Stacker cranes manipulate Transport-Storage Units (TSU) in high storage warehouses. They are adjusted to specific requirements and needs of each individual storage system. Therefore, the type of TSUs, the type of warehouse items, the load capacity, the size of warehouse, the commission needs, the frequency of the entry/exit of the TSUs and automation levels are taken into account when the cranes are being designed.
With regard to control methods, stacker cranes are divided into: automated cranes, semi-automated cranes and manual cranes. They are applicable for a manipulation of various TSUs from 600 kg to 10,000 kg.
Stacker cranes are divided into group based on the shape of the structure as well as based on control strategies of the crane and management strategies of the storage system.
With regard to the shape of the structure they are divided into:
- Mini-Load storage systems, load capacity between 50 kg and 250 kg
- Single-mast stacker cranes, load capacity between 600 kg and 1200 kg
- Double-mast stacker cranes, load capacity between 1000 kg and 10,000 kg
The main advantages of stacker cranes in comparison to conventional warehouse storing systems are:
- optimal utilisation of the space with a high density of storage
- all TSUs are quickly and easily accessible
- high levels of safety in operation
- high reliability and ease of operation
- stock control, updating and tracking
- entry and exit automation of the storage items
- increased productivity and increased flow of products
- quick reimbursement of investment costs