Flexible Storage Solutions

PAS Americas is rethinking warehouse automation with a new line of solutions.


Energy Efficiency

The efficiency of high-rise warehousing extends to energy as well. Because automated systems do not require light to work, facilities need less energy for operation. For refrigerated facilities, the load requirement of cooling per cube is less in a high-rise warehouse, due to minimal door penetrations—a conventional warehouse would require more points of entry to accommodate the traffic of standard forklifts.

The reduced number of entry points makes it easier for refrigerated facilities to maintain lower temperatures and reduces refrigeration equipment needs. The smaller roof size also reduces heat absorption and cooling needs.

Construction Cost Savings

Many companies that choose high-rise warehousing will incur substantial tax benefits, depending on the tax laws and codes that apply to a particular company. In rack-supported enclosures, the racking that serves as the frame for the building is considered equipment, and therefore the roof and walls are considered components of an equipment enclosure. This categorization can allow these components to be depreciated at an accelerated rate.

Is It Right For You?

Expectations of supply chain accuracy and speed to market are rapidly growing in the distribution of food, pharmaceuticals and consumer products. All this while land availability is increasingly limited, and there is an increased emphasis on energy efficiency among company stakeholders, the government and the general public.

These factors can make high-rise warehousing a value-added alternative to conventional warehousing. Prior to implementing a high-rise facility, companies should evaluate various factors, including building functionality needs, land availability and customer needs.

Companies that are ideal candidates for implementation of high-rise warehousing solutions typically possess the following characteristics: High throughput rates; fixed customer and products; land in desired location is expensive or limited in availability.

Netting is divisional vice president, distribution, Stellar, Jacksonville, FL.

Cargill Boxes The Beef—Automatically

Cargill Meat Solutions’ Schuyler, NE., beef processing plan, replaced a manually operated system with an automated box handling and shipping system from Retrotech, Victor, NY.

The system, which went live as scheduled over two consecutive weekends, was made possible due to a unique partnership between the two firms. This partnership has evolved over the last decade as the two firms have collaborated on multiple projects for Cargill, including the company’s Friona, TX; Dodge City, KS, and Plainview, TX facilities.

Thirteen months earlier, the teams from Cargill and Retrotech met to discuss the details of this project, assign responsibilities and create milestones which set in motion an innovative approach to project design and a true partnership between client and vendor.

The order fulfillment system automates box handling downstream of the case sealers. It receives and buffers boxes upstream of shipping. As orders are processed boxes are automatically retrieved in a precise sequence and either automatically palletized or directly loaded on a semi-trailer clean, cold, correct and on time. The system supports 53,000 storage locations and can deliver boxes either as pallets or a box stream to floor loaded and can build mixed SKU pallet loads.

Additionally, the system has been designed to manage a variety of production and shipping scenarios without interrupting customer delivery schedules.

Retrotech designed and installed customized software which links the activities of the individual sub-systems while simultaneously integrating them into Cargill’s business system. The plan required installation of software three-to-four- months ahead of the designated completion date. This allowed Cargill employees to become familiar with the software before it went live.

Cargill provided subject matter experts from their other facilities who had familiarity with the system to help train the Schuyler employees on the new software, significantly reducing the learning curve.

“As they have in the past, Retrotech delivered on the promises they made,” says Brett Walters, project manager for Cargill. “The project went live on the date as promised 13 months ago and within two weeks we set a single day shipping record of more than 39,000 cases,” Walters continues. “The system is currently operating at incredible levels of order accuracy greater than 99 percent.

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