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Kite Packaging introduces new hand pallet wrap bundle offer

Pallet wraps are made of a highly elastic plastic film made from linear low-density polyethene (LLDPE). The plastic wrap tension after application protects the contents stored in a pallet during transit. Stored items remain together in the pallet. Pallet wraps are designed to reduce damage and loss of products. Kite’s

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What is an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS)?

Automation is nothing new in the manufacturing and distribution industry. After all, robots have been helping out on production lines since the 1970s, from shuttling parts to constructing car chassis. But the latest wave of automation is both more autonomous and more mobile than ever before – and it’s already

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Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

pallet

Kite Packaging introduces new hand pallet wrap bundle offer

Pallet wraps are made of a highly elastic plastic film made from linear low-density polyethene (LLDPE). The plastic wrap tension after application protects the contents stored in a pallet during transit. Stored items remain together in the pallet. Pallet wraps are designed to reduce damage and loss of products. Kite’s 5×5 pallet wrap system, one of the UK’s safest ways of reducing health and safety issues associated with hand wrapping pallets, is now available to buy in bundles on the Kite Packaging website. The employee-owned business has introduced new hand stretch bundles which will help save its customer’s time and money thanks to their operational efficiency boosting qualities. When used with industrial tools and supplies such as pallet floor scales and pallet hand wrapping systems, the new product can significantly enhance and streamline warehouse workflow. While industrial pallet scales ensure accurate weighing of pallets, pallet hand wraps ensure pallet content protection during transportation. This hand wrapping system is particularly useful for businesses looking to boost their green credentials and reduce their use of plastic as it reduces the amount of pallet wrap used by up to 60%. The 5×5 pallet wrap dispenser, which was previously only available on a rental basis, can also now be purchased as a permanent addition, meaning businesses no longer have to enter into a contract. Ergonomically designed to improve comfort and efficiency, these hand held pallet wrap systems allow operators to walk forward around pallets in order to dispense the film in a natural position with no bending or stretching required. This combined with its pre-stretch gears that release film at the optimum elastic point, ensures a reduced risk of any health and safety issues that can arise. The bundles are each made up of a 5×5 shrink wrap dispenser and nano technology pallet wrap, with a wide variety of pallet wrap specifications to choose from so businesses can find the right pallet wrap for their business. Product packaging ranges from bubble envelopes and cartons to pallet wrap systems. Whatever your business niche is, it’s crucial to choose a product packaging that is environmentally friendly. When using pallet wraps, it’s crucial to determine the items you’ll be storing. Square boxes and even loads should have an elastic wrap, with static material to cling to flat box edges. For uneven boxes, the loads need an elastic pallet wrap with more thickness and strength, and higher tear resistance. Irregular edges of uneven loads may tear or rip the pallet wrap during transport. For very uneven loads or boxes with different sizes, shapes, and weight, experienced staff should wrap the items to avoid damage using high-quality wraps with superior tear resistance. If you want to find out how else you can improve your environmental operations, please visit www.kitepackaging.co.uk.

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What is an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS)?

Automation is nothing new in the manufacturing and distribution industry. After all, robots have been helping out on production lines since the 1970s, from shuttling parts to constructing car chassis. But the latest wave of automation is both more autonomous and more mobile than ever before – and it’s already at work in a facility near you. Here’s what you need to know about robots and storage, or what’s known as an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS).   An AS/RS is a computer-controlled system that’s designed to locate, place and retrieve loads from racking and other storage. An AS/RS usually operates with complete autonomy, although it will tend to have some human oversight. In large scale operations, the AS/RS will receive its orders automatically in conjunction with an eCommerce system, and will set to work retrieving the items in question.   The AS/RS concept has been around in some form since the 1960s. You may recognise the concept from depictions of archives in science fiction: a robot on a shuttle, lift or crane navigates a line of shelves, plucks out an item, and returns it to the operator. Many of today’s systems operate in a similar fashion, though their abilities have increased: modern systems can now pick smaller, more delicate items, and do so with dramatically improved speed.   The most common automated storage systems operate by moving autonomous vehicles along guided rollers alongside shelves. When they are in position, a series of lifts carry the vehicle up to the correct pallet, which is then withdrawn from the shelf and ferried back. This is often quicker and always safer than involving employees in the retrieval process, and allows human resources to be distributed elsewhere in the business.   An AS/RS using lifts is also known as a Vertical Lift Module (VLM). A VLM allows for storage on more levels than are traditionally available in a pallet racking solution, with the potential for eight or more tiers of as much as 100 ft tall. Such a system can accommodate over 14,000 pallets in just 30,000 square feet of floor space – saving up to 70,000 sq/ft saving on a traditional three-tiered layout. The efficiency savings this provides can then be reinvested in further internal and external expansion for production or distribution purposes.   Amazon’s Kiva robots represent the current pinnacle of this technology. These squat, heavy lifting robots are what’s known as Unit Load AS/RS, and are more reminiscent of giant Roombas than your stereotypical robot. They’ve proved so efficient however that Amazon has rolled them out to its global warehouses, and they now help to manage the bulk of its Amazon Pantry stock.   The robots are able to navigate down aisles of racking without collisions, and can locate pallets by scanning QR codes, a blocky barcode like image. They can then lift an entire pallet on their ‘back’, and carry it to human workers to open and pack the contents. All of this is carried out autonomously based on order volume for various products, and is only overseen by a human controller.   The development of both sensor and wireless technology has dramatically altered the capabilities of an AS/RS. Advanced sensors similar to those used in autonomous cars prevent the robots from colliding with storage units or people, ensuring safe retrieval. The ability to grip and locomote with greater dexterity has also allowed for smaller objects to be transported, and the development of what are known as Mini-Load AS/RS.   Wireless technologies such as RFID, Wi-Fi and NFC meanwhile allow the units to communicate information wirelessly, locating objects which have been tagged with visual codes or microchips. They can then tell a centralised system when they have successfully retrieved the item, automating the inventory management process with absolute accuracy.   Automated storage and retrieval systems have a number of requirements which may be beyond smaller businesses; these include heavy health & safety oversight, centralised inventory management and eCommerce systems, and significant capital investment.   Many businesses may benefit instead from the installation of more efficient, high density pallet racking, or the space saving effects of a mobile shelving solution. For those at the cutting edge, however, AS/RS represents the pinnacle of efficiency savings in storage and distribution, and something to keep a watchful eye on for the future.   This post was written by Invicta Pallet Racking. For over 25 years we have been at the forefront of the archive storage industry throughout the UK and Europe, designing and installing some of the largest racking and storage systems currently found on the market.

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