December 6, 2017
Frazier’s Think-Outside-The-Box Approach to AS/RS

Unconventional AS/RS

“How can an Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) be designed to meet the needs of large scale applications?” While many racking manufacturers will answer this question with a conventional design, FRAZIER’s industry-leading team has a proven record of accomplishment working closely with leading Automation Integrators. A key priority is responding with thought out, custom designed solutions that uniquely meet each application’s individual needs.

For those unfamiliar, AS/RS stores, sorts and retrieves products from racking using an automated, robotic system. Applications can be free-standing or can come in the form of a Rack Supported Building. Both types of applications can use programmed storage retrieval cranes traveling on guided, floor-mounted rails that move to specific locations to pick or place products. In the case of a Rack Supported Building, storage racks act as support for the roof and walls of the building. FRAZIER constructs our racking with 100% structural steel to accommodate environmental loads and seismic zone requirements. To confirm these requirements are being adequately met, a third-party specializing in storage rack design reviews each AS/RS project. Structural steel’s durability and ability to store heavier capacities allows it to hold up in the busiest warehouse environments.

Frazier’s AS/RS Activity

FRAZIER’s AS/RS activity expands across over 16 Industries since we entered the space over 40 years ago. Challenges to overcome when designing an AS/RS system center on finding the most effective order fulfillment solution given the products being stored and the frequency at which each is picked for distribution. Every project undergoes a thorough product mix analysis to determine the appropriate solution. In many cases, that solution is unconventional, but ultimately the most effective.

With more and more brand labels being introduced in the Beverage industry, order fulfillment systems capable of accurately assembling a combination of eaches, cases and pallets from a large count of Stock Keeping Units (SKU’s) is essential. The think-outside-the-box mentality of FRAZIER’s AS/RS Engineers working closely with Integration teams has afforded the ability to design hybrid picking systems. Recent projects for alcoholic beverage distributors began as many AS/RS designs do – working to maximize density by fitting as many pallet positions as possible into the available building footprint. What sets these applications’ designs apart, however, is the incorporation of case picking solutions alongside the automation. These beverage distributors rely on the retrieval cranes within the Automated Storage to pick pallet-sized increments of product. Simultaneously, their workers select case and each based portions of orders via the Pick Module’s walk picks and aisle end case picks.

An entirely different scenario can be seen within the Transportation industry. An American automobile manufacturer was challenged with the problem of pallets with loads consisting of three different weights, widths and heights. The solution – two adjacent Rack Supported Buildings that collectively rely on AS/RS technology to pick the different pallet loads.

Recent projects for retail and  grocery distribution feature some of the greatest scale Automated, Rack Supported Buildings. One of the largest projects stores upwards of 375,000 pallets, is over 100 feet tall and 800,000 square feet in size. National Food distributors all the way to name-brand Retailers turn to FRAZIER and our Integration partners to achieve similar results.

Tested, Proven AS/RS

FRAZIER’s AS/RS Engineers’ focus specifically on Automated Storage Racking affords us the ability to design systems that meet local building code requirements across the United States, Canada and Mexico, while offering top-of-the-line material handling advantages. Our staff includes Professional Engineers registered in over 45 states within the United States alone. This, along with a proven record of accomplishment, has afforded FRAZIER the continued ability to maintain strong relationships with leading Automation Integrators across North America.

To learn more about how Automated Storage can apply to your project, contact us at frazier@frazier.com.