The Automated Storage & Retrieval Systems available from Cato Industrial Racks are an important component of a cost-effective logistics chain. With an emphasis on reliability, flexibility, and cost effectiveness, Cato offers a wide array of systems from a variety of manufacturers that can be adapted to meet the exact needs of the customer.
What is an Automated Storage & Retrieval System?
An Automated Storage & Retrieval System, or AS/RS, are systems comprised of various computer-controlled systems for automatically placing and retrieving loads from defined storage locations. Automated storage and retrieval systems are typically used in applications where:
- There is a very high volume of loads being moved into and out of storage
- Storage density is important because of space constraints
- No value is added in this process (no processing, only storage and transport)
- Accuracy is critical because of potential expensive damages to the load
There are several types of automated storage and retrieval equipment. These include:
Unit-Load AS/RS or Fixed-Aisle (F/A) Storage and Retrieval Systems – These systems are used to store large loads (1,000+ pounds) on pallets.
Mini-Load AS/RS – Operate much the same way as a unit-load AS/RS, but handle lighter loads (> 1,000 pounds). Instead of storing pallets, the machines typically store trays, totes or cartons.
Micro-Load AS/RS –Usually handle loads weighing less than 100 pounds in very small containers, totes or trays.
Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs) – Consist of a column of trays in the front and back of the module with an automatic inserter/extractor in the center that stores and retrieves the required trays. Trays can be stored in fixed positions to improve throughput, dynamically to optimize storage capacity, or as a combination of both.
Horizontal Carousels – Comprised of a series of bins that rotate horizontally around a track, similar to a merry-go-round. Ideal for storing small parts and pieces.
Vertical Carousels – House a series of shelves or carriers that rotate vertically, like a Ferris wheel, to provide high-density storage that is ideal for fast-moving, small items. Often used for tooling components, documents, or raw materials storage, vertical carousels are enclosed on all sides to secure high-value items, such as jewelry and electronics.
What Are the Advantages of Using an AS/RS?
- Helps cut expenses by minimizing the amount of unnecessary parts and products in storage
- Allows for more storage space due to high-density storage
- Improves the organization of the warehouse
- Automation helps reduce labor costs
- Increased efficiency: products are often sold together can be grouped together to speed up the process of picking, packing, and shipping to customers
Cato Industrial Rack Company offers several automated storage and retrieval solutions to improve picking and storage operations. Complete the form below for more information about the automated storage & retrieval systems available from Cato. A Cato warehouse design specialist will contact you within two business days.