Rare is the manufacturing, warehousing or distribution facility that does not suffer from some amount of space limitations. Sometimes inventory, parts or work‐in‐process have exceeded current capacity. Or perhaps the footprint of the facility prevents the addition of more storage equipment without an expensive addition of more square footage through construction.
For facilities that rely on traditional shelving made of upright posts, formed steel sheet panels as horizontal shelves, and end and back braces or sheet steel back and side panels for support for storage for non‐palletised loads, automated storage and retrieval equipment is available as an alternative. If we take a look at the vertical lift systems – these self‐contained systems offer higher density storage in a more compact footprint than manual equipment.
The average ceiling height for manufacturing facilities and distribution centres range from 24-32m on average. Older buildings (pre 1970’s) tend to be closer to the 24m mark, while more recently constructed buildings are closer to 32m tall. Standard industrial shelving is available in 6m, 7m, 8m and 10m height. Filling a 20m tall warehouse with 10m tall shelving leaves quite a bit of wasted space..
Plus consolidating all of the aisle space found in a typical shelving system into one access point recovers a considerable amount of floor space and gives you room to expand operations internally, avoiding a costly facility move or expansion (not to mention that it eliminates the time workers spend walking/searching through shelving as all stored products are now delivered directly to the worker).
Kardex ShuttleXP vertical lift system is an enclosed system of vertically arranged trays stored on both sides of the unit with an extractor device placed in the center. This automatically delivers trays with the stored items to the access opening at the push of a button or a scan of a barcode. The device is modular in its construction with the ability to change its height and number of access openings pre and post construction. The Shuttle XP automatically scans every tray with the use of Optiflex technology, finding the ideal storage location within the system in increments of 25 mm. Items are stored in least possible amount of space.
Thousands of organisations throughout the world have used high density storage to increase storage capacity and avoid costly expansions or relocations.
Before you tear down walls to expand or sign a lease for an additional facility, be sure you’re maximising the warehouse space you currently have. A reorganisation of your current warehouse might not be the answer to your long-term space problem, but you might be able to recover enough space to delay your expansion or relocation decision.