This course is free and editable. Yours to re-brand and tailor to your needs!
In the retail industry, it is also important to know the equipment used by your organization to store and handle product stocks. This lesson covers the different types of Automated Storage and Retrieval systems that you might encounter, the common storage and handling tools that you may need to use, and hot to properly maintain and utilize them.
Click through the microlessons below to preview this course. Each lesson is designed to deliver engaging and effective learning to your team in only minutes.
This course is free and completely editable. Update the text, add your own slides or re-brand the entire course — with our no-code authoring tool, the sky’s the limit!
Follow the interactions on each screen or click the arrows to navigate between lesson slides.
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS)
This equipment is used for **warehouse automation technology ** and is designed to buffer, store, and retrieve stock items on demand. Simply imagine a warehouse or a storage room with the products moving instead of you -- sounds great, right? That's how AS/RS technology works!
AS/RS technology varies substantially and may consist of shuttles, carousels, cranes, lift modules, and load systems.
Those systems often do the "physical" work by moving stocks within a storage facility. They're often integrated with controls such as warehouse execution software (WES) or warehouse management software (WMS) which does the "thinking" for them. In this lesson, you'll learn about the different types of AS/RS machines, their uses, and the benefits of using them!
**Types of AS/RS Crane Systems **
Fixed-Aisle Unit-Load AS/RS Crane Pallet racks are arranged with narrow aisles between them where a crane travels in- between. The crane is fixed to a single aisle of pallets but moves vertically and horizontally to retrieve and store products.
Moveable-Aisle Unit Load AS/RS Crane Similar to a fixed-aisle unit-load AS/RS, it consists of a crane that moves between narrow aisles of pallets along some kind of track. The only difference is that it is not fixed to a specific aisle which allows a single piece of equipment to service multiple aisles and greater space.
Mini-Load AS/RS Crane It usually handles smaller loads (up to 75 pounds) compared to unit-load systems. It handles totes, trays, and/or cartons instead of full pallets. It can also be used to buffer and efficiently release products to picking or palletizing stations.
Shuttle-based AS/RS This system delivers stock via a shuttle or “bot” that runs on a track between a racking structure. When an item is requested, the shuttle goes to the location of the product and retrieves the tote or carton that contains the product. The shuttle then takes the tote/carton directly to a workstation or transfer it to a conveyor to convey the tote/carton to a workstation.
AMR-Based High-Density AS/RS An autonomous mobile robot-based high-density automated storage and retrieval system is designed to use three-axis AMR robots to travel vertically up storage racks to retrieve items. It can store stocks on itself and place the appropriate quantity into one of the batched orders and leaves for its next assignment.
Carousel-based AS/RS These are systems that consist of bins of product or inventory which rotate continuously along a track. When you request an item, the system automatically rotates so that the appropriate bin is accessible so you can get the item. It also comes in 2 kinds which are a horizontal carousel where bins move horizontally like a merry-go-round and a vertical carousel where bins move vertically like a Ferris wheel.
Vertical Lift Module (VLM) This is an enclosed system consisting of an extractor in the center and a column of trays on its sides which is a form of goods-to-person technology. When you request an item, the extractor locates the necessary tray, retrieves it, and delivers it to you to complete the order. The VLM then returns the tray to its proper location before retrieving the next requested tray.
Micro-Load Stocker This system holds individual totes or carton storage and retrieval. It is ideal for buffering, sequencing, and point-of-use items in a high-density footprint. This can also be integrated with other AS/RS systems to improve the other systems’ performance and help reduce conveyor and floor space requirements.
Transitioning from Conventional to Automated Storage Systems
Transitioning is one of the main challenges that your team will face in case your designated facility decides to upgrade from traditional to automated storage methods through the use of AS/RS systems.
Why? Aside from getting used to a new system, it is also important to realize that your team will be moving from a mature and stable low-tech environment to a high-tech one that requires complex care and training. Proceed to know what it needs to achieve a great transition and what you need to do as an employee!
Requirements for Proper Transitioning Plan with your teammates as early as you can to make the transition as good as possible Collaborate with your team as it requires shifting from primarily relying on technical knowledge to the actual data of stocks that go in and out of your facility Train as early as possible and dedicate to intense training as shadowing will not be enough
**What can you do as an employee? **
When transitioning from the conventional to automated storage systems, you can: Familiarize yourself with the system and learn its basic maintenance Participate in troubleshooting exercises during system testing ** Work closely with the system's supplier** during safety and operational training Thoroughly study the controls and different functions of the systems Remember to ask the supplier to inspect the system every 6 to 12 months to ensure that it is properly maintained
Always remember: Automated storage systems are highly reliable but also require a high maintenance level in order to attain reliability!
Material Handling Equipment
Material handling is considered one of the most vital parts of the retail industry simply because the protection, control, and movement of stocks throughout manufacturing, distribution, storage, and disposal come under it.
Since material handling is important, it is also important to learn about the Material handling Equipment or MHE that you can use in our storage facilities, depending on the need.
