Automated storage and retrieval systems, also known as ASRS, are designed for automated storage and retrieval of products, parts, and items with better precision, speed, and accuracy than manual retrieval. Automated storage solutions help manufacturing, warehouses, and distribution centers compete in a time of rapid technological advances.


Twinlode Automation integrates and implements unit load ASRS for warehouse facilities in various industries. We have decades of industry experience optimizing the supply chain.


Types of ASRS


ASRS provides fully automated solutions to help keep the flow of products across the entire supply chain while improving throughput. ASRS refers to the many computer-controlled, racking, and robotics systems for placing and retrieving loads from specific storage locations automatically. They can be designed to accommodate standard and nonstandard loads.


The types of ASRS racking systems include:


  • Unit-load: Unit-load ASRS technology includes the storage and retrieval of full pallet loads executed by robotic cranes or a shuttle system. This type of ASRS can store large loads over 1,000 pounds single deep, double deep, or more. Unit-load solutions are ideal for storage rack structures over 100 feet tall.
  • Mini-load: A mini-load ASRS is used for the storage of items in bins, trays, or totes. They handle light loads weighing less than 1,000 pounds.
  • Vertical lift modules (VLM): VLM storage is an efficient goods-to-person solution for high density small product and parts storage. VLMs feature a column of trays with an inserter extractor in the center to store and retrieve trays.
  • Shuttles: Shuttles are used for handling totes, trays, and cartons. These solutions are common in warehousing and manufacturing applications.
  • Horizontal carousels: A horizontal carousel module stores small parts and pieces. A series of bins rotate around a track.
  • Vertical carousels: Vertical carousels are the opposite of a horizontal carousel as they rotate vertically. The shelves and carriers provide high density storage.
  • Cube-based storage: Cube-based storage modules are one of the highest density storage goods-to-person picking systems available. Inventory bins are stored in a cubical storage system, and robots retrieve the containers.


These automated storage solutions can be combined to create unique solutions.

Applications of ASRS


ASRS is ideal in applications with the following characteristics:


  • A high volume of loads moving in and out of storage
  • Storage density is crucial
  • Space constraints
  • No processing, only storage and transport
  • Accuracy is critical to prevent expensive damage to the load


Automated storage systems can support these processing and picking areas in a facility:


  • Assembly to store components for later production
  • Order picking to retrieve the inventory pickers need
  • Replenishment to store extra inventory or restock products
  • Storage for items that move slowly in production


Potential applications for ASRS include the food and beveragecold storage, and agriculture industries.


Benefits of ASRS Racking


The benefits of automated storage systems include:


  • More accurate tracking of inventory: ASRS meets the trend towards “Just in Time” production and is a much faster way of organizing the storage of smaller items next to production lines. It maximizes efficiency by auditing the inventory of contents within a specified space, rather than undergoing a thorough search of the entire facility, for a single item.
  • Increased storage density: An automated warehouse solution increases storage space due to the high density storage it provides. ASRS pallet racking also improves storage efficiency by eliminating wasted floor space.
  • Reduced labor costs: Automation reduces labor costs while increasing safety and labor productivity. These workflows reduce human error and free employees to focus on more complex tasks.
  • Increased efficiency: ASRS pallet racking improves a facility’s efficiency by linking order processing with logistics management.
  • Improved ergonomics: Automated retrieval solutions can improve warehouse working conditions.
  • Increased throughput: ASRS works faster and more precisely, so warehouses can improve their throughput rates.
Automated Storage and Retrieval System for distribution center

Interested to know how an ASRS can increase efficiency in your facility? Contact us today for more information.

Cost & ROI of ASRS Systems

An efficient ASRS system provides significant cost savings to companies by minimizing the number of products in manual storage locations and maximizing the organization of the contents inside a warehouse. Implementing ASRS requires upfront costs for purchasing the system, completing system design and analysis, and possibly reconfiguring the facility to fit the system.


When compared to traditional pallet rack solutions, the cost of an ASRS can be significantly higher due to several factors:


  • Robotics: The cost of ASRS technology depends on the chosen type. Factors that increase the price of ASRS include system size, environment, stored products, machine controls, and required throughput.
  • Software and controls: Software capabilities vary between automated storage solutions, with some offering more inventory control and order picking options.
  • Warehouse controls system (WCS): A WCS is customized software for your storage system that communicates between robot programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and your warehouse management system (WMS). Each WCS must be designed and tested thoroughly prior to implementation to ensure proper transportation of inventory.


Despite the higher investment for an automated storage and retrieval system, these systems can deliver incredible ROI by lowering operational costs, providing exceptional throughput, and yielding high density storage capability for your application.

Other Automated Solutions

ASRS Used In Warehouse Automation

Contact Us About Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems


The automated storage solutions at Twinlode Automation help warehouses work faster and more efficiently to reduce operational costs and keep up with demand. We have more than 40 years of industry experience and offer professional services for design, consultation, and implementation.


Learn more about the various types of ASRS we work with by contacting us online.