Whether it’s for heavy unit loads like pallets or smaller loads like totes and cases, storage is
a fundamental requirement of every distribution centre.
Yet storage is a paradox. On one hand, it adds value by providing a critical buffer between your processes and your
customer, whilst on the other hand, it adds cost in land, building and inventory.
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) from Dematic are designed to minimise and mobilise your stock. They
secure products, eliminate damage, and increase productivity and accuracy. All the while saving footprint, power,
time and money.
What are AS/RS Systems?
Automated storage and retrieval systems, sometimes known as ASRS are computer-controlled systems that automatically
place and retrieve loads from set storage locations in a facility with precision, accuracy and speed.
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems. Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) are most commonly used in
manufacturing and distribution facilities. They typically replace large areas of shelving to save floor space,
improve safety and increase productivity.
Advantages/Benefits of AS/RS
- Efficiency: An ASRS can notify workers of inventory nearing its expiration date and prioritise
shipments on a first-in, first-out basis, thereby preventing spoilage. This is a critical advantage for
warehouses dealing with cold chain products like produce, dairy, pharmaceuticals, and even machine components
where corrosion is a concern.
- Productivity: An ASRS doesn’t need to take a break or double-check manifests. This
enables continuous operation, and, as a result, much greater throughput than a warehouse without an ASRS.
- Volume Utilisation: Automated equipment doesn’t need much space to operate. An ASRS
allows aisles to be narrower and racks higher, maximising warehouse floor space.
These advantages amount better process control for products. This makes an ASRS an valuable addition to warehouses
where products are sensitive and have to be handled and stored with care. Supply chains that specialise in
chemically reactive items like pharmaceuticals and film or perishable items like food products are well served by an
How it works
Unit load ASRS systems are larger systems that typically store and retrieve pallet loads. Mini-load ASRS Systems
moves products in cartons, trays or totes. Both ASRS have the same configuration. A storage rack with narrow aisles
between allows a tall-masted crane to move down the centre of the aisle on a raised metal rail.
As the mast approaches a designated storage location, a carriage travels up or down the mast to the level where the
product to be selected is located. A load-handling mechanism is mounted on the carriage and it reaches into the
location and either place or retrieves the load.
A Storage and Retrieval Machine or SRM is a crane that includes the mast, carriage and load handling device. Most
automated storage warehouses use one SRM per aisle, however, more sophisticated systems may have more than one crane
per aisle. For lower throughput systems, a single crane may be assigned to multiple aisles and navigate the turn by
way of a transfer cart.
Types of AS/RS Systems
- Mini Load
- Unit Load
Frequently Asked Questions
- High performance: ASRS systems are designed with throughput in mind. Travel, hoisting, forkspeed,
acceleration, and positioning accuracy have been carefully considered to provide an optimal
automation solution, customisable to specific business needs, providing the best possible
performance and economy.
- Safety: the use of many safety sensors ensure that operational safety is never compromised,
including checks for stability of loads, dimensions, and weight.
- Easy Maintenance: Not only designed for outstanding performance, Dematic’s ASRS solutions are
also designed for ease of services, and long lasting, reliable performance.
- Customisable: ASRS systems can be specially designed to meet a range of applications and loads, such
as for cold storage or in freezers. Load handling devices are selected and configured to match
customer needs and product range.
- Sustainable: ASRS machines are designed with log energy consumption and energy recovery in mind, as
well as low maintenance and spare parts requirements, long life, and lowest overall lifecycle costs.