AS/RS Systems, Automated storage and retrieval systems, are computer controlled systems for storing and retrieving products in a warehouse or distribution centre. AS/RS Systems require virtually no manual labour and are engineered to be completely automated.
Pallet Load systems are larger and more robust and are typically used for heavier and bulky loads on either traditional wooden or more modern recycled plastic pallets.
Pallet handling mechanisms can vary, but usually pallet loads will employ telescopic or cantilever forks that reach into the storage location, sometimes double depth, to retrieve or return the load.
AS/RS systems are configured with pallet rack laid out with narrow aisles between. Sometimes there is a raised metal rail down the centre and a tall mast travels through the aisle along the rail. When the mast reaches the Storage Keep Unit (SKU) location, a carriage travels up the mast to the location, inserting or retrieving the pallet.
Storage and Retrieval Machines pick up or drop off loads to the rest of the supporting automated transportation system at specific stations, where inbound and outbound loads are precisely positioned for further automated conveyance or manual handling and picking.