Automated Storage & Retrieval Systems (AS/RS Systems)

Automated Storage & Retrieval Systems:
An Introduction

An automated storage and retrieval system is a modern storage solution that employs automated racks, dedicated software, and special retrieval vehicles in order to maximize the use of space, minimize stock damage, and streamline inventory. Such a system can be effectively implemented in warehouses that handle critical volumes of stock, but also in manufacturing plants, archives, pharmaceuticals, e-commerce, the food and beverage industry, as well as hazardous environments.

Although highly efficient and cost-effective in the long run, automated storage solutions can be costly to implement, which is why it is essential to choose the right configuration for specific spaces and stock requirements. Below is an introduction to different types of automated storage and retrieval systems that can help you decide which solution is the best fit for you.

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In an ASRS system, the loading and unloading of items is operated with the help of computerized control. A dedicated software keeps track of inventory, including details such as where specific items are stored, where these items came from, how long they were in storage, and more. To retrieve products, an operator inputs their exact names or codes into the software, while the computer automatically determines their location and schedules the necessary retrieval operations. A similar process is observed in order to store items.

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There are several noteworthy characteristics of ASRS warehouses that make the conversion to such a storage system worthwhile. The first is that an automated storage and retrieval system requires significantly fewer aisles to operate, which means a higher volume of stock can be deposited using the space that is already available. Secondly, automated storage solutions usually come with reductions in labor and labor costs, as well as more precise order-picking and fewer accidents.

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Finally, ASRS warehouses can be customized to accommodate virtually any type of stock. Each type of automated storage system is designed to handle certain weights and volumes, but as a general rule of thumb, items can weigh up to 5500lb (or 2500kg) per unit load. The height of such a system can reach up to 100ft (or 30m), although racks that are up to 40ft tall are most common.

Mobile Racking Systems
Mobile racking systems combine the advantages of high-density storage with full selectivity and the possibility to access inventory on a FILO and FIFO basis. Read more about this type of storage to find out whether it is suitable for your warehouse.
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Radio Shuttle Racks
Pallet racks are, at present, the most widespread and cost-effective form of warehouse storage. At Kingmorack, we build and ship customizable pallet rack systems to suit all space characteristics and scales.
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Advantages of an ASRS System

Industrial metal racks can be designed to store ultra-heavy loads at high or low temperatures in warehouses with special requirements for deposited items. Outside of the warehouse, however, there are additional advantages to using industrial storage racks. These include:

Higher storage density per square foot.

Because you don’t need people or machinery to fit in the aisles, an ASRS framework essentially allows you to get even more storage capacity out of your available space.

Safe handling.

The clockwork accuracy of an automated warehouse statistically means fewer losses in accidental damages, as well as a greater ability to handle the entire volume of stock. This also leads to fewer workers operating in dangerous situations or being harmed by heavy merchandise.

Higher inventory accuracy and systematization

With an automatic inventory that is constantly updated in real-time, a warehouse manager can know exactly which goods and how many items of each type are available, as well as their location.

Creating anti-microbial storage spaces

Another core advantage of an ASRS warehouse is that it is ideal for all environments, since machinery generally has better environmental tolerance than people do.

Lowers costs considerably

Automatic storage solutions come with the advantage that you can cut down on warehouse laborers since you’ll need considerably fewer people to handle the storage and retrieval of merchandise. Fox example, one traditional warehouse rack system with 20,000 pallet positions will require about 100 workers to operate. For a warehouse with an ASRS system, the total number can be reduced to 30, which can help lower labour costs to only 30%.

Drawbacks of an Automated Storage System

Drawbacks of an Automated Storage System

There are a few disadvantages you should carefully weight before deciding to implement an automated storage and retrieval system. These include:

Big initial investment. You’ll need to spend a considerable amount of money up-front for the equipment and installation, but also set aside a budget for maintenance. Since you can’t change all the manual operations ahead of time, you’ll have to shoulder large costs before the transition is complete. For ASRS system, the installation is also more expensive than with a traditional rack system.

Bargain prices are caveats. Many investors are tempted by affordable, yet outdated ASRS systems, but these are commonly unsuitable for long-term use and will certainly incur more expenses over a longer period of time.

Warehouse Racking Solutions from Kingmorack

Kingmorack is a warehouse rack company that designs, manufactures, and delivers optimal storage solutions for businesses and individuals around the world. The details we’ve presented above are just a glimpse of the possibilities we put at your disposal in terms of warehouse rack systems.

If you want to make the most of your storage, contact Kingmorack today and present us with the specific details of your warehouse space. We’ll put together our vast experience in the industry, the best technologies currently on the market, and your individual storage needs to come up with the warehouse racking system you need.

Discuss your order

For more information, quotes, sample and orders, contact Kingmorack today.