Is your facility developing a space issue? Before you start looking to move or build out your current facility, consider these 10 creative ways to gain additional room.
1. Consider automated storage: Automated equipment such as automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), carousels, vertical lift modules and shuttle systems can hold a large volume of goods in a small space.
2. Mount conveyors overhead: Free up floor space by hanging conveyors from the ceiling on brackets. This allows room below for picking or for forklift traffic to flow unimpeded.
3. Add a mezzanine: Building a mezzanine can provide addtional workspace for picking, packing and value-added areas.
4. Opt for narrow-aisle storage: Narrow aisles within storage areas allow for more rack positions within the same footprint. Wire-guided forklifts and reach trucks are typically used to access products in narrow-aisle operations.
5. Optimize your inventory: Remove obsolete and excess products from your inventory to free up space for new SKUs.
6. Use the space above your dock doors: Use the space above dock doors to store maintenance items, packaging materials, cleaning supplies and other items that you aren't needing to use on a daily basis.
7. Invest in slotting software: The use of slotting software can maximize the amount of inventory stored within each rack or shelf position.
8. Use multilevel pick modules: Picking modules can be built with multiple levels to provide easy access to many products within a small footprint.
9. Use pushback and drive-in racks: Drive-in and pushback rack allows products to be stored several pallets deep along the rack fronts.
10. Raise the roof!: If your facility has a low clearance height, consider expanding upward. There are construction firms that specialize in raising the roofs of facilities, providing space for additional racks and mezzanines at a fraction of the cost of a horizontal expansion.
Want to see a dramatic reduction in indirect operating costs? Improve your material handling system … the results will astonish you!
Skarnes, Inc. has been in the business of solving our customers’ material handling challenges for over 30 years. In that time, we have experienced a broad range of issues involving an equally broad range of products. Our sales engineering staff has approached each of these challenges with a unique blend of automation/integration experience, providing customers with innovative systems technologies that contribute directly to bottom line results.
Selecting a Conveyor System
Addressing your Problems
If your company suffers from inaccurate order picking or stocking, it can cost you a lot of money. If you suffer from damaged product, slow pick rates, bottlenecks or inadequate space, the first reaction of many companies is to throw people at it. That will not solve the problem. At Storage Equipment, we understand that solving these problems require a comprehensive understanding of material handling optimization.
Skarnes, Inc., Inc. is an expert at blending varying technologies in order to create a material handling solution that functions as one integrated system. Our systems are scalable and flexible, with built-in capability to meet your needs for years to come. They are carefully designed to minimize material handling expenses, improve productivity, and increase throughput. We offer a variety of material handling solutions that are engineered and integrated into your operations to create efficiency and savings that fall directly to your bottom line.
We know, through many years of experience, that every client’s needs are unique. For this reason, we invest the time necessary to assess and understand your business before making any recommendations. We work with you to establish a clear vision of the specific objectives you would like to achieve with this conveyor project to assure we are accountable to your goals.
We begin with a needs assessment, learning about your business, assessing your processes, and gaining a thorough understanding of the challenges you face in moving material in and out of the facility. The process outlined here is time proven to yield successful results:
Operations assessment - This includes a complete detailed analysis of your material flow, which allows us to select the right components to design and integrate into your operation. This involves an assessment of:
Physical properties of the product to be handled (load data) to include shape, dimensions, weight, flow rate, orientation and footprint (pallet, drum, carton, bag, container, irregular shape, etc.)
Does the product need to be turned or rotated?
Will there be shock loading considerations?
Is accumulation required?
Will the system need to provide sortation capability?
What line speeds will be required?
What existing systems will interface with it?
What ergonomic considerations need to be considered?
What safety considerations are being designed into the system?
Defining the solution - We then develop a detailed design, specifying the equipment you will need and how it integrates into your system. This will include CAD drawings, specifications, parts lists, application guidelines, energy requirements, compliance with safety regulations, design parameters, simulation, and more. In this stage, we would develop a Statement of Operation, which clearly defines the performance characteristics providing a measurement for you to assess options and results.
Schedule development - We understand the importance of establishing a firm schedule and timeline that you can count on for system start-up. We provide a critical-path schedule and work diligently to assure we adhere to that schedule.
Design - We engineer and seamlessly integrate all of the selected components into a system that is built to meet or exceed the duty cycle and loading specifications defined in our assessment, with a focus on low maintenance operation. (insert picture of our CAD designer)
Implementation/installation - Our installation crews are skilled and experienced in all aspects of conveyor system design, and will install the system right the first time. But our job is not done there. We understand the importance of matching your expectations and objectives with actual system performance. Therefore, after debugging the system, we train your people on how to get the best performance out of the system with a clear focus on results.
Post-implementation - We provide comprehensive life cycle services on all systems we design, including training, preventive maintenance and service.
Selecting a Conveyor System
Conveyors are clearly one of the best productivity-enhancing tools available to warehouses, distribution centers and manufacturing operations as a means of improving material flow, throughput, customer response times, and bottom line results. Skarnes, Inc. offers a full range of conveyors, conveyor systems and conveyor controls for the manufacturing, warehouse and distribution center markets. Whether it’s accumulation, transportation, sortation, merge, divert, transfer or storage, Skarnes, Inc., Inc. can design and meet the material handling needs of virtually any product distribution/ manufacturing environment.
The conveyor systems we design use the smartest technologies and combine them into flexible, low-maintenance systems available in a wide array of formats, shapes, sizes and types. These include stainless steel incline, decline, metering, gravity, roller and belt. Powered roller conveyors provide quiet, positive transportation and zeropressure accumulation of cartons, totes, etc. Accumulation lines may include both straight and curved sections.
Cross-docking has emerged as a material handling technology that can meet the high-throughput demands of the modern warehouse and distribution center. Sortation conveyors provide a means of diverting a product from one conveyor line to another. By using controls and multiple sortation conveyors, product can be sorted by diverting the product only to the appropriate conveyor. Conveyor systems can be configured for virtually any pattern, product packaging or container, including cases, totes, trays and boxes. Cross-belt sorters provide the capability to transport and sort items that present difficulties during traditional sortation, such as fragile and highfriction items. Print and apply modules can be integrated with the conveyor system to provide seamless on-line labeling of packages, cartons, boxes, etc.
Delivering on Our Commitment
From process analysis services, to systems design and implementation, to installation, test and maintenance, our sales engineering staff takes full responsibility for assuring that every aspect of the project is completed to your satisfaction. Our sales engineers, who are also skilled project managers, will stay with the project to completion to assure your goals are met. The end result is a systematic blending of process, technology and equipment, yielding a material handling system that puts you back in control of your profitability.
Skarnes, Inc. has the resources and expertise to assure your material handling solutions generate the results promised. Why settle for less?