Honeywell International Inc. today announced a new automated storage and retrieval system that it said uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to allow warehouse and distribution center operators to better keep up with unprecedented e-commerce growth.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based company said its next-generation automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) is designed to help warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing sites receive, process, and fill orders faster and more accurately while potentially reducing their footprint.
“The rapidly evolving retail market is pushing distribution centers to find and use innovative, flexible, and automated approaches to e-commerce order fulfillment,” said Ben Cardwell, president of Honeywell Intelligrated. “Growing inventories, the rising cost of land, and other pressures are pushing operations to make the most efficient use of available space. Honeywell's next-generation ASRS technology allows our customers to better utilize unoccupied vertical space, potentially eliminating the need for building or renting additional warehouse space.”
Space-saving systems such as ASRS have become a top priority for distribution centers that need to operate efficiently. A recent Honeywell study found that six in 10 e-commerce companies plan to invest in ASRS in the next year.
New ASRS works with intelligent software
Honeywell said its scalable automation can efficiently manage more than 20,000 SKUs using high-speed shuttles with configurable end and intra-aisle vertical lift locations.
Combined with Honeywell Intelligrated's Momentum Warehouse Execution System with Decision Intelligence, once an order comes to the distribution center system, the shuttle will retrieve goods from one or more aisles and deliver them directly to a goods-to-person station for order consolidation. The shuttles are suitable for operations that handle small cases, trays, and totes, said the company.
“Distribution operators are now being asked to contribute more to overall business objectives, requiring managers to streamline processes, reduce costs and maximize the return on capital investments made in facilities,” said Cardwell. “This technology delivers nearly a 40% increase in throughput over traditional picking methods, allowing labor to be used for other value-added tasks.”
Honeywell said its next-generation ASRS is part of a total integrated offering that applies the right mix of automation, software, labor-optimized productivity, and throughput capacity for each operation's unique requirements.
Honeywell Intelligrated pursues innovation
Honeywell said it has developed systems using AI and machine learning to automate complex tasks in rapidly changing work environments. These include its Smart Flexible Depalletizer, designed to help warehouses and distribution centers automate the manual process of unloading pallets.
Honeywell Intelligrated is a part of Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions (SPS) and offers supply chain automation as well as hybrid solutions that combine the strength of multiple technologies.
From concept and integration, the business unit draws on its expanding portfolio and industry expertise to help warehousing, distribution, and fulfillment companies optimize and manage their processes. It offers integrated systems, warehouse automation software, and lifecycle support services.