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AutoStore: Space saving storage and order picking system for small parts

Do you want to store a large number of small parts while increasing storage density and remaining very flexible? AutoStore is a highly efficient robotized storage and order processing solution that integrates easily into existing buildings.


Storage and picking in the AutoStore compact system

AutoStore is a unique and simple solution that uses robots and bins to quickly process small parts orders. It provides better use of available space than any other automated system thanks to its unique design that enables direct stacking of bins on top of each other and storage of multiple SKUs in a single bin.

Over time, the system naturally learns which products have a higher rotation, storing them on the top layer to ensure faster picking times.

Movie: Swisslog is number 1 integrator with more than 270 projects worldwide

AutoStore: Modular design with Swisslog special features

Whatever your building looks like, AutoStore can be optimally designed in and around structures such as columns, floor height differences or other spatial peculiarities. Wide tunnels or narrow bridges are also possible. Use the dots below to discover the components of AutoStore and other extras Swisslog has to offer...

AutoStore system design and engineering by Swisslog
  • AutoPiQ robot item picking

    AutoPiQ combines the power of AutoStore with the perfection of intelligent robotics. The robot can be installed at ports (here port-to-port picking, for example for pre-picking). Via video system, different items are detected and suitable gripping points for picking are automatically determined.

    The advantages:

    • Reduced dependence on human labour
    • Uncomplicated handling of order peaks
    • Easier order processing through pre-picking, e.g. overnight
    • Fewer returns due to higher accuracy
    • Seamless integration with any WM system
  • Black Line robot

    The AutoStore Black Line is the high-performance robot. Like the Red Line, it rides on top of the system and uses lifting belts and a gripper plate to retrieve the required bins from the grid.

    Compared to the Red Line, it is about half the size and thus requires less space on the grid. The containers are picked up in the robot body. Thanks to its lower weight and innovative drive technologies, Black Line can accelerate and travel faster than the Red Line. With the Black Line, higher robot densities and throughput are thus possible in the same space.

    By using a taller housing, only the Black Line can transport the tallest 425 mm bin.

     

  • Conveyor interface

    Through the so-called AutoStore Transfer Ports, QuickMove conveyor technologies from Swisslog are directly integrated with AutoStore. This means that picking workstations would not necessarily have to be positioned directly on the AutoStore system. To facilitate packing operations, Swisslog also creates a smooth transition to third-party trades with light goods conveyors, such as:

    • Carton erectors
    • Carton sealer
    • Carton lidding machines
    • Labellers
    • Scales
    • Palletizer
  • ConveyorPort

    Like all standard AutoStore ports, the conveyor port can be used to putaway or retrieve products. Swisslog's software-controlled pick-by-light functions provide additional guidance to employees.

     

  • Grid and storage bins

    The aluminium grid is the basic structure of AutoStore and determines the storage capacity of the system. It holds the totes in place and is also the track for the robots. On top of the grid, travel rails run in the X and Y directions so that the robots can access the storage positions within the grid.

    Whether a storage container is loaded with just a single item or thousands of very small parts depends solely on the individual requirements. For easier handling, the interior of the storage bins can be further customized with lengthwise and crosswise dividers. With a uniform footprint, three types of containers are available in different heights.

  • High performance picking station

    All standard AutoStore ports can be used for putaway or retrieve products

    To ensure that orders reach the recipient even faster, AutoStore workstations can be optimized with additional technologies. Swisslog SynQ or SAP EWM software guides pickers through the picking process by means of highly user-friendly dialogs.

    Pick-by-Light (light beam indicates the pick compartment and light spot indicates the destination bin) additionally guides the employees. This increases picking accuracy and speed, and employees are quickly trained.

    Our software solutions optimize the hit rate in batch picking by grouping orders and their order positions. In this way, orders can be processed faster in parallel by means of an algorithm, and unnecessary transports of AutoStore bins can be minimized.

    Destination totes or cartons are placed directly on mobile carts or passed on by conveyors for packing or shipping

  • Lifting belt cleaning station

    The lifting belt cleaning station developed by Swisslog is mounted on the service platform outside the grid. Robots can thus be conveniently pushed in on the rails.

    By controlled lowering of the robot's gripper plate inside the framed cell, the lifting straps can be manually controlled and quickly cleaned. Thanks to the special device, cleaning is faster and without crumpling of the lifting straps, which increases the service life of the robot.

  • Red Line robot

    The workhorse of the AutoStore system is the standard Red Line robot. Like the Black Line, it rides on top of the system and uses lifting straps and a gripper plate to retrieve the required totes from the grid. The Red Line is compatible with 220 and 330mm height bins. 

    With its 8 wheels, it moves on the rails of the grid to the picking ports or to the loading station.

    Powered by 12-volt lead-acid batteries, the RedLine robot travels at 3.1m/s. With energy-efficient motors and renewable power, the AutoStore Red Line consumes about 100W - 1/10 of a toaster.

