Automated storage and retrieval systems In warehouses
Automated storage and retrieval systems include a variety of methods for automatically placing and retrieving loads from specific storage locations, and include equipment such as:
- horizontal carousels;
- vertical carousels;
- vertical lift modules; and
- traditional crane-in-aisle storage and retrieval systems.
The systems are categorised into three main types – single masted, double masted and man aboard (which can be equipped with a picking platform).
Items are delivered and removed from an automatic storage and retrieval system at stations which provide precise pickup and delivery points where the loads are transferred to/from conveyors or automatic guided vehicles (AGVs).
Automated storage and retrieval systems comprises of a reception point where palletised goods are placed onto mechanical handling devices (eg lift trucks, conveyors, automatic guided vehicles), which are then taken to a transfer point where the palletised goods are transferred onto a storage and retrieval machine and placed onto storage racking. The retrieval of palletised goods from the storage racking is the reverse procedure.
You should carry out a design risk assessment of the equipment, its installation and its systems during the design and construction phases. You should also carry out hazard analysis and risk assessment before the equipment is used for the first time, to ensure that people are adequately safeguarded. Paragraphs 22–30 give more information on risk assessment.
Hazards in an automated storage system
Hazards in an automated system include those between reception and transfer points. For hazards associated with lift trucks and conveyor systems. Hazards associated with the use of automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) include:
- collision between AGVs and people;
- trapping points between AGVs and stationary objects or fixed structures; and
- dangerous occurrences by inadvertent movement of the AGV, eg where AGVs
- interact with storage and retrieval machines. The AGV could move off before
- the load transfer is complete, causing displacement or collapse of the load or other devices
Hazards at transfer points include:
- trapping points between mechanical handling devices, palletised loads and the
- structure of the transfer point; collapse of the palletised load; and
- trapping points between an automated storage retrieval machine, palletised
- load, mechanical handling devices and the structure of the transfer point
Hazards in an automated storage area include:
- being struck by an automated storage and retrieval machine;
- trapping points between automated storage and retrieval machines and fixed structures, eg racking;
- trapping points between dangerous moving parts of the automated storage and retrieval machine;
- trapping points at transfer points for goods, eg transfer arms, transfer pallets; trapping points at transfer points for automated storage and retrieval machines which serve more than one aisle (movement of stacker onto transfer bogey, movement of the transfer bogey);
- collapse of an automated storage and retrieval machine or load, also part of load; fall of a load (eg due to poor placement of the load);overrun of automated storage machine in horizontal or vertical travel;inadvertent movement of an automated storage and retrieval machine (eg bymaintenance technician unaware of position of co-worker); and
- fall from height (eg maintenance technician during recovery or routine servicing)