Honeywell Debuts ASRS Technology Utilizing Machine Learning and AI

November 23, 2021 by Sara McCaslin

ASRS technology is vital to many distribution centers and manufacturing facilities, and Honeywell has introduced a new solution that hopes to increase efficiency in both space utilization and throughput.

Honeywell recently announced the release of a new ASRS system that combines artificial intelligence and unused vertical space to increase order fulfillment and maximize storage space.


ASRS Systems

Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems, abbreviated ASRS or AS/RS, are described quite well by their name: they are computer-controlled systems that can autonomously perform storage and retrieval tasks. They have become a critical part of modern distribution centers and warehouses because of their ability to automatically store and retrieve products and orders.


Warehouses, distribution centers, and manufacturing facilities are always in need of solutions that make better use of space and increase productivity. Image used courtesy of Pixabay


While there are both advantages and disadvantages to ASRS systems, they continue to gain in popularity, and when combined with machine learning and artificial intelligence tools, they can be optimized based on a wide variety of parameters to achieve better throughput.


Honeywell’s ASRS Features

The target market for Honeywell’s new ASRS technology is warehouse and distribution centers that perform eCommerce order fulfillment and returns processing as well as manufacturing kitting and product sequencing. 


Honeywell’s new ASRS system. Image used courtesy of Honeywell


Of the many challenges faced by order fulfillment centers and manufacturing facilities, one particular aspect stands out: making the best use of available storage space while still achieving high-efficiency retrieval.

Honeywell claims their ASRS can manage up to 20,000 SKUs while achieving a 40% increase in throughput compared to manual picking operations. This is made possible through high-speed shuttles empowered with artificial intelligence capabilities for optimizing various aspects of picking operations. However, process efficiency is not the only key feature that this new ASRS has to offer. 


Shuttle automation is a key aspect of a successful ASRS. Image used courtesy of Honeywell


It is designed to take advantage of unused vertical space via high-speed shuttles using vertical lift storage at the end and intra-aisle locations, enabling it to maximize the use of storage space. This approach includes a very compact footprint and can reduce the need for additional warehouse space. 


Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

This new ASRS system from Honeywell also uses a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms to support optimized system automation that adjusts itself for each user’s needs through Honeywell’s Decision Intelligence.

In particular, storage optimization tools integrate with ASRS to achieve a new approach to storing containers of different sizes while still optimizing both retrieval sequences and storage capacity. Pick path optimization also supports ASRS by minimizing the distance and steps needed for pickers to travel while avoiding congestion and reducing dwell times.

Honeywell’s ASRS system aims to address some of the key issues with warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and distribution centers through its ability to employ unused vertical space and leverage AI and ML to increase throughput.