2 What is AS/RS?Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems are computer-controlled systems used for automatically placing and retrieving loads from defined storage locations .
3 Basic System LayoutCrane moves to desired horizontal and vertical locationComputer CommandsCrane deposits item at deposit stationCrane retrieves load(s)Crane moves to Deposit station (usually conveyor)
4 What is the layout of the system? Two robotic cranes to move horizontally and verticallyMain server, generally not located on the robotsComputer workstations for operators to control what is stored/retrieved and where.Power comes from rechargeable NiMH batteries, with option for power regeneration coming from lowering loads and using friction to produce power. 
5 Sensors Bump sensors to indicate end of aisles Long and short range proximity sensors to help system to where it needs to goBarcode scanner to verify correct pallets/loads 
6 Different types of AS/RS Fixed Aisle One machine to move horizontally and verticallySame unit can extend/retract loads to and from shelvesCarousel Storage System Horizontal and verticalItems loaded and unloaded at specified station
8 Unit-Load AS/RS  Most common Unit = pallet, standard container One unit at a time, must go back and forth from conveyor to storage racks100+ ft tallHeavy loads – lbs 800 ft/min horizontal, 300 ft/min vertical
9 Deep-Lane AS/RSUsed for large quantities of the same item, but low overall different items Loaded on one side of rack, unloaded on otherDifferent machines for storage and retrievalSpeeds and load capacity similar to Unit Load AS/RS
10 Mini-Load AS/RS Carries several smaller loads at once Loads generally are delivered to a human worker at a pickup stationAS/RS crane may have walls to ensure safety of small objects600 + lbs capacity600 ft/min horizontal, 350 ft/min vertical 
11 Carousel Storage Systems Generally NOT AS/RS, simply transports products to unload/load station Smaller products that humans can lift, although cranes can be usedHorizontal and vertical systemsEliminates walking timeHorizontal Carousel
12 Comparisons Unit Load Deep-Lane Mini-Load Application Large load, one at a timeHigh density unit storageSeveral small loads at onceHow many loads1SeveralHorizontal Speed800 ft/min600 ft/minVertical Speed300 ft/min350 ft/minLoad Capacity6000 lbs600 lbsHeight Capacityft10-40 ftNumber of cranes1 per aisle1 per aisle, 2 needed per operationCost is roughly the same independent of type… all depends on size and load requirements! Roughly $2 million-10 million+
13 Is AS/RS worth it?Comparing standard Very Narrow Isle (VNA) warehouse with manned forklifts to AS/RS equipped warehouse. Technical Paper credit to Howard Zollinger, P.E.Estimated initial investment of $1.2 million, but saves $650,000 per year. Less direct labor!
18 Class Problem: Sizing an AS/RS system See page 327 of textbook for reference Each aisle of a four-aisle AS/RS contains 60 storage compartments in the length direction and 12 compartments vertically. All storage compartments are the same size to accommodate standard-size pallets of dimensions: x = 42 in, y = 48 in. The height of a unit load is z = 36 in. Using the allowances a = 6 in, b = 8 in, and c = 10 in, determine how many unit loads can be stored in the AS/RS.Solution: Storage capacity = 2*length compartments*height compartments= 2*60*12= 1440 unit loadsFor 4 aisles, 4*1440 = 5760 unit loads
19 References“Material Handling Industry of America – Glossary.”Utah State Archives AS/RS.Chung, Albert. University of Florida Intelligent Machines Design Laboratory.Automation Textbook, 4E, Groover. Page 319https://www.wieseusa.com/carousels-vertical-lifts.htmlAutomation Textbook, 4E, Groover. Page 320Automation Textbook, 4E, Groover. Page 327