With warehouse shuttle systems the handling of goods is carried out by using a remote controlled pallet shuttle. The shuttles contain diagnosis software for troubleshooting issues and run on rechargeable batteries.
Shuttle systems works on either a FIFO (first-in-last-out) or LIFO (last-in-first-out) basis. The system automates the placement of pallets in the storage lane reducing loading and unloading cycle times. The operator controls all the processes for storing and extracting pallets simply by using a remote control or Wi-Fi enabled tablet
Racking can be set up against a wall of the warehouse which allows for more space. This system allows for loading to be done from one side with a forklift truck and the unloading on the opposite side with another.
Here at 2hssl we offer a free site survey and would be happy to advice you on the system for your warehouse operation.
Advantages of Warehouse Shuttle Systems
- Unique high-density functionality
- Larger number of product types can be stored
- Time required to store and extract pallets reduced
- Reduces operating costs
- The number of fork trucks and operators required is reduced, no need for lighting about racking, less damage to goods including racking repair & maintenance, running costs of temperature/humidity controlled systems and reducing the storage cube required with the associated rent/overheads
- Damage Reduction
- Forklifts never enter into the aisles like they do in Drive-In racking reducing damage.
- Higher product flow produces increased productivity
- Maximised productivity
- Can be combined with other racking systems
- Ideal for cold storage warehouses
There are many kinds of businesses that require conveyor systems, and these are used as a way to move goods from one place to another. The most common place that these are used is in factories and warehouses, where things need to be moved as a part of the automation process. There is no doubt that the right conveyor system can make things much easier, and because of this you should take the time to consider which of the systems would be best for the company that you are running. With this in mind, we have put together a list of the different systems that are available, which will help you to consider your options.
This is the type of system that is most commonly found across many industries, and this is because of the fact that you can transport almost anything with this kind of system. This works by having a belt which is extended across two drums, and then carries items along it. There will usually be a half turn at some point to protect the life of the belt as a whole, so that some of it doesn’t wear more quickly than other parts. This type of conveyor can be great no matter what kind of size or weight of item you are looking to transport.
This isn’t something that you would usually see in a warehouse environment, however it is still an important conveyor system to discuss. This kind of system uses a pulley system, and can be seen in use in places like dry cleaning companies, to get the clothes through the cleaning process. One thing that is so positive about this kind of system is the fact that the items being moved can be fixed in one specific place, meaning that there is no need to be concerned about them moving.
You may have seen this kind of conveyor system in airports, at the point at which baggage is collected. In addition to this, some shops are now choosing this kind of system in place of a belt conveyor, if it suits the types of items that they transport. This system is best for any company who needs to transport larger items, as the rollers can deal with these perfectly.
Vibrating Conveyor Systems
In some kinds of longer systems, you will need to take your items across a number of different conveyors in order to get it to where it eventually needs to be. The vibrating aspect of the system allows anything that shouldn’t be on the conveyor to be shaken off, and this means that the items will be much cleaner when they get to their destination. This means that the items will be in a better condition, and this will improve the process as a whole.
When it comes to conveyor systems, there is no doubt that there are a few different options to choose from, and the one that you go for will depend on the kind of industry you’re in, and also on the type of items that you are going to want to transport, as this can make a big difference to what the right choice would be.
When you are running a business, every single decision that you make will have an impact on the eventual success of the business as a whole. This means that the decision needs to be thought about carefully if you are just in the process of having a new system set up, so the information above should help you to come to a decision that you will be happy with.
2H Storage Solutions supplies automated conveyor systems and distribution solutions for warehouses. We manage the entire process of your automation project, from design through to implementation. So if you want the experts to help you decide what type of automation system is suitable for your business objectives, give us a call today.
The way that we think about the workplace is changing, and now there are more offices than ever who are taking the decision to use partitions rather than putting walls in place. There are a number of reasons that this could be a good choice, and we have put together a list of some of the key benefits that you should think about.
Make the most of any natural light
If you have walls in your office, then unless you are on the outside of the building, you won’t have any kind of natural light in the room. This can have a negative effect on the room as a whole, so it is worth thinking about having glass office partitions – as these can allow you to make the most of the natural light from the outside of the office. This can make the space you’re in feel much more open, and will make a good first impression on anyone who may want to visit your office; and this can mean great things for the future of your business.
When you are running a business, particularly if you are only just setting up for the first time, there are many things you will need to consider when it comes to the amount of money that you are going to be spending. Office partitions are a fantastic way of making a saving, as it is much cheaper to use this as an option than it is to have walls built. This saving that you will make will leave you with money to use for other aspects of your business, which can be a great thing for you.
