Materials handling specialist Kardex enters a new dimension in high density vertical storage

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Materials handling specialist, Kardex has launched its latest high capacity storage and retrieval solution aimed at increasing warehouse capacity. The Shuttle XP Crane is a dynamic crane-based unit that enables internal horizontal component shuttling between Kardex Shuttle systems. This new approach to automated storage dramatically increases potential warehouse storage capabilities whilst simplifying retrieval and improving pick rates.

The new Shuttle XP Crane solution reduces picking times by eliminating the need for operators to move from picking bay to picking bay, explains Clive Williams, sales manager for Kardex Systems UK Ltd. Being able to access all stored items from adjacent units internally, Shuttle systems can now span up to 14 metres tall by up to 24 metres wide, while still maintaining high pick rates.

High density vertical lift systems like the Shuttle and Shuttle XP consist of computer controlled trays that are moved up and down, allowing fast and safe access to the items stored within them. Such systems use a minimal warehouse footprint up to 80 percent less than traditional solutions.

When traditional vertical storage systems are installed side-by-side, components are stored exclusively, which means that each system must have a dedicated picking bay. The Shuttle XP crane enables cross-unit access to components, which leads to significant improvements in installation layout, order picking and automated system integration.

The crane system moves on a horizontal bearing rail that runs along the base of adjacent Shuttle units. A vertical extractor attached to the crane then quickly shuttles component storage trays to their new storage location or a picking bay. To speed up access to critical components, the Shuttle XP Crane starts to move the next component tray as the first is being picked by the operator, maximising picking efficiency.
Since the Shuttle XP Crane is based on a modular system, a capacity of up to 200 cubic metres of storage can be achieved. Williams believes the new system could also be used in warehouses to overcome awkward space problems where smaller numbers of picking bays provide access to a larger quantity of stored items.

Higher storage capacities, automation ready and better use of awkward spaces were excited by all the new possibilities, says Williams. The Shuttle family already improves upon space usage, productivity, security and safety in the warehouse. With the addition of the Shuttle XP Crane, all these benefits are now extended to higher capacity configurations.

Kardex customers benefit from a comprehensive range of additional services including analysis of storage requirements, assistance with equipment selection, configuration and integration. Flexible support contracts ensure that Kardex systems continue to operate at high efficiency levels and they can be adapted and upgraded to suit future needs.

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