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.