Gives you the chance to be flexible
Your business needs may change all the time, and if you find that the office that you have set up is no longer suitable for your needs, then office partitions give you the chance to change things around without having to spend a lot of money or take a lot of time on it. This means that no matter what you think might happen to your business in the future, you will be able to change the way you have things in your building to match your needs, and this is something that can indeed be a huge benefit in many ways.
There are lots of things that you might need to do in an office space, and this includes taking phone calls or holding meetings with people who might need to pay you a visit. If you have an open plan office, then despite the fact that there are some positive benefits to this kind of setup, you will find that it is severely lacking in privacy, which could be a problem. Office partitions can help with this, as it gives you the privacy that you need for exactly this purpose. It also helps to block out any unwanted noise from the general area, which can allow you to focus on everything that needs to be said during your meeting. Office partitions can also provide a great space for people to work on projects that they may be involved in with other members of staff, which can improve their productivity.
Generally, if you are looking for a way to try and improve your office environment, office partitions could be a good thing to choose. There are clear benefits to making this decision, and you will start to notice the benefits immediately. When it comes to investments that you may wish to make for your company, this is one that is more than worth thinking about.
When you are running a warehouse or office, you will want to be able to get the most out of it that you possibly can, because it is vital that you have the chance to improve productivity and increase profits at every opportunity. With this in mind, you may have thought about what mezzanine flooring could bring to your company. If this is indeed a consideration, then you might be interested in hearing about what some of the benefits of this type of flooring may be. We have put together a list for you, which will help you to decide whether it would be the right choice for you.
Give yourself some added space
In a world where you probably pay for your warehouse space per square metre of floor space, it is vital that you can make the most of every single metre that you are paying for. The majority of warehouses are quite tall, and this means that if you are just working on one level, you might be missing out on using a lot of the space. Instead of buying a bigger warehouse, you can just add space to the one you have by having a mezzanine floor put in. This will increase your space a lot, and will give you the chance to enjoy making the most of this space.
There is no need to move
If you don’t feel as though the warehouse you are in at the moment is good enough for your needs, then you may consider moving. If this is true, then you will no doubt be dreading just how much it can take to move in this way, and therefore mezzanine flooring might be the answer. This gives you a much better chance of being able to shape your warehouse into exactly the kind of space that you need, and it is much better than having to move completely. This could save you a lot of effort, so it would be more than worth it.
An easy way to keep an eye on safety
There is a lot that has to be done within any kind of warehouse environment, and with this being the case you need to make sure that there is somewhere that you can go to oversee everything that is happening. Sometimes, sitting in a room with a selection of cameras is a good idea, but at other times it can be good to be able to sit higher, above everyone else who is working below you. A mezzanine floor can be a great option for you in this respect, as it gives you an excellent view of everything that is going on, and this should improve your safety a lot.
It is a cheaper option than many others
No matter what kind of business you might be involved in, one of the things that you will be thinking the most about is how you can cut back on the amount of money that you have to spend. This means that if you know that you need more space, you can avoid having to build costly extensions on your property, as a mezzanine floor is a much more affordable option for you.
No matter why you decide that having a mezzanine floor is the best choice for you, there is no doubt that there are a number of benefits. A mezzanine floor would really give you the chance to make the most of the warehouse space that you already have, and this is sure to mean positive things for your business in the future, so it should be a thing that you consider.
There is no doubt that there are a number of benefits to using warehouse automation, and this is a key reason that so many warehouses are now opting for this as a way to improve the way that they run. With this being true, you should think about whether it would be a good option for your own warehouse. We have put together a list of reasons that warehouse automation could be a great choice for you.
You can customise your warehouse
No matter how alike you are to another business in your industry, it is almost certain that you have different needs to them when it comes to your warehouse. With this in mind, warehouse automation can be a great choice for you, as it means that you can design your processes in a way that suits you perfectly, no matter what your needs might be.
It can help you to reduce your costs
One of the best things about having an automated warehouse is that it means that you don’t have to hire people to do many of the jobs that you may have needed them for in the past. Not only does this mean that you can reduce the wages that you need to pay, but it also means that you are not relying on your staff to turn in for work as much, so there is less likely to be any kind of disruption to the way you are able to run.
Make the most of the space you have available
It is no secret that warehouse space can be expensive, and for this reason you might not have as much space available to you as you might have liked. With this in mind, you should always make the most of the space that you do have, and warehouse automation can certainly help you with this. You will be able to store many more pallets in your warehouse in this way than you would have otherwise been able to, so it is definitely worth thinking about.
