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The Smoov ASRV System

Smoov ASRV is a new generation automation system for the storage and handling of pallets using distributed automation logic.   
Modular, flexible and scalable, it stands out from other systems available today.

Smoov ASRV spreads the handling operations across a number of distributed units rather than on just one, providing many advantages in terms of efficiency and reliability.
At the heart of the system are the ASRV vehicles, the distinctive automation elements dedicated to the storage, retrieval and handling of palletized storage units.

Compact and fast, they can work individually or in fleet and are able to meet the logistics needs of the company as a whole.
The ASRVs are radio-controlled units able to move in two directions along the racking.  Unladen they move down the aisles of the warehouse gliding along rails inserted between the racking and once laden with a pallet they use the service aisles to deposit the goods into the storage cells in the storage aisles.

 

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Warehouse architecture

Architettura del Sistemaimages

The Smoov ASRV system
is made of several basic elements of infrastructure (racