In Japan, as the economy continued to grow with the times, the production volume of frozen food grew along with it. However, increasing labor costs due to both labor shortages and the harsh working conditions of refrigerated warehouses that could reach below −20°C became a serious issue in the refrigeration industry. To address this issue, we began work developing a refrigerated AS/RS solution.
A refrigerated AS/RS will work faster than forklifts and can be expected to not only alleviate labor shortages, but also facilitate accurate inventory management and first-in first-out flow of goods.
In the process of development, we encountered a few challenges, such as finding steel materials and various control parts compatible with a low-temperature environment, but after repeated trials, we completed our refrigerated AS/RS solution. Soon after, we received an order for a rack-type refrigerated AS/RS from the cold storage company Hosenreizou Co., Ltd. as our first project. The refrigerated AS/RS, delivered in 1973, stores frozen fish and operates in temperatures as low as −40°C, which is low even for the refrigerated warehouse industry.
In the late 1970s, we successfully exported refrigerated AS/RS solutions to a food processing company in Iran, and the 20 Rack Master stacker cranes that we delivered at that time are still operating today.
- * This article is based on the content of “Hini Arata Nari: 50 Years of Daifuku History” and other documents.