For maximum warehouse productivity, Mecalux is able to offer a solution that combines stacker cranes with pallet shuttles, which it states will lead to increased warehouse operations and storage capacity – while also boosting throughput.
Stacker cranes are automatic machines that transport goods to any storage channel, while a pallet shuttle uses an electric shuttle to load and unload pallets autonomously. The automated pallet shuttle system from Mecalux combines these two solutions. In this high-density system, the forklifts used in the semi-automated version are replaced with stacker cranes. These machines then deposit and extract the goods, aided by a motor-driven shuttle.
In each aisle, a stacker crane retrieves pallets from the storage entry point and moves them to the corresponding storage channel. Once there, the electric shuttle moves the pallets to the deepest available position. Movements are carried out automatically by following the commands issued by a Warehouse Management System (WMS).
The main difference between the semi-automated and automated versions of this retrieval system lies in the movement of the shuttle to the racks. With the semi-automated version, an operator has to move the shuttle with a forklift. With the automated system, on the other hand, there’s no human intervention as the stacker crane is responsible for moving the electric shuttle. Moreover, stacker cranes can operate in narrower aisles – less than 63 inches wide – and reach heights of over 130 feet.
Mecalux points out that an automated storage system is ideal for increased productivity, as the automatic handling equipment and motorised shuttle travel raise the number of cycles per hour and thus reduce product storage and retrieval times. The shuttle is also charged while onboard the stacker crane and, additionally, this automated system works in-line with the highest safety standards for both people and the racking system itself.
“We believe this automated shuttle system is a good solution for companies in various industries that manage a large number of pallets per SKU, as they can rely on this storage solution to effectively manage large inflow and outflow volumes,” explains Mecalux.
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