How many different kinds of automated storage systems are there and which should I choose?

There are many different kinds of automated storage systems. The configuration of the systems is optimized to suit each individual project. The automated storage systems are often combined with a software package which further optimizes the processes.

We would like to briefly present a few different kinds of automated storage systems below. Do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information.


The “lift principle” – also known as VLM. The Kardex Shuttle XP models

With this principle, a tray is conveyed to an access opening. Once the goods have been removed, the tray is returned and a new tray is conveyed to the access opening. It is possible to handle two trays in one order-picking process with the Kardex Shuttle XP models, thereby increasing efficiency. The standard tray width is between 1,250 mm and 4,050 mm. The choice of tray size depends on what it is being used for. If space needs to be created for non-active items, a tray with a width of 4,050 mm can be the right solution. Frequently needed items tend to be stored in smaller trays in several automated storage systems – all depending on requirements. With such a set-up, an operator will move between several units and the trays will be at the access openings with no waiting time.

There are storage lifts that hold crates instead of trays. Compared to automated storage systems that only hold crates, a storage system with trays makes much better use of the volume and is much more flexible, because less space is wasted in a storage system with trays than in a system with crates. Accordingly, you can store more items on the same floor space in a storage lift with trays than in a storage lift with crates. Furthermore, goods can be stored dynamically with 28 different height variations in a Kardex Shuttle XP system, which means that optimal use of the available volume can be made at all times. The height options in an automated storage system with crates, on the other hand, are limited to a handful of variations determined by the height of the crate. The tray can be divided in whatever way provides the optimal layout. The size of the tray is the only limitation governing the dimensions of the items, whereas goods stored in a storage lift with crates are limited by the dimensions of the crate. There are no performance restrictions in an automated storage system with trays. You determine the degree of order-picking efficiency yourself, because it is the result of the relationship between the tray size and the number of storage systems. Several automated storage systems with smaller trays result in more items being picked than fewer automated storage systems with larger trays.
A “lift” or “VLM” storage system with trays offers the greatest possible volume and the greatest possible flexibility for completing the most tasks with higher performance levels.
If items that are needed very frequently are being handled, then the fastest type of automated storage system on the market is the Kardex Megamat RS. It is described below.


The “paternoster principle”. The Kardex Megamat RS models.

Combined with Kardex software, the Kardex Megamat RS is the fastest automated storage solution in the world and is ideal for order-picking tasks that are carried out on a very frequent basis. There are installations in operation where just one single Kardex Megamat can supply between 500 and 1,000 trays per hour. In addition, the storage and retrieval process can be fully automated. In such cases the order-picking crates are picked fully automatically, put into storage by the automated storage systems, and transported to a consolidation area.


Accordingly, the Kardex Megamat is used for items which are needed very frequently and an operator can be fully occupied with just one single automated storage system.


The Kardex Megamat “paternoster” and the Kardex Shuttle XP “lift” together

A combination of a Shuttle XP “lift” and a Kardex Megamat “paternoster” is often the best solution for optimizing storage. The Kardex Megamat is used for items that are needed on a very frequent basis and the Kardex Shuttle XP is used for items needed less often which account for a greater volume. Take a look at the video by Alfa Laval in Søborg, which shows the way in which a Shuttle XP and a Megamat work well together. On the whole, the system is considerably faster than the operator. The system was installed in 2005 and continues to offer operational availability of more than 99.98 percent.


Low ceiling? Kardex Horizontal is the answer

Many old warehouse buildings, especially in larger cities, only have a low ceiling height of between 2.5 and three meters. It is nonetheless possible to save a significant amount of space and achieve a particularly high level of efficiency. In warehouses with low ceilings, the distances that have to be covered on foot are even longer, which is why it takes a long time to process an order. With Kardex Horizontal all items are conveyed to one order-picking area. It is not uncommon for efficiency levels to be increased by between 200 and 400 percent. Take a look at the possibilities in the video by Mister Minit.





Do you need further information?

Do not hesitate to contact us at any time if you need further information. Our experienced and expert advisers will be happy to pay you a visit to discuss the various options available for your company – with no obligation. Send us an e-mail or fill in our contact form.
How can I save space and increase efficiency with an automated storage system?
Click here to read how this can be done and watch the video.