Modern technology has changed the game for every aspect of today’s business models and materials handling is one area of big opportunity for improved efficiencies, productivity and ROI with recent automation advancements.
In the past, warehouse automation like high-speed sortation systems, conveyor & transport systems and warehouse management software (WMS) and barcoding have been game changers for distribution operations.
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) offer a combination of equipment and computer controls that handle, store and retrieve materials with accuracy and speed allowing companies to recapture floor space, improve efficiency and ensure inventory control.
Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) were early focused on very precise and specialized process operations but recent advances in sensor technologies and guidance systems have opened the door for the newest generation of Warehouse Automation – The Robotic Lift Truck.
Robotic Lift Truck Technology
Companies can now look at areas within their warehouse or distribution center where robotics would make sense such as:
- Dock to stock – where robotic lift trucks can take over long runs from the receiving area to put away in pallet racking system.
- Low value-added tasks that are repetitive in nature can eliminate labor expense such as transport within the warehouse and dock operations.
- Stock to dock – integrating with WMS provides visibility of load movement for increased accuracy.
Benefits of Robotic Lift Trucks to Automate Materials Handling
- Unlike older AGV’s, new Robotic Lift Trucks offer flexibility to change from automated to manual operation providing scalable automation based on current warehouse demands and traffic patterns.
- Adapting to new robotic technology requires no costly “infrastructure” changes to the facility. The technology uses existing infrastructure such as walls, racking and columns to self-locate and navigate.
- Flexible automation with rapid deployment capability, robotic lift trucks run with zero, partial or full integration with facility WMS. They switch to manual operating mode at the touch of a button to accommodate changing operational needs.
Yale Robotic Lift Trucks
The Yale® MC10-15 counterbalanced stacker Driven by Balyo is the latest in Robotic Lift Truck technology. The automated stacker lift truck is especially adaptive to repetitive tasks such as transferring pallet loads from floor staging areas to conveyor lines. The stacker can load and unload in cross-docking operations and store loads on elevated pallet racking. It works in both horizontal and vertical applications and requires no additional “costly” infrastructure such as wire guidance to navigate.
The Yale MPE080VG end rider pallet jack Driven by Balyo offers easy transport of loads over long distances handling both single and double pallet loads.
The Yale MO70T tow tractor Driven by Balyo offers standard trailer handling thru-out facility in assembly operations or stock replenishment and material hauling.
Want to re-think your warehouse and look for ways to incorporate the right materials handling or warehouse automation solution for your application? Let our Materials Handling Experts at Barclay walk you thru the process. Contact us today.