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Choosing the Right AS/RS System – and Why You Need One

An AS/RS system – also known as automated storage and retrieval system – is an indispensable piece of technology in modern engineering and construction. These robotic, computer-aided systems are used to store numerous items in predetermined locations and retrieve them easily. They use established routines and patterns to quickly and smoothly retrieve the items and make the entire process more streamlined.

Why Choose an AS/RS System?

In today’s world, shipping and manufacturing processes need to be as quick and precise as possible. Once a building project is announced, construction companies may have only weeks to bring the finished structure together. To ensure that this happens, having an efficient storage and retrieval system is key. When large loads or shipments with many items must be moved quickly and retrieved accurately, an AS/RS system is a great choice.

Unit-Load or Mini-Load?

There are two primary varieties of AS/RS system – the unit-load system and the mini-load. Which one is right for your operation?

Unit-load systems are the right choice for operations that require the safe movement of large loads, such as pallets weighing several thousand pounds. These systems typically employ fixed-aisle cranes which stay in one location and are used to move a designated area of items. They may also employ moveable cranes, which have a greater reach and more flexibility.

Mini-load systems are better for smaller item storage and retrieval. They are smaller versions of unit-load systems, which are best used to quickly move items in and out of storage. For companies or operations using these systems for small part retrieval and shipping, this may be the best option.
There are other versions of the AS/RS system, such as the simple vertical lift system and the more complex carousel-style system. However, these are used less frequently and are often employed for specialty applications.

For help deciding which of these systems would best suit your operation, contact your local provider of AS/RS systems and support. Your perfect system will have your everyday operations moving quicker and smoother in no time!