Do you remember playing with a remote-control car back in your childhood? Did you ever imagine that something like this will change the face of the Automation Industry in your childhood? Pallet shuttle is one such version of that remote-control car but its application has changed the way warehouses operate across the world. Addverb Technologies, a key player in the global robotics industry, provides indigenously developed pallet shuttle across India which allows one to reimagine motion in the warehouse space.
Addverb was established with a passion for transforming the entire manufacturing and warehouse landscape in India. According to a report from the Retail Association of India, the eCommerce market in India will surge from $24bn in 2017 to $84bn in 2021, making it the 4th largest online market in the world. To support this massive growth, online (and offline) retailers are investing in logistics infrastructure to better service the demand.
The growth of e-commerce has the potential to drive the warehouse automation market. SMEs can also be one of the spaces they can venture into. As SMEs grow and look to compete with established players in the market, automation could be a means to increase their productivity and competitiveness. The hardware, software and application development related to IoT is an essential area of opportunity in the Indian market. Organizations which can provide secure, reliable products will see significant business growth.
One of the biggest challenges among these Industries is the optimal use of storage space utilisation. Addverb has developed a compact storage solution to deal with this challenge.
Addverb’s Pallet shuttle – Cruiser position itself as a preferred option to use in such needs. It is ideally designed to meet the needs of high throughput massive DCs where the shuttle carries the load for storage and retrieval in and out of the. Conventionally, pallets were stored through floor space stacking, but over time newer methods like selective racking, drive-in racking, drive-through racking. etc. have been used – Each of these methods have evolved as an improvement over the earlier ones. However, they failed to provide the benefits that a dense racking system with pallet shuttle can provide, in terms of space utilization, material handling safety, speed & ease of operation. The Pallet Shuttle-Cruiser communicates with WMS to determine the location information for loading or unloading activities.
What is Pallet Shuttle – Cruiser?
Pallet shuttle occupied the pride of place with the evolution of compact storage solutions. This evolution of compact storage solution raised the following question: why not make it an automated shuttle, in place of a forklift, that enters the storage channel to deal with pallets, and simultaneously increase the stacking and emptying speeds to streamline warehouse operations.? In search of an answer to this question, the team at Addverb developed Cruiser – a high-density compact storage solution that uses powered shuttles to automatically carry loads in warehouse racks. This solution offers a shuttle driven by an electric motor that runs on channel rails inside the storage racks. This solution replaces forklifts, thereby considerably reducing operating time. This solution affords items to be grouped by channels rather than complete lanes. Hence, there is optimum use of storage space. By removing the need to drive forklifts into the lanes, storage capacity is increased as well as storage density. This feature will help achieve gainfully use of warehouse space. Overall the following benefits will accrue to a warehouse operator by using our Pallet shuttle – Cruiser:
- Negligible accidents and damage to racks
- Optimized operator movements
- Helping achieve an adaptable and flexible environment in warehouse operations
By using a cart system to transport pallets into the buffer, forklifts no longer need to travel beyond the shipping dock and lane entry. Shuttles can move pallets in and out of storage as well as the “lifter” can move pallets vertically through any level of storage. Pallet shuttle AS/RS provides an automated solution that innovates traditional storage and retrieval operations with unparalleled speed and accuracy.
The Inspiration behind Pallet Shuttle “Cruiser” – A Warehouse “Space” Odyssey
Addverb nurtures innovation in hardware and software in the field of material handling business. Our goal is to make warehouses in India innovative, attractive and, stand out in terms of adopting cutting edge technology to solve mundane chores. We believe that the new age economy has a lot to offer to achieve scales of operation if we use technology to fuel the engines of future economic growth of India. We also aim to also create quality employment opportunities for the youth of this nation by upskilling.
After palletization, the next step is storage. Storage at only ground level is a waste of warehouse height, hence to better utilize space dense storage solutions are essential. However, material handling in these racks has to be utmost safe, fast, and easy. Addverb’s Cruiser Shuttle travels at a speed of 3 m/s, operates across a varied temperature range of -30 to 55-degree centigrade and is equipped with advanced safety sensors & bumpers; these features make Cruiser, one of the industry best material handling solutions. It can operate in a dense rack structure where storage capacity is increased to 2.84 pallets per sqm from 1.2 pallets per sqm and accessibility up to 15 levels.
What makes Pallet Shuttle – Cruiser different?
Our indigenously developed pallet shuttle – “Cruiser” is ideal for operating in Indian conditions and also help to achieve compact storage solutions.. It is a world-class product and is dust & moisture resistant. With a shorter recharge cycle, Addverb’s Pallet Shuttle is highly reliable for warehousing operations. A cruiser that is designed for demanding operations of the tropics will also lend itself very well to be deployed in other geographies as well, and, we are confident that sooner rather than later this will find new markets across the world.
