A warehouse shuttle system is a highly efficient storage and retrieval system that uses high speed shuttles to manage stacked rows of storage containers. Completely automatized, the system dispatches the shuttles to quickly complete dynamic orders, accessing and retrieving the required cases without any human intervention. The system makes it possible to achieve an extraordinary high rate of operations, effectively multiplying the storage capacity of a warehouse manifold.
How the Shuttling system works
As the name suggests, a warehouse shuttling system consists of a small ‘shuttle’ that runs on fixed rails, quickly traversing long rows of storage cases or totes. The rails usually form a grid of sorts, allowing the shuttle to reach every stacked crate throughout the level.
While initially expensive to install, a shuttle system pays for itself many times over through the course of its operation by drastically increasing the productivity of your warehouse. You can consider taking a bank personal loan to finance the setup, or if that is not possible (due to an ongoing debt, for example) you might want to look into taking a title loan using the fleet of vehicles in your company’s possession.
Advantages of a Warehouse Shuttling System
Over Manual Stocking
The biggest cost factor in a warehousing business – contrary to popular expectation – is not the volume of storage, but rather the speed of operations. Moving from a manual, labor intensive storage and retrieval arrangement to an automated system single-handedly brings a massive boost to efficiency and profitability, not to mention the sheer reliability.
Over Automated Storage and Retrieval Cranes
Even if the enterprise already employs a technological solution, like an automated storage and retrieval crane, it can benefit by switching to a shuttle based system. Cranes, while good for servicing a large number of levels vertically, are quite limited in terms of speed and responsiveness in peak times. Shuttle systems, in contrast, can literally zip across the rows of containers, completing complex requests in a fraction of the time taken by a crane.
Low Maintenance and Servicing Needs
Another advantage of shuttles over cranes is maintenance; a shuttle sliding on rails has much fewer technical issues and wear-and-tear as compared to a crane with its multitude of joints and motors that must always work in sync. Moreover, in case of multiple shuttles on different levels, the breakdown of a single shuttle does not bring operations of the warehouse to a halt, as the other shuttles can still be employed for a limited storage capability even as the fault is fixed.
The shuttle based storage and retrieval system also has fewer servicing needs. The core of the system are the rails, which are quite robust, and the vehicles themselves, which can be replaced individually if need be.
Industries Most Suitable for a Warehouse Shuttle System
Shuttle systems are the best solution for order consolidation buffers, order picking, sequencing and other such fields of application which have to manage highly complex internal logistics. Industries that deal with the orders of a large number of small products, packaged consumables, for example, need the high speed storage and retrieval rates offered by a shuttle system.
They are also useful in workstation supply of small parts, or the provision of goods in production and assembly lines, due to their capacity of handling complex orders at a high cycle rate. This makes them an asset in any advanced manufacturing process, such as in automobiles.