Heavy-duty motorised racking solution offered by Kompress (India) helped its client from pharmaceutical business to use maximum space to store a large number of pallets in controlled atmosphere. A case study...
The need for more flexible, adaptable and customer-oriented warehouse operations has been increasingly identified as an important issue by today's warehouse companies due to the rapidly changing preferences of the customers that use their services. Kompress (India) help warehouse companies address these issues and provide customer-centric solutions.
One of its clients from the pharmaceutical business had a mandate to store a large number of pallets in controlled atmosphere (cold room). These rooms are typically temperature-controlled and dust proof (measured in PPM) environments owing to the materials being kept. The project included creation of closed panel room with air-conditioning.
Since the client had planned for stationary racks, the floor space required was very large and the cost to provide temperature control (HVACs, cold rooms) was very high. Being a critical area, the client was constrained to reduce other working areas to accommodate this requirement. Long-term implications would have included additional investment in land and building to recreate additional workspace. This was causing the overall investment to be very high.
Upon understanding the overall case, KOMPRESS proposed the heavy-duty motorised racking to use the maximum cubic space available as well as reduce the overall area required for temperature control.
What is heavy-duty motorised racking?
Imagine a typical storage area with conventional racks. These racks will have to be laid in rows with aisle spaces between them - for every row of racks, there will be one aisle space. Heavy-duty motorised systems are a little different to most commercial racking solutions - instead of being secured to the warehouse floor, the racks are mounted on electronically-powered mobile bases, which move on the rails embedded in the floor. It uses the principle of the 'Transferable Aisle', converting the non-productive aisle spaces that are left between static racks into productive spaces, effectively increasing storage capacity by 80 to 100 per cent. Thus, one can access multiple racks stacked up against each other, without the need for individual aisle.
To construct the motorised racking, the rails were embedded into the floor so that MHE operation would remain smooth. To ensure high throughput, we also provided a controlled hand-held device (remote) with the MHE operator to operate the system as he desires/as per the WMS command. The entire system was integrated with WMS and had the ability to provide real-time inventory.
The motorised racking systems have inbuilt safety features and are fitted with sensors to detect any obstruction/material on the floor as well as persons/MHE entering into the system. The programming is done to ensure that the operations are done in a systematic manner and there is an Emergency Stop to override any operation in case of a hazard.
This system proved extremely beneficial to the client, as we were able to:
Maximise pallet storage capacity
Entire system occupied less floor space than originally planned
Access all pallets directly hence there was flexibility of random pick up as well
Customise the system according to the available area and as per size and load on the pallets
Long term savings by reducing daily operating cost (smaller cold room area) and eliminating the need for investing in additional land/building.
In a nutshell, KOMPRESS followed the scientific principles of space management, i.e., ease of storage, retrieval, and was safe to operate. With the features provided, the pallets and SKUs were easy to identify and there was accountability of the material. The excellent aesthetics added immense value to the area. The client was able to save substantially due to the low daily operating cost and the potential long-term savings as the need for additional floor space was eliminated.
Heavy-duty motorised racking (also called powered racking, electrical operated racking or mobile racking) is ideal for warehouses, frozen warehouses, cold storage facilities, and any location that requires a compact storage solution for heavy items. The carriages or base units have a robust design that can carry loads ranging from 25 tonnes to 300 tonnes and cater specific requirements with several safety and security features.
Theme of future warehouses
Future warehouses will draw heavily from automation. From receiving advance intimation on material receipt, storage location allocation, actual storage and retrieval to dispatch of material, all the functions of warehouse management will rely heavily on IT solutions. This necessitates the solution provider to shift mindset û strive to become a business partner in the growth of the client; instead of providing only physical storage systems, begin to understand the multi-fold demands of the clients' business, and integrate solutions to weave a highly intelligent and future ready storage solution. This idea is to service the most demanding needs in the fastest possible time eliminating value leakage at any and all levels thus ensuring customer delight. In fact, The Indian Navy also has a completely customised IT solution from KOMPRESS for its specific operations.
'Heavy-duty motorised racking uses the principle of the 'Transferable Aisle', converting the non-productive aisle spaces that are left between static racks into productive spaces, effectively increasing storage capacity by 80 to 100 per cent.'