You may have heard of automated cold storage facilities, but for those who are unfamiliar, automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) are relatively new systems that have allowed for dramatic reductions in cost and improvements in the efficiency of cold storage warehouses. There are a number of reasons to invest in an AS/AR system, especially for those that are familiar with the difficulties involved in running cold storage facilities. Early advances in palletized storage were originally done to reduce the severity of the impact on personnel that had to constantly cycle between outside and below zero temperatures to avoid injury, but recent advances have taken advantage of palletized systems to all but completely remove employees from the frigid interiors of the warehouse.
Moving Employees Out Of The Freezer
The problem with constantly cycling large volumes of air in and out is the constant loss of chilled air and the constant introduction of humidity. While necessary to take care of your employees, this causes an inevitable buildup of ice and frost that can obscure important information, create dangerous surfaces, and require regular cleaning. By moving employees outside of the freezer you can not only place them in far more tolerable environments but massively reduce the cost of maintaining the temperature. Automated cold storage facilities also increase space efficiency by storing pallets in human-inconvenient, but automation-ready high-density methods. Improving storage density passively increases energy efficiency per item and makes for some of the most efficient and environmentally friendly cold storage warehouses in the industry.
Minimize Required Space
Current AS/RS tend to focus on high-density racks that minimize the horizontal footprint of the required space. Since the most heat tends to bleed in through the roof of a cold storage warehouse, switching to a very dense and efficient storage system minimizes the surface area relative to the volume of material stored within. In this way, automation allows facilities to store more material, run more efficiently, and better maintain the conditions that they exist to provide.
Automation In Cold Storage Construction
Choosing to upgrade or build a cold storage warehouse is a big investment, but it is a big investment into the future. Relying on people to scurry through an inhospitable climate and collect items is not just inefficient and dangerous, but an unnecessary holdover from the past. With automated storage and retrieval, many of the issues that exist in the industry become much less serious concerns while improving operations in nearly every way. It can be easy to feel complacent when everything is working smoothly, but take the time to consider what your business will need in the coming years, and what new opportunities become possible with significantly improved facilities. Cold storage warehouses as a whole are not going anywhere, but as new automation technologies come to market supply chain costs are increasingly becoming a focal point of competition..
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