Automated storage and retrieval systems are commonly known as ASRS or AS/RS. They work by automatically placing and then retrieving loads using computer-controlled systems. Once storage locations are set, storage retrieval becomes a streamlined process that is safe and easy.
They are used in manufacturing facilities, distribution centers and warehouses.
These systems are feed-in and feed-out with strictly controlled weight checking and load sizing. Modular parts are easily substituted which reduces downtime and gives the system a long working life.
You tell the computer which item you intend to pick and the count of the item you’d like to retrieve. The computer then simply determines the location of said item and schedules its pick-up.
The computer communicates with an automated machine which is used for the retrieval and movement of goods. This automated storage and retrieval machine, or SRM, targets the precise location where the goods are stored. It is then redirected to the new location where they are to be placed, whether that is another section of storage, a loading dock, or other designated warehouse area.
The automated system conveniently updates the inventory as items are pulled from pallet racks in the storage area.
Many warehouses prefer to rely on these variations of computer-controlled systems because of their safety factor and lack of error. They are easy to use and provide many benefits to a variety of operations.
Benefits of Utilizing an Automated Storage and Retrieval System
Increased Storage Space. High-density aisles mean there will be more space for additional storage or other processes that need to be occurring in your business. They provide improved storage utilization of space over standard pallet racking storage systems. You’ll be able to store more items in less space.
Improved Handling. Their ability to expertly handle items allows work to be completed quickly and efficiently. They can store and retrieve items of all sizes in a timely and accurate way. Multiple loads can easily be handled at one time due to their work-intensive design.
Inventory Control. Inventory levels are updated in real-time. When items are moved, inventory is updated in the moment. Knowing exactly what you have on hand at any given moment is very convenient and helpful for a variety of decisions that need to be made in your operation. Not only that, but the levels will tell you how long items have been stored and who ordered them. Inventory management is no longer time-consuming and expensive. Data can be quickly and easily analyzed, and inventory levels controlled while storage space is maximized.
Theft Management. The automated system can ensure no items will disappear. It only does what it is programmed to do, and inventory will remain stable, alleviating the risk of theft.
Order Picking Precision. With increased accuracy, costly and time-consuming errors are eliminated. Improved picking accuracy will occur with cases, cartons and pallets. Lasers target items while picking orders. The computerized lasers work very well even in narrow aisles. This means you can allow for dense storage space within narrow aisles without having to overcome obstacles of difficult manual maneuvering. This is an improvement over standard pallet racking storage systems, which use up more space.
Flexible for Varied Environments. A variety of operations find automated storage and retrieval systems suited for their processes. The systems can work as well with dry goods in warehouses as they do in wet and frozen conditions. This makes them ideal for situations in which slower, manual labor would be arduous at best. Harsh environments are not a problem for automatic storage solutions.
Quality Control of Food Goods. With increased accuracy and speed comes reduced food item loss due to spoilage. Timing is obviously so important when it comes to picking and loading food supplies. Loss of inventory is costly and time-consuming. Maintain control over food inventory and quality with an ASRS.
Safety of Hazardous Materials Movement. These systems can handle hazardous materials and are designed to safely manipulate them with careful accuracy. Eliminating human risk in these conditions is crucial and just makes sense. Manual loading and unloading of these materials with forklifts can lead to accidents at some point or another. Human error and fatigue are eliminated, reducing accidents in general.
Improved Processes. A streamlined and efficient system saves money and time. It keeps schedules intact. Products get where they are supposed to go when they are supposed to. Order picking, packaging and shipping become an organized, predictable flow. It becomes more possible to structure truck routing and delivery than ever before.
Customizable. Get what you need and how you need it. Set your ASRS system up so it precisely fits the needs of your organization. They can be as automated as you need them to be.
Easy Navigation. ASRS systems allow for a variety of movements, enabling them to fit in tight or challenging spaces. They allow for vertical, lateral, and horizontal movements and don’t require unnecessary parts to function correctly. Their modular design will allow you to expand as your needs increase.
Improved Warehouse Organization. Where there is greater organization there are savings and faster processes resulting in greater profits and fewer hassles. The system keeps track of where stored goods are and how many items are there. Suddenly there will be no need to wander up and down aisles searching for items. This results in huge labor cost savings. Items are shipped out faster.
Storage racking organization can be managed better by grouping products that are normally sold together or commonly picked together and placing them near the delivery area. In this way the process is sped up for picking, packing and delivery.
Reduced Labor Costs. You won’t need as many workers doing this specific type of labor. You’ll be saving on their hourly wage as well as insurance and other costs associated with employees.
Fewer Labor Constraints. At times labor needs are not easily met. It’s not always easy to find employees when you need them. Whether the job market is hard to forecast or geography limits choices, some companies find it hard to expand or fulfill their needs. ASRS solves this problem by relying on automation to be there consistently when employees are not. This means the employees that are there can perform higher-value tasks, making better use of their time and your money.
A variety of applications which experience specific criteria and conditions find these systems worth the investment.
- When there are high load volumes being moved to and from storage areas.
- When storage and transport are the main objectives and there is minimal processing.
- Where accuracy is not an option and where expensive damage could possibly occur to loads.
- When storage areas have space constraints and require denser organization.
What Do Automatic Storage Retrieval Systems Mean for Your Operation’s Future?
Warehouses can be easily converted to ASRS systems for a rapid return on your investment. Improvements will be seen the first day of use.
When organizations plan to expand, the systems’ modular design provides a good opportunity to grow as is necessary. Inventory segments can be migrated in the system one segment at a time, limiting initial expenses, so you can slowly transition to full automation.
Automated storage retrieval systems are reliable and have a higher return on investment than traditional manual systems. They’re easy to use applications make it easy to train employees to use them and quickly incorporate them into your processes. We are here to discuss, answer questions and work up an estimate to get you moving in the direction of an automated storage retrieval system for your operations. Contact us today!