NISTARS (Naval Integrated Storage Tracking and Retrieval System) accomplishes this feat with a sophisticated materials handling system that includes computers, conveyors, a 10-aisle miniload automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS), and several types of manaboard storage-and-retrieval (S/R) systems.
In the aftermath of the quake, one of the biggest problems NISTARS had to deal with was the huge amount of stock scattered throughout the warehouse.
NISTARS relies on fault tolerant computers to manage its daily operations, which demand fast, consistent response time and high reliability.
The morning after the earthquake, NISTARS personnel faced the formidable task of cleaning up the mess.
It wasn't until NISTARS began to use the miniload that employees discovered some misaligned racks in the system.
Housing nearly 1/2 million stock items in 42,000 storage locations, the miniload plays a critical role in NISTARS' distribution operations.
"After the biggest earthquake in California since 1906, NISTARS never had to turn a single customer away," says Shubert.
Like NISTARS, fast, consistent delivery of parts is an important aspect of United Airlines' distribution operations at the San Francisco International Airport.
So how did NISTARS and United Airlines recover so quickly from what could have been a major catastrophe?