In the ever-evolving landscape of logistics and automation, asrs systems stand as pillars of innovation and efficiency. These systems represent a remarkable leap forward in warehouse management and beyond.
ASRS systems are precisely what their name suggests: they automate the storage and retrieval of items, eliminating the need for manual labour in managing inventory. They drive the seamless operation of modern distribution centres, manufacturing facilities, and libraries.
This introduction marks the gateway to a deeper exploration of ASRS systems. In the upcoming content, we will unravel the advantages of these systems, explore their diverse types when needed and discuss the cost factors to consider.
What are the advantages of ASRS systems?
ASRS systems streamline processes, reducing the time required for storage and retrieval tasks.
They maximize storage space, making the most of the available square footage.
ASRS reduces human error, ensuring precise inventory control.
Labour costs are reduced as fewer personnel are needed for routine tasks.
These asrs systems enable faster handling of goods, improving overall throughput.
ASRS systems can run continuously, enhancing round-the-clock productivity.
Safety and Security:
They provide secure and controlled access to stored items, safeguarding valuable inventory.
ASRS offers real-time tracking, aiding in inventory management and order fulfilment.
What are the types of ASRS systems?
Unit-Load asrs systems efficiently handle large, heavy loads. It is perfect for quick retrieval and features narrow aisle racks soaring above 100 feet. Two primary forms are fixed-aisle, which employs cranes in single aisles, and moveable-aisle, offering flexibility in servicing multiple aisles.
Designed for smaller loads, Mini-Load ASRS handles totes, trays, and cartons. It provides storage for numerous SKUs within limited space and can automatically replenish pick locations, improving efficiency.
Shuttle-based ASRS employs robotic shuttles on tracks to retrieve and deliver inventory. Versatile models cater to various needs, from optimizing floor space to enhancing throughput in ambient, cold, or frozen environments.
Pallet Shuttle ASRS:
Pallet Shuttle ASRS efficiently stores and retrieves pallets within multi-tier rack structures. Three primary types cater to different needs, offering high-density automated storage and retrieval.
Autonomous Mobile Robot Based ASRS:
AMR-based asrs systems utilizes three-axis robots to retrieve inventory totes or cases from storage racks. The system maximizes flexibility in storage density, throughput, and labour requirements, allowing easy scalability.
Go-Fer Bot AMR ASRS:
These robots navigate beneath shelving racks, providing high-density storage and a remarkable return on investment. The system can be swiftly adjusted to meet changing needs.
Stacker-Bot Case Shuttle AMR ASRS:
Stacker-Bot extracts totes or cases from shelving racks, delivering them efficiently. Ideal for agile, high-density Goods-to-Person ASRS systems.
Carousel-based ASRS systems consist of bins that rotate to provide easy access to items. Choose from Horizontal or Vertical Carousels to optimize storage of small items or parts.
Robotic Horizontal Carousel ASRS:
In this system, up to three tiers of carousels deliver goods to workstations, enhancing capacity and throughput.
Vertical Lift Module ASRS:
VLM ASRS uses a central inserter/extractor and trays on either side for efficient retrieval. It’s a form of Goods-to-Person technology offering precise storage.
Micro-Load Stocker ASRS:
Ideal for buffering and sequencing, the Micro-Load Stocker stores individual totes or cartons in a high-density footprint, reducing the need for extra floor space.
Vertical Sequence Module:
VSM offers high-density buffering for tote sequencing applications. It’s perfect for storing totes on shelves within the unit and extracting them in the exact order needed.
When do you need to implement ASRS systems in your warehouse?
High Inventory Volume:
If your warehouse deals with a large and constantly changing inventory, asrs systems
can help manage and retrieve items with speed and precision.
When your warehouse space is limited, ASRS can maximize storage capacity by utilizing vertical space effectively.
High Labour Costs:
If labour costs are a significant part of your operational expenses, ASRS can reduce the need for manual labour, leading to cost savings.
Inventory Accuracy Issues:
If your warehouse struggles with inventory accuracy, ASRS can minimize human error, ensuring precise tracking and organization.
Quick Order Fulfillment:
When you require fast and accurate order fulfilment, ASRS systems can expedite the process, reducing order turnaround times.
Diverse Product Range:
If your warehouse handles various product types, ASRS can accommodate different load sizes, from small items to large pallets.
Storage Density Needs:
ASRS is beneficial when you need high-density storage for various products, allowing you to maximise your available space.
ASRS systems can run continuously, making them suitable for businesses that need 24/7 operation to meet customer demands.
Improved Safety and Security:
ASRS systems offer secure and controlled access to stored items.
Inventory Tracking Requirements:
For real-time inventory tracking, ASRS can provide accurate and up-to-date information.
Reduced Manual Handling:
ASRS minimizes the need for manual material handling, reducing the risk of workplace injuries.
ASRS can be scalable, making it a smart choice for businesses with plans for growth and increased storage demands.
What are the cost factors to consider before implementing ASRS systems?
Assess the rate at which items need to move through the ASRS system, a critical factor in system selection to meet operational requirements.
Examine the vertical and floor space within your facility. Clear height and available floor area impact system design and storage efficiency.
Account for the type of environment, whether ambient, refrigerated, or clean room. Different AS/RS systems are tailored to various environmental conditions.
Evaluate the items’ size, shape, and physical attributes to be stored. ASRS systems must accommodate the unique characteristics of your inventory.
Load Weight Analysis:
Determine the weight of individual items in your inventory. ASRS systems should match the load-bearing capacity to prevent strain or failure.
Integration with Conveyors:
Analyze how the ASRS system will integrate with inbound and outbound conveyors and transport systems, ensuring seamless operation.
Facility Structure Assessment:
Examine whether your facility features a steel-frame or rack-supported structure, which can impact AS/RS system design and installation.
Labor Cost Evaluation:
Consider your current labour costs and the quantity of labour required. ASRS systems can result in significant labour cost savings, affecting overall cost and return on investment.
ASRS technology has evolved to meet the specific needs of businesses, from unit-load and mini-load systems to shuttle-based solutions and more.
As technology advances and the demand for streamlined logistics operations grows, ASRS systems will undoubtedly remain at the forefront of warehouse management solutions. Godrej Koerber is the leader in the ongoing implementation of asrs systems, promising increased efficiency and precision for businesses worldwide.