Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems, known by the acronyms ASRS, AS-RS, or AS/RS, have the ability to sort, sequence, buffer, and store a wide range of goods into virtually unlimited destinations. Common applications for an ASRS 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 ASRS Crane or ASRS Shuttle to handle a task. Thanks to an incremental system design, ASRS 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 execution system or warehouse control system and machine controllers. An ASRS individual component parts include:
- Precision engineered racking, designed to hold tight tolerances that allow for high storage density and fast compartment access
- The ASRS Crane or ASRS Shuttle (not to be confused with the Mulitshuttle) for moving up and down aisle
- The ASRS 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 (ASRS) Types
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems equipment generally falls into two categories: Unit-Load ASRS and Mini-Load ASRS.
A Unit-Load Automated Storage and Retrieval System (or Unit-Load ASRS) is defined by larger loads generally weighing up to 5500 lbs and having a footprint over 36” x 36.” Unit-Load ASRS types include:
- Confined Aisle Unit-Load ASRS Cranes
- Movable Aisle Unit-Load ASRS Cranes
- Unit-Load ASRS Shuttle
A Mini-Load Automated Storage and Retrieval System (or Mini-Load ASRS) is defined by smaller loads generally weighing under 500 lbs and having a footprint under 36” x 72.” Mini-Load ASRS types include:
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) 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 execution software or warehouse management system (WMS) and warehouse control system (WCS) software used to integrate an ASRS into an intralogistics system. Invata’s own FastTrak® WES software suite is a key asset to achieving optimal performance for ASR Systems of all types.
To learn more about what Invata an Automated Storage and Retrieval System can do for your omni-channel fulfillment operation, contact us, and we’ll be happy to share more about our rich history of employing ASRS technology to enhance operational productivity.