With the UK on course to leave the EU, and with no deal on the table that everyone can agree to, there is a lot of confusion right across the warehouse and manufacturing industries. And yet, business owners still have to find solutions that will make the transition smoother, even though they are not aware of the terms of the Brexit deal, or the exact details of our relationship with the EU once we have left.
In the meantime, UK businesses are starting to look for facilities that can provide flexible storage space. These ‘build to suit’ solutions are constructed to support companies in becoming more efficient with planning and preparing for future events. They also require storage space that is adaptable and will allow them to make the alterations they need if – or when – demands change post-Brexit.
Temporary Storage Demands
The current status of Brexit negotiations has led to an increase in requests for temporary and smaller storage shelters. What storage constructors are also noticing is a change in rental requirements. Instead of long term leases, companies are starting to ask for shorter periods that run for anywhere between 1-5 years.
The reason for this is because companies are trying to plan ahead into the future. They have to find sustainable methods of maintaining their production flow that will allow them to continue to fulfil the needs of their customers at a time of extreme uncertainty. By investing in custom built storage facilities, they are creating an alternative solution that differs from the typical spaces used to store their products.
Many of these structures are fabric based, so they are not permanent, but offer the right kind of conditions to store merchandise and goods. Because they can be adapted to suit the specific user, it will help businesses react quickly to any changes in the market while helping to save on costs in the short run.
Preparing For Brexit
Another option being explored, and taken up by, manufacturers in the UK is stockpiling. Those who rely on raw materials being shipped in from various countries need to find ways to ensure they do not experience a dramatic shortage that could affect their ability to produce. Aston Martin recently announced they would be increasing stockpiles of car components from 3 days’ supply to 5 as a precaution, in the event of no deal being reached at all.
This follows on from Bentley also stating they would begin doing the same. Airbus have been vocal in their concerns about the current situation over Brexit and have started to increase storage of aeroplane components. However, at the moment, many small-to-medium sized firms are not looking at this as an option due to the financial risks involved.
Although this may change the closer we move towards Brexit if there is no deal on the table. Aside from the cash flow needed to invest in stockpiling, it also requires a larger amount of storage space. With e-commerce demands growing all the time, there is an increased need to find cost effective 3rd Party Logistics (3PL) storage space.
No matter how large or small the business, finding a balance between flexibility and dependability will prove crucial no matter what the outcome of Brexit. Whether building new custom built storage spaces, or maximising the space within their current warehouse, companies will have to think on their feet to ensure they keep pace with the ever changing logistical landscape.
For many years Amazon have led the way with the use of automated systems in their warehouses, combining traditional human methods with cutting edge technology. However, until this point there has never been a fully automated factory anywhere in the world, although it was only a matter of time before one was created.
That has now happened in Japan, where Mujin, a Tokyo-based start-up have created the world’s first fully-automated warehouse that requires no help from human workers. Their technology has transformed a JD.com warehouse into a facility of the future and they have plans to rapidly expand the use of their software.
Mujin produce controllers that are about the size of a briefcase, and can serve as an operating system to control hardware made by any robot manufacturer. There are typically two of these controllers used in any installation – one for vision and the other for motion planning.
The aim of these controllers is to automatically generate motions for the robots, which would remove the need to manually teach the robots. According to Mujin, this will improve efficiency and make for a more productive warehouse environment. The technology uses a combination of motion planning and computer vision, which enables the robots to move autonomously and intelligently.
When the 40,000-sqm JD.com facility was opened in June 2018 it instantly turned heads due to its impressive set-up. It comes equipped with 20 industrial robots that are able to pick, transfer and pack goods by using crates moved along on conveyor belts. This system is aided further by use of camera technology and Mujin’s vision and motion planning controllers. Elsewhere in the facility, merchandise is carted around by robots onto loading docks and trucks ready for shipping.
The robots used in the warehouse are smart machines that have been programmed to perform a specific task. This allows every position of every joint to be tracked down to the millisecond, which significantly minimises the possibility of errors occurring. Each of the controllers feature fast microchips that can handle the burden of extremely large computational processes. With this software installed, they can evaluate a huge range of possible manoeuvres, before the best one is selected in less than a second.
Back in 2012, Amazon purchased robot company Kiva Systems and have been deploying automated technology in their fulfilment centres ever since. The key differential between Amazon and this new layout is that no humans work on the floor of the JD.com warehouse. Amazon employ around 400-500 workers in each fulfilment centre, and Mujin’s system requires only 5 employees be present. However, their job is not to run any of the operations, rather, they are there only to service the machines to ensure they remain in good working order.
Mujin currently offer their software as a customisable service. However, their plan is to move away from offering this model to every client, and to create a standardised automation package in America. This will make it more accessible and affordable for the vast majority of businesses, and could pose a further threat to employment levels in the industrial sector. Concerns about the impact of automation have already been raised for a number of years, although Mujin’s system proposes to dispose of nearly all human assistance.
Yet, there is a strong case to be made that fully-automated warehouses will not be detrimental to jobs. Traditionally, the introduction of technology and robots has created more jobs. Japanese car company Toyota are a perfect example. They have fully embraced automation and have since grown into the biggest car company in the world. This has allowed to accentuate human craftsmanship to improve manufacturing while becoming a more efficient operation.
Mujin’s technology looks set to transform warehouses as we know it – but it is likely to be a positive change that will benefit businesses, staff and customers.