In this lesson, you'll learn about four MHE categories which are: **Transport Equipment ** Positioning Equipment Unit Load Formation Equipment **Identification and Control Equipment **
Which of these are true?
**Unit Load Formation Equipment ** This type of equipment is commonly used to maintain the integrity of the items when handled in a single load during transport or storage. One of the advantages of using Unit Loads is that they let more items to be handled at the same time. That reduces the number of trips required when handling items -- as a result, we get: **Faster loading and unloading times ** Reduced handling costs Reduced product damage
Radio Frequency (RF) Tags
Portable Data Terminal
Material Handling Equipment Maintenance
Our material handling equipment is a vital part of our operations to ensure that our customers receive high-quality products on time.
While fixing equipment only when it is broken is a good way to take care of it, it may cause reliability and safety issues.
Instead of reactive maintenance, we use preventive maintenance to ensure that our operations run smoothly. What is preventive maintenance?
Preventative maintenance requires you to inspect the equipment and its components on a scheduled basis to uncover issues that may lead to breakdowns or incidents.
In this lesson, you'll learn some of the best practices in conducting preventive maintenance for several material handling equipment we use such as: Pallets Racks Hoists & Cranes Industrial Trucks Conveyors
Despite being a simple platform made of wood or plastic, pallets make our global economy work as hundreds of millions of pallets help transport most items in our daily lives.
With that many pallets floating around, there have to be places where large amounts of them are stored. Despite their simple form, storing large volumes of pallets, especially wooden ones, creates mostly fire-related problems!
Most pallet dangers are related to the way they are stored so checking if the best practices for indoor and outdoor storage are applied when conducting preventive maintenance checks are made. Proceed to learn more!
Select all the type of safety risks that stored pallets can cause in our facilities
Sometimes, it's easy to overlook the safety of a storage facility's racking system just because they look sturdy.
Some of the common worker injury and product damages related to racks are often caused by: Collisions with forklifts or trolley caused by careless or untrained operators Overloaded and misused racks Unchecked racks
However, the signs of the failures which can cause them are not visible to the untrained eye. This is because some of the damage can be hidden from view by shelves stacked with inventory items.
To avoid product damage and injuries, it is important to thoroughly check our racks as often as possible to ensure that they are up to safety standards. Move on to the next slide to learn about the things you should check when performing racking preventive maintenance!
Over the next 2 slides, you will learn about the components involved when doing different preventive maintenance stages to these types of equipment.
Equipment Use Safety
Aside from product damage, unsafe use of stock handling equipment may also cause serious injuries to employees.
This is because faulty or misused equipment may cause injuries in various ways: People can be struck by a moving component of the equipment Sharp edges may cause cuts and severe injuries Pointed parts may stab or puncture the skin People can be crushed by an equipment's moving part or the load that it carries
In this lesson, you will learn about the safety practices to apply when using common stock handling equipment in our facilities such as: Pallet Trucks Trolleys Cranes Conveyors Racks
When moving materials using hand pallet trucks, remember to: Raise the forks by pushing the actuating lever down and pumping the handle. This is only time the handle should be down--to jack the pallet. Maintain a one-inch clearance between the floor and the pallet Put the actuating lever in a neutral or middle position to move the load.
For safe operation: Center the forks evenly under the load to maintain good balance. Ensure the stability of the load and avoid overloading the truck Pull rather than push loads for increased maneuverability Operate at a controllable speed, since hand pallet trucks do not have brakes
Always remember: Maneuvering loads in a neutral position to reduce operator fatigue. Keep pallet trucks out of traffic areas when forks are lowered to prevent tripping Never use one fork to lift a load No riders on the pallet truck
When working at or near a conveyor, one should be aware that there are also hazards associated with the equipment such as: Rotating parts can drag in, crush, or entangle body parts Parts that slide or press down can crush or shear Item may break, get thrown from, or fall from the conveyor which is dangerous to workers on the ground Electrical and fire hazards
Dos Wear the proper clothing, shoes, and hard hat Tie back and tuck in long hair Know where the emergency shut-off devices are placed and how to use them Ensure that all safeguards and warning signals are in place and operational Know how to operate the equipment safely
Don'ts Do not wear loose clothing or jewelry Do not climb, step, sit, or ride on the conveyors Do not alter or remove safeguards from the equipment Do not try to remove struck items until the conveyor is locked out Do not fix the conveyor without following proper lock-out procedures
Pallet rack damage This often happens from truck collisions. Enough clearance space and clear aisles are great ways to prevent this kind of damage. Promptly report all minor impacts or observable damage all the time to prevent them from causing any incidents.
** Misaligned racking hazards** Misaligned racks may cause the collapse or failure of your facility's racking system. During an inspection, use the manufacturer’s manual to check if the racks are properly aligned, plum, and level.
Loose floor fittings It is a workplace safety standard that all rack columns are bottom-anchored to the floor with column base plates and anchor bolts to provide stability. Immediately report if you notice that these anchors are not in place or loose.
Forklift/pallet truck compatibility Ensure that the material handling equipment used in your facility is compatible with the size of the racking systems. This ensures that the equipment is optimal for use with the facility's racks.