Apart from the scarcity of labor, the warehousing and transport sectors constantly face another challenge – the scarcity of space. Given this challenge where more space means more investment, pallet shuttle systems are just what is needed to utilize the space as much and as wisely as is possible.
Warehousing, especially, the always-on supply chain, demands the facilities to be a 24*7 kind of a thing. Easier said than done. The pressure of managing an increased throughput on the facilities and the staff is immense. Pallet shuttles not only let you utilize the entire vertical of your warehouse/manufacturing facility but also decrease man hours and labor (tiring and unsafe in case of heavy lifting and working at height).
Let’s learn about what shuttle systems are and how they can be the #1 solution to space management problem for warehouses, distribution/fulfillment centers, and manufacturing facilities.
What it is a Pallet Shuttle System?
A shuttle system, simply put, is an automated storage and retrieval system, which is capable of moving at medium-high speeds and is very deep-lane. It enables efficient storage to the highest density, thus saving labor, time, as well as product damage costs.
How Do these Systems Work?
A shuttle system is primarily made of two parts:
- Storage structure:
It is an engineered self-supporting frame, that can support loads on a pair of horizontal rails that run parallel to each other. These rails are quite similar to drive-in rack rails. The loads that this structure can support can go as high as 3,940 Lbs./pallet and serves the dual role of the supporting structure for the pallets to rest on as well as the track for them to drive on.
- Shuttles (several per systems)
The more so mobile parts of the system are the pallets. The pallets are simply placed on a pallet shuttle (structure) (using a standard fork truck) which then move in the designated direction. Its software is capable of troubleshooting, thus ensuring up-time to the maximum. Since the shuttle follows a storage order – LIFO (last-in-first-out) or FIFO (first-in-first-out), your preference will decide for it to follow either. With just the push of a button, the driver can command the pallet to pick or to put away, depending on the requirement.
Why a Pallet Shuttle is the #1 Solution
It provides you with the highest achievable density for storage by placing solid blocks of pallets in the available space so that you don’t need to invest in additional length-wise storage.
The shuttle helps reduce Labor and equipment costs by moving the pallets autonomously as the pallets are placed in the shuttle semi-autonomously by the fork truck driver. Therefore, less man hours and less forklifts.
- It lets you achieve a high pallet to SKU ratio.
Lets you avoid inefficient and mostly unsafe material handling through the aisles that is caused due to “honeycombing”.
Pallets don’t get stuck in existing pallet flow systems because there is deeper lane storage.
Ideal for climate-control storage that calls for better cubic storage space utilization.