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AS/RS System Components

The Components

The AS/RS system comprises of four major components: the racking, shuttle, infeed and outfeed, and the control system. All aspects of the system are designed to be deployed within pre-existing production facilities.

Pallet Racking

The storage shelving is comprised of standardized, easily extensible racking that’s been modified to operate with the AS/RS system. These racks allow material heights of 65 inches on the lower racks with a maximum height of 84 inches on the uncovered top racks delivered on standard pallets.

Racks can be installed with only a few vertical shelves to installations that extend up to 30 feet tall. The racking can also be added both horizontally and vertically (up to 30 feet) at a later date, should the need arise.

The Infeed and Outfeed

Getting materials into and out of the AS/RS system can be accomplished with a number of infeed and outfeed configurations, from automated conveyor lines to simple locations where a forklift can deliver a pallet onto.

The Shuttle

The shuttle is responsible for moving materials in and out of the system as well as retrieving and storing these materials in the racking. It travels on a ground-mounted track under servo power to the positions necessary. The shuttle’s dimensions are noticeably more compact than similar fork trucks, allowing the system to take up less square footage.

The Control System


The electronic control system is the brain of the system. Operated through a touch screen interface, the control system provides easy-to-use access to the system. An operator uses the provided HMI to summon materials from the system or command the system to store pallets for use later. The rest of the operation is automated, including selecting available storage locations to physically move the pallets or materials.

The control system can be extended to report on materials movements to production management software and even be used in advanced stages to be commanded by such systems if the customer requires it.

Being fully automatic in operation removes the potential for human injury in the process as well as the most efficient operation possible. Removing the operator from the storage process is also instrumental in saving floor space.

Of course, humans will be humans and the AS/RS system is ready for occasions when things don’t go to plan or warnings are ignored. The shuttle system includes built-in OSHA-approved light curtain sensors that identify material or people in its path. If the curtain is breached at a distance, the machine reduces its speed to a quarter of its ability. Should the violator close the distance, the system will shut down all movement until the curtain is again clear.


The system’s operation is relatively easy to follow. An operator delivers a pallet of material to be stored to the infeed system. Then the operator selects the storage function on the HMI. From here the process is entirely automated.

The AS/RS system takes into account the height of the material and determines the best location in the racking to store the material. It then summons the shuttle to pick up the material and transport it to the selected location. The retrieval operation is the reverse of storage. No need for operator input after the AS/RS picks the material.

AS/RS System Dimensions

The MWES AS/RS Buffer System is designed to fit within existing production facilities using a modular, scalable approach that not only allows installation flexibility, it also provides the ability to be easily expanded in the future.

The above drawings are designed to provide an overview of dimensions for the system to help understand if the system can be installed within a facility. If you have further questions or want to understand how an MWES Buffer System can operate in your facility please contact us today!

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