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    Home-News- Industry News-How does the automated 3D warehouse of pharmaceutical industry work?

    How does the automated 3D warehouse of pharmaceutical industry work?

    469 Apr 27-2023

    Design Requirements, Key Points and Fire Analysis of Automated Warehouse in Pharmaceutical Industry

    The automated stereoscopic warehouse is a warehouse that uses high-rise shelves to store unit goods, and uses automated material handling machinery to store goods in and out of the warehouse.   In recent years, due to the rapid development of e-commerce, the renewal and transformation of the manufacturing industry, the rapid update of automation technology and the increase in land costs, these factors have rapidly promoted the construction and development of automated stereoscopic warehouses. It is one of the trends and directions of the development of the warehousing industry.

    Design Requirements of Automated Stereoscopic Warehouse in pharmaceutical Industry
    There are many kinds of pharmaceutical products, and the storage conditions are complex. The new version of GMP has strict temperature and humidity requirements for different types of medicines in different storage areas, transportation, storage and other links. Different types of medicines have different storage environments, and they need to be stored in different categories to avoid deterioration due to odor and mutual contamination. For example, they are classified storage of Chinese and Western medicines, classified storage of toxic and non-toxic drugs, classified storage of special drugs and common drugs, etc.
    Automated stereoscopic warehouses generally also need to consider functional requirements such as ventilation, protect from light, pest control, and moisture; safety protection measures are required; warehouses should also consider technical measures such as sun protection, rain protection, and snow protection during loading, unloading, transport, receiving, and delivery operations. For example, a large canopy is set up outdoors, and flexible rubber inflatable cushions are installed on the door frame outside the warehouse in severe cold areas to form a door seal; effective isolation equipment should be provided between the medicines in the warehouse and the ground.


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    Analysis on key points of automatic stereoscopic warehouse design in pharmaceutical enterprises
    The automated stereoscopic warehouse is subdivided according to the cargo process, including the temporary storage area for storage, inspection area, palletizing area, storage area, temporary storage area for outbound storage, temporary storage area for pallets, temporary storage area for unqualified products, and sundries area. The automation of the stereoscopic warehouse storage system is reflected in the automatic completion of the storage and withdrawal of goods according to the instructions of the computer management system, and the WMS management of the inventory to realize the process of automatic operation. In the design process of the automated stereoscopic warehouse, the following points need to be paid attention to.
    The automated stereoscopic warehouse is subdivided according to the cargo process, including the temporary storage area for storage, inspection area, palletizing area, storage area, temporary storage area for outbound storage, temporary storage area for pallets, temporary storage area for unqualified products, and sundries area. The automation of the stereoscopic warehouse storage system is reflected in the automatic completion of the storage and withdrawal of goods according to the instructions of the computer management system, and the WMS management of the inventory to realize the process of automatic operation. In the design process of the automated stereoscopic warehouse, the following points need to be paid attention to.

    1. Determination of the optimum height of an automated three-dimensional warehouse.
    The height of the automated stereoscopic warehouse directly affects its floor area, investment cost, return on investment, loading and unloading efficiency of overweight transport machinery, and maintenance costs. The height of the automated stereoscopic warehouse mainly refers to the height of the drug shelves in the storage operation area. The determination of shelf height depends on the throughput of medicines, turnover rate and matching method of order delivery. In the actual project, the design is based on the comprehensive analysis of the production line's cargo capacity, pallet size, quantity, and packaging form, generally between 20 and 30 meters. In addition to meeting certain isolation equipment at the bottom of the shelf, a space height of about one meter must be reserved on the top of the shelf to facilitate the installation of fire-fighting pipes, fans, lighting shelves, and installation and operation space. The warehousing and warehousing areas of the three-dimensional warehouse are sometimes made into two floors, and the height of each floor is about 6 meters. The first floor is mainly for auxiliary materials and packaging storage, finished product delivery and inspection area, and the second floor is mainly for air-conditioning equipment area and finished product storage.

    2. The connection mode between receipt and delivery and inventory area
    The receiving and shipping area refers to the platform for loading and unloading, receiving, handling and shipping of goods. There are two forms of receiving and shipping areas in automated warehouses: platform and conveyor systems. The platform type can be divided into indoor loading and unloading platforms and outdoor platforms. The stereoscopic warehouses in pharmaceutical companies are mostly outdoor platforms. The height of the cargo platform is generally about 1.2 meters, and its length is equal to the short side of the loading and unloading warehouse. Generally, a forklift ramp is set on one side of the cargo platform to facilitate the parking, inspection and charging of the forklift.
    There are three ways to connect the delivery and storage area: forklift and conveyor system, automatic guided AGV trolley and conveyor system, and conveyor supporting storage platform loading and unloading system. The shelf area in the warehouse is dominated by stackers, among which the conveyor loading and unloading system is commonly used in pharmaceutical companies. The AGV trolley and conveyor system is intelligent and efficient, saving manpower, but the initial investment is large and difficult to roll out in small businesses.
    The storage location of the goods is generally determined by the layout of the palletizer, and the storage location is arranged according to the freight flow line. Usually, the storage location is on both sides of the shelf, and the operation efficiency is higher at the same time.