Ensure that your inventory is always accurate
Having an accurate inventory can be quite difficult when you are in a warehouse environment, and this is thanks to the fact that mistakes can be made if using human employees. With warehouse automation however, there is a much better chance that everything will be done correctly, meaning that you can rely on the numbers that you come out with much more.
Make the working environment safer
This is something that you should always be thinking about when you are in charge of a team of staff, and by thinking about using warehouse automation you will be able to make the environment as a whole safer. You could prevent your team from having to go into unsafe areas, including high or low temperatures, and it would also lower the amount of physical work that would be expected of them. This means that there would be a much lower chance of any of your team suffering from injuries while on the job. In the long term, this is something that would also save you money, as it means there is a lesser chance of your team having to take time away from work, and also less chance that you would be sued, too.
There is no doubt that there are many benefits to warehouse automation. So, if you are in charge of running a warehouse, and haven’t yet worked out exactly whether you are going to use automation or not, the information above should help you to make the decision that is going to be the right thing for you.
Owners and operators of warehouses who use pallet racking need to ensure the safety of everyone who enters their warehouse, and the best way to achieve this is to have an annual safety inspection as recommended by SEMA – the Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association.
Is it a legal requirement to have an annual inspection? No, it is not. However, if you fail to have an annual inspection, or at the very least a bi-annual inspection, you will be going against the advice of the Health and Safety Executive and you could be in serious trouble if someone suffered injury in your warehouse as a result.
As with many government documents, the terminology used can lead to confusion since the word “recommend” is used often. The HSE provides a primary guide to warehouse safety and at the beginning of the guide states the following:
“This guidance is issued by the Health and Safety Executive. Following the guidance is not compulsory and you are free to take other action. But if you do follow the guidance you will normally be doing enough to comply with the law. Health and safety inspectors seek to secure compliance with the law and may refer to this guidance as illustrating good practice.”
HSE also states this:
“Ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of yourself and others who may be affected by what you do or do not do.”
As a warehouse owner or operator what this means is that you need to ensure that anybody who enters your warehouse – and that means anybody, not just your employees – is safe as far as is “reasonably practicable”. That means using your common sense, and as far as pallet racking is concerned it means that you SHOULD have – not MUST have – your racking inspected on an annual basis as recommended by SEMA.
You should also have your racking inspected on a weekly basis by what HSE describes as a “technically competent” member of your staff. This will mean that any damage as a result of accidents will be noted and the appropriate course of action can be taken. It will also flag up any minor repairs which might need to be done such as tightening of fixings that have become loose.
Colour Coding System
An annual racking inspection will be undertaken while your racking is loaded with pallets. Anything that is damaged or faulty is noted and a report supplied based on the SEMA Code of Practice. SEMA has a colour coding system of green, amber, and red.
Green means that an item is damaged but is within the SEMA code. The item can continue to be used but should be monitored. Amber means that it is outside the SEMA code, but the rack does not have to be immediately off-loaded. However, when it is off-loaded it should not be used again until the problem has been attended to. Red indicates that the rack is well outside the limits of the SEMA code and it should be off-loaded immediately and not used again until it has been repaired.
An annual inspection can also indicate areas where improvements might be made such as installation of barriers in high traffic areas and where safety notices might be added.
So, in short it is not a legal requirement to have an annual inspection of your pallet racking, but you could be in trouble if there was an accident, since it could be argued that you did not take reasonable steps to ensure someone’s safety “so far as is reasonably practical”.
An annual inspection will usually take less than half a day, and as with many things in life, it is better to be safe than sorry.
Click here to book a safety inspection.
No matter what kind of business you are working within, you will have your own individual storage requirements, and it is vital that you can get these right for a number of reasons. If your storage isn’t optimal for your needs, then there is always the chance that your warehouse won’t work as well as you had hoped for your business, and for this reason you should think about the possibility of having custom shelving installed. We have put together a list of reasons that this is such a great idea, and this should help you to come to a decision that is perfect for you.
Make the most of your available space
Warehouses are often tight for space when it comes to the ground, and this means that if you want to make the most of the overall space, you will need to think about building your storage solution upwards instead. Shelving is a good idea in this respect, as you will be able to make the absolute most of any space that you have, right from the floor to your ceiling – and this is something that is certain to improve your warehouse as a whole.
