Automatic storage systems
Automatic storage systems: space as an important selection parameter
Space plays a strategic role in the design of an automatic storage system. The available area, the type of UL, times and flows must all be evaluated

Sizing is one ofthe key factors when it comes to choosing an automatic storage system. To find the most suitable solution from among the different typesavailable, a company must first analyze some quantitative aspects that directly determine the pros and cons of the design for the logistics chain. Only in this way can thenumerous advantages offered by automatic storage systems be guaranteed.

Evaluate space to increase efficiency

The space available directly affects the organization of efficient material storage and handling. The main aspects that must be taken into consideration are:

  • the area available for the storage system (indoors or outdoors)
  • the type and quantity of ULs to be stored
  • flows and times to and from the storage system

Only after carefully evaluating these factors is it possible to design a general layout for the storage system and to identify the most suitable technology.

Evaluate space to increase efficiency
Area available for the storage system

Area available for the storage system

  • Area in plan view, including measurements and constraints, where the storage system will be positioned, indicating whether outdoors (self-supporting), indoors, or partially indoors (warehouse from which the roof is removed and raised by a self-supporting storage system)
  • Height permitted by urban development plans (and any exceptions obtained thanks to the fact that an automatic storage system can be considered a technical volume) and any possibility to construct part of the storage system below ground level
  • Contextualization of the storage system in the existing plan, with specifications regarding connections with production and shipping areas
  • Definition of the sizes of the spaces for inbound and outbound goods handling operations
  • Indication of any problems relating to seismic risks and the type of soil
  • Indication of fire loads (to consider whether smoke detection and fire extinguishing systems should be installed).

Type and quantity of the ULs to be stored

  • Definition of Handling Units (HU): pallets or universal bases (slaves, disposable pallets, trays) with particular care in defining the basis of the HU (forkliftable, stable, sound)
  • Definition of the dimensions of the UL: DxLxH, any extra length and weight
  • Quantity to be stored
  • Quantity and number of references in stock
  • Presence of processing lots (the number of lots is a multiplier of each reference)
  • Picking method: FIFO, LIFO for lots, quarantine, curing, etc.
Type and quantity of the ULs to be stored
Flows and times to and from the storage system

Flows and times to and from the storage system

  • Number of entire ULs entering the storage system
  • Number of entire ULs leaving the storage system
  • Number of movements that generate picking operations (layers or single package)

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