Organizations will need to invest in their warehouses and distribution facilities to keep up with the growing demand from e-commerce platforms and match consumer expectations. They should also invest more in developing and implementing modern supply chain and logistics systems. New technologies such as augmented reality, drones, advanced robotics, and smart glasses for hands-free select, pack, and ship are critical to lowering costs and ensuring the company’s competitiveness and customer happiness.
The satellite warehouse allows a single item with a significant number of pallets in depth to be stocked on every level. Because of the ability to work on single levels, this architecture can be used in ways that standard drive-ins cannot. A shuttle, multiple deep storage, channel storage, or compact storage system is a type of high-density storage system, sometimes known as a shuttle, multiple deep storage, channel storage, or compact storage system. It resembles a vending machine in many ways; the difference is that it can handle pallets and a wide range of commodities that are much larger than candy or bottles. Returning to our last example, a vending unit makes the most of its inner space. The space in between the glass front and the beverages is just big enough for the buzzing module to deliver a Pepsi, juice, or water bottle. The consumer gets their stuff promptly and is unaffected by the pleasant travel. Furthermore, the vending machine’s operator can make effective use of the limited space.
The following are the fundamental components of an automated warehouse using satellite technology: a satellite trolley for pallet transportation and a specific rack with each cell being a channel with satellite rail. The rails can also be used to store pallets. Block storage solutions, which are characterized by the storage of similar commodities on several pallets in blocks, are well suited to satellites. The technology in block storage does not distinguish between individual pallets in the blocks.
Not only are there variances in scale, but there are also differences in how things are done. The commodities are not moved forwards within the stream by a coil or gravity in a satellite warehouse system. Instead, a shuttle drives along tracks to fetch and transport the appropriate item to the “exit.” To put it another way, the commodities are stacked numerous levels deep.
The last-in, first-out (LIFO) principle governs storage and retrieval systems. Similarly, you can’t pick the second or third Coke bottle in the row on the station platform. As a result, each storage channel in satellite warehouses requires homogeneous batches or single product kinds. Alternatively, the warehouse can be run according to the FIFO principle (first-in, first-out). As though the drinks dispenser had a glass window and hatch on both sides, products are retrieved from both ends of the storage channel. This strategy, however, necessitates additional areas.
Channels, as opposed to traditional single-deep or double-deep pallet racking, result in higher storage density. Satellite systems are particularly popular for frozen items, as chilled storage space should be kept to a minimum to reduce costs and environmental impact. However, there are no size restrictions in general. For beverage distributor Asahi in Australia, for example, automation technology specialist Dematic constructed an amazing satellite automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) in 2020. The AS/RS is used to manage 1.6 million crates of drinks stocked up to 22 deep in various channels on 16 floors.
Satellite Racking, which is similar to drive-in racking, is a newcomer to the pallet storage industry. Satellite technology is a completely automated rack entry vehicle that is used to store and retrieve pallet and pallet-less cargo in Automated Storage/Retrieval Systems. With the option to store pallets with either the long or short side leading, this unique pallet racking system can handle a wide range of pallet types, including custom sizes.This new satellite system is an alternative to driving in. Satellite is the most recent high-density storage technology, and it uses a satellite robot to assist in the storage and retrieval of pallets into the channel. The satellite is placed on the face of the rack, and then the pallet is placed on top of it.
The user then sends a signal to the satellite through a remote-control device to travel into the channel and store the pallet; similarly, this can happen for recovery. Because it separates the forklift from the storage system, this technology has a significant advantage over the drive-in. The vehicle is never required to enter or even touch the rack. Over the medium run, this saves a significant amount of labour time, and the return on investment is unquestionable. Accidents are also avoided, and the necessity to divide the space into blocks to make the depth manageable is eliminated.This Satellite pallet racking system technology may considerably expand the capacity of existing storage space by storing and retrieving pallets in a high-density, multiple deep system configuration.
Automation and robotics, as well as autonomous technologies, will play a vital role in enabling high-speed operations requiring integrated warehouse management software and real-time data processing. Furthermore, warehouse operators that are unwilling to invest in new technologies, higher-skilled personnel, or transformation projects may be forced to close their doors soon.