Find Out if AS/RS is the “RightFit” for Your Material Handling System
Can you afford NOT to have an AS/RS – Automated Storage and Retrieval System
First I would like to share a brief personal experience I had a few years back with AS/RS. Then let’s take a quick look at ASRS, how it is defined and what technology is used to run it.
When offered an opportunity to start selling the new system concepts for, AS/RS – Automated Storage and Retrieval System, I jumped on it with excitement and willingness to find the perfect customer to implement the system in order to meet their needs. I had no idea what I was up against, the industry was not educated enough about this type of system and that would pose a hard sell, to say the least. It was even more difficult finding out that this project was extremely expensive because of time, energy and the cost of materials to complete the project.
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Keeping a handle on overspending and durable less costly materials these systems can now be attainable for small and medium size businesses.
How is it defined?
An AS/RS system traditionally consists of a software driven robot that moves up and down, one or multiple storage aisles, storing and retrieving products and materials. There are also several different storage styles of Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems that can handle pallets, totes, and units.
What advantages does this technology provide?
- Space Savings – with square footage of commercial/industrial land on the rise; maximizing your vertical space and installing above the distribution floor leaving this space open for more manual activities will better utilize workflow in a smaller footprint.
- Inventory Control – this is important in dealing with cost and waste reduction. Each operator can be identified by the AS/RS software and be held accountable for inventory. This is a great benefit for high priced items being stored. The system automatically keeps track of where every products is within the system. It also keeps track of quantity by location.
- Ergonomics – ASRS operators typically stay in one stationary location with the work automatically brought to and taken away from their station with everything at a comfortable working height. The system will create an environment that will decrease work related injuries caused by bending repeatedly. This will result in less workman compensation claims and increase productivity from reduced physical exertion.
- Productivity – The AS/RS software will determine where to pick and the quantity of the product. This will increase pick accuracy and allow workers pick rates to efficiency increase.
What does a real life application look like?
I’m sure you have read many articles like this one, and are still wondering how much does something like this cost; it seems expensive and is it even right for your business operations? Well, ask yourself a series of questions: Am I running out of distribution space? Is inventory control a concern? Are there too many workman comp claims or would I like to see an increase in productivity? If you answered yes to any or all of these, then you need to find out what type of AS/RS is right for your operations, what it might cost and what would be your achievable ROI. Materials to build an Automated Storage and Retrieval System have become more durable and less costly. The software is nearly flawless and has been vetted on many industry levels. Training staff has become more streamlined and cost effective. When seeking the Integrator to help you get started, remember that an AS/RS may not be the “RightFit” solution for your material handling operations, but having that Integrator by your side will help you make that distinction between what you want and what your business really needs.
Next we will be exploring the ideal application for an AS/RS and what industries they have seen optimal success.