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What are automated storage & retrieval systems?

9/13/2013 4:43:03 PM | by Anonymous

Automated Storage & Retrieval Systems

Automated storage and retrieval systems are used and designed for the automated retrieval of parts and also to automatically store them. These sorts of systems are quite common in industries such as retail, wholesale, distribution, manufacturing and institutions. The automated storage and retrieval systems are usually operated by computers and also controlled by computers. Apart from that, the computers also maintain an inventory of the stored items. The user specifies which item is to be stored is or retrieved and the computer schedules for the items to be stored or retrieved. The system is usually complemented by conveyors or guided vehicles to transport the desired item to its destination.

The computer managing the process usually requires an input from the user of the item identification or similar details. The computer then tracks its system to locate the exact location of the item. Once that is done, the computer will send data to the retrieval systems to retrieve the object. The same process applies for the storage of a certain item.

Using such a system cuts down and reduces labor for the transportation of items in and out of the company’s inventory. On top of that, the system also allows reduced inventory and easily allows users to track the inventory levels. The systems also saves much more space as the items are packed more densely than if it were to be stored manually.

These items in the storage may be hanged from bars or they could also be placed on trays, which are attached to drives or chains to move the up or down. The systems usually come with a storage and retrieval machine that is able to move in almost all directions to put objects at the designated location.

The automated storage & retrieval system is especially useful for companies who adopt the just in time manufacturing approach, whereby the level of inventory is to be kept at the minimum for maximum efficiency.

Advantages of using automated storage & retrieval systems

For supply chain management, and effective storage & retrieval system will provide numerous benefits. One of the benefits of an efficient automated storage & retrieval systems is that it helps companies cut costs by reducing the need for unnecessary storage for parts or products. The warehouse is able to spend more money on other areas to increase their efficiency. By having more space also allows for more inventories to be held at the warehouse. This is due to the efficient manner in which the automated storage and retrieval system stores the items, in a denser manner.

Apart from saving costs incurred by storage space, the usage of automated storage and retrieval systems reduce the need to pay workers thus, labor costs are reduced as well. The system also increases the safety levels of employees are since the automated storage and retrieval systems are the ones doing the job. Workforce requirements are also lowered as a result.

Another advantage is that it is much easier to manage the physical storage facilities. For example if a group of more popular products are being grouped together, the automated storage and retrieval system can place these products near the delivery area to increase the speed of packing, picking and shipping to the customer.

By using the automated storage and retrieval system, the operations between logistics management and order processing will be extremely efficient.

The automated storage and retrieval system is also able to track useful and important information such as where the products are being stocked, the suppliers the product came from, and the duration the items were being stored. This is useful information as companies are able to efficiently control the inventory levels and plan the use of the warehouse space.

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