First-In-First-Out: this is a particularly appropriate way of organising a warehouse, for example with goods that have a sell-by date or when monitoring changing production series. With the FIFO principle, the containers, crates or boxes that were taken into storage first are also the first to be taken out again for further use. As a rule, this special warehouse type is served by forklift trucks or pallet lift trucks on the lowest levels. To warrant compliance with the corresponding order of removal, goods are replenished on one side of the rack and removed on the opposite side. Goods are moved within the rack on gravity conveyor rollers without needing any additional power.
The Last-In-First-Out principle describes a warehouse system where the last goods to be taken into storage are the first to be taken out again. This method is used primarily for repeated lots of identical goods in larger quantities. The characteristic of this system is that containers and products are removed on the same side of the rack as where they had been taken into storage. The LIFO method is appropriate above all for products with a fast turnover time where stocks are regularly depleted completely. This prevents the risk of ageing or spoilage of the goods and products.
Automatic small-parts warehouses (AS/RS) are genuine space-winners. They permit extremely space-saving storage and order picking of small parts in containers, trays or boxes. Complete storage units containing small parts are removed automatically and sent to order picking by a connecting conveyor. AS/RS systems have to meet strict requirements in terms of high-precision production and installation on account of the narrow tolerances in their specifications.
The principle is geared solely to the actual material consumption at the supply point for swift reductions in product stocks and shorter turnaround times, together with large buffers, reduced capital tie-up and flexibility in responding to changing requirements.
Racks using the kanban principle optimise manufacturing and assembly processes. Supermarket solutions also permit simple stacking of transport containers and simultaneous removal onto container trolleys. Interim storage of production items en route to the assembly station is also no problem using the supermarket principle.