A key ingredient to any warehouse is making sure goods are distributed in a timely manner. Add to that safety standards for staff, clients wanting a bigger range of products to choose from, tracking regulations on certain products, and making sure stocks are up to date, which all add to the bottom line.
Space is also an issue. Making the most of available space in a warehouse isn’t just about trying to squeeze the most out every square metre, but also making sure stock is easily accessible and can be stacked and collected in a safe manner.
What is needed is a system that can save money without compromising the integrity of a warehouse’s ability to stock and distribute products. Enter the automated storage retrieval system (ASRS).
Efficiency is the catch cry of any ASRS. Having the right quantity, replacing outgoing stock, making sure the correct stock has been distributed to the right customer and checking incoming stock – these are all the functions of a reliable ASRS.
One example is the RapidStore system from Dematic. It is an ASRS system that is easy to put together, according to the supplier. Most configurations are modular, which means it is possible to build a warehousing solution to fit any size of distribution centre.
As the name suggests, a key component of the RapidStore system is that it can move goods – whether stocking warehouse shelves or unloading them – in a fast, accurate manner. This is important when you have serious deadlines to meet and need stock distributed quickly.
As well as ensuring the safety of warehouse staff, RapidStore also comes in various preconfigured versions designed to meet specific demands.
There is the UL1500, which is designed to handle loads of up to 1,500kg, and is suitable for retail, cold storage, manufacturing and distribution operations.
The UL1400 RF fits into a conventional warehouse with an existing rack and can handle loads up to 1,360kg. It has been designed to replace labour-intensive forklift fleets.
If a warehouse is stacked with a lot of heavy products that weight up to 1.8 tonnes then the UL1800 fits the bill.
For those distributing smaller produce, then the ML10 and ML14 mini load machines are the suitable solutions, while the ML20 offers good stability with stock that is stacked up to 20m high.
Then there are the RapidStore devices designed for the mid-range weight loads of between 350kg-450kg – the ML+350 and ML+450 – which are suitable for spare parts stores and machine assembly centres.
Another key factor to consider when deciding upon an ASRS is how can it integrate into a Warehouse Control System (WCS). Dematic has its own WCS that is not only is it easy to use, but provides precise tracking of products and storage locations in real time.
The WCS can also be integrated into other systems including monorail, Automated Guided Vehicle pallet transport, conveyors and palletising. In an increasingly mobile world, it’s important to have a modern distribution centre that not only has an excellent ROI, but also meets the high expectations of clients.