The Functions, Classification, Advantages, and Disadvantages of the Automated Warehouse

Automated Warehouse

Automated Warehouse

The automated warehouse is also referred to as a high-rise shelf warehouse (referred to as a high-bay warehouse). Generally, it uses several layers, dozens of layers, or even dozens of layers of shelves to store unit goods. Because this type of warehouse can make full use of the space to store goods, it is often visualized. It is called a “three-dimensional warehouse”.

In the previous article, a brief introduction was made to the automated warehouse, including the components of the warehouse, the application fields and some domestic and foreign warehouse suppliers.

This article will focus on the functions, classifications, advantages, and disadvantages of the warehouse.

Functions of the automated warehouse system

  • Mass storage: an automated warehouse can have up to 300,000 cargo spaces and can store 300,000 pallets, and an automated access system can store 300,000 tons of goods at the same time.
  • Automated access, the entry and exit of the warehouse, and the handling operations are all through the computer control of the mechanical and electrical integration.
  • Can be extended to classification, measurement, packaging, sorting, delivery, and other function.

AS/RS-Automated storage and retrieval system is a system that can automatically store and retrieve materials without manual processing. This meaning covers a wide variety of systems of varying of the system of varying complexity and size.

1. According to the height classification of the warehouse, it can be divided into low-level warehouse, middle-level warehouse, and high-level warehouse.

Low-rise warehouse: the construction height is below 5m, generally through the transformation of an old warehouse.

Middle-level warehouse: the building height is between 5 and 15m, and the requirements for the storage equipment are not high. The cost is moderate, and it is welcomed by the majority of users.

High-rise warehouse: the building height is more than 15m, which requires high storage machinery and equipment, and the construction is difficult.

The building height of the warehouse can reach 40m, and the height of the commonly used automated warehouse is between 7 and 24m.

2. According to the different operation items, the types of automated warehouse systems include:

Pallet-type warehouse: it is an automatic access system that can automatically insert or distribute pallets. This system can help the warehouse to store goods up to a height of 40m and does not require narrow aisle trucks or wider aisles for other trucks.

Box-type warehouse: it is a solution for order picking with average or low turnover speed.

Also has an intensive shuttle warehouse(shuttle board) and an automated warehouse.

3. Classified by shelf structure

Fully automated warehouse: mainly suitable for small warehouses, mobile, with strong sealing, intelligence, and strong confidentiality.

Straight-through stereoscopic warehouse: there is no space between the shelves of the straight-through stereoscopic warehouse, there is no aisle, and the entire shelf combination is a whole. The shelves pass through vertically and have a certain slope, and each layer of shelves is equipped with a slideway so that the goods can move along the slideway from a high place.

Strip shelf warehouse: mainly used to store strip goods.

4. Classified according to the storage function

Warehouse for picking up goods: mainly for picking up goods, with many types of goods and small shipments.

Storage room warehouse: with storage function, intensive storage. There are few types of goods, large shipments, and long deadlines.

5. Classification according to architectural form:

Independent warehouse: the independent warehouse is the opposite of the whole. The shelves are built independently and separated from the building.

Integral warehouse: the high-rise shelves and buildings are integrated. The storage service facilities can be constructed of reinforced concrete internally, which makes the high-rise shelves of the enterprise more stable.

6. Classified according to the degree of automation:

Automated warehouse: it is the automatic control of the access and loading and unloading process of goods.

Semi-automated warehouse: refers to the process of goods entering and leaving, part of which is completed by manual operation, and the other part is completed by automatic control.

The automated warehouse is an integration of automation equipment, which is used in many industries such as the logistics industry, manufacturing industry, energy mining, and so on. Its advantages are multifaceted, and for enterprises, they can be reflected in the following aspects:

1. Save the floor area of the warehouse and make full use of the warehouse space. Since the automated warehouse adopts the assembly of large storage shelves, and the automatic management technology makes the goods easy to find, the construction of an automated warehouse is smaller than the traditional warehouse, but the space utilization rate is large. In developed countries, improving space utilization has been used as an important assessment index for system rationality and advancement. Today, when energy conservation and environmental protection are advocated, automated warehouses have a very good effect in saving land and resources, and will definitely be a major trend in future storage development.

2. Automated management improves the management level of the warehouse. The warehouse uses computers to manage the information of goods accurately, which reduces the possible errors in storing goods and improves work efficiency. At the same time, the warehouse realizes motorization in the transportation of goods, and can also make some goods with special environmental requirements that can be well preserved through special design. The environment, such as toxic and explosive goods, also reduces the harm that people may receive when handling goods.

3. The warehouse can form an advanced production chain and promote the progress of productivity. Professionals pointed out that due to the high access efficiency of the warehouse, it can effectively connect the production links outsides the warehouse, and form an automated logistics system in the storage, thereby forming a planned and organized production chain so that the production capacity has is greatly improved, increased in magnitude.

The disadvantages of automated warehouse

The structure is complex and there are many supporting equipment, which requires a lot of investment in infrastructure and equipment.

For a large-scale intelligent warehouse, the cost is naturally not low, at least a few million budgets, if it is a super-large project, it may require hundreds of millions of funds. The price of a small warehouse is not low. Normally, the minimum cost of a small intelligent warehouse is one million. Because a smart warehouse has a bunch of automation equipment in addition to the shelves, the purchase price of this automation equipment is not low, in addition to the cost of the control system, installation, and transportation costs, the cost of one million can be said it is very low. If the budget is limited, you can choose a shelf system with a lower degree of automation, such as a shuttle warehouse, which can realize semi-automatic warehouse operations.

  • A large amount of steel is used for high-rise shelves, and the installation accuracy of the shelves is high, the construction is relatively difficult, and the construction period is long.
  • Once the control system fails, the entire warehouse will be paralyzed, and the sending and receiving operations will be interrupted.
  • The variety of stored goods is subject to certain restrictions, and a separate storage system must be established for long, large, and heavy goods.
  • The quality requirements for warehouse management and technical personnel are relatively high, and they must undergo special training before they can be competent.