News Details
New Age Material Movement Trends
28 May 2019

With the successful completion of ACREX India 2019, we are now looking forward to ISHRAE’s next major event, REFCOLD India 2019, which will be held at Hyderabad from November 21 to 23, 2019.

Subsidies for Cold Chain Sector
The National Horticulture Board (NHB) and Ministry of Food Processing Industry (MoFPI) schemes are now open. By the time this issue reaches the readers, the MoFPI scheme may possibly have closed. However, NHB will continue to provide subsidies to various sectors of industry as per their rules and regulations. NHB has now created a
new format for the project report, which is significantly more detailed than the previous formats, and more granular information will be required from the person or organisation preparing the report. Quite a bit of market related information will be required, to be procured from Government approved sources. This means that much more work will go into report preparation. However, eventually it would be for the benefit of the project, since the project owner would now have credible information on the requirements and the market before the project kicks off.

New Trends in Racking and Material Handling
With the newer facilities moving into palletized storage, it is important to understand the various types of racking and material handling equipment.
The commonly used types of racking include:
• Single deep racking
• Double deep racking
• Three/four deep racking with shuttle or push pack arrangement
• Drive-in drive-out type racking
• Mobile racking
• Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS)

Each of the above types of racking would need different types of material handling equipment, with specialised characteristics to suit each type of racking. Single deep racking has the advantage of complete freedom to choose which pallet comes in and goes out, and there are no restrictions on pallet storage. The storage density is, however, the least for this type of racking.

Double deep racking will give more storage density compared to single deep, but has the disadvantage that the first pallet always is required to be brought out before the second pallet is retrieved. Further density of storage would be obtained from three or four deep pallet type racking. However, they have the same disadvantage as double deep racking, since retrieval would necessitate that the pallets before the required pallet would first need to be removed before the required pallet is retrieved. Drive-in drive-out type system requires very special handling equipment, one which can actually go inside the rack, so the equipment itself needs to be very narrow. There are two types of drive-in drive-out: one where there is a passage only on one side of the chamber, and another where there are passages on three sides of the chamber. The first scheme gives FILO kind of arrangement (First In Last Out), and the second scheme gives FIFO (First In First Out) kind of arrangement. Mobile racking gives higher density compared to any of the above types of racking, but has a much higher cost. Here the racks actually move and create an aisle whenever any pallet has to be moved.

Hence, there is effectively only one aisle in a chamber. Any time a given pallet is to be loaded or unloaded, an aisle is created by moving the racks. It is a very interesting scheme, but one needs to have large chambers to enable this kind of system. ASRS has only recently entered the cold storage industry. Some people have tried to use them, because of certain basic advantages. There is practically no need of labour, since everything is automated; the system knows exactly which pallet is stored at which location, and this gives a very high density of storage as well. Some disadvantages of this system are that one robotic system can be used for one chamber only, and hence a large chamber is needed.

The cost of ASRS is very high, though efforts are being made to bring it down. With large chambers, if the loading is low, power consumption tends to go higher on a per
pallet position basis. We have used most of the above types of systems in our projects, and it is always important to use the most appropriate solution for the given requirement because storage is the most important part of the project in terms of business viability. The above is not necessarily a comprehensive list; it only outlines the major types of racking and material handling.

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