Is AS/RS in Your Future?

When it can be justified, AS/RS can increase your efficiency and reduce costs.


The satellite system is a unique AS/RS that can store and retrieve pallets up to 12 deep on either side of the crane aisle. This provided the high-density storage necessary to accommodate the Farm Frites account.

"This allowed Kloosterboer to build a DC capable of storing 60,000 pallet positions on a footprint of 113,000 square feet," explains Allison Kapalka, marketing manager at Westfalia Technologies.

In addition, the satellite system can move two pallets at the same time. That feature made it possible for Kloosterboer to meet the throughput rates of 360 pallets an hour with only four cranes in all.

The DC is laid out so that four storage and retrieval machines travel at speeds of 656 feet per minute horizontally and the satellite stores and retrieves pallets up to 12 deep at a speed of 295 feet per minute. Pallets are then transported from storage to shipping via chain conveyors, transfer cars and turntables.

After the products reach the shipping and receiving area, they are met by a Westfalia SpeedLoader, which loads and unloads pallets and cargo automatically. Orders are arranged in the correct sequence on stationary conveyor belts prior to the arrival of trucks. The trailers, also equipped with integrated conveyor belts, dock at the loading station directly in line with the conveyor belts in the shipping area. The SpeedLoader covers a distance of 150,000 miles each year. About 3,000 pallets a day of Farm Frites products leave the Kloosterboer DC each day.

Since adding the new Westfalia systems, Kloosterboer has been able to reduce personnel costs and cut the time required to complete operations.

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