Miniload Solutions for Small Parts Storage

Specialized automated miniload solutions (AMS) are often used to ensure the fast, efficient, safe and secure storage of small parts and small items. In these solutions items are stored on trays or shelves, in boxes, bins, etc. Miniload or small parts storage solutions can be adapted and varied to meet specific business requirements. Depending on the rate of turnover or throughput, the racks holding the bins and containers can be specially configured for single-depth or multiple-depth storage. One or more containers are located at each storage position in the solution. Storage and retrieval machines (SRM) transport the containers back and forth during put and pick processes. Each SRM can be equipped with extendable load-carrying attachments that reach deep into the rack to retrieve a bin or box. The bins in the AMS can also feature separators and compartments for storing extremely small items. Thus various types of items can be kept in one storage bin. However, this requires a system that fully supports storage of mixed contents in the bins and which prevents picking errors when contents are similar.

The AMS ensures high efficiency and ease of use for daily picking and logistics processes. 

Small items are transported on demand to the picking station by SRM robots moving along the aisles. The interface linking the warehouse management system with the ERP system ensures that the AMS is seamlessly integrated in all intralogistics processes. 

The SRM can also be fitted with various kinds of load-carrying options to increase the speed and efficiency of an automated miniload storage solution. The size of the load carriers is dependent on the type of SRM used. Increasing the density of storage volume through height-optimized storage – a feature of the Hänel Lean-Lift® – is not possible with AMS solutions. Autonomous transport systems travel along the warehouse corridors and automatically pick requisite items from inventory. The space needed for the SRM in aisles or corridors cannot be utilized for storage purposes. Expanding storage volume as requirements grow is possible with the Hänel Lean-Lift® and the Hänel Rotomat® – AMS small parts storage solutions do not offer this feature. These and other drawbacks are reasons to consider Hänel lift systems as efficient alternatives to conventional AMS small parts storage solutions.