ASRS or Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems are made up of various systems for storing and retrieving goods or products automatically instead of manually. ASRS are usually used in scenarios where:
- Only storage and retrieval is required but not manufacturing of goods or products
- Many goods or products are being moved in and out of warehouse spaces frequently
- Density of storage is important due to limited space available but there is high ceiling height available within industrial spaces
What is ASRS?
ASRS systems are designed for automated storage and retrieval of products or goods. These systems are controlled by computers which will maintain inventory of goods or products stored within. Retrieval of goods can be done by specifying to the system which products are required to be retrieved. The system then locates and retrieves the products required. Automated vehicles or conveyors are sometimes used as part of the Automated Storage and Retrieval System which help to bring goods in and out of the storage area and move the goods to the loading and unloading area.
In order to store products, pallets are placed at the input area where the details of the item are keyed and recorded into a computerised system and moves the goods to a suitable storage location to store the goods within the ASRS system. Whenever any storage or retrieval is done, the system updates the inventory to reflect the latest stocks that are stored within the system.
Benefits of ASRS Systems
The ASRS system can help to reduce cost of labour which may be incurred for manually loading and unloading products in and out of a warehouse or storage area.
It can also help in terms of accuracy of inventories especially in terms of tracking and also helps to save space which can mean rental cost savings as items are stored more densely as compared to traditional warehousing methods such as racking systems. Also, when using racking systems to rack up your items, aisles between products tend to be wider as compared to the ASRS systems where aisles can be narrower meaning that space is being further maximised.
The ASRS can also help you to achieve just in time deliveries by saving time while focusing on efficiency. The system locates and retrieves the product required automatically instead of manually which can mean better productivity for companies.
More and more firms are starting to see the value and importance of data analytics and tracking as these data can help companies to identify products which are in high demand. These can mean spotting the right opportunities which may help to further improve the overall performance and profitability of companies.
While technology and automation involves dollars and cents, some firms see the value in embracing technology and adopting automation especially when the benefits outweigh the costs.
In fact, the way the ASRS works is in some ways similar to the way our mechanised parking systems work here in Singapore.