Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems-Benefits, Challenges and Technology Advantages

According to analysis done by Meticulous Research, the automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) industry is estimated to reach $10.3 billion by 2027. As a result, it becomes critical for businesses to understand the advantages and drawbacks of deploying AS/RS, as well as to stay updated on the latest technologies. This blog talks about the benefits, challenges and technology updates of automated storage and retrieval systems. 

The Benefits  

The advantages of employing AS/RS in manufacturing facilities and warehouses are based on the space, labor, and throughput efficiencies. The potential to adopt an AS/RS and save 70% to 90% of floor space, for example, is extremely valuable to host enterprises. By making use of the whole height of the warehouse, deep-lane racking and avoiding forklift trips down storage lanes and widely spaced racking, AS/RS installation can reduce the storage and floor area while maximizing storage usage. Not only will an AS/RS reduce the amount of labor involved in picking by up to two-thirds, it will also ensure effective social distancing. The system builds workstations on its own, allowing operators to work at their best without having to leave their stations.  The return on investment (ROI), on the other hand, is far more essential. When done correctly, AS/RS should deliver a quick return on investment, allowing firms to boost their profitability and competitiveness. AS/RS also allows for growth in the same location, ensuring that landlocked businesses don’t relocate owing to a lack of space. Inventory accuracy assures that no merchandise is lost or destroyed. In addition to lowering labor costs, it also lowers the risk of catastrophes and repetitive injuries. AS/RS improves pallet throughput and visibility, which is critical in time-sensitive businesses where perishable items must be moved on a first in, first out (FIFO) basis. This can be achieved by allowing for extremely precise item tracking. 

The Challenges 

 Warehouse manager thinking about challenges A major disadvantage of brownfield installations is finding enough room to build a new system while still fulfilling daily needs. Building additions, mezzanines, and remote operations, apart from expanding capacity in other facilities while development is underway, can help facilities overcome this difficulty. Getting your management to make decisions is another challenge. Everything begins at the ground level. A geotechnical report aids in making certain costly choices that determine whether a project is viable or not. A choice must be made on the type of automation necessary and which AS/RS supplier is best suited to the company’s long-term objectives.  AS/RS is suitable for operations with consistent, predictable, and repeatable duties. If an operation’s product handling fluctuates greatly from week to week or month to month, it may be difficult to implement AS/RS or observe its advantages. Scheduling maintenance and the high initial costs can be two additional problems that arise. Additionally, selecting a supplier that meets the strategic goals of business in terms of capacity, peak throughput, and the flexibility to respond to changing operational demands over time is difficult. There’s also the issue of supplementary material handling operations which require synchronization, both at the input and output. Complete ROI will not be realized until this asset is used regularly. 

New Technologies 

Challenges of Warehouse Management  Over the last few years, AS/RS technology has evolved considerably. Many firms have advanced beyond the conventional crane and aisle systems to three-dimensional AS/RS solutions that incorporate shuttles, moles, and autonomous mobile robot (AMR) technology. These solutions concentrate their advantages on a company’s specific mix of space reductions, throughput, and manpower needs. AMR systems allow businesses to do split case picking, material flow, and consolidation for specialty lines, eCommerce orders and more. They are extremely adaptable, can be installed quickly and the entire process can be integrated with the AS/RS. Choosing currently takes place at the bottom level of the reserve storage room built within the racking. As a consequence, mixed pallets of items may be produced automatically and then kept in the AS/RS to be shipped out later when needed. 

Final Thoughts 

The benefits and scope of automated storage and retrieval systems completely outweigh the disadvantages. They will play a huge part in warehousing operations in the future. As many businesses start to adopt this technology, it is time for everyone involved in this industry at a decision making level to embrace it. Inlogsys has been at the forefront of this change and offers advanced AS/RS solutions to multiple firms. Get in touch with us to know more about our AS/RS solutions.