Briefing: RoboVault introduces a state-of-the-art automated self storage facility

Westfalia Technologies, Inc. was commissioned to develop a state-of-the-art automated self storage facility in Ft. Lauderdale Fla., RoboVault. This new venture was also a new era in the self storage industry which introduced Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS), typically seen in the warehouse and manufacturing plant. RoboVault's unique self storage approach uses Westfalia's technology to provide users with maximum security, robotic self storage for high value objects. The facility combines cutting-edge technology with high-tech security systems that make the facility virtually impenetrable. 

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Case Study: RoboVault introduces a state-of-the-art automated self storage facility

Challenge: Need to maximize self storage security

The ubiquitous suburban self storage site with acres of garage doors offered the advantage of driving up, but there were still security concerns. Increasing land prices and strict zoning requirements and the short supply of urban land make multi-story developments more cost effective. 

Solution: High density AS/RS and Savanna.NET® WMS

RoboVault is located in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. near the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood airport off US-1 and I-595. The state-of-the-art facility is 90,000 sq. ft. and stores 456 containers. Designed to withstand the 200 mph winds of a category 5 hurricane, it is constructed of solid concrete with reinforced steel, a solid concrete roof, and double pane impact resistant glass. This air tight facility has museum quality climate control to store the most precious items safely, including separate areas for wine storage, safety deposit boxes, and automobile storage. 

The new facilities are more secure, convenient and faster than traditional multi-storage experiences. In addition to the convenience for customers of 24/7 first floor access from the automated self storage system, peace of mind is the key to RoboVault. Technological safety features include heart beat detection, biometric and keypad (PIN) recognition, 24/7 security monitoring, smoke detectors, sprinklers, climate controls, and 14 day emergency energy back-up.

Once a customer is registered, they drive up to the facility into a private entry cabin to access their individual module using unique Personal Identification Number (PIN) on a keypad.  The PIN entered signals the Storage/Retrieval Machine (S/RM) to claim the appropriate container and present it to the patron at the ground level entry cabin.  The Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) supplied by Westfalia quickly and quietly delivers the storage container to customers at one of seven entry cabins on the first floor. An internal door to the storage system will then open, and the customer can access their storage module. A call ahead feature is also available, so the S/RM has a customer's container ready and waiting.

Once finished loading/unloading of the storage container is completed, the customer enters their PIN again and the unit returns to storage. To maintain the air quality of the climate controlled storage facility, the interior door closes, and then the exterior door opens allowing the customer to drive away.  The robotic self storage system runs off Westfalia’s AS/RS technology. Controlling, managing and tracking all container movements and facility operations is Westfalia’s modular Savanna.NET® software. Savanna.NET® interfaces with all RoboVault’s security system and  front office operations including customer information, credit card approval, keypads/biometric human machine interface screens, video monitoring, motion sensing,  and heat detection to verify the security of both the customers and their belongings.

System Features:

  • Size:

    • 90,200 sq. ft. facility
    • Each container can be subdivided to fit an individual’s rental storage needs in 5 ft. increments (5’ x 5’, 5’x 10’, 10’ x 10’, 15’ x 10’ and 20’ x 10’)
    • Additionally, a 10 ft. x 20 ft. module base is also available for handling vehicles
  • Capacity:

    • 90,200 sq. ft. facility
    • 539 storage modules
    • Maximum load 16,000 lbs.
    • 5 levels high
    • 7 display stations/customer access points
  • Technology:

    • Storage/Retrieval Machine (S/RM) to handle 16,000 lbs.
    • Turntable conveyors to rotate storage modules 180 degrees, as needed, with weigh scales
    • Savanna.NET® Software

System Benefits:

  • Flexible module configurations from 2 to 6 per aisle and 2 to 15 high
  • Every space is a prime location - no need to discount
  • Convenient 24/7 access with PIN code and biometric recognition
  • Safe: designed to withstand category 5 hurricanes with 200 mph winds
  • Secure: 24/7 security monitoring (video & heartbeat detection)
  • Climate, temperature & humidity controlled to protect belongings
  • Back-up generator for 14 days of emergency energy

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