Warehouse Automation | Chicago, IL

Warehouse Automation

Associated is a Chicago based material handling equipment supplier offering warehouse automation systems.

We are backed by one of the largest parts divisions in the Midwest.

Call us today at (630) 588-8800

In markets like the Midwest, warehouse space is priced at a historic premium. Digital e-com operations have put tremendous pressure on real estate inventory and consequentially, leasing costs throughout the region have increased substantially in recent years.

As warehouse costs rise, it’s imperative to ensure that you’re using your facility space as efficiently as possible. For savvy warehouse managers, that means leveraging greater density and automating everything that can be mechanized.

Luckily, modern material handling technology has improved rapidly over the last several years, giving you the ability to increase your efficiency and density by extraordinary margins. Automation technology is swiftly altering the elemental concepts of warehouse storage solutions.

Warehouse Automation

Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) are a game changer in the warehouse. Here’s a list of the main reasons for investing in AS/RS systems:

  1. Huge efficiency increases. AS/RS systems slash human resource costs, recover floor space, lessen accidental inventory damage, and increase throughput.
  2. Increased Capacity. Gains in efficiency mean that enterprises have the ability to add more stock items and increase the output of their operations for better financial performance.
  3. Lift truck operating cost reductions. An automated warehouse system slashes lift truck travel distance and hours.
  4. Advanced facilitation. Automated solutions allow for multiplex buffering and sequencing options that can be synchronized with loading times and route options.
  5. Quality oversight. AS/RS systems are extremely reliable and are more suitable for handling complex tasks than humans.
  6. Improved safety. Reduced reliance on humans equates to fewer safety mishaps.
  7. Adaptability. When it comes to order consolidation, assembly/enrichment, storage, replenishment and put-away, AS/RS systems are increasingly flexible solutions that can automate almost any warehouse operation.

Automated Storage and Retrieval System

What is AS/RS? There are several types of technologies that are considered to be AS/RS systems, including the following:

  • Vertical lift modules
  • Horizontal carousels
  • Vertical carousels
  • Fixed aisle systems

Vertical Lift Modules

Like a vertical carousel, vertical lift modules are vertically positioned systems that store receptacles in a tall metal column. Unlike a carousel, a VLM has an extractor unit that moves vertically within the module, retrieves discrete trays and hands them directly to the user.

Horizontal Carousels

Horizontal carousels are kind of like that automatic rack your dry cleaner uses to locate and access your clothes. They are generally employed for smaller sized products and they are a series of receptacles mounted on a raised track. They are frequently paired with voice picking systems or pick-to-light systems.

Vertical Carousels

Vertical carousels are vertically driven, and are somewhat like a Ferris wheel with trays fastened to a rotating mechanism that travels in an up and down motion. They are generally concealed in an upright metal column.

Fixed Aisle AS/RS

Fixed aisle systems are generally configured as two rows of racking with a narrow aisle in between. The center of the aisle has an elevated steel track with a tall mast that travels along it. Fastened to the upright is a vertically maneuvering carrier equipped with a load handling device.

This upright and carriage is referred to as the SRM (storage and retrieval machine) or crane. Most systems use one crane per corridor, but more specialized systems may have more than one.

Generally speaking, there are two classifications of fixed aisle systems. Unit-load systems are designed to handle large loads on pallets. Mini-load systems (often called a case-handling system or tote stacker) are lightweight installations that can deal with cartons and smaller products.

Warehouse Automation Systems Near Me

We’re here to help! If you’d like support in assessing warehouse automation choices for your storage operation, contact a professional at Associated.

Associated's engineering team will work with you to assess on-site equipment design for your warehouse or distribution center. We’ll help you build a Return On Investment model including process, conditions, training, future needs, and overall cost.

Associated provides support and service from our facilities across five Midwestern states. Whether you need new or used equipment, parts, maintenance, service or training, we supply a full range of material handling services and products.

The Associated Chicago service area includes Chicago, Aurora, Joliet, Naperville, Rockford, Springfield, Elgin, Peoria, Champaign, Waukegan, Cicero, Bloomington, Schaumburg, Evanston, Arlington Heights, Bolingbrook, Decatur, Skokie, Palatine, Des Plaines, Orland Park, Oak Lawn, Berwyn, Mount Prospect, Tinley Park, Wheaton, Normal, Oak Park, Hoffman Estates, Downers Grove, Glenview, Plainfield, Elmhurst, Lombard and all surrounding areas.

Associated | Chicago Material Handling Equipment Supplier

133 N Swift Rd
Addison, IL 60101
(630) 588-8800


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