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AS/RS (Automated storage and retrieval system)

An automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS or AS/RS) consists of a variety of computer-controlled systems for automatically placing and retrieving loads from defined storage locations. Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) are typically used in applications where:

  • There is a very high volume of loads being moved into and out of storage
  • Storage density is important because of space constraints
  • No value is added in this process (no processing, only storage and transport)
  • Accuracy is critical because of potential expensive damages to the load

An AS/RS can be used with standard loads as well as nonstandard loads, meaning that each standard load can fit in a uniformly-sized volume; for example the film canisters in the image of the Defense Visual Information Center are each stored as part of the contents of the uniformly sized metal boxes, which are shown in the image. Standard loads simplify the handling of a request of an item. In addition, audits of the accuracy of the inventory of contents can be restricted to the contents of an individual metal box, rather than undergoing a top-to-bottom search of the entire facility, for a single item.

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