May 10, 2021
Bartosz Sobowiec, General Manager for Face Consultants, Poland, shares his insights into the world of ASRS, Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems, and how it all starts with the most important element of a successfully automated warehouse – the floor.
ASRS is an Automated Storage and Retrieval System. Although most people think this is a new solution, the technology has been in use for more than 50 years. Over time it has been constantly developed, significantly increasing its capabilities. Initially used predominantly for carrying heavy pallets, its most modern version was also extended with special systems for storing lighter goods – Modular Cube Based Storage Systems.
ASRS are computer-controlled systems that store and retrieve products in distribution centres, warehouses, and manufacturing facilities. The way they are constructed and operate differs depending on the type of system. In the case of those designed to carry heavy pallets, the pallet rack with narrow aisles between, allows a tall-masted crane to move down the centre of the aisle on a raised metal rail.
When the mast reaches a designated location, the carriage travels up or down the mast to the level where the product is stored. Then it retrieves the goods and moves it to its destination. Where designed to carry lighter goods, items are stored in special bins stacked on top of one another, which are moved from one location to another by the robots operating on the top of the rack. This solution eliminates inter-rack spaces for aisles as there is no movement between the racks.
With ASRS, warehouse space is better employed than with traditional solutions, especially compared to modular cube-based storage systems. This is because ASRS systems eliminate the free spaces between the racks which, in traditional warehouses, are required for forklifts to move around in. For systems designed to move heavier pallets, we are not able to eliminate inter-rack space however, better use of space can be achieved by increasing the height of storage, which standard forklift trucks would not be able to reach.
Automating warehouses also mean reducing labour costs as they minimise the need to hire machine operators. This in turn has a direct impact on safety as it reduces the risk of accidents.
Time is also saved as automatic systems perform storage and retrieval operations faster, more efficiently, and with a lower risk of error.
One very important element for success in warehouse automation is the correct floor preparation. No system will work well on a floor that does not meet the flatness or levelness requirements. Before installing any automatic storage system, it must first be properly surveyed, verifying that the requirements set by the manufacturer of the system are met. To avoid problems with installation and operation, checking if your floor is ASRS ready should be entrusted to specialists in this field.
Face Consultants understand the working parameters of Robotics equipment and will establish a set of working performance characteristics. Characteristics such as specified gloss, friction, and surface micro-roughness requirements to enable the best performance can be specified for the construction industry to follow.
Surface regularity can also be checked by our highly trained engineers for flatness, levelness, curvature, and step transitions.
When required, Face Consultants will remove any ambiguities or misunderstandings by drafting up and agreeing on a clear method of compliance checking. Therefore, ensuring that all involved parties understand the elements required to deliver a floor suitable for a successful and productive automated warehouse.
The experience Face Consultants has gained over the years in both Poland and around the world, and our specialized, modern, and extremely precise surveying equipment, will help to accurately determine the condition of the floor. In the event of failure to meet requirements of the standards, we will highlight the elements which are needed to improve the quality of the floor.
Choosing the right specialists for both industrial floor surveys and grinding your warehouse floor will significantly simplify the process of implementing automation in your warehouse.
To find out more and for free advice on testing your warehouse floor for ASRS, please contact us today.
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