Cold storage automation is an increasingly common solution in logistics. Automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS racks) are computer- and robot-aided systems that can retrieve items or store them in specific locations. The system is usually comprised of predefined locations where machines can follow established routes to get items. Contact us immediately for more specific advice on this solution.

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The main component of the asrs system

– Storage and retrieval (S/R) equipment
– Input/output system
– Storage rack
– Computer management system
– The computer management system handles the loading and unloading of SKUs in an AS/RS system via a dedicated software that keeps track of inventory details such as:
+ The specific location of items
+ How long they were in storage
+ Where these items came from

Types of Automated Storage & Retrieval Systems (AS/RS)

Unit-Load AS/RS

Unit-load AS/RS systems are typically used to handle exceptionally large and heavy loads ranging from 1,000 to 5,500 pounds. This capability allows for unit-load AS/RS to handle full or partial pallets and cases. Usually, unit-load AS/RS consists of narrow aisle racks, which can extend to heights greater than 100 feet and which house pallets of product and inventory. These racks are paired with a crane, which is used to physically place and retrieve pallets as needed.

Fixed-Aisle Unit-Load AS/RS Crane

Moveable-Aisle Unit Load AS/RS Crane

In fixed-aisle unit-load AS/RS systems, pallet racks are arranged with narrow aisles between them. A crane travels between these aisles moving both vertically and horizontally to retrieve and store product. The crane is fixed to a single aisle of pallets.

Moveable-aisle unit load AS/RS works much the same way as fixed-aisle unit-load AS/RS. It consists of a crane moving between narrow aisles of pallets along some kind of track. The key difference is that it is not fixed to a specific aisle. This capability allows a single piece of equipment to service multiple aisles and, ultimately, a greater working space.

Mini-Load AS/RS

Mini-load AS/RS typically handles smaller loads (up to 75 pounds) compared to unit-load systems. Instead of full pallets, mini-load AS/RS handles totes, trays, and/or cartons. Sometimes, these systems are called “case-handling” or “tote-stacking” systems.

Shuttle-based AS/RS

Shuttle-based AS/RS delivers inventory via a shuttle or “bot” that runs on a track between a racking structure. They can operate on a single level or multiple levels, depending on the needs of the operation, and can be battery- or capacitor-powered. The shuttles deliver the tote or carton to a workstation integrated with the system.

AMR-Based High-Density AS/RS

An autonomous mobile robot-based high-density automated storage and retrieval system is designed in a way that uses three-axis AMR robots to travel vertically up storage rack to retrieve the required inventory tote or case. The AMR stores the inventory or tote on itself, and then navigates down the rack and on the floor to any one of the remote order picking workstations. The AMR rides up the workstation’s ramp, and the integrated pick-to-light and software system indicates which item and how many to pick. The operator then places the appropriate item and quantity into one of the batched orders and the AMR leaves for its next assignment.

Carousel-based AS/RS

Carousel-based AS/RS systems consist of bins of product or inventory which rotate continuously along a track. When the operator requests a particular item, the system will automatically rotate so that the appropriate bin is accessible so that the item can be picked. An integrated lightree will indicate to the picker which carousel, shelf, and item to pick.

Vertical Lift Module (VLM)

A vertical lift module (VLM) is an enclosed system consisting of an inserter/extractor in the center and a column of trays on either side. It is a form of goods-to-person technology. When an item is requested, the inserter/extractor locates the necessary tray, retrieves it, and delivers it to an operator, who completes the order. Once the order is complete, the VLM will return the tray to its proper location before retrieving the next requested tray.

Micro-Load Stocker

A Micro-Load Stocker provides discrete or individual totes or carton storage and retrieval. It is ideal for buffering, sequencing, and point-of-use items in a high-density footprint. The system is enclosed, and has an inserter/extractor device that runs in the center of the system, picking a specific queue of inventory and then discharging them onto awaiting conveyor or workstation. Different models store and retrieve differently, by taking either one item or a group of up to five items in one pass.

Warehouse operation with ASRS racks solution

Advantages of automated storage and retrieval systems

Automated storage and retrieval systems offer a few advantages, including:

– Reduced labor costs
– Improved accuracy, efficiency and productivity
– Reduced safety risks for employees (reducing the need to lift and move heavy or bulky items)
--> AS/RS can work in environments that aren’t ideal for human workers, such as freezer storage areas. They can function at heights that are difficult for human workers to navigate, as well, allowing warehouse operators to maximize floor space by making better use of vertical space.

Application of ASRS racks system

– Automotive and electronics spare parts storage
– Preservation of chemicals and pharmaceuticals
– Mechanical engineer
– MRO and storage of maintenance parts
– Healthcare logistics, IV bags, pharmaceuticals, glass slides, blocks, etc.
Adoption of floor applications to streamline material flow and recovery
– Maximize storage at the required point on the production line
– Assemble small parts and choose series
– Cold storage is controlled by temperature
– Clean room storage
– Tool preservation

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