A pallet shuttle is an automated, self-guided vehicle that is used to store and retrieve pallets in a deep lane storage system. It operates on rails or guided tracks to move horizontal loads in and out of storage lanes that can be dozens of pallets deep. Instead of forklift storing and retrieving pallets, the shuttle does this automatically using an onboard shuttle to pick up and deposit pallets without needing any aisles.
The shuttle moves back and forth between the store and retrieval points on both ends of the lane, storing pallets tightly together and allowing high-density storage. Pallet shuttles provide faster, more accurate inventory management and order fulfillment compared to manual systems. They help maximize storage density, improve worker safety, and reduce labor costs in the warehouse.
Depending on your business, there are several pallet shuttle models available. The major difference is the system either utilizes shuttles on a specified level or one that allows shuttles to travel level to level based on throughput requirements. By utilizing the RightFIT methodology, an analysis of your order and business requirements will help dictate the type of pallet shuttle your organization requires.
Not sure which strategy makes the most sense for your operation? Speak with a member of the Conveyco team!
A pallet shuttle automated storage and retrieval system makes sense for your warehouse or distribution center simply because it provides faster, more accurate inventory management and order fulfillment with less labor and floor space. Pallet shuttles operate 24/7 with minimal supervision to increase productivity and reduce operating costs. They efficiently store 2 or 3 times the number of pallets in the same footprint compared to traditional racking.
This automated system improves inventory accuracy, order turnaround times, and worker safety while reducing the reliance on forklift operators (and forklifts) for storage and retrieval tasks.
With flexible scalability to expand as your business grows, the shuttle system is a future-proof investment that drives optimization through advanced controls integration and data-driven warehouse management. Implementing pallet shuttle technology will boost your throughput, lower your fulfillment expenses, and provide a competitive edge.
Here are some of the key features that make pallet shuttles a wise investment:
- Fast return on investment – When saved labor, space, equipment, maintenance and operational costs are factored, Conveyco’s pallet shuttle systems create a tremendous bottom line.
- Vertical density – Ideal for short and tall buildings
- High speed operation – Shuttles can travel at speeds of 500+ feet per minute for fast storage and retrieval.
- Compact size – With no need for aisles, the shuttle takes up less space than a forklift.
- Energy efficiency – Runs on battery power with automated recharging, reducing energy costs.
- Durability – Robust steel frame construction ensures longevity with minimal maintenance.
- Modular design – Allows flexibility to adjust storage capacity by adding more shuttles.
- 24/7 operation – Does not require regular operator oversight.
- Scalability – Easy to expand the system by adding more modules and levels as needed.
- Reduced labor – Requires less personnel than forklift-based order fulfillment methods.
By incorporating pallet shuttle AS/RS into your warehouse operations, you can optimize your efficiencies and elevate your business KPIs and levels to new heights.
- Reliability – No single point of failure. Utilizes redundant design principles.
- Increased storage density – A pallet shuttle system eliminates the need for human and forklift aisles, plus it allows the storing of pallets in deep lanes that are both deeper and higher due to shuttles accessing the pallets – and not trucks or humans.
- Improved inventory control and accuracy – The automated system provides real-time inventory tracking and reduces errors.
- Increased throughput – Automated pallet movement utilizing shuttles rather than manual forklift retrieval is much faster and efficient ensuring minimal downtime and maximizing productivity.
- Reduced labor costs – Reduces or eliminates the reliance on manual fork truck operation for storage and retrieval operations.
- Improved ergonomics and safety – Reduces potential for injuries associated with repetitive movements, forklift traffic and heavy lifting.
- Flexible scalability – Shuttle systems can be easily expanded by adding more bays, levels, and shuttles at any time.
- High density space utilization – The shuttle moves on rails within storage lanes, making full use and optimizing all available cubic space.
- Energy efficiency – Requires less energy than traditional AS/RS cranes and forklifts.
- Protection and security – Reduces product and rack damage. Automated handling is more precise with less risk of collisions and accidents.
- Enables 24/7 operation – Does not require constant human oversight allowing for continuous operation.
The applications which a pallet shuttle system can maximize your operations is vast. Anywhere you require high density and medium to fast moving pallet requirements, a pallet shuttle is likely your best solution.