    3. Determination of the location and quantity of the stacker
    The stacker plays a key role in the three-dimensional warehouse. The stacker in the pharmaceutical company is generally arranged in the roadway with tracks, and the width of the roadway is about 1.8 meters. Stackers can be divided into single-column and double-column stackers. Single-column stackers can carry goods below two tons and are suitable for warehouses with a lifting height of ≤21m. Double-column stackers are suitable for warehouses >21m. Each stacker can serve one or two roadways for storage. In order to facilitate the transfer of the stacker between different roadways, a bend can be set in the roadway.
    In the actual engineering design, the stacker crane layout is closely related to the roadway layout. Generally, one stacker crane is arranged in each roadway, and the number of roadways is determined according to the maximum throughput of the warehouse. When the plane of the warehouse area and the height of the shelves are constant, the combination of shelves in the warehouse is different, the single-deep or double-deep aisle and the position of the stacker are different, and the total number of pallets is different. The scheme with the largest total number of pallets thus calculated is the optimal scheme.

    Fire protection design and analysis of automatic three-dimensional warehouse in pharmaceutical enterprises
    Automated three-dimensional warehouses generally have a large space, densely stored items, and fewer indoor windows. Once a fire occurs, the temperature will rise rapidly and the combustion intensity will gradually increase. Therefore, there are many fire threats in the fire protection design, and designers need to pay enough attention in the design.

    (1) Fire protection design characteristics of automated three-dimensional warehouse
    The automatic three-dimensional warehouse is quite different from the common warehouse. The main difficulties in its fire protection design are as follows: 
    First, the storage area of the automatic three-dimensional warehouse is an unmanned operation area, and generally does not consider the passage of personnel, the width of the aisle between the shelves in the warehouse, and the distance between the shelves and the wall. The distances are small, and it is difficult for normal people to pass through. The safety door on the outer wall only considers the evacuation of personnel during equipment maintenance.
    Second, the automatic three-dimensional warehouse generally adopts light steel structure, which has poor fire resistance. When a fire occurs, the roof and shelves will soon lose their supporting capacity under a certain temperature environment. The concentration of smoke increased, and fire rescue could not be carried out in time. 
    Third, due to the large span of the roof truss of the automated three-dimensional warehouse with light steel structure, the roof panel cannot bear the load. Cable trays, sprinkler pipes, air supply and smoke exhaust pipes, etc. must be hung on purlins or steel beams, so that the roof truss bears a large load. According to the principle of mechanical transmission, the corresponding section size of the steel column will also increase, which increases the construction cost and occupies the space in the warehouse.

    (2) Fire protection design measures and improvement of automated three-dimensional warehouse.
    In view of the difficulties and particularities in the fire protection design of the automated three-dimensional warehouse, after repeated design adjustments and expert discussions in the design, the following fire protection design schemes were determined, which met the requirements of the fire protection design specifications and achieved good implementation results.
    First, in view of the characteristics of tight internal space and unmanned operation of the automated three-dimensional warehouse, according to the "Regulations on Fire Supervision and Management of Building Regulations", automatic smoke exhaust windows and fire fighting and rescue windows should be set on the wall, and it should not be less than 2, each The distance between the windows is ≤20 meters, and it should be set directly to the aisle between the shelves or stacks.
    The second is to use light steel structure, poor fire resistance, and high warehouse height in the automated three-dimensional warehouse, adopting internal and external fire protection design measures. Internally, the fire resistance limit of the main load-bearing components is improved and new high-efficiency, ultra-thin fireproof coatings are applied, and inorganic non-combustible materials are used for partition boards and partition boards. Design 10~12 fire exits around the external three-dimensional warehouse, and reserve enough fire fighting space for fire rescue.
    The third is to solve the problem that the roof structure of the automated three-dimensional warehouse cannot bear the load. In the design of an automated three-dimensional warehouse in Shijiazhuang, several majors repeatedly discussed the research plan, and finally adopted the design of the shelf spraying main pipe on the ground between the longitudinal shelves; The air supply duct adopts B1 grade IRR supporting fiber fabric air duct, which is beautiful and noiseless, and has a long service life. The smoke exhaust adopts the automatic smoke exhaust window set in the smoke storage bin. After taking the above measures, the load on the roof truss is reduced, the cost is saved, and good implementation results are achieved.




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