Warehouse Automation | Minneapolis, MN

Warehouse Automation

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

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

Call us today at (651) 688-6175

In the Midwest, warehouse space is fetching an all-time premium. Internet e-com operations have greatly reduced warehouse real estate availability and consequentially, leasing costs in many areas have risen by double digits year after year.

As warehouse costs accelerate, it’s imperative to make certain that you’re using building space as efficiently as possible. For smart warehouse operations, that means leveraging greater density and automating everything that can be mechanized.

Fortunately, cutting edge material handling technology has evolved rapidly over the last several years, giving you the ability to increase your density and efficiency at unprecedented levels. Technological advancement is rapidly altering the very nature of warehouse storage solutions.

Warehouse Automation

Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) are a game changer in the warehouse. Some of the primary reasons for adding AS/RS systems:

  1. Monumental leaps in efficiency. AS/RS systems cut labor costs, recover floor space, lessen inadvertent inventory destruction, and increase productivity.
  2. Greater stocking ability. Efficiency gains mean that businesses can increase the number of SKUs and increase the output of their operations for an improved bottom line.
  3. Lift truck cost savings. An automated warehouse system reduces lift truck hours and distance traveled.
  4. Enhanced coordination. Automated solutions allow for compound sequencing and buffering options that can be integrated with freight hours and route options.
  5. Quality assurance. AS/RS systems are simply more accurate and are a better choice for handling detail oriented functions than human resources.
  6. Increased safety. Less human intervention makes for fewer safety mishaps.
  7. Versatility. When it comes to order aggregation, value adds, storage, replenishment and put-away, AS/RS systems are increasingly versatile systems that can mechanize almost any warehouse operation.

Automated Storage and Retrieval System

What is AS/RS? There are many different technologies that are classified as AS/RS systems, including the following:

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

Vertical Lift Modules

Akin to a vertical carousel, vertical lifts are vertically positioned systems that hold bins in a tall metal column. However, a VLM has a retriever mechanism that advances up and down within the module, retrieves specific bins and delivers them to the operator.

Horizontal Carousels

Horizontal carousels are similar in concept to that rack your dry cleaner uses to locate and access your clothes. These carousels are generally used for small products and they are a group of bins attached to an upper rail. They are frequently integrated with pick-to-light systems or voice picking systems.

Vertical Carousels

As one would expect, vertical carousels are vertically oriented, and are a bit like a Ferris wheel with trays mounted to a revolving system that spins on a perpendicular horizontal axis. They are usually contained in a tall metal column.

Fixed Aisle AS/RS

Fixed aisle systems are usually set up as two columns of racking with a narrow aisle in between. In the center of the aisle is a raised steel track with a vertical mast that travels along it. Attached to the upright is a vertically maneuvering carrier fitted with a load handling device.

This mast and carriage is known as as the crane or SRM. Most systems use a single crane per aisle, but more sophisticated systems may have more than one.

In general, there are two types of fixed aisle systems. Unit-load systems are designed to handle larger loads on pallets. Mini-load systems (oftentimes known as a case-handling machine or tote stacker) are lightweight installations that can manage cartons and smaller goods.

Warehouse Automation Systems Near Me

Talk to an expert! If you need support in assessing warehouse automation choices for your storage facility, reach out to a professional at Associated.

Associated's technical team will collaborate with you to assess on-site equipment configuration for your material handling operation. We will help you formulate a Return On Investment model including process, conditions, future requirements, training and combined cost.

We provide support and service from our locations throughout the Midwest. Whether you need used or new equipment, maintenance, parts, service or training, we offer a comprehensive range of material handling services and products.

The Associated Minneapolis service area includes Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Bloomington, Duluth, Brooklyn Park, Plymouth, Woodbury, Lakeville, Blaine, Maple Grove, St. Cloud, Eagan, Burnsville, Coon Rapids, Eden Prairie, Apple Valley, Minnetonka, Edina, St. Louis Park, Shakopee, Mankato, Moorhead, Cottage Grove, Maplewood, Richfield, Inver Grove Heights, Roseville, Andover, Savage, Brooklyn Center, Fridley, Ramsey, Chaska, Prior Lake, Oakdale, Rosemount, Elk River, Shoreview, Owatonna, Chanhassen, Austin and all surrounding areas.

Associated | Minneapolis Material Handling Equipment Supplier

935 Blue Gentian Rd
Eagan, MN 55121
(651) 688-6175