November 24 2015

Frozen Food

By: Olivia Mitchell, Marketing Coordinator

Reducing Energy Consumption with the Power of Automation, is an article recently featured in Westfalia Technologies’ magazine, The Satellite Review. In this article, John Hinchey, vice president of sales, outlines refrigerated and frozen storage companies’ current struggles, referencing statistics from TechNavio’s report, Global Refrigerated Warehousing Market 2014-2018. This report states that one of the main challenges facing this industry is the high amount of energy needed to run refrigerated and frozen warehousing facilities.

With a majority of the frozen and refrigerated food and beverage industry investing in larger warehouse operations, it is no surprise that energy consumption is through the roof. Throughout the article, Hinchey discusses how implementing warehouse automation in refrigerated and frozen facilities will greatly reduce cost while optimizing the facilities.

Let’s dig a little deeper into how an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) can benefit refrigerated and frozen warehouses by looking at the numbers.

  • -30: An AS/RS can operate in extreme conditions rated for -30°F.
  • 0: Implementing an AS/RS in an existing facility – compared to building a new facility – results in zero construction costs, eliminating additional land use and leveraging existing space.
  • 2: An AS/RS can store 2-18 pallets deep. Deeper lanes translate to fewer aisles, and aisles occupy warehouse space that could be used for other purposes including product storage.
  • 15: Automated technology can reduce shipping errors by 15% and enable just-in-time (JIT) order fulfilment strategies. Therefore, warehouses can eliminate the need for staging orders hours in advance, which often end up taking up valuable space while waiting to be picked.
  • 25: The combination of an AS/RS and a warehouse execution system (WES) reduces operating costs from decreased labor, waste and maintenance. These cost reductions are sustainable over the 25-year lifecycle of the AS/RS.
  • 30: Refrigerated and frozen warehouses experience 30% less energy costs with an AS/RS. This is because they use less square footage, resulting in less space to cool.
  • 40: An AS/RS can store 40% more pallets in the same space as a conventional rack warehouse, creating energy savings through more efficient space utilization.
  • 50: A building’s footprint can be reduced up to 50% with an AS/RS, as the warehouse uses less land and cuts waste.
  • 98.6: A normal human body temperature is 98.6°F. An AS/RS eliminates the need for humans to endure long periods of time in sub-zero temperatures, which are not only unsafe, but also lead to lost productivity due to the need for frequent breaks.
  • 99.9: Automation stands as the single best way to improve accuracy – up to 99.9% – and increase throughput rates by two to three times.

Now that the numbers have been laid out, it is easy to see how an AS/RS can improve frozen and refrigerated warehouses’ operations – not only through green initiatives, but also by improving employees’ wellbeing and enhancing the company’s bottom line.

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