The underlying concern during the entire concept design phase is keeping focused on the user experience. It is easy to be engulfed with set-back requirements, shoring, column grid placement, park and retrieval throughput, building codes, electrical distribution, LAN speeds, etc. At AutoParkit we try to maintain a perspective that we are delivering a Fully Automated Parking System. Fully automated means that there are no operators required for the system. Therefore the API System needs to execute flawlessly regardless of how the user interacts with the API System.
The API System should be as intuitive to use as an ATM or a vending machine; albeit that that an API System is slightly bigger than your typical vending machine.
The area that has the highest user intimacy is the Load Bay. It also has extreme flexibility when it comes to system design. As a reminder the long definition of the Load Bays is
Load Bay – Location in the API System where the vehicle is either (1) delivered by a user to the API System for storage [nose in] or (2) delivered by the API [nose out]. The Load Bay isolates people from the parking system. Before a vehicle is automatically parked, the user must have exited the Load Bay via the security door, the garage door must be closed, the security doors must be closed, and the vehicle must fit within the maximum size envelope for the vehicle. On departure, vehicles are returned by the automated parking system to the Load Bay. The Load Bay shall have either a conveyor or a lift. The lift or conveyor may be equipped with a turntable.
Load Bay design is constituted by the number of Load Bays required for peak demand. The site traffic patterns determine location and ingress and egress determine the Load Bay Type. Type is defined as Entry/Exit, Enter Only, Exit Only or Configurable. Configurable is when a Load Bay is programmed for Entry or Exit based on the time of day (TOD). A typical use for Configurable Load Bays is for office designs. During the morning rush hour, 3 of the 4 Load Bays are Entry Only which allows for maximum storage throughput. Likewise during the evening rush hour 3 of the 4 Load Bays are configured for Exit Only thus allowing the parking structure to empty quickly. During Non-peak hours then all 4 Load Bays are Entry/Exit.
Along with the Type of Load Bay that is required the internal function must also be defined. To expand on the internal function required of the Load Bay it is helpful to separate the various internal functions individually.
The Icons above help explain the internal function of the Load Bay.
The Load Bay is the location in the API System where a Store Transaction begins and where the Retrieve Transaction ends. The API System accommodates a variety of Load Bay configurations. Each Load Bay will have either a Conveyor or a Lift. The Conveyor or Lift may have an optional Turntable. The number of User Overhead Doors and System Overhead Doors shall also vary depending upon the site design requirements. Each Load Bay shall have at least one User Passage Door and one User Overhead Door. The number and design of the Load Bay is site specific. Some logical design examples of the types of Load Bays are shown below. Several other designs are possible.