Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems, known by the acronyms AS-RS, AS/RS, or ASRS, have the ability to sort, sequence, buffer, and store a wide range of goods into virtually unlimited destinations. Common applications for an AS-RS include goods to person picking, dynamic replenishment, sequence buffering, order fulfillment, work in process storage, and finished goods storage.
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems are a key component of many warehouse automation systems in fulfillment and distribution centers, offering highly accurate, highly efficient, high throughput inventory management capabilities. They can be configured to be completely redundant, spreading inventory across multiple aisles and thus decreasing dependency on the ability of any single AS-RS Crane or AS-RS Shuttle to handle a task. Thanks to an incremental system design, AS-RS Systems can also easily expanded to meet increasing productivity demands.
An Automated Storage and Retrieval System is comprised of several separate integrated components that operate under the directive of a warehouse control system and machine controllers. An AS-RS individual component parts include:
- Precision engineered racking, designed to hold tight tolerances that allow for high storage density and fast compartment access
- The AS-RS Crane or AS-RS Shuttle (not to be confused with the Mulitshuttle) for moving up and down aisle
- The AS-RS load handler configured to handle the size, shape, and weight of the load being moved
- In feed and discharge conveyor systems
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS-RS) Types
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems equipment generally falls into two categories: Unit-Load AS-RS and Mini-Load AS-RS.
A Unit-Load Automated Storage and Retrieval System (or Unit-Load AS-RS) is defined by larger loads generally weighing over 500 lbs and having a footprint over 36” x 36.” Unit-Load AS-RS types include:
- Confined Aisle Unit-Load AS-RS Cranes
- Movable Aisle Unit-Load AS-RS Cranes
- Unit-Load Shuttle AS-RS
A Mini-Load Automated Storage and Retrieval System (or Mini-Load AS-RS) is defined by smaller loads generally weighing under 500 lbs and having a footprint under 36” x 72.” Mini-Load AS-RS types include:
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS-RS) Configuration/Integration Considerations
Invata takes into account a variety of factors when designing an Automated Storage and Retrieval System, including the number of transactions needed hourly, the amount of storage or buffering needed in the system, and the requirements of the items to be transported as well as the speeds at which they must travel. Other factors include facility configuration, space limitations, maintenance requirements, durability, adaptability, operating costs, financial justification and expected return on investment (ROI).
Availability, accuracy, longevity, and 24/7/365 support are of the utmost importance when it comes to choosing an Automated Storage and Retrieval System for a particular operation.
Of equal importance is the warehouse management system (WMS) and warehouse control system (WCS) software used to integrate an Automated Storage and Retrieval System into an intralogistics system. Invata’s own FastTrak® WM+ warehouse software suite is a key asset to achieving optimal performance for AS-R Systems of all types.
To learn more about what Invata an Automated Storage and Retrieval System can do for your operation, contact us, and we’ll be happy to share more about our rich history of employing AS-RS technology to enhance operational productivity.
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