Temperature Controlled Warehouse

Introduction

The business case for automating the temperature controlled warehouse, either freezer or cooler, is stronger than ever.

More food and beverage distribution operations are reconsidering their existing traditional warehouse designs. As compared to a traditional temperature controlled warehouse, here are the key benefits of more automation: 

  • Smaller Building Footprint – Because an automated warehouse features a high bay configuration, a smaller building footprint is required. The smaller building footprint is typically 25% of a traditional warehouse. 
  • Reduced Cubic Space – Since the automated warehouse utilizes a high density configuration, less cubic space is required for the same amount storage. This reduction is approximately 25% to 35%. 
  • Tax Advantage – The construction for an automated building typically includes a rack supported building. Unlike the rack with a traditional warehouse, the rack supported building has a tax advantage. (It can be depreciated as machinery, which has a more favorable tax structure.) 
  • Energy Savings – The energy operating costs are reduced with the high density configuration of the automated warehouse (more storage in less refrigerated space). Energy costs for cooling are higher than heating. Most loss is from the roof. AS/RS has smaller roof surface. Energy savings range from 35% to 50% less with automated warehouse. (Note: Energy prices are likely to continue to rise.) 
  • Improved Freezer in/out Control – The doors to the automated freezer warehouse are smaller and are open less thereby providing additional operational efficiency through energy savings. 
  • Minimized Exposure to Harsh Environment – Workers are not required in the automated freezer warehouse. Instead, order fulfillment and load consolidation occurs on the shipping/receiving dock in ambient temperatures. Elimination of labor in the harsh freezer environment means improved worker ergonomics, improved labor productivity, and the end of worker recruitment issues related to filling staff positions that require work in a freezer. Employee turnover rates for freezer environment position tends to be high.

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