- Cold storage and freezer warehouses – The technology works well in chilled and frozen environments.
- Food and beverage distribution centers – High throughput facilities benefit from the speed and reliability.
- Retail distribution centers – Reduces labor requirements for handling a large variety of SKUs.
- Pharmaceutical and healthcare distribution – Precise inventory control, temperature control and tracking is critical.
- Manufacturing warehouses – Ideal for raw materials, WIP, and finished goods storage.
- E-commerce order fulfillment centers – Fast item retrieval improves order processing.
- Third party logistics (3PL) – Provides flexibility to handle fluctuating client volumes.
- Automotive parts distribution – Supports sequenced delivery of parts to production lines.
- High density storage of small parts – Achieves space savings for small items storage.
- Perishable goods – Inventory control and throughput are ideal for items such as fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.
- Sensitive Inventory – The precision and controlled movement of the shuttles within the system can eliminate damage.
Options and Accessories:
A myriad of pallet shuttle options and accessories to make sure the system meets and exceeds your needs, requirements and expectations.
- Environmentally controlled – From ambient to frozen models are available.
- Output – Autonomous mobile robot (AMR) or forklift assisted systems.
- Layouts – Single-level, multi-level, or interlinking layouts are available to fit needs.
- Shuttle types – Options include single-load, dual-load, and multi-load shuttles.
- Load handling – Can be tailored for handling pallets, cartons, trays, or other load types.
- Building construction – Utilize traditional warehouse space or rack supported structures.
- Shuttle movement – Shuttles can move horizontally on rails or vertically on lifts depending on where they are needed in the system.
- RFID pallet tracking – Improves the overall accuracy and speed of inventory management.
- Software – Seamless integration with existing software, providing real-time data on inventory levels, order status, and performance metrics.
- Access – Systems may have one or both ends accessible for entry/exit.
- Speed – Shuttles reach speeds between 165-650 feet per minute depending on load, size and requirements.
- Scalability – Modular design allows expanding storage capacity when needed.
- Safety features – Light curtains, anti-collision tech, and sensors enhance safety.
|Speed:||2.6 F/s loaded – 3.2 f/s empty|
|Load capacity:||up to 3,300 Lbs. (heavier available)|
|Temperature range:||Temperature +113F to -30 F|
|Pallet types:||GMA, Euro, industry & combined, big bags, CP 1-9, plastic pallets|
|Pallet depth:||31.5″ to 47.25″|
|Pallet width:||39.37” to 47.25”|
Questions Answers: Q&As/FAQs
1. Q: Is pallet shuttle technology suitable for small warehouses with limited space?
A: Yes, pallet shuttle technology is highly suitable for small warehouses. Its high-density storage capabilities make it ideal for maximizing storage space in limited areas.
2. Q: Can pallet shuttle systems handle different types of pallets?
A: Yes, pallet shuttle systems can handle a wide range of pallet sizes and weights, making them versatile for various inventory needs.
3. Q: How does pallet shuttle technology improve warehouse productivity?
A: Pallet shuttle technology enhances warehouse productivity by streamlining the loading and unloading processes, reducing downtime, and maximizing storage capacity.
4. Q: Can pallet shuttle systems be integrated with existing warehouse management systems?
A: Yes, pallet shuttle systems can be seamlessly integrated with existing warehouse management systems, providing real-time data and improving overall efficiency.
5. Q: What are the maintenance requirements for pallet shuttle systems?
A: Pallet shuttle systems require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. This includes routine inspections, cleaning, and lubrication of the automated shuttles.
Why Conveyco is your Best Choice When Thinking About Pallet Shuttles
Implementing a pallet shuttle system requires careful planning and expertise. Conveyco can simplify the planning and implementation process to help ensure success. Utilizing Conveyco’s RightFIT methodology, we will work closely with you to understand your specific requirements and design the best solution that meets your exact needs. Additionally, we will provide ongoing support and maintenance to ensure the continued efficiency and performance of the system.
By leveraging Conveyco’s expertise, you can save time and resources while ensuring a successful implementation of your pallet shuttle system. With over 40 years of experience in warehouse automation we will help you maximize the benefits of pallet shuttle technology and stay ahead in a competitive market.