Compact, multi-deep (3D), Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS) are becoming more common, due to new technologies, lower investment costs, time efficiency and compact size. Decision-making research on these systems is still in its infancy. We study a particular compact system with rotating conveyors for the depth movement and a Storage/Retrieval (S/R) machine for the horizontal and vertical movement of unit loads. We determine the optimal storage zone boundaries for such systems with two product classes: high and low turnover, by minimizing the expected Storage/Retrieval (S/R) machine travel time. We propose a mixed-integer nonlinear programming model to determine the zone boundaries. A decomposition algorithm and a one dimensional search scheme are developed to solve the model. The algorithm is complex, but the results are appealing since most of them are in closed-form and easy to apply to optimally layout the 3D AS/RS rack. The results are compared with those under random storage, and show that a significant reduction of the machine travel time can be obtained. Finally, a practical example is studied to demonstrate the use and validate our findings.

AS/RS, Class-based storage, Order picking, Storage rack design, Travel time model
Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M), Production Management (jel M11), Transportation Systems (jel R4)
Erasmus Research Institute of Management
hdl.handle.net/1765/10180
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Yu, Y, & de Koster, M.B.M. (2007). Optimal Zone Boundaries for Two-class-based Compact 3D AS/RS (No. ERS-2007-034-LIS). ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/10180