Increase your Storage Space with a Pallet Mole® System
The development of forklifts, together with pallets and the specialised racking designed to support them, represented a major step forward in warehousing. Together, these innovations allowed operatives to stack goods to greater heights and thus to make use of the vertical space that had previously been inaccessible. However, despite the later option of more manoeuvrable forklifts that can negotiate narrower aisles, inadequate space remains an issue for many storage facilities. The pallet system (Pallet Mole®) is now offering hard-pressed storage companies an even better means to overcome their historical lack of space and streamline their operation in the process.
When installing this type of system, a battery-operated shuttle, namely a Pallet Mole®, travels on rails within the storage lane to perform the loading and unloading activities that would previously have been a task for a lift truck and driver. With no need for the forklift to enter an aisle, like with a drive-in system, the result is a dense deep lane, storage system with increased capacity. Also, by converting to a pallet shuttle system, a facility can markedly reduce its operating times while also eliminating the risk of accidents and damage to racking and products often caused by trucks.
In these systems, it is the Pallet Mole® that does the bulk of the fetching and carrying. The driver’s role is to insert the Pallet Mole® at the required level & lane and then either add a loaded pallet for the Mole to store (deposit) or remove one that it has retrieved. The pallet shuttle system can accommodate multiple Pallet Mole® units, which are Wi-Fi enabled, semi-automatic mobile platforms. With a suitable remote control device, the forklift driver can transmit instructions to several of these units simultaneously; an option that serves to reduce operating times substantially and, in turn, boost a company’s productivity.
Depending on the facility’s average turnover, even the partial automation provided by a pallet shuttle system can offer several benefits. The most significant is often the impact on a company’s storage capacity. In the case of a new business, the system will allow it to operate from smaller premises and thus reduce its running costs during the crucial start-up stage. Alternatively, for an established operation that may be facing the need to expand, the same system could almost double its existing capacity and thus avoid the expense of acquiring additional or larger premises.
In its most basic form, a pallet shuttle system is a valuable investment that can be guaranteed to save its owners both time and money. However, those who choose to settle for a partially-automated installation will be failing to leverage its full potential. In practice, when adding a couple of additional components to the shopping list, the all-around improvements to the resulting fully-automated installation’s efficiency will more than justify the extra cost.
The fully automated AS/RS system, namely the Omni-Mole® , eliminates the need for a forklift to position the shuttle cartsand load or unload palletised items. Instead, the more advanced Omni-Mole® system completes all the vertical transfers by using vertical transfer units (VTU’s). The entire process can be software controlled and the loaded pallets delivered to and collected from the storage system with a conveyor or automated guided vehicle (AGV) or automated mobile robot (AMR). For more details, chat with the experts at Storage Management Systems.