation begins with the placement of the automated vehicle at one end of the appropriate rack upon which the forklift operator then deposits a pallet and its load. Next, the vehicle lifts the load and then proceeds to transport it to the most distant vacant position in that row. When finished, it returns to its starting point, ready to transport another pallet. As each row is filled, the shuttle is moved to the racking level above or below.
When it is time to retrieve a stored pallet, essentially, the storage operation simply needs to be run in reverse. However, while some warehouse operators may choose to work on a first-in-first-out (FIFO) basis, others prefer to maintain a last-in-first-out (LIFO) routine.
As well as extending the available warehouse storage space, among the other benefits of installing shuttle racking is the fact that this type of semi-automated storage and retrieval system can normally be modified to operate according to either of these protocols. In addition, the system acts to limit forklift travel distances, operating times, and overall productivity, which, in turn, could also reduce a company’s staffing requirements and the associated costs.
The purchase price of a shuttle racking system will be more than justified by the combination of these savings, coupled with the added storage space and increased productivity, as well as the initial investment should, therefore, be recovered quite quickly. It will, however, be a wise move to arrange for a specialist to evaluate your needs and propose the best solution.
Widely recognised by existing owners of these systems in South Africa as a leader in the field of storage solutions, Krost Shelving and Racking already supplies sophisticated shuttle racking. In future, as automation and artificial intelligence continue to advance, there is no doubt that they will also leverage these new technologies to further improve the user experience.