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A Discussion About Automated Storage & Retrieval System Categories

An automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) is a type of technology for automating warehouse operations. This technology helps enable storing and retrieving products smoothly. Its equipment includes micro-loads, mini-loads, unit-loads, shuttles, cranes, carousels, vertical lift modules (VLMs), etc. It could also be integrated with warehouse automation software to streamline warehouse operations. 

ASRS brings forth multiple benefits for the business. Its adoption scales up warehouse activities. It has many categories which would be discussed in this blog post. Read on to know what those types are and their significant details.  

  1. Bin and Tote Delivery ASRS Technologies

There are Vertical Buffer Modules and Crane Based mini-load ASRS in and tote delivery ASRS system. 

  • Vertical Buffer Modules

To handle small applications (less than 10,000 totes or 25k SKUs) there is a vertical buffer module. This system is not very expensive and contains a shelving system. Moreover, there is a movable mast that is attached to a center aisle to pick and store the totes. The purpose of this system is to facilitate the operator to maximize the output. 

The delivery of totes can be done to an ergonomic turntable picking station or it could be dealt with automatically through outbound or inbound conveyors. To replenish the totes while the picking procedure is taking place, this system could be arranged with a manual system.  

  • Crane Based Mini-Load ASRS

The second type of bin and tote delivery ASRS technologies is crane-based mini-load ASRS. The load could be easily handled with a mini-load system. Having a solo crane-mounted load handling device could be used to handle rack aisle and products in totes, trays, and cases. The medium used for traveling cranes is either wheels or cranes. It is to provide the product to the operator through a workstation which is located at the end of the aisle.

Having a rack in mini-load can deliver single as well as double-deep storage space. For a single deep location, there is a weight of 100 pounds, and a double deep location weighs 200 pounds. With mini loads, you will be able to provide 1 load within a minute. It is usually considered the best for picking slow-moving objects. 

   2. Shelf & Tray Picking ASRS Technologies

Horizontal carousels, vertical carousels, and vertical lift modules (VLMs) are the types of shelf and tray picking ASRS systems. 

  • Horizontal Carousels

Horizontal carousels contain dense storing bins which are placed on an oval track. It deals with both cases and items with a weight of 2000 pounds. It functions and rotates in the horizontal direction to provide moderate products storage locations. For having optimum picking speed and output, these carousels are located in groups usually known as pods. 

This facilitates the receiver to have the product from one carousel while other pickers become ready for the upcoming required object. It delivers 600 lines picked per hour with other multiple objects. In horizontal carousels, there is optimal storage capacity. It is also referred to as an enclosed solution that is equipped with an automated door system. 

  • Vertical Carousels

The vertical carousel is not a new name in the market. It is known for years and years. There are carriers along with a chain drive. This computerized ASRS helps in carrying moderate objects securely and safely. It delivers the items to an ergonomically situated work counter which is done by the order of the administrator. Manufacturers have the liberty of adding up bells and whistles when they update the tool while the technology base remains the same. 

Offering throughput at paces of 100 to 400 lines each hour, higher rates can be effortlessly accomplished with the expansion of light-coordinated picking innovations and clustering stations that permit picking of various orders all the while. Offering limits of 1,430 pounds for every transporter, the upward tool is a dependable and financially savvy arrangement that shouldn’t be neglected.

  • Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs)

The vertical lift module possesses two columns of trays along with an inserter/extractor in the center. These trays could handle a load of 2200 pounds. The function of the inserter/extractor is to locate and retrieve the moderate trays from the two columns. These items are presented to the operator and the rates vary from 125 to 350 items within an hour. 

For a swift picking process, vertical lift modules could be integrated with batching solutions. It could also be connected with robotic picking technologies for complete automated procedures. 

  • Robotic Delivery ASRS Technologies

The third category of robotic delivery ASRS technology has floor robots, robotic cube storage, and robotic shuttle systems. 

  • Robotic Shuttle Systems

A robotic shuttle system is used to retrieve stored objects. Usually done at a fast pace, the output ranges from 200 to 700 lines per hour. This system is very much flexible, scalable which refers to the updates when business requirements change. Even this system can handle trays, totes, and cases of up to 110 pounds. If the number of robotic shuttles is higher then it could provide 300 to 1000 lines per hour. 

  • Robotic Cube Storage

Talking about robotic cube storage, inventory is placed into the bins which are stacked in the cube. On the top of the cube, there are smart robots that shuffle and retrieve the bins. Finally, they get delivered to the portal when it is required. Robots function individually on a similar cube. They are attached to the system and get charged when idle. 

Robots and workstations can be added to the cube when there is demand. This type of vertical lift module can also be configured since the grid could be changed to any sort of shape.

  • Floor Robots 

Floor robots help store inventory items on portable storage shelves. With the help of mobile robots, the inventory is sent from storage to the operator. This system is ideal for moderate inventory items. The range of throughput is from 100 to 300 lines in an hour. It is also contingent on the present robots in the system. 

In a shelving system, there is 1000 pounds weight capacity which could also be increased up to 3000 pounds. 

Bottom Line

ASRS when implemented in a business leads to multiple benefits. MWI Solutions is your stop for having cutting-edge ASRS for your organization. 

If you have a manufacturing plant or have multiple warehouses, eCommerce stores and sales channels worldwide and want to bring them all together, investing in order management system software makes sense.

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