Compact, multi-deep (3D) automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) are becoming increasingly popular for storing products. We study such a system where a storage and retrieval (S/R) machine takes care of movements in the horizontal and vertical directions of the rack, and an orthogonal conveying mechanism takes care of the depth movement. An important question is how to layout such systems under different storage policies to minimize the expected cycle time. We derive the expected single-command cycle time under the full-turnover-based storage policy and propose a model to determine the optimal rack dimensions by minimizing this cycle time. We simplify the model, and analytically determine optimal rack dimensions for any given rack capacity and ABC curve skewness. A significant cycle time reduction can be obtained compared with the random storage policy. We illustrate the findings of the study by applying them in a practical example

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ERIM Top-Core Articles
International Journal of Production Research
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Yu, Y., & de Koster, R. (2009). Designing an optimal turnover-based storage rack for a 3D compact automated storage and retrieval system. International Journal of Production Research, 47(6), 1551–1571. doi:10.1080/00207540701576346