Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS)

Warehouses often have fast and efficient picking systems, but with the rising technology and customers ordering online 24/7, you might be wondering: should I upgrade my warehouse to help improve efficiency?

An automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) might be the answer for you. ASRS systems are often used in manufacturing and distribution centers to save floor space and increase productivity.

This type of system stores items for employees, and easily receives products when needed.

Choosing an ASRS Solution For Your Business

There are multiple advantages of using this type of automated storage solution including:

  • Increased efficiency
  • Increased storage density
  • Improved safety
  • Reduced labor costs
  • Fewer labor constraints
  • Modular design
  • Maximum flexibility
  • Increased order picking accuracy
  • Improved product security

In order to maximize the value of an ASRS warehouse system, you’ll want to ensure it’s set up based on your specifications. WH1’s team of material handling experts can help: they will discuss your space and supply chain operation workflow with you, consult with your team on current challenges and how to reach your goals, and find and install a custom automated storage system to meet your needs.

Contact Warehouse1 to learn more about our ASRS services.

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Signs You Need An Automated System

As mentioned above, there are plenty of benefits to implementing an ASRS system in your warehouse. If you’re on the fence, here are some signals to look for within your business that could mean an ASRS could work for you:

  • Employees are replenishing orders as much as they are picking them.
  • Employees are spending a lot of time traveling several miles to access the product.
  • Workers are spending a lot of time visually searching for items and matching their part numbers at a picking destination.
  • There are many picking errors.
  • You are struggling with your throughput and often hiring seasonal workers to keep up with the demand.
  • There are often damaged items.
  • There is often misplaced or missing inventory.
  • Your warehouse is at maximum capacity and has no space left.
  • There are employee injuries and accidents.

If any of these sound like your business…it could be time to automate! Below you’ll find a bit more detail on how an ASRS system could help solve some of these inefficiencies and issues.

Goods to Person Picking and Prepping

Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems work by doing goods-to-person picking, which means the worker does not have to move from the products to the location to pick orders, making the warehouse process smooth, fast and easy.

Delivery time is the most important aspect in warehousing these days. ASRS helps quickly deliver orders by speeding up shipping processes by providing organized high-density storage. It also greatly helps various shipping issues, such as less staff and times/dates with higher delivery fees.

Inventory Management: Buffer Storage Space & Needs

If your warehouse processes aren’t correctly managed, it can cause slow downs, which will in turn hurt your business. To prevent this, it’s essential to have an organized inventory control system, including a buffering process (buffer areas store items temporarily so that supplies for production or order fulfillment are always on hands). ASRS systems provide an easy and automated way to manage the buffer storage process, to improve efficiency throughout operations.

The Different Types of ASRS Systems

Here are some of the major ASRS automation technologies you can implement in your warehouse:

  • Unit load ASRS – The unit load systems are for loads ranging from 1,000 to 5,500 pounds;, this type of system can extend up to 100 feet using a crane to place pallets.
  • Fixed-aisle unit-load ASRS crane – Pallet racking is arranged with less aisle space, and the crane goes in-between the aisles to access product.
  • Movable-aisle unit load ASRS crane – The crane is not fixated on a specific aisle, allowing a single piece of equipment to go to many different aisles to pick or place product.
  • Vertical carousels – This is a series of carries that travel in both directions in a loop. It is fixed on a track, delivering items to a certain counter.
  • Horizontal carousels – Storage bins are placed on an oval-shaped track rotating horizontally, delivering items to their storage location.
  • Vertical Lift Modules – These are enclosed systems with two columns of trays. They have an inserter/extractor in the middle, allowing trays to be delivered to the employee.
  • Crane-based mini load – These are able to handle small parts, cartons, trays or totes.
  • Vertical buffer modules – Tote-handling systems with an enclosed shelving system that have a mobile mast in the middle. They store and pick up totes, delivering them to a station or conveyor.
  • Robotic pallet shuttles – This is a shuttle-style system that delivers items with a “bot” running on a track in-between the racks.
  • Floor robots – Floor robots store items on portable shelving, which is picked up and moved from storage to the employee by automated robots.

Warehouse1’s Solutions

ASRS systems are useful for any business with a warehouse needing more efficiency and space.

If you are a decent-sized warehouse, a large enterprise, a government entity, or any type of facility needing warehouse automation and help with your orders, ASRS is useful for you.

For guidance setting up an ASRS system, contact our experts or call 888-558-1830.

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