Cruiser Shuttle and all the other Addverb products have a common advantage – its production and software are inhouse developed which reduces the cost dramatically and allows client-based customization. It has an accuracy of Six Sigma (99.99%) levels with a max load capacity of 1500 kgs.
The Automation Industry
Indian manufacturing is poised to grow and, there is no argument about the benefits of automation in manufacturing across industry segments. This will naturally boost the demand for automation products, systems, and solutions. As of now, Indian industries are improving their automation capabilities bringing it at par with global standards due to the pressing need for operational excellence, improved productivity, quality and to maintain six sigma standards in the production processes. The hardware, software and application development related to IoT is a big area of opportunity in the Indian market. Organizations which can provide secure, reliable products will see big business growth.
The Indian Industrial Automation Market is evolving at a fast pace and its prospects are good due to increasing Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and sustainable growth of the manufacturing sector. India is expected to strengthen its manufacturing sector from its current share of 16.57% of the GDP in FY2017 to 25%-30% of the GDP by FY2030. The Industrial Automation Market in India will witness a CAGR of 11.6% during the forecast period 2017-2023.
A natural extension of increased manufacturing will be the need to add huge warehousing areas either attached to the industries or as independent entities as in e-commerce and retail warehouses. Usage of automated equipment and software to improve warehouse efficiency will increase substantially.
Competition faced by Addverb
Addverb faces competition from major international players and few early-stage Indian players. Indian Shuttle market is majorly dominated by imports from International players like MAXRAC, KNAPP, DEMATIC, SSI SCHAFER etc. Indian warehouse automation companies play a middle-man role by buying and re-selling with customized software which totals to exorbitant cost and doesn’t justify the ROI. Addverb’s approach to business and route to market is bound to transform the way Indian industry will perform. Surely the Indian industry deserves better than what we get now from a combination of import and trading scenario that is prevailing.
Benefits of using Pallet Shuttle – Cruiser
Addverb’s range of multi-level shuttle – Pallet Shuttle system offers high throughputs, better space utilization, minimum damage, better inventory control and increased height utilization. A cruiser is ideal for high inventory turnover operations where the palletized load is used for storage and retrieval. Cruiser offers extremely high-density storage by utilizing the rails inside the storage location as a drive-in area of various size and dimensions. It can be controlled by a remote through Wi-Fi (2.4/ 5 GHz) and with the help of advanced safety features which offers 100% accurate positioning and pallet to pallet distance adjustment. It can be incorporated to be a part of either a semi-automatic or fully automated shuttle system.
The competitive advantage in the space of warehouse and distribution (DC’s) is in its design and operations which have evolved to play a critical role in meeting overall business objectives in today’s multi-channel world. More often than not, a strong business case will emerge creating an incentive to acquire this new technology. We can envision a scenario wherein these advanced technologies would be increasingly used in warehousing and logistics operations to improve operational efficiencies and removing drudgery for personnel.
Advancement through Technology
The cruiser has taken a big step towards advancement using the latest technology where advanced sensors have been integrated to ensure safety. It has also helped in raising the ingress protection rating of Cruiser to work in a more challenging environment. Going forward, various new technologies are being explored and are in an advanced trial to achieve e a significant improvement of cruiser overall performance.
Challenges in their path and lessons learned
The biggest challenge that they Addverb faced in developing Cruiser was to handle the customization of the Pallet size. In the same warehouse, different goods were stored in different pallet sizes, which made a one-size-fits-all approach redundant when it comes to storage & retrieval operations. Hence Addverb developed Cruiser in multiple versions to accommodate different pallet sizes. This enables Cruiser to handle pallets with dynamic sizes and all the shuttles can be controlled from a single point -which made it a single automation solution. But implementing this customization was not a cakewalk.
The engineering team applied a new logic which enabled the features of controlling pallet positioning and better speed controls. Currently, their shuttle allows:
- Diverse SKU Profile: One channel can be used to store different items
- High productivity: the increased flow of incoming and outgoing goods
- Highly cost-effective: Due to the reduction in operating costs
- Increased ergonomics: Due to decreased incidents & maintenance
- FIFO/LIFO Access: Cruiser can work on both FIFO & LIFO models
Future of Addverb Technology
Today’s warehouse automation technology is at a pivotal point in the evolution sphere. This automated technology has emerged dramatically to improve productivity, efficiency and space utilization. Addverb’s vision for future – by 2024- is to realize higher safety in operations at warehouses and also to better the already impressive operational efficiency of their pallet shuttle – Cruiser. Addverb’s team strives to work continuously to stay ahead of the curve in terms of technology and innovation and offer numerous solutions for different industry segments. The day is not far when Addverb will become as one of the finest robotics and automation products, solutions and, services provider grounding its touchpoints across the globe.