Material handling selection criteria

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Equipment Type of materials Benefits Other considerations

Manual

Racking: Conventional

pallet rack

Pallet loads

 

Good storage density, good product security

 

Storage density increases; fur­ther by storing loads two deep
Drive-in rack

 

Pallet loads Fork trucks can access loads. good storage density

 

Fork truck access is from one direction only
Drive-through racks

 

Pallet loads Same as above

 

Fork truck access is from two directions

 

High-rise racks

 

Pallet loads Very high storage density Often used in ASKS and may offer tax advantages when used in rack-supported building
Cantilever racks Long loads or rolls Designed to store difficult shapes

 

Each different SKU can be stored on a separate shelf
Pallet stacking frames

 

Odd-shaped or crushable parts

 

Allow otherwise unshakable loads to be stacked, saving floor space Can be disassembled when not in use
Slacking racks

 

Odd-shaped or crushable parts

 

Same as above

 

Can be stacked flat when not in use
Gravity-flow racks

 

Unit loads

 

High density storage, gravity moves loads

 

FIFO or LIFO flow of loads

 

Shelving

 

Small. loose loads and cases

 

Inexpensive

 

Can be combined with drawers for flexibility
Drawers

 

Small parts and tools

 

All parts are easily accessed. good security

 

Can be compartmentalized for many SKUs
Mobile racking or shelving Pallet loads, loose materials. and cases Can reduce required floor space by half Come equipped with safety devices

Automated

Unit-load ASKS

 

Pallet loads, and a wide variety of sizes arid shapes Very high storage density. computer-controlled

 

May offer tax advantage when rack-supported

 

Car-in-lane

 

Pallet loads, other unit loads High storage density

 

Best used where there are large quantities of only a few SKUs

 

Miniload ASRS

 

Small parts

 

High storage density, computer-controlled

 

For flexibility. can be installed in several different configurations

 

Horizontal carousels Small parts

 

Easy access to parts. relatively inexpensive

 

Can be stacked on top of each other

 

vertical carousels Small pails and tools

 

High storage density

Very flexible

 

Can serve dual role as storage and delivery system in multi-floor facilities
Man-ride machines Small parts

 

Very flexible Can be used with high-rise shelving or modular drawers

 

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