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Evaluating automation for cold storage: key considerations

Like any technology, it’s critical to understand the business requirements, strategy, and fit before investing. To properly evaluate automation in your cold storage facilities, it’s best to bring vendors or consultants onsite to discuss your unique parameters.

Automation such as palletizers, automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), conveyors, automated picking solutions, automated truck loading/unloading systems, and other types of material handling equipment (MHE) have a reputation for moving large volumes of inventory with high levels of accuracy. These systems can be highly beneficial from labor, safety, food quality, throughput, and traceability standpoints. However, cold storage businesses face challenges that other “dry” warehouses never worry about. These challenges, which we’ll touch on throughout this piece, are critical factors in determining how well automation systems fit within these facilities.

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