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Reserve stock, no risk: Automatic buffer storage compared

 Automated buffer storage
Whitepaper automated buffer storage

In industrial settings, buffer storage ensures secure and reliable production processes. It can smooth out the different speeds of consecutive work steps and cushion short-term disruptions or fluctuations in the production flow. With its function as reserve storage, buffer storage prevents costly production downtimes, which makes it indispensable to most companies.



Buffer storage “parks” goods until they are required in the subsequent production step. It is suitable, however, not only as a short-term storage solution, but also for longer-term holding of materials. This is the case, for example, with stored goods that cannot be processed immediately due to necessary maturation or acclimatisation processes. Whatever the situation, it must be possible to deliver the products in intermediate storage back to the production process quickly, securely and reliably.

 

For various reasons, fully automatic solutions continue to gain in popularity. In the table, you can see seven key advantages compared to manual solutions.

 

Among the fully automatic buffer storage solutions themselves, there are major differences, and these must be considered in the investment decision. When selecting a system, the available space is a critical factor, as is the subsequent extension capability, and the required capacity. Kardex Mlog, the specialist in fully automatic logistics solutions, offers four fundamentally different concepts in this segment, and a comparison of these solutions provides transparency with regard to the technical options.


MSequence is a dynamic buffer and sequencing solution that is designed for maximum storage and retrieval performance. The pallets are stored here in longitudinal direction on driven roller conveyors. This automatic pallet buffer enables double-deep storage and, compared to conventional pallet storage, achieves space savings of 66%. Depending on requirements, the dimensions of the MSequence can be configured flexibly. It is suitable for a buffer capacity of between 170 and 800 pallets. A complete module consists of an automatic storage and retrieval machine (SRM), one storage and one retrieval line, and the associated racking construction. The module’s own warehouse management software and control technology complete the plug and play solution. Learn more about MSequence


MCompact is an automated mobile racking system that offers universal use for diverse load carriers. This unique solution is based on a suspended, rotating lift-column with a pallet lifting device or other load pick-up device. The pallet feed and discharge takes place at floor level without any conveying technology. Compared to conventional forklift-based storage, this turnkey solution requires approximately 40 per cent less floor space and it can be integrated into existing buildings. MCompact is particularly suited to smaller and medium-level volumes and it can also be deployed in difficult conditions such as the storage of hazardous substances and deepfreeze storage. Autonomous, accident-free operation reduces operating costs and it does not require extensive load securing. Learn more about MCompact


With the MTower, KardexMlog offers a high-bay warehouse with minimum footprint, which is also suitable for buffer storage. The principle is based on a shuttle car mounted on a vertically guided lifting beam, which accesses the pallet storage spaces on different levels. The load pick-up can be designed either for single or double-deep storage by means of a telescopic fork. With single-deep storage, the system requires a depth of only 4.5 metres. The double-deep version can be operated with depth of 8 metres. This solution is particularly suitable for small spaces and has been specially developed for geometries up to 25 metres high and 12 metres wide. This makes MTower an option for short but high warehouses with no compromises with regard to stability, performance and speed. The plug & play solution is suitable for all popular host systems and software standards and it can easily be integrated into existing IT landscapes. Learn more about MTower


The Shuttle XP 1000 is an extremely compact solution, narrow but with a height of up to 20 metres. The principle consists of a closed system, in which trays are stored vertically at the front and rear of the device. In the centre, there is an extractor which automatically conveys the trays with the goods into the operating access. With an operating width of up to 4.05 metres, the pallet trays can handle loads of up to 1,000 kilogrammes. The modular structure of the XP 1000 offers high flexibility for use with various ceiling heights. If structural changes are made to the building, the XP 1000 can quickly be adapted to the new conditions by adding or removing modules. Depending on the height available, the system enables floor space savings of at least 85% compared to conventional systems. Learn more about Shuttle XP


Summary: Buffer storage can drastically reduce the failure risk of production plants and, as a result, it has become an integral part of today’s industrial production. Low space requirement, low operating costs, high reliability, and 24/7 availability are just some of the reasons for installation of a fully automated solution. The market offers a wide range of variants that can be adapted to fit the requirements and spatial conditions in each case.

 

Learn more about fully automated production buffers now and download our brochure!

 

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