THE SYSTEM

When choosing AutoStore there are a lot of things that you have to do without; rows and rows of hardly accessible shelves for example, or the need for forklifts and countless pallets, or wasted floor space that is only used to allow access to the goods.

AutoStore’s beauty is in its simplicity. An aluminum Grid provides the storage space for all your goods. The size and form of the Grid only depend on the warehouse around it and ensure optimal space usage. The goods themselves are stored in plastic Bins inside the Grid.

Robots are the real workforce of the AutoStore system. They move tirelessly on rails on top of the Grid hoisting up Bins, moving them for further processing and then placing them back into the Grid.

When goods from the bottom of the Grid are requested the Robots will work together to dig their way to the target Bin. To speed up future requests the Robots continuously optimize the storage position of goods inside the Grid, placing often requested Bins on the higher levels.

Ports are the interface between the storage area and your warehouse staff. It’s here that the Bins leave the Grid for further processing. Ports can be installed on any side of the Grid, or, in a multi-floor installation, even below the physical Grid. The Robots continuously feed the Ports with new Bins, ensuring that the operators do not have to wait between consequent orders.

BENEFITS

Space Efficiency

  • High storage density
  • More storage locations
  • 40-60% reduction of space
  • High flexibility
  • Easy to integrate into existing warehouses
  • Flexible layout – Build grid around pillars and other static obstacles
  • Applicable in low ceiling buildings
  • Easy to expand
  • Increase capacity by adding robots, workstations and grid (bin locations)
  • Expand the system during full operation

High Performance

  • Minimum 98% availability
  • Reduced single point of failure issues.
  • Consolidation of orders at the work stations
  • eCommerce / web shopping
  • Seasonal changes automatically adjusted
  • Capacity throughput depending on SKU-rotation = Bin distribution
  • Order structure
  • Design of the system (robots, workstations…)

Green Usage & Cost savings

  • Very low power consumption
  • No roof-lighting is needed/used during normal operation of the system.
  • Battery regenerating during operation
  • Reduced air to heat/clean/cool
  • Optimized warehouse utilization
  • Building/rental cost savings
  • Up to 50% more effective staff compared to traditional picking methods
  • Labor cost savings
  • Short learning curve working at port

Total control & Reliability

  • Extreme high warehouse stock accuracy
  • Inventory count at the end of the year is no longer required.
  • Strong reduction of process and delivery errors
  • No access to inventory other than at the workstations or the secured service area

MODULES

modbox-robotRobots are AutoStore’s iconic laborers. They are powered by rechargeable batteries and operate autonomously on top of the Grid. Each Robot features a lift that allows it to pick and place Bins in the Grid. The Robots receive their orders wirelessly from the control system, sending them to and from the Ports and ordering them to recharge whenever needed.

Even though AutoStore Robots can be considered specialists for their tasks they are also quite flexible. Not only will they tirelessly pick and deliver goods, they will just as effectively help refilling the Grid by delivering empty Bins to the Ports and storing new goods in the Grid. But no matter what the Robots are working with, you can always rely on them operating with optimal efficiency and speed. When it comes to flexing muscles Robots prove to be both strong and agile: In addition to the 5 kg Bin weight they handle up to 30 kg of goods. And despite being a real powerhouse each Robot only uses 100W, making AutoStore one of the “greenest” warehouse system around.

modbox-portAutoStore Ports are the gates that hide all the restless warehouse activity from the eyes of the staff. All orders are delivered to the right place precisely on time. All the operator has to do is pick up the product and prepare it for further processing.

Ports can be positioned on the outer sides of the Grid and are available in two different versions: Carousel- and Conveyor.

Conveyor Ports can handle up to 240 Bins per hour, for either inbound and outbound processes or for interim warehouse counting/control. Similar to the Carousel Port, the Conveyor Ports also detect possible weight overloads. Each Conveyor Port uses an average of only 50W.
When you have the volume you can’t afford waiting for your warehouse to catch up. Enter AutoStore’s high-performance Carousel Port. With a throughput of up to 500 bins per hour it is capable of handling even the biggest sales rush. The Carousel port has 3 rotating arms with overload control, and it can carry 3 high or low Bins simultaneously. Each Carousel Port uses an average of only 50W.

modbox-gridThe AutoStore Grid is where all the magic happens. The aluminum framework provides the storage space for all your goods. The size and form of the Grid is restricted only by the warehouse around  ensuring optimal space usage.

Building the AutoStore Grid is only a little more difficult than putting together a handful of LEGO™ bricks. All AutoStore components are standardized modules that are simple to assemble and easy to connect. The Grid is topped off with tracks running in X and Y direction, allowing the Robots to access any cell inside the Grid.

In addition to the main Grid every installation requires a dedicated service area for Robot maintenance and repair. For security reasons access to this area must restricted.

modbox-binIn AutoStore there’s a place for everything and everything has its place. All goods are stored in standardized, specially designed plastic containers called Bins. Every single Bin is identified by a unique number that is stored in the controller database and repeated on a label on the Bin itself. The Bins are available with 220 mm and 330 mm outside height and in different materials, among others HDPE, and PP-ESD anti-static.

All goods arrive at the Port inside a Bin. The Bins can be divided into different compartments to accommodate different product categories. The Bins never have to be removed from the Grid and are returned to storage at once an item has been processed.


modbox-controllerThe AutoStore control system is the command center of your AutoStore installation. It provides the network connection to the customer infrastructure. It includes a network switch and the Controller PC that provides the physical network interface for the customer network.

AutoStore control system has the following functions:

  • Planning and scheduling of tasks
  • Logging Bin and Robot positions in real time
  • Interface network connection to end user installation
  • Providing service & support  functionality
  • Flexible configurable alert system (SMS – E-mail)
  • Advanced access control for service personnel

modbox-accesspointThe AutoStore Access Point (ASAP) connects the AutoStore system wirelessly to the Robots. Every AutoStore installation has at least one ASAP that communicates with up to 30 Robots within a range of 50 meters. Systems that are larger or have more than 30 Robots use multiple Access Points.

CONNECTIVITY

AutoStore is a blackbox system and can connect to most WMS systems. WMS-systems connects to AutoStore via our standardized API through XML/HTTPpost communication. We are offering SDK for WMS developers.

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PLANNING & SIMULATION

AutoStore is a module based system and is highly configurable. The project forming is usually done in four phases with the help of specialized tools to make the most optimized custom system for each client.

Analyze customers logistical situation, data & future needs.

griddesigner

Design an AutoStore layout & logistical solution.

simulator

Analyze & confirm the needed amount of robots & ports for the AutoStore layout with the help of simulation tools.

Final offer for the final AutoStore solution.