Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems
An Automated Storage and Retrieval System, also known as an ASRS or an AS/RS, is a type of automation equipment designed to automatically load and unload items from designated storage spaces.
Quick links to Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems Information
History of Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems
The first US ASRS patent was awarded to a group of inventors working for a company named HK Inc. in 1992. Their goal was to create an efficient, modular mail sorting system for the United States Postal Service. Today, almost 30 years later, these systems are used more broadly.
Applications of Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems
Typically, the AS/RS is used in areas dealing with one or more of the following situations:
- Operators require extreme accuracy so as to not damage their goods
- Users have limited space and rely on well-used storage space (high density storage)
- The application requires the loading and unloading of extremely high load volumes
- The process consists only of storage and transportation (no processing involved)
Some common Automated Storage Retrieval System applications today include:
- Book Retrieval in Large Libraries
- Just-in-Time (JIT) Manufacturing
- Tire Stacking
- Parts Handling
- Buffer Storage
- Order Fulfillment
- Bike Retrieval
- Commercial Food and Beverage
- Pallet Loads
Automated Storage and Retrieval System Design and Customization
Manufacturers may customize ASRS any number of ways, including by height capabilities, width, load capacity, control system, and speed. They can also design systems to adapt to preexisting or new but complementary systems, such as conveyor systems, pallet flow racking systems, parking systems, and automated order picking.
Benefits of Using Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems benefit their users in a number of ways. First, they allow users to carry out complex tasks. Second, they increase space efficiency. Also, because they increase space efficiency, they make it less likely that a company will have to purchase additional storage space or build expansions on their building. This not only saves time and money, but also reduces their energy expenditure and carbon footprint. Next, Automated Storage Retrieval Systems reduce labor costs. Finally, they eliminate human error and make inventory storage more accurate and organized.
Notable Types of Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems
- Vertical Lift Modules (VLM)
- ASRS Gantry Robots
- Mini-Load ASRS
- Mid-Load ASRS
- Unit Load Stackers
- Vertical Carousels
- Horizontal Carousels