Alascom has been experiencing and developing logistic solutions for several years. Automation “4.0” has arrived in the warehouses, and the need was felt. Perhaps still present in the common imagination as static places where goods simply remain parked, today warehouses have become and increasingly are becoming dynamic and intelligent environments, in which there is room for robotics, information technology and sensors. This is the direct consequence of the considerable increase in complexity that has hit warehouse and logistics activities in recent years.
Regardless of the type of merchandise sold, warehouses today contain far more products than ever before and also far more data. To satisfy increasingly demanding customers, who are informed and demand greater personalization, the offers have expanded and deepened. With the entry of traceability, monitoring, sensors, Internet of Things connectivity systems, many factories and supply chains have seen a real explosion of data, which is indeed a resource but also a complicated material to manage. In addition, to pursue the levels of service guaranteed by Amazon and other e-commerce giants, even the most traditional companies find themselves under pressure to reduce delivery times more and more.
How to deal with such an important and probably irreversible change?
Automation is a powerful tool for reducing complexity – and costs! – and it’s also a forward-looking investment that pays for itself quickly. Two types of automation: “material”, relating to the storage and handling of goods; and “intangible”, created with management and control software. It seems complicated, but the tools to support the technological transformation of the warehouse are certainly not lacking.
Automatic shelving and AGVs and AMRs overturn the old static warehouse model and bring new efficiency to storage, handling, picking, loading and unloading of goods (palletized, in crates or in bulk). All these procedures can be automated, with excellent results. A dynamic and automatic storage and handling system, for example, allows you to exploit the warehouse in all its height (transforming it into a “vertical warehouse”): you can gain up to 90% more space, for the same size, compared to a traditional layout. And in addition to space optimization, you get greater speed (because you don’t waste time looking for an item or lot), precision (eliminates human error) and safety (no difficult handling, loading and unloading operations are attempted).
In general, however, we could define the automatic warehouse as an automated system for the storage of goods, consisting of four main elements:
The shelving, which makes it possible to exploit the vertical volumes.
The stacker crane
The stacker crane, a frame that moves vertically and sometimes even horizontally, sliding on a rail, with rope, belt or chain traction.
The head or handling
The head or handling, or the set of devices that extract and move the load units (automatic conveyors, shuttles, rollers or chains and other elements).
The electronic component
The electronic component, ie the electrical panel, a computer and management and control software.
Alascom is able to offer you all this.
Both the handling of materials and products and the loading and unloading operations lend themselves very well to being automated, with great savings in time and great gains in efficiency and precision.