In the ever-evolving world of logistics and supply chain management, cold storage warehousing plays a pivotal role in maintaining the quality and safety of perishable goods. Such facilities are responsible for storing a wide range of temperature-sensitive products, from fresh produce to pharmaceuticals, at the appropriate temperatures to maintain product quality and extend their shelf life.

As with any warehousing environment, there are challenges, most notably, of finding the right balance between optimised storage capacity and order processing efficiency, as well as keeping staff comfortable and protected, to enable them to work effectively in a cold storage facility.

It comes as little surprise that for cold storage operations, we are seeing an increase in the integration of fully automated storage, pick and replenishment systems which are particularly well suited to both compact and cool environments. Automation offers high-density storage and efficient pick rates at the same time minimising the number of staff required to work in cooler temperatures.

At L.A.C. we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of automation innovation with customers trusting us to design and install the most efficient, fit-for-purpose solution for their requirements.

With numerous factors and challenges for cold storage operators to overcome, L.A.C. is ideally placed to integrate bespoke solutions as the sole UK integrator for Exotec. Designed to assist operators in preparing ambient and temperature-sensitive orders, the Exotec solution fully automates the picking and transportation of order items between the storage racking structure and pick stations, using Skypod® mobile robots.

The Skypod robots are fully autonomous and operate in an enclosed and human-free environment, eliminating the risk of contact or collision with either pedestrians, inventory or warehouse infrastructure, and drastically improving site productivity. The use of robots not only automates tedious and repetitive tasks but also creates a more ergonomic workplace and helps towards sustainability objectives.

The Skypod solution has many features ideally suited to both cold and ambient storage facilities, able to operate in temperatures ranging from 0°C to 40°C. With a reach of 12m, the racking structure offers high-density storage with 100% selectivity, and the scope to handle products up to 30kg in either bins or trays.

Being fully automated, the robots take less than two minutes to collect items from any location within the structure, and are uniquely agile, able to move in 3 dimensions. This level of versatility ensures operations benefit from enhanced pick rates and overall efficiency in a compact and safe environment.

For total peace of mind, L.A.C. and Exotec also provide a comprehensive maintenance and support service. This includes 24/7 remote monitoring of the robots, mobile engineer support, as well as the integration of a maintenance area within the warehouse facility, providing a lift to access robots and storage of critical spare parts. Everything you need to keep operations streamlined and effective.

Cold storage warehousing is an integral part of the supply chain for industries reliant on temperature-sensitive products. Designing and maintaining these facilities poses unique challenges, but with the right storage solutions and equipment, these challenges can be effectively addressed, ensuring the safety and quality of the goods they store, all while reducing their environmental footprint and operational costs. Contact the L.A.C. team today to begin your journey to cold storage efficiency.


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