In order to work efficiently and safely, multi-level ASRS systems need sensors to indicate height. Laser-View Technologies’ Dimetix laser distance sensors are an optimal smart positioning solution for ASRS systems.
Automatic Storage and Retrieval Systems (ASRS) are used in warehousing and production manufacturing to store products in dense arrangements in order to save real-estate. Multi-level ASRS systems typically use vertical cranes to transport material between multiple levels of racking.
ASRS are becoming commonplace in the field of intralogistics, which involves optimizing, integrating, automating, and managing the logistical flow of material goods within a fulfillment or distribution center. ASRS shuttles are frequently implemented for handling pallets of bulk products in warehouses or inventory containers in distribution centers with multiple storage levels.
As shown in the images, the system includes a vertical crane that lifts pallets or totes to the appropriate level of racking. This crane typically moves in 2-axes. One axis is height and the other is positioned along a rail on the floor.
Dimetix laser distance sensors are used to monitor crane position along a row and height to accurately load or unload pallets or totes. The laser sensors measure the distance to a fixed target at the far end of the row for the linear position and either up to the underside of the vertical lift platform or down to the floor from the underside of the platform.
Safety Concerns and Efficiency with ASRS Systems
In high-density warehouses, lasers are used to provide absolute cane positioning. Accuracy is important because they need to position the vertical crane centered in the appropriate rack space. Racks spaces are very close to each other to optimize space. Improper position, whether vertical or linear, can cause a tip-over situation, which could result in product loss and raise a safety concern.
Designers and manufacturers of ASRS vertical cranes also face the challenge of moving materials efficiently with speed, accuracy, and without damage to the goods being transported. Lasers are preferred over encoders because they eliminate errors due to wheel slippage or wheel out-of-round conditions.
Non-Contact Positioning Solution for ASRS Systems
Dimetix laser distance sensors are rugged, accurate, cost effective, and easily integrated into most customers’ control systems. These lasers are the ideal choice for ASRS shuttle position.
The Dimetix D-series laser distance series from Laser-View Technologies provides the best position sensors to achieve the following key characteristics:
- Small spot size: Approximately 0.15” spot size close to laser; grows to only about 2” size at 100m
- Extended temperature ranges from -40 to +60 C available
- Up to 500m measuring range
- Up to 1mm absolute accuracy over the entire range, independent of color, texture, and actual distance
- Fast measurements up to 250 Hz with 1 kHz output
Variety of outputs:
- Built in standard: RS232, RS485/422, SSI encoder, analog, digital I/O
- Optional: Ethernet IP, Profinet, EtherCat available integrated to the sensor make integration with Allen Bradley and Siemens controllers simple
Full line of accessories:
- NEMA 4X & explosion rated enclosures
- Mounting brackets
- Displays and process meters