Are you ready for the BIG LEAP?
Kaustubh Nande | 3 min reading time
With the dynamic nature and exponential growth of the e-commerce market, there has been a constant variability in demand as online shoppers expect to be able to buy any product at any time. Today we live in a multi-channel world that will certainly evolve to the omnichannel ecosystem. Consumers of tomorrow will demand transactions through different channels rather than a traditional in-store buying-returning model. We believe that omnichannel logistics is the future of the supply chain as it coalesces the traditional models such as brick and mortar with the new age e-tail channels. For a complete control & handling of such dynamic nature of demand, an Automated storage & Retrieval System will play a vital role, that delivers 100% inventory visibility, high speed to market, high density storage and seamless integration with WMS.
Why an ASRS is a must-have?
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems, have the ability to sort, sequence, buffer, and store a wide range of goods into virtually unlimited destinations. Common applications for an ASRS include goods to person picking, dynamic replenishment, sequence buffering, order fulfillment, work in process storage, and finished goods storage.
The right application of ASRS provides a long list of user benefits! It has been demonstrated time and time again that Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems are proven technologies capable of effectively and reliably handling and buffering raw materials, work-in-process inventories and finished goods of all kinds, making it possible to integrate material handling storage. Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems are a key component of many warehouse automation systems in fulfillment and distribution centers, offering highly accurate, highly efficient, high throughput inventory management capabilities. They can be configured to be completely redundant, spreading inventory across multiple aisles and thus decreasing dependence on the ability of any single ASRS Crane or ASRS Shuttle to handle a task. Thanks to incremental system design, ASRS Systems can also easily expanded to meet increasing productivity demands.
An Automated Storage and Retrieval System is comprised of several integrated components that operate under the directive of a warehouse execution system or warehouse control system. An ASRS individual parts include:
- Precision engineered racking for high storage density and fast compartment access
- The ASRS Crane or ASRS Shuttle
- The ASRS load handler configured to handle the size, shape, and weight of the load being moved
- Infeed and discharge conveyor systems
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) Types
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems equipment generally falls into two categories: Unit-Load ASRS and Mni-Load ASRS.
A Unit-Load Automated Storage and Retrieval System is defined by larger loads generally weighing up to 2500 kg and having a compact footprint. Unit-Load ASRS types include:
- Confined Aisle Unit-Load ASRS Cranes
- Movable Aisle Unit-Load ASRS Cranes
- Unit-Load ASRS Shuttle
A Mini-Load Automated Storage and Retrieval System is defined by smaller loads generally weighing under 250 kg. mini-load ASRS types include:
- Mini-load ASRS Crane
- Shuttle ASRS
- Horizontal carousel
- Vertical carousel
To positively transform your business, it's mandatory to use systematic engineering surveys and slotting analysis to design storage solutions that save your time and space. Using the technology that helps you achieve the lowest cost storage density and offers the highest throughput is imperative. When the volume of inventory is large, Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) work best. Real-time data makes physical inventory inspections redundant, saving time and costs. AS/RS increase throughput and efficiency, lowering building costs and establishing ‘air rights’. For your unit-loads and high bay facilities, stacker-cranes suite best. Equipped with guide rails and control systems, stacker-crane systems carry out operations of distance traveling, lifting, picking & placing. Made up of telescopic forklifts, it makes your operations swift and error-free which can be easily managed by your operators. The semi-automated high-density storage system allows the maximum use of space in your facility. The radio-shuttle is loaded into storage loads that take commands from the remote control to load or unload pallets into a lane. This cost-effective way of automation can store the maximum number of pallets per operator as the travel distance is reduced. The range of potential ASRS applications can be used to enhance operational efficiencies in a wide variety of processing environments. Typical industry ASRS applications include:
- Food and FMCG
- Distribution Centers
- Fulfilment Centers
An ASRS not only handles SKU demand fluctuations, but it also expedites the fulfillment process, enabling e-commerce and omnichannel retailers to better adhere to service level agreements by meeting order delivery commitments — which ultimately increases customer loyalty and generates numerous revenue benefits.