You can be organised
If you have shelves that aren’t made just for you, then you might find that they aren’t really right for the items that you wish to store. With this being true, you will struggle to keep track of everything, as the space isn’t ideal. If you have custom shelving however then this is something that can be much easier, as you will be able to get exactly the right shape and size of shelves that you need. This is very helpful, and you can truly make it fit your needs. This then means that you will have a much better idea of exactly where everything is, so there will be nothing to worry about when you need to try and find things in your warehouse.
You can change it as your needs change
If you have custom shelves installed, then you will be able to change them and then build upon them as things grow. This means that if you’re not sure about exactly what your business needs are going to be in the future, it is a good idea to opt for custom shelving, as you will simply be able to make any necessary changes as and when required – which is good for your peace of mind.
It is more affordable than other options
Because you are able to fit this shelving system in with the warehouse that you already have, there is no need to worry about having to find a new warehouse if your current system isn’t working well enough for you. Not only this, but it gives you the chance to actually build up your shelving system over time, rather than having to pay for the full lot in one go, and this is something that can help a great deal. When you are just trying to set up a business, it can often be quite difficult to make it a success, and it can certainly help if you can cut back on the costs that you might have to deal with.
The better adapted your warehouse is to your needs, the more likely it is that it is going to be an overall success. This means that your warehouse shelving solution should be something that you seriously think about, as it can make a big difference in general, so if you are looking for a way that you can make your warehouse more fit for purpose then this could be a great choice.
Recently we discussed the use of Autonomous Mobile Robots and how in the long-term they would prove to be the future technology used across a number of warehouses and distribution centres. At the same time we are aware that the uncertainty of Brexit means many businesses are hesitant to invest in more expensive technology. It may also be the case that for some companies, regardless of the current economic climate, a solid business case cannot be made for introducing the technology into their supply chain.
Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) have been around in one form or another for almost 70 years and there is a case to be made for and against their continued use. Read on below to find out more about some of the systems benefits and drawbacks.
Reduction of labour costs
Increasing productivity and efficiency is the golden ticket that every business wants to win. AGVs tick these boxes due to their reliability and long term cost effectiveness. They do not tire or need to take breaks during the day. They provide higher task accuracy and can be set to work on repetitive tasks that could lead to injury, or put humans at risk over a period of time.
The use of an AGV can start with as few as one but as demands grow, so too can the fleet. Their operation expands (or decreases) as and when you need it to, and the time taken to implement these changes will enhance the speed of your operational flow. If needed, AGVs can also be adapted to include robotic attachments as a cost effective gateway into more advanced technology.
Predictability and Safety
Their easy control handling means AGVs remain a reliable and safe way to transport goods through distribution and warehouse centres. They are designed and installed to work away from the workforce which lessens any safety concerns that may arise. What makes them particularly useful is their ability to be used in environments where extreme temperatures are standard, while also taking on heavier loads and reducing the risk of injury to staff.
High initial cost
As is the case for any company looking to invest in new technology, the initial financial outlay can prove to be a difficult obstacle to overcome. Long term returns have to be balanced against a feasible purchasing period and offset against the reduction of labour costs. During that time it would be safe to assume that there may be some additional maintenance costs. No machine is perfect and any costing should also factor in potential downtime and disruption caused to operations as a result.
An AGVs predictability can also prove to be its own worst enemy. Getting the most out of the system is very much dependent on ensuring you can maximise its focused strengths. AGVs thrive when undertaking repetitive tasks but if this not an area you need to improve, you may not benefit too greatly from investment.
Lack of Flexibility
If the path or route needs to be altered quickly due to a new layout, or unforeseen issues, then it can take some time to halt operations and reprogram the AGV to adapt to a new workflow. At its best a distribution centre will work like a well-oiled machine, but the fast-changing demands of a warehouse means there can be a need to react quickly. If the repetitive task cycle of an AGV is suited to your operations without the need for regular fast changes, then they will be an ideal system to purchase.
Where office cubicles was once the preferred option for many offices, floor-to-ceiling partitions are now becoming a more popular choice for a number of reasons. The flexibility offered by this type of partition allows for greater control of the workplace environment, creating a bespoke shape to suit the requirements of the employees. They are ideal for warehouse and production facilities that require space for administration and management offices, and as the company expands, new partitions can be installed to suit. There are a whole range of additional benefits that come with the installation of office partitions which we will discuss in more detail below.
Low wall partitions, or cubicles, are intended to remove visual distractions for workers, allowing them to concentrate on the work at hand. The noise levels within an office are not blocked out by this type of partition and interruptions occur more easily. The floor-to-ceiling alternative helps to lower noise pollution within the office space far more effectively. Phone calls, typing, conversations etc., are less noticeable and allow employees to focus on their work. This is also extremely helpful for any important incoming or outgoing phone calls, as less background noise creates the right impression for clients on the other end of the phone.
