5 Reasons You Should Be Using AS/RS

Dec 15, 2021
reasons to use an as/rs system

Here are the primary benefits that you can expect when adding AS/RS.

AS/RS (Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems) are designed to improve the efficiency of picking processes. This type of equipment has many advantages over traditional rack and shelving configurations. Here are the primary benefits that you can expect when adding AS/RS. 

Far More Efficient Use of Space

The most relevant advantage of ASRS is the significant amount of space these systems save. ASRS technologies provide high density storage in a small footprint by eliminating the wasted aisle space that shelving requires and utilizing the full ceiling height of your facility.

To maximize storage capacity, these dynamic systems use tightly configured totes, bins, dividers, drawers, and specialty holders to organize inventory as efficiently as possible. Furthermore, integrated inventory management software dynamically manages the storage system's cube space, keeping all inventory tightly compressed.

Massive Reductions In Labor Cost

Labor savings is another clear benefit of automated storage and retrieval systems. The "goods to person" approach used by ASRS units delivers required items directly to the operator, drastically reducing operator walk and search time.

During a shift, workers frequently walk miles, and every minute walking is time that is wasted. In manual operations where workers must travel to stored items, workers can spend 60-65 percent of their shifts walking. A worker must also visually search the shelves upon arrival at a picking destination, looking for the correct item and matching up part numbers, a process that can take several minutes.

When AS/RS technology is used, a worker stays in his or her assigned work area while machines deliver stored goods to the operator as needed. Pick lights indicated the item's location and required pick quantity, saving the operator time searching for a specific item and allowing them to spend more time picking.

Automated solutions integrate with both inventory management and order management software so that picks are sequenced in the most efficient way possible. As a result, all items can be picked in a single rotation of the machine's storage bins or trays, reducing pick time even further.

Highly Accurate Picking

Human error can occur at any point during a manual picking process. The less automated the process, the higher likelihood of error. 

For high pick accuracy, AS/RS systems integrate with a range of light-directed picking technologies and integrated message centers that communicate pick information to the operator. These systems, when used together, show the exact location of the item to be picked within the carrier, display the part number or description, pinpoint the exact location, direct picking, and indicate the required quantity. These visual picking aids reduce picking errors by up to 99.9% and greatly improve accuracy.

Giant Gains In Throughput

Pickers in a manual operation typically fill only one order at a time, resulting in pick rates of around 50 lines per hour. AS/RS technologies can more than double throughput using goods-to-person delivery methods, eliminating walking and searching time. Pick-to-light systems that direct the operators to the exact pick locations can increase throughput rates even more.

Adding batch picking can increase throughput once again. Integrated inventory management software can sequence picks for completion in a single rotation of the AS/RS unit, grouping orders with common items. Several of the same items can be selected and delivered to a nearby workstation and sorted into appropriate orders.

Employee Comfort, Safety And Morale

All items delivered to a worker via an AS/RS system are positioned in the area between the user's shoulder and knees for optimal ergonomics. There is no bending, stooping or stretching required. Items are displayed in easy-to-reach shelves, trays, or bins. To achieve this ergonomic benefit, some AS/RS units may require the addition of a lift table.

Optimal ergonomics significantly lower the risk of worker injury, missed workdays, and insurance claims. In addition, operator fatigue is reduced by delivering items to the operator and eliminating walking down aisles of shelving.

AS/RS Systems Near Me

To learn more about the benefits of AS/RS, talk to an automation expert at Raymond West today!