In a storage system that is automated, computers control the process of putting away and retrieving stock. They are often used when:
• Space constraints make manual work not possible
• A large volume of stock is regularly moved
• The importance of accurately moving goods to prevent damage is critical
Automated Storage System in Modern Operations
Known as an automatic storage system (AS/RS), it was first introduced as a way to handle the storage of heavy-loaded pallets in the 60s. Nowadays, stock of all sizes is stored in this manner as the technology has evolved.
A database of all the stored items in an AS/RS allows quantities to be kept track of and searched for. Items can be retrieved by selecting the relevant item and picking a quantity to be taken out of storage. Knowing where a particular item is stored and can be retrieved from is determined by the computer.
A storage and retrieval machine (SRM) takes orders from the controlling computer to pick up an item from its location and deposit it at the desired destination. These machines can often move horizontally and vertically to retrieve stock from multiple levels, allowing for a more space-efficient system.
Advantages of this Type of Storage
The advantages of using an automated storage solution include:
• Increased control of inventories and greater capacity to track stock items, making for a more sophisticated storage operation
• Improved flexibility in adapting to changes in the business forecast, which can better prepare businesses for a range of eventualities
• Reduces labour costs as the majority of the work is completed automatically, saving money that could be used in other areas of the business
• Greater safety in the workplace due to the elimination of manual handling, which can often lead to costly accidents and injuries
• A more efficient system, which helps to cut costs through the reduction in unnecessary parts. Space usage is also reduced with narrower aisles
• The ability to analyse data on storage statistics, opening up the opportunity to optimise space and save money through the development of more efficient storage models