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Definition

An automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) consists of a range of computer-controlled systems for automatically inserting and retrieving loads from defined storage locations. Automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) are generally used in applications where:

  • There is a very high volume of loads being moved into and out of storage
  • Storage density is vital because of space constraints
  • No value is added in this method
  • Accuracy is crucial because of potential expensive damages to the load

An ASRS can be used with standard loads as well as nonstandard loads, meaning that each standard load will fit in a uniformly-sized volume; for example the film canisters within the image of the defense visual data center are each stored as a part of the contents of the uniform sized metal boxes that are shown in the image. Standard loads modify the handling of a request for an item. Additionally, audits of the accuracy of the inventory of contents will be restricted to the contents of an individual metal box, instead of undergoing a top-to-bottom search of the whole facility, for a single item.

Advantages

An effective automatic storage and retrieval system provides many advantages for supply chain management:

  • An economical ASRS system helps companies cut expenses by minimizing the number of unnecessary components and products in storage and improving the organization of the contents of a warehouse. Because of automatic processes, it also permits for more cupboard space due to high-density storage, narrower aisles, etc.
  • Automation reduces labor prices, whereas lowering manpower needs and increasing safety.
  • Modeling and managing the logical illustration of the physical storage facilities (e.g. racking, etc.). As an example, if certain products are often sold together or are more common than others, those products may be classified together or placed close to the delivery area to hurry up the process of picking, packing and shipping to customers.
  • Enabling a flawless link to order processing and logistics management so as to pick, pack, and ship product out of the competence.
  • Tracking where products are stocked with, that the suppliers they come from, and also the length of time they are stored. By analyzing such information, firms can control inventory levels and maximize the use of warehouse area. Moreover, corporations are more ready for the demands and supplies of the market, particularly during special circumstances like a peak season on a specific month. Through the reports generated by an ASRS system, companies are also ready to gather necessary information that may be placed in a model for it to be analyzed. To read more about automated storage retrieval system click here.

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