If you’ve talked to suppliers of new material handling systems about your aging AS/RS, they would probably suggest tearing it out and replacing it with new equipment - the alternative is an AS/RS modernization project.
By viastore systems
November 30, 2015
The problem at some DCs is that the flow of goods within the four walls is highly dependent on an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) which could last be described as “new” back in the days when fax machines were the leading communication technology, and VHS was still the latest in home entertainment.
DCs in this situation may have managed to avoid major AS/RS breakdowns through a combination of diligent maintenance and luck, but problems are becoming more frequent, and one more glitch could shut down operations for an extended period.
But at the same time, capital budgets remain lean for many facilities, even with an expanding economy.
There are many DCs that face this situation - they are threatened by an aging AS/RS, have limited budget to buy new systems, and can’t disrupt increasingly busy operations.
If you think you might be in this “need to modernize” situation, here’s three somewhat light-hearted, but telling, questions to consider:
- Has your “go to” source for finding critical AS/RS parts become a search on eBay or Craigslist?
- Is the person responsible for servicing your AS/RS a long-time member AARP?
- Is your AS/RS a better candidate for the History Channel’s “American Restoration” than it would be for a material handling technology video on YouTube?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, it’s time to think about modernizing your system.
The solution is to keep your older equipment, but give it new life (and give yourself piece of mind) with updated components. Save your time on EBay looking that Princess Leia Pez dispenser you’ve always wanted, and regain the level of confidence in your AS/RS that you last had when the mullet haircut could still be considered a hip look.