Post 466 –by Gautam Shah
Design of a Storage is an age-old exercise, and one intuitively puts together a system, that works. We do not need to analyze the format, process, and the management of storing. Problems arise when one is required to design massive traditional storage systems like warehousing, ship-container yard, multi-storied automated parking lot, research laboratory special environment storage facilities, granaries, food silos, open mine dump stacks, underground hideouts, water, gas and oil storage yards and nuclear spent fuel depositories. Massive storage systems of new order are required for dedicated and distributed data storage. Computer servers with electronic chip-based data system will need to be replaced with radically different systems. Future storage systems will be technology-specific such as cryogenic temperature, zero gravity, high pressure systems, continuous motion, energy storage devices, and sub-nano matter devices.
A storage system is required for several reasons. One of the main reasons is to stock enough quantity so that processing or consuming systems operate continuously. At simplest level grains, condiments and fuels are stored in homes, for their supplies are seasonal. Pickles and other items are stored to mature them over a period. To start a construction sufficient materials must be amassed so that it can be completed in one-go and a season. Storage systems are required to manage the excessive supplies. Storage systems are required till a method can be had for the disposal of certain items.
The need for storage system is checked in terms of estate space. If one can reduce the volume of stored things, it translates into efficiency. The redundant volume is occupied by things, such as contaminants, skins, seeds, covers, packing materials, air, moisture and inter-spaces. The Volume is taken by unoccupied storage space or spare capacities. In library type of racks and pigeon hole devices, spare volumetric capacity is provided for visual identity and functional segregation. In some storage systems such as drawers, water tanks, cupboards, it is not possible to utilize 100% storage provisions.
Storage is matter of area or floor space utilization. Particles such as minerals can be heaped according to the angle of repose (a natural angle of a heap slope). Dry and Round particles have little cohesion, so very low angle of repose, requiring greater spread area, or some form of containment. Area requirements increase when things can be stacked for the bearing capacity of an individual unit. Wider or lower height stacking increases the floor spread. Typically Silk and Organza garments and fruits cannot be stacked too high. Storage area and volume must allow movement of air for ventilation of gases and moisture.
Retrieval systems of storage are of many different types. Traditional method is sequential access (first stored, last to be retrieved) and a random access (allowing any item to be retrieved). Between these two there are many intermediate solutions. A library like stack system or wardrobe hanger storage allows both. Random access systems became popular with electronic storage devices. The storage units are of fixed size and are dynamically tagged these are stored and shifted. Shifting is done by de-fragmentation utility to make access sequential by physical contiguity. Modern libraries often combined traditional sequential access system with digital random search access system. Books or articles are stored sequentially in terms of arrival, but can be located by digital search, that provides its rack or cupboard and shelf position. Bar codes and digital tracers help such location-finding.
Storage requirements and the necessary effort in search can be reduced if inventories are reduced. Large automobile manufacturers and Departmental store chains have on-line digital storage ledgers. These are accessible to all their suppliers, who keep a check on it as to what are optimum inventory needs. Supplies are timed. If things required for home consumption are available and delivered as and when needed, the home storage requirement becomes very small. At International Forward marketeers keep a watch on commodities production or processing capacities, price viability, floating stocks, and duration of transport or delivery. These not only reduce the need to store, but leads to economic equalization.