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ANALYSIS: Storage & Racking

by ASC Staff on Jun 12, 2017




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To make better use of existing warehouse and DC space, accommodate the speed and velocity of omni-channel fulfilment, improve efficiencies, and keep workers safe, companies are looking to their rack, shelving, and storage equipment manufacturers for help. In other cases, as with AWOK.com, they’re doing it themselves.

And while this sector of the materials handling market is known for its slow, steady and predictable pace, some new innovations are emerging—all of which centre on helping organizations gain efficiencies and operate smarter, faster and better warehouses.  Engineered systems that incorporate multi-level structures are increasingly popular in the Middle East market.

“The recent surge of articulated material handling equipment with higher stacking capacity, economical tall steel structure solutions, and improvement in fire safety modules are paving opportunities for warehouse operators to go higher in storage systems, and counter the trend of increasing commercial property values,” says Syed Mohiuddin, sales manager, Eonmetall MENA.

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As companies incorporate these multi-level storage structures into their warehouses, he says most also want to go higher than ever—a goal that’s been enabled by the evolution of wire-guided, man-aboard orderpickers. “Rail guided turret trucks, and man lifters have been a proven solution of the last decade, and are now reaching saturation. Shuttle racking and automation is the next point of interest, to increase efficiency and cut short margin of error in logistic operations. With improvement in durability and battery life, shuttle system will gain more confidence among warehouse operators,” he says.

Walid Daniel, managing director, SPAN, which is a storage and racking and material handling provider in Dubai, adds that the problem with man-aboard equipment is safety. Whether they’re using racking, platforms, mezzanines—or a combination of all three—to maximize vertical space, companies need to ensure worker safety and comply with local regulations.

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