Purchasing an open plan office presents a blank canvas for a company to build upon. Office partitions arrive in a similar fashion and the neutral colours allow them to be decorated to match the specific branding and style associated with the business. This is particularly helpful for satellite or sales offices that act as a representative for the company abroad. Maintaining brand consistency offers a familiarity and comfort for visiting clients and retains a sense of professionalism.
Floor-to-ceiling partitions do contain windows, of course, but the enclosed nature of the space provides more privacy for employees. Not everyone feels comfortable displaying pictures of loved ones and other personal items on their desk in the middle of a busy workspace. Office partitions provide the opportunity for workers to feel relaxed in their own environment, which it turn should lead to a better quality of work. This option also provides more security for any items of worth brought into the office, which can be safely locked away from sight at the end of the day.
For businesses that are looking for either long, or short-term leases, office partitions are a great way to manage costs and the overall layout. They are cheaper than the building of permanent walls and also mean that offices can be removed or expanded upon without spending too much extra time and money. For offices that are needed for a short space of time, be it for a particular event or transitional period, operations can be up and running relatively quickly. If needed, the partitions can then be taken down and used again elsewhere. Energy costs will also benefit as less of the office space will need to receive heating on a consistent basis.
Natural light and visual aesthetics
Glass partitions are both pleasing to the eye and create transparency between various workers. For management, rather than being blocked off from outside activity, it keeps them in sync with the mood of employees in the main workspace. The reverse is also true, as there is less of a divide between employees who may feel the management is inaccessible if they are not visible within their office. For those working inside a glass partitioned office, the natural light coming into the space aids concentration rather than the intensity sometimes created by artificial lighting.
The challenge of moving products efficiently within a warehouse facility is a constant source of concern for managers and supervisors. In years past, the transportation of goods occurred via hand, or were combined with carts for orders of a higher volume. In some businesses this can still prove to be the case. The use of conveyor belt systems increased speed but produced their own issues, which means a sturdier, more efficient method had to be introduced to maintain throughput.
Automated conveyor systems are a fast and easy solution that allows for the quick relocation of goods and products within a large, or small facility. They are ideal for handling an assortment of items, especially those that are bulkier in size. This is a prime reason why a growing number of companies are installing automated conveyor systems, allowing them to not only increase efficiency within the warehouse supply chain, but improve employee working conditions.
What to consider before purchasing
Before selecting the automated conveyor you want to install you should primarily base your decision on the type of product that will moved along it. This includes the basics such as the dimensions, which will determine the width of the conveyor and the weight. Also consider the amount of items and the rate at which they will pass along the conveyor, and the product type to match up with the type of system you purchase.
Their make-up is incredibly straight forward and yet the benefits they yield are priceless. Quite simply a belt sits atop a smooth metal bed or rollers. For longer distances rollers are the preferred option as they help to minimise any friction created. Their flexibility in shape also means they are not required to be just one, long straight line. Concentric belts used on corners will allow the products and items to manoeuvre round bends without creating issues.
This non-powered option is often implemented for use in the off-loading of goods into the warehouse, sorting of packages and in manufacturing assembly zones. This is usually the cheapest type of conveyor and that is reflected in the lower amount of control it allows over products.
Powered roller conveyors
There are three main types that fall under this category; zero pressure, live roller and minimum pressure conveyors. The liver roller is best suited for light-to-medium weight loads and often used for package handling. Minimum pressure can handle a similar weight load and can accommodate short lines of product accumulation. Zero pressure conveyors are able to handle products that vary in weight and width. Some are used for sorting, kitting, packaging, or installed into shipping and despatch zones. Picking areas also prefer to use this type of conveyor, as do palletising zones, as this style responds well to high throughput.
To move loads that are particularly heavy in weight there are two options; either a roller pallet conveyor or a drag chain. The former can bear heavier loads and typically finds use in pack out areas and accumulation zones. Drag chain pallet conveyors can be utilised in warehouses that require exposure to very low, or high temperatures. As such, it is a specialised system relied upon for specific types of pallet set-ups.
Overhead conveyors are perhaps one of the oldest types of system, although due to their reliability, still prove to be very popular. For finishing lines, rubbish removal or food packing they are an ideal option. Table top chain conveyors are usually put to work in accumulation, labelling and package handling, while magnetic slide conveyors perform best with the transportation of small parts.
Give our design team a call on 01937 58505 if you want a free site survey and expert advice to create the ultimate warehouse facility.