  • Aseismic grid modules for stability

    Special AutoStore grid construction for Seismic stabilization

    Seismic activity in various parts of the world might cause problems with AutoStore, compromising the straight rails or possibly the grid's stability. But thanks to aseismic grid structures designed by Swisslog, the system has increased resilience in the event of seismic activity

    Swisslog's aseismic towers offer seamless integration with the Autostore grid, and have been proven in a number of installations in high seismicity zones. The seismic grid structures offer increased protection from local seismic activity without impacting the performance of AutoStore or hindering future system expansion plans. 

    Depending on the mechanical properties of the flooring, the pitch between the towers and the anchor type can be adjusted to account for local seismic activities. 

  • Sensor cleaning station

    The AutoStore sensor cleaning station is a Swisslog development
    The AutoStore sensor cleaning station is installed in a cell on the grid.

    The sensor cleaning station was specially developed by Swisslog. It is fixed in the grid in a cell. The robots move over the cell and the sensors, which the robots need for path measurements, are cleaned of dust. This allows the robots to perform better for longer.

    In addition, fewer manual cleanings are necessary. Overall, this minimizes the customer's maintenance costs.

  • Service platform

    The service platform is the standard maintenance platform that every AutoStore system needs. From here, the robots can be called up and conveniently driven into the service area for cleaning or maintenance via the service hatch.

    Service technicians can also access the grid via the hatch for maintenance. 

  • Software Swisslog SynQ & SAP EWM

    SynQ links AutoStore control functions with customer-specific components such as existing ERP, WMS and MFCS installations or automated material flow control system solutions (conveyors, pallet systems, AGVs, etc.). Quick and easy to set up, SynQ synchronizes and optimizes all warehouse processes and creates absolute transparency at all levels and in real time.

    SynQ from Swisslog

    • A field-proven platform with well over 400 customer installations
    • Compatible with all common third-party ERP systems
    • Cloud-based as well as on-premise deployable
    • Modular design with unlimited extendibility

     

    SAP EWM

    By linking AutoStore with SAP EWM, Swisslog paves the way for a holistic material fl ow control with a wide range of functions. SAP EWM can be easily and seamlessly integrated into existing SAP structures - as a decentralized system or embedded in SAP S/4 HANA environments.

    Swisslog’s services as an SAP Silver Partner include, among others

    • Integration of data generated by AutoStore into the functionality of SAP EWM
    • Migration SAP WM to SAP EWM
    • EWM implementation fully integrated into warehouse processes with or without automation technology
    • Creation of EWM templates for customers with multiple locations to standardize logistics processes across the company
    • 24/7 support (Level 2 & 3) for all SAP EWM managed processes (in-house and third-party systems) 

    Learn more.

AutoStore: future-proofed system with robots

AutoStore’s modular, fully scalable design, makes the system future-proof: To increase throughput simply add more robots. Its flexibility also makes it easy to integrate into existing buildings without needing any additional construction work. The system’s unique redundancy means there is no single point of failure. If one robot breaks down, another takes over its tasks.

Each robot is extremely energy efficient, using just 0.1 kW of energy per hour – 6 robots use the same as a toaster! This low energy consumption combined with low maintenance costs makes for a very favorable total cost of ownership (TCO). With a low investment, AutoStore achieves efficient processing at integrated goods-to-person workstations. People don’t need to walk long distances to pick products, the robots deliver goods directly to pick stations to reduce picking times.

Your benefits with AutoStore by Swisslog

  • Optimized performance

    Optimized performance

    AutoStore’s preconfigured software package has a SAP/EWM connection, allowing you to orchestrate warehouse processes and plan resources better.

  • Peak times

    Manage peak times

    Increase performance during peak times by adding innovative ItemPiQ robot cells to relieve your workers of boring repetitive tasks.

  • Number one

    No. 1 integrator worldwide

    With more than 270 projects worldwide, we are the AutoStore experts.

Why use Swisslog’s expertise with AutoStore?

  • With more than 270 projects worldwide, we are the AutoStore experts and know the challenges our customers face.
  • System easily integrates into other Swisslog subsystems including conveyors, robots and software, thanks to predefined standards.
  • Ready for future growth: AutoStore can be used with manual picking stations or combined with Swisslog’s ItemPiQ robot cell, giving you the option to automate picking step-by-step. 
  • Integrated into Swisslog’s Software SynQ. In addition to the core processes you get access to analytical tools. These will help you evaluate better and make smart decisions in your warehouse.
  • Proven algorithms, processes and ergonomic operator screens enable maximum performance from the overall system. Standard connection to SAP/EWM ensures reduced integration costs and increased flexibility in labor planning. 
Roland Brack from brack.ch

We have a solution which works and not only increases satisfaction for our customers, but also ensures highest profitability.

Roland Brack, founder of Competec / BRACK.CH

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