As the use of warehouse automation continues to climb, John Moses, Director at The Construction Store, shares how new wave technology can help increase efficiency and cut error margins.
Efficiency has always been a fundamental component of warehouse operations – and with the rise of automation in these spaces, rates of efficiency have never been higher.
But as newer and more innovative forms of automation are introduced to warehouses, new complications have arisen that threaten the performance and efficiency of these new valuable assets.
In an era where efficiency is considered a benchmark for a well-functioning and high performing warehouse, solutions to these threats are highly sought after and imperative to implement for future success.
John Moses, Director at The Construction Store, has been providing an innovative solution to combatting automation error margins through the use of wave joints during construction.
The joints are designed to have three waves – and are shaped like one – which are now being more commonly used in comparison to traditional straight edge armour joints.
By using wave joints, it’s impossible to hit a straight edge and machinery and robots will always travel smoothly over the surface – no matter what direction they’re heading from. The result is the obliteration of errors resulting from a dip in the floor or a hitch on a sharp edge which could cause laser guided machines to go off track.
John, who’s company is the leading provider for wave type joints in Australia and representative of Permaban Armoured Joint Systems, says demand for the unique joints is on the rise after the huge call for new warehouse space due to the e-commerce boom.
The Construction Store has provided Permaban Wave joints for several projects over the past 18 months such as Linfox’s Multi-use Logistics Centre in Brisbane and more recently, a major manufacturing solutions providers’ new 35,000m2 Melbourne warehouse, which Vaughan Construction is set to complete soon.
“I think the demand will continue for a while yet – this pandemic has brought forward plans five to 10 years earlier than anticipated,” he says.
“We are getting a lot of inquiries about this wave joint but the impact for us and where we are going to see the benefits won’t be for another 12 to 18 months when those warehouses finish construction.”
Wave joints are also revolutionising the flexibility of racking solutions in warehouses. The current common procedure for joints is to hide them underneath racking wherever possible – but in a few years’ time, when a tenant needs more racking space, simply wants to move it, or wants to change the angle, they are unable to due to the position of the joint.
“With a wave joint you can travel over it in any direction and it’s no impact, so you can change the racking to wherever you want in the future,” John says. “It’s future proofing your warehouse.”
For existing warehouses that want to implement the wave joint technology, The Construction Store also supplies another solution called the Signature Aris Repair, which is able to replace existing joint systems by removing a section and installing a new composite system that results in a hexagonal shape. This gives the same effect as a wave joint in existing builds.
John says the increase in automation we’re seeing will only continue to rise and expected most warehouses to implement wave joints in the future.
“It will be driven by material handling equipment providers as they’re guaranteeing their equipment will increase efficiency, and that certain machines will do certain tasks – but you need the wave joints for everything to run smoothly,” he says.
“While we are making it known we aren’t necessarily needing to push it because the builders are saying we have no choice, we simply need this type of joint.”
He thinks future warehouses will see more automated guided vehicles, because they are so efficient:“We recently supplied wave joints to a warehouse which has almost no racking – it’s all large and heavy loads being driven around in a big open floor, there’s no hiding joints under racking. It just seems logistics is becoming more and more important rather than manufacturing.”