The word “cold storage” refers to refrigerated or frozen storage facilities typically used to store food products, chemicals, or other such items that must be stored at a cool or icy temperature. Many industries use cold storage, including medicines, agriculture, chemicals and many more.
The damage brought on by the excessive cold is the main source of concern in cold storage. If the correct temperature is not maintained, it can lead to machinery that needs more regular maintenance, influence workers and the equipment they use, such as scanners and computers and put the equipment at risk of wear and tear more quickly. To keep the temperature-sensitive goods inside a cold storage unit usable, low temperatures must be kept constant and consistent. This affects products like medicines or food that, when kept at warmer temperatures, loses their quality or effectiveness. Thus, proper cold storage management is necessary to maintain low temperatures, functional equipment, healthy workers and products safe for use.
The 5 best practices listed below can help you operate your cold storage units effectively:
- Adopt Automation
Because it costs more to maintain a consistent low temperature in cold storage than in other kinds of warehouse space, this form of space is more expensive. Additionally, users of cold storage are increasingly looking to automation to reduce costs as the cost of electricity, land, and labour continues to rise.
By increasing cube utilization, automation can maximize the cold storage space that is available. Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS), which use high-density pallet racking systems with pallet shuttles, aid in making the best use of vertical space. In addition, automation can significantly reduce the need for human labour, which will result in cost savings.
- Minimize Heat Loss
Once the cold storage unit has been set to a variety of temperatures, it is vital to make sure that these fixed temperatures are maintained and that no heat is lost. It’s essential to minimize heat loss to preserve the items in the cold storage, as well as to save more electricity. Due to the frequent addition of new items and the need for routine warehouse reconfiguration, this is a challenging task in a cold storage warehouse. Strip doors and high-speed or quick doors are practical and good solutions to this issue.
- Use Suitable Equipment
In a cold storage warehouse, a variety of tools, machinery, and equipment are employed, including computers, barcode scanners, sensors, pallet jacks, forklifts, etc. Such equipment needs to be adjusted under the low temperatures they are expected to operate in so it can carry out its desired functions. For instance, using a touchscreen while donning thick gloves can be challenging. This is why buttons on scanning devices are built large enough to be felt through work gloves, and touchscreens on cold storage equipment are made sensitive enough to respond readily to a gloved touch. Another problem is the moving gadgets from one temperature zone to another causes condensation, which can short out electrical devices like scanners. To compensate for this, portable devices and electrical forklifts are made with seals to withstand such temperature swings.
- Maintain Proper Records
A cold storage warehouse’s contents are sensitive to temperature variations. Because of this, one of the most important cold storage procedures involves not only keeping the products cold but also accurately recording their temperatures.
Technology plays a significant role in this. Temperature sensors are used to monitor temperature automatically, sound alarms, and spot potential mistakes. In addition, without scanning every carton and stock holding unit, this gathered data can be linked with products using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tracking at the load unit level.
These technologies make it possible to keep transparent and accurate records that are accessible to everyone in the supply chain. One of the most important practices in cold storage management is keeping accurate and current temperature data for all the products in cold storage.
- Have a Backup Plan
Even with the most advanced technologies, an unexpected delay or re-routing could put the stability of a cold storage package in danger. To create contingency plans that outline a course of action in the event of unforeseen situations, shippers should work closely with their transportation partners. You must be prepared to act quickly if a truck breaks down, refrigeration equipment malfunctions, or there is a power outage.
All parties involved must have a solid working relationship and possess a thorough working knowledge of the best procedures for cold product handling and transportation to ensure effective cold storage management.
- Posted by WiserTech Solutions
- On September 6, 2022