Automated warehousing applied to part or all of a distribution center can provide a wide range of benefits including space savings, lower building costs, improved productivity, more efficient material flow, less people, safer operations, reductions in inventory, increased reliability, reduced running costs, better ROI and lowest lifecycle cost.
Automated warehousing systems provide the maximum possible usage of available floor space and building height. In some cases, this enables companies to increase storage capacity by up to 400% compared to conventional forklift operations. Where space is limited, switching to an automated warehousing solution can free up additional space for other activities, such as manufacturing.
Automated warehousing systems offer tremendous performance in terms of productivity. Not only do they work faster than forklifts and narrow aisle trucks, they can also operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, keeping product on the move.
Automated warehousing systems can also enhance the efficient flow of materials through a manufacturing facility or distribution center. By integrating the system with production materials handling systems, raw materials, tools, parts, work-in-process, and finished goods can all be efficiently delivered to where they are required.
The systems can be set up to provide a buffer storage function on assembly lines, and can service multi-floor applications. By using automated storage and retrieval machines the need for drivers/operators is eliminated. Compared with conventional methods, and calculated over the life of the machine, savings can be substantial and the ROI can be highly attractive.
With integrated location and inventory control software combined with faster throughput, it is possible to reduce stock levels. Inventory can be accurately tracked at all stages, maximizing stock availability. Stock control can also be improved, with the software enabling goods to be automatically picked on a First In First Out basis , or by ‘use-by’ date etc.
Once the automated warehouse has been set up, ongoing operating costs are minimized. Typical warehousing costs involving refueling or recharging of batteries, regular mechanical and electrical maintenance, and staffing, lighting are also minimized.
KMH offers a free Operational Audit which can give you the most efficient and cost effective evaluation of your operation. We provide you with all the available ways to automate your facility and get the most out of your current budget while still optimizing your ROI.