Automatic refrigerated warehouses or freezing chambers are equipment with a high cost of maintenance and cold generation. This type of storage systems are mainly demanded in sectors such as food or large distribution.
A warehouse of these characteristics (maintenance and cold generation) is actually a difficult space to work in due to temperatures that can reach -30ºC negative. Its operators must be properly equipped with special clothing that allows them to perform their tasks in a healthy manner.
This makes automation the best storage solution for cold stores or freezers. This is the only way to achieve maximum optimization of this type of facility.
Advantages of automation in cold storage warehouses
- It makes it possible not to have to have operators working in extreme cold conditions. Thus, the handling of goods by people inside the freezing chambers is avoided. This means an improvement in the order of the warehouse since each merchandise is located in the space indicated by the management program and, in addition, pallet breakage is minimized.
- Compacting the stored goods by reducing aisle widths and consequently improving the performance of the cold generation equipment.
- Allows the storage of loads at great heights with automatic equipment.
- It makes it possible to double the storage capacity for palletized goods.
- Facilitates the improvement of internal processes: faster order preparation; reduction of waiting times for loading shipments; increase in the number of cycles per hour of the installation; shorter waiting time of the product before entering the chamber; greater agility in the traffic of goods through the plant.
- Significantly reduces risk situations for logistics personnel by avoiding their prolonged exposure to very low temperatures.
- Increases the efficiency of the cold generated by reducing thermal losses in incoming and outgoing goods.
- Total food traceability: online control of stocks and movements.
Design of automatic refrigerated warehouses
Automatic refrigerated warehouses can be designed and implemented with different storage solutions. Depending on the needs and capacity of the warehouse, it may consist of conventional industrial racking or it may require the use of rails and satellite trolleys.
The suitability of one system or another depends on different factors, such as rotation, height, load characteristics, pallet accumulation or other movements. All these factors will have a decisive influence on the design of the cold store or freezer.
For example, the satellite trolley system requires fewer aisles and this allows a large number of movements by having one trolley per level and aisle.
At the time of design, it is also important to consider the working temperatures. This data is fundamental for the execution of the welded joints of the racking components as well as for the finishing of the racks.
Working in a refrigerated warehouse exposes the warehouse operators to extreme working conditions due to the low temperatures in the warehouse. This makes it especially important to take into account from the design stage the installation of the appropriate safety elements to prevent damage to the structural elements of the metal racking.
Ultracongelados Virto, a leading food group in the deep-frozen vegetables sector, trusted Noega Systems for the construction of its self-supporting refrigerated warehouse in Funes (Navarra). In the link you will find all the details about this installation.
At Noega Systems we are specialized in industrial storage, so we design customized solutions. And this includes refrigerated warehouses, as we are fully aware that in the refrigerated food sector, among others, storage logistics is an essential part of the business process.