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.
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.
When designing a warehouse or manufacturing space there is always a requirement for storage equipment usually some form of pallet racking.
Of course once the facility is up and running it is more challenging to make changes, so getting the design correct from the start is important. With that said in some situations it can be beneficial to stage a project if you are unsure how some work flows or processes will develop.
The first thing to consider is what you are going to store it could be six thousand identical pallets or fifty different items but the basic design principles are the same. Just like the old saying a place for everything and everything in its place!
The next thing to consider is access how often will we need to access which items, for some businesses they may need instance access to thousands of items others will be able to archive most of their stored inventory. The most efficient space storage is to block stack everything into a neat pile with no gaps but of course if you need the item at the back at the bottom it means moving everything.
So we work backwards from this for palletised goods the next highest density storage system is drive in pallet racking. This is not suitable if you need access to every pallet so then a narrow aisle APR system offers the next best density.
There are a number of issues to consider building size, fire doors, fork lift truck specification etc. The best way forward is often to get a basic design and then ask a professional storage equipment and warehouse design team to look at your basic design and come up with other ideas.
This allows you to start to understand the design process as the information you will provide on the needs of your business makes you the most important member of the design team for your warehouse layouts and pallet racking design.
To add to the excellent results for the first six months 2014 (announced in June this year) 2h Storage Solutions Ltd has achieved record breaking results for the second six months of 2014 making the eleventh anniversary of the company even more of a landmark year.
The results have been achieved through a mixture of new and existing clients to add to the already enviable client portfolio. This can be attributed to the company’s excellent reputation within the industry for the no-nonsense and practical approach to projects from an experienced and highly expert team who have worked together for a number of years.
The projects include design, specification, install and integration of Warehouse Storage Systems ranging from semi automated conveyor systems to heavy duty pallet racking systems, mobile shelving and multilevel mezzanine floors across a range of industry sectors.
Many businesses relocate and need to moving pallet racking services, we offer a full range of services to make this simple and hassle free.
We can take a full inventory of your existing pallet racking checking quantities and condition to make sure you are not moving waste materials. We also design and draw out your new warehouse layout so you can see just what you will end up with and how it will work for you. We look at the eve and ridge heights your fork lift trucks specifications and limitations and design the most cost effective solution for your new building and storage needs. We will take down transport and rebuild so you can concentrate on making the rest of your move run smoothly.
We can supply additional racking both new and used equipment and offer lease purchase options subject to status. We can increase and reduce the height of your pallet racking and give you the best layouts for your new building using your racking. We also buy and sell used pallet racking and it can sometime be more cost effective to sell your old pallet racking and let us supply new or used on a lease or hire purchase option.
So if you want to make the most of this one off opportunity to give you the best pallet racking layouts call one of our design team today on 01765 640160.
2h Storage are delighted to be attending the latest WTG – Warehouse Operations and return on investment event, which provides an ideal opportinity to mix with like minded people and work in partnership to develop businesses innovative approaches to best practice procedures.
A must attend event for logistics professionals.
The Warehouse Technology Group examines how to maximise your return on investment
Wednesday 16th October 2013 – Logistics Research and Innovation Centre
Mantra Learning, Greengate, Middleton, Manchester M24 1RU
In tough economic times all businesses are striving for extra efficiency in order to maintain profitability. But in the highly competitive, results-driven logistics industry such efficiency has long been a necessity. Yet within less cash to spare the need to cost justify investment in business improvement has never been stronger.
Knowing which piece of kit you need in order to improve your warehouse operation is one thing, but your ability to demonstrate its return on investment could be the deciding factor in whether or not it becomes a reality.
89 Redirack Employees Lose Jobs as UK Manufacturer Goes Into Administration
2h Storage Solutions were today saddened to learn that Redirack, the UK racking and mezzanine flooring manufacturer, based in Mexborough, South Yorkshire has entered administration with 89 employees losing their jobs.
Redirack, formerly part of the Constructor Dexion Group, have been a UK manufacturer of pallet racking since 1974 and became independent in 2003.
Redigroup Chairman Phil Culling told customers: “Apologies to those we have let down and thanks for those who have supported us over the years. The work to re-build this great brand and emerge again has started, so hopefully we will be back.”
Our thoughts are with those who have lost their jobs. For those requiring more information please contact David Baillie of PwC who has been appointed as the administrator. Tel: 028 9041 5864 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you looking for PSS pallet racking design, supply & installation? We can supply both new and used PSS planned storage systems pallet racking in Yorkshire or the North of England. We supply pallet racking from all the major manufactures and help you with all the associated pallet racking services. We offer a full pallet racking layout and design service offering a FREE of CHARGE site measure and survey with drawings available at no charge. Our business is run on repeat and referral business we do not advertise anywhere but rely on our enviable reputation for pallet racking services and competitive pricing.
We offer a full warehouse fit out service providing pallet racking, mezzanine floors, office and mesh partitioning and a wide range of associated warehouse products. Do you need practical and easy to understand and implement pallet racking safety advice? We don’t just offer warehouse pallet racking safety inspections but also run bespoke pallet racking safety courses for your staff to help them be safe and protect your warehouse equipment. We also supply and install a wide range of pallet racking protection from ballistic grade polymer upright guards to rack end barriers and pallet racking rack end load notices.
So whatever type of pallet racking you have or need call our pallet racking experts here in Yorkshire