The material handling and logistics industry has experienced significant changes in the last few years alone. With the explosive growth of e-commerce, supply chain instability, labor shortages, consumer demand for increased delivery times, and the need to service new and emerging markets, material handlers and their automation and retail partners need smart, flexible warehouse automation solutions to balance these shifts and adapt to the uncertainties of today’s global, connected landscape.
Further complicating the job for material handlers is the downstream effect these constantly changing variables have on their retail partners, as well as a sudden influx of competition. Both of these are key drivers for material handlers and their automation partners in discovering powerful, data-driven automation solutions that help increase the speed and flexibility of their production sequences. While Industry 4.0 and IIoT have revolutionized processes in warehouse and distribution centers, the struggle for material handling and logistics stakeholders today is choosing the right solution for the application.
With more than four decades of field-proven expertise in the industrial automation space, Rittal’s industrial enclosure, climate control, power distribution, and modification solutions have set the bar for excellence in design and engineering to help material handlers like you discover a simplified solution to get the job done.
How Advances in Automation Technology Are Shaping Material Handling and Logistics
The landscape of material handling and logistics has changed dramatically in just a few years. The massive increases in e-commerce, supply chain instability, labor and material shortages, and more means material handlers need warehouse automation solutions that cut the complexity and increase speed to market in a competitive landscape. Our Retail & Logistics Special Report discusses the top 10 challenges material handling and logistics companies face and the steps necessary to overcome them.
Top Challenges For Material Handling and Logistics Companies
> How to use Digital Design and Engineering to Increase Your Speed to Market
> How to Choose the Right Industrial Enclosure for Efficient Warehouse Automation
> How to Upgrade Climate Control Systems for Greater Efficiency
> How Busbar Power Distribution Helps Save Space When Designing A Warehouse Automation System
How to use Digital Design and Engineering to Increase Your Speed to Market
One of the biggest hurdles that design engineers in the material handling and logistics industry face is speed to market. The increases in e-commerce have resulted in more parcels than ever before in the distribution pipeline, and material handlers are deploying new warehouses and distribution centers to scale their operations. Design engineers need end-to-end visibility and insight into the control panel and enclosure production process to better scale and integrate these growing networks of automated distribution centers.
What further complicates the enclosure design process is the level of customization material handling and logistics companies need to accommodate enclosure deployment in environments with harsh environmental conditions or space constraints like airports, ports, and other parcel hubs.
Rittal and EPLAN offer a fully-digitalized CAE design and engineering platform that simplifies each stage of the process from procurement to delivery. In addition, EPLAN’s powerful design suite helps create a connected value chain to help material handlers flexibly respond to shifts in production. This allows for a more proactive approach to creating automated distribution processes that were once difficult to plan.
In addition, a digitalized design sequence with real-time availability of component parts, simple schematic editing and sharing, and digital twins helps material handling and logistics companies scale their enclosure solutions based on size, scope, and demand.
The events of the last few years have accelerated the growth of e-commerce and left material handlers and their automation partners scrambling to keep pace. With more parcels in distribution centers than ever before and the need for rapid delivery at top of mind across the material handling and logistics space, a digitalized enclosure design and production process can go a long way in helping you future-proof your warehouse automation technology. Our white paper outlines the 10 steps you need to make sure your distribution center is ready for whatever the future brings.
How to Choose the Right Industrial Enclosure for Efficient Warehouse Automation
In today’s fast-moving material handling and logistics space, the capacity for scalability and flexibility are key to efficiently move parcels from Point A to Point B. Coupling this with the ability to protect electronics from harsh environmental conditions or unique deployments can make choosing the right industrial enclosure complicated or confusing.
Additionally, the flexibility of panel configuration, wiring and cable configuration, and rapid assembly are also important considerations for material handlers and their automation partners who need to create warehouse automation systems that prioritize scalability and superior performance.
Far too often those in the material handling and logistics space are faced with choosing one enclosure design over another which results in rigid automation programs that leave no room for material handlers to maneuver, or scale based on demand or industry variables. Rittal’s VX SE Free-standing Enclosure System gives material handling and logistics design engineers the power to create a customized warehouse automation framework that tackles their unique challenges and embraces their specific opportunities.
The VX SE combines up to IP 66 and 4/4X NEMA protection for superior durability with space-saving capabilities to replace up to three baying enclosures. With widths of up to 1800 mm and depths down to 300 mm to reduce your footprint on the warehouse floor, the VX SE is a game changer for today’s automated distribution centers.
In addition to space-saving industrial enclosures, Rittal’s junction boxes, terminal boxes, and accessories offer the ability to design custom warehouse automation solutions to overcome unique challenges. Compact and small enclosures provide end-to-end system solutions for enhanced efficiency. Added accessories allow for the freedom and flexibility to customize solutions to unique applications.
When it comes to selecting the right industrial enclosure, too often the conversation pits modular enclosure design against unibody enclosures in a this-versus-that decision. Material handling and logistics design engineers and their automation partners need both modular and unibody enclosures to create an efficient warehouse automation infrastructure. Our guide helps you identify the right enclosure for your application.
How to Upgrade Climate Control Systems for Greater Efficiency
In today’s retail and logistics landscape, material handlers must be able to operate on a global scale with the utmost concern for reliable delivery regardless of environmental conditions. When it comes to climate control, the name of the game for material handling and logistics players is efficiency, consistency, and lowering energy usage and costs, particularly with regard to scaling climate control solutions in order to adequately service large, automated distribution sites. Sustainable CO2 reduction solutions are top of mind when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint and lowering energy related costs. The Blue e+ S enclosure cooling units offer a 56% lower Global Warming Potential (GWP) rating to help support these efforts.
In addition, the movement toward sustainable manufacturing practices and the need for Industry 4.0 and IIoT-enabled systems for remote monitoring have added new possibilities to optimize climate control systems and truly understand the value existing systems are providing.
The material handling and logistics industry is at a crossroads: How to reduce your carbon footprint while at the same time optimizing efficiency and production? This white paper offers action steps you can take to implement sustainable manufacturing initiatives that help promote production efficiency and reduce energy costs.
With state-of-the-art climate control solutions like our Blue e+, Blue e+ S, roof mounted and wall mounted TopTherm cooling units, and IoT Interface, material handling and logistics facilities can engineer targeted cooling outputs where cooling is needed most with an eye toward reducing energy costs, decreasing your carbon footprint, and benefiting from a long lifespan of your electronics and enclosures.
The Climate Control QuickFinder from Rittal is a fast and easy tool to help you determine the most suitable climate control solution for your retail & logistics application. You just need to answer three simple questions.
Our team of expert climate control specialists can also help you understand the health and viability of your existing climate framework with a climate efficiency analysis, and our climate inventory webinar provides a behind-the-scenes look at what our climate experts look for when conducting an efficiency analysis to help you better understand the process from start to finish.
Climate control systems in highly automated warehouses and distribution centers can be a complex web. What’s more, it’s difficult to fully realize just how much energy is consumed and greenhouse emissions emitted every day for companies operating multiple facilities on a nationwide or global scale. However, the good news is it’s possible to design and build automated warehouse systems and power distribution solutions that reduce overall energy consumption, cut carbon emissions, and lower energy costs.
With Rittal, not only is this possible, but it’s just a click away with this on-demand webinar.
How Busbar Power Distribution Helps Save Space When Designing A Warehouse Automation System
As material handlers expand their distribution networks and modernize their warehouse automation frameworks, the need for a smarter, more efficient method of distributing power to the control panels and enclosures that help drive automated distribution center processes is more pressing than ever.
Legacy power distribution systems come with a variety of liabilities and challenges, including complex and time-consuming installations; time and resource-intensive maintenance; less physical space within the enclosure due to cumbersome, outdated designs; and increased downtime due to frequency of maintenance. This is particularly problematic for material handlers who depend on fast, reliable warehouse automation technologies to move large volumes of parcels as quickly and precisely as possible.
With a Rittal busbar power distribution system, material handling and logistics operators will experience:
- Reductions in the use of space relative to the panel and enclosure
- Easy troubleshooting in the event of control panel manufacturing interruption or failure
- Time savings during installation, maintenance, or upgrades
- Increased operational efficiency
Designed and engineered for use on the global stage with universal compliance in mind, Rittal’s busbar power distribution systems also provide superior protection against shock and accidental arcing. Rittal busbar also allows for electronically safe installation and maintenance up to 60 IP inside the industrial enclosure to reduce the likelihood of electrical fault and danger to both personnel and production floor equipment.