Automated Pallet Shuttle

Automated Pallet Shuttle

The automated Pallet Shuttle is a compact pallet storage system that uses an electric shuttle and automated handling systems to boost capacity and productivity in the warehouse.

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Product

Automated Pallet Shuttle: combining benefits to give you the edge

This system combines automatic handling equipment with compact storage systems. It enables companies to cut costs, enhance their supply-chain performance and, thus, differentiate their product and service offerings.

With this storage solution, forklifts are replaced by stacker cranes or transfer cars, which transport the motorised shuttle and the load in their cradles. The shuttle is inserted into the storage channels, placing each of the pallets in the deepest available position. This is all done by following orders generated by the Easy WMS Warehouse Management System.

In short, the automated Pallet Shuttle optimises the storage capacity of compact systems while reducing the times used in each operation of an automated system.

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Advantages

Bringing together the benefits of compact storage and automation

  • Maximum space savings in compact systems with storage channels up to 40 m deep and racking over 40 m tall.
  • Rapid movement of the electric shuttle, which reduces goods entries and exits.
  • Major increase in the number of cycles/hour compared to other storage systems.
  • Goods-to-person system, whereby the load is moved to the pick stations automatically.
  • Shuttle supercapacitors are charged automatically while onboard the stacker crane or transfer car, so the shuttle is always ready to go.
  • Cost savings in handling equipment, warehouse surface area, staff and energy (especially in freezer warehouses).
  • System that allows for different configurations depending on the number of SKUs, quantity of pallets and movements required in each case.
  • Compact automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) operating with the Pallet Shuttle ensure the utmost safety of the operators, the load and the AS/RS itself.
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Applications

Automated Pallet Shuttle: perfect solution for mass movement of product

The installation of a high-density AS/RS with the Pallet Shuttle is especially suitable in cases requiring a marked increase in productivity and, hence, that need to move a high number of pallets/hour.

In general, this solution is appropriate in the following cases:

  • Compact storage of palletised goods and mass storage of products.
  • Warehouses with medium- and high-consumption SKUs or with a large number of pallets.
  • Facilities with fast product turnover requiring extremely high throughput and maximum use of space.
  • Cold storage: the volume that needs to be cooled is reduced, resulting in energy-cost savings. Additionally, the presence of operators in low-temperature environments is unnecessary, considerably increasing the number of movements made.
  • Storage buffer.
  • Ideal for deep racking with mass inflows and outflows of the same product.
The Automated Pallet Shuttle is ideal for warehouses with consumer products.
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Variants

Compact AS/RS with Pallet Shuttle

In automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) with the Pallet Shuttle, forklifts are replaced with automatic handling equipment, stacker cranes or transfer cars. This considerably reduces the time used for each operation.

The choice of handling equipment will depend on the number of entry and exit movements, the number of SKUs and the quantity of pallets per SKU or batch. The key difference between the two systems lies in the potential number of pallets that can be moved by a solution with transfer cars compared to one with stacker cranes, as this quantity is multiplied by the number of levels the system has.

  • Automated Pallet Shuttle with stacker crane

    The stacker crane is responsible for transporting pallets from the AS/RS entry and exit points to any storage channel. The Pallet Shuttle is charged with moving the pallets from the cradle of the stacker crane to their location in the corresponding channel.

    Generally, two high-density racking units are installed, one on each side of the working aisle. This configuration increases capacity, as the main aisle is small (less than 1,600 m wide). Moreover, the use of stacker cranes allows for the storage height to reach over 4 m.

    Thanks to its integration with the Easy WMS warehouse management system, in addition to increasing capacity, this solution considerably boosts productivity. That is, it makes it possible to raise the number of cycles/hour and accurately control stock and all movements made in the facility.

  • Automated Pallet Shuttle with transfer car

    With this solution, a walkway-like structure with guide rails is installed to enable a transfer car to operate on each level. As with the solution with stacker cranes, two high-density racking units are normally set up, one on each side of the working aisle.

    The transfer car is a non-continuous pallet conveyor that runs on rails in a straight line, moving the goods from one point to another in the AS/RS. Likewise, it incorporates another transport element on board where the shuttle is located, with drag chains for pallets. To connect the different levels of the AS/RS, lifts are used to perform vertical movements.

    All management and automated control — with the relevant criteria selected for operation, location, assignment, picking, etc. — are carried out by means of the Easy WMS warehouse management system.

    In AS/RS with transfer cars, the number of movements or cycles/hour is multiplied by the number of levels in the AS/RS. It is the most efficient compact storage system for combining high capacity with a high number of movements.

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Technical data

Pallet width 1,200 mm
Pallet depth 800/1,000/1,200 mm
Load capacity Up to 1,500 kg
Wheels 8
Travel speed without load Ambient: 110 m/min; cold: 76 m/min
Travel speed with load 70 m/min
Lift time 2 s
Operating temperature Ambient: from 5 to 45 °C; cold: from -30 to 5 °C
Battery Supercapacitors
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Gallery

Automatic Pallet Shuttle ensures maximum efficiency in high-density storage systems
The shuttle is inserted into the storage channels to compact the pallets
Thanks to the help of a stacker crane, the APS can operate at different heights
In automated warehouses, the APS is the ideal system for automating the loading and unloading of pallets
The Pallet Shuttle system ensures maximum use of space on high-bay racks
The APS is positioned in a storage channel and places the pallets in the nearest slot to be unloaded
This automated device ensures that up to 40-metre-deep rack capacity can be used
Automatic shuttles can carry a maximum load of up to 1,500 kg
The electric shuttles incorporate lithium batteries for a cable-free system
Automatic shuttles have safety components like pallet centralizers or rail stops, among others
The Pallet Shuttle system with stacker crane is easy to maintain thanks to its electrical cabinet
The Mecalux WMS, EASY WMS, manages the tasks of the automatic Pallet Shuttle
In low-rotation warehouses, it is not necessary to have a shuttle for each lane. Instead, one lift platform is sufficient to place the shuttle according to needs
Automatic shuttles tend to be connected to other automatic transport systems such as conveyors
The storage channels must be adapted so that the Pallet Shuttle can be inserted on each rail
The automatic shuttle has multiple safety components such as a scanner or pallet detector
The combination of stacker crane and APS allows maximize the storage capacity, because only a small aisle is required
Two stacker cranes with automatic shuttles, together with EASY WMS, guarantee full automation of a warehouse, even those with high rotations
The stacker crane is responsible for guiding the automatic shuttle to the storage channel where the goods are located
Automatic Pallet Shuttle system can be adapted to low-bay warehouses
The union of the stacker crane and APS means optimized storage capacity in high-bay systems
The automatic shuttle can adapt to pallets comprising different unit loads
The Pallet Shuttle system with stacker crane is effective for products from different sectors and industries
In compact pallet racking with Pallet Shuttle, the lower level can be used for live storage for picking to make the most of warehouse space
The combination of the transfer car and APS guarantees a large storage capacity and a high number of cycles
Automated systems such as the APS are ideal for cold stores as they are fully resistant to extreme environmental conditions
The mixture of automated systems with a clad-rack structure optimizes the capacity of a storage facility
The transfer car inserts the APS into the lane to sort pallets with just one action
The shuttle is in charge of inserting the automatic shuttle into each of the storage aisles
Automated pallet lifts are usually installed to automate processes without the need for a stacker crane
The transfer car has its own maintenance floor surface to ensure the system’s safety and operation
The transfer cars operate independently of each other, which accelerates the flow of goods in the warehouse
APS storage systems with transfer cars have safety elements for operators to control operations properly.
The shuttle system has multiple safety features, such as access platforms
Installation of an APS system can optimize low-bay warehouses
Automated Pallet Shuttle
Automatic Pallet Shuttle ensures energy savings in cold store warehouses
The automatic Pallet Shuttle technology allows the warehouse to have several bays through an aisle with transfer car
The Pallet Shuttle system can work with AGVs to fully-automate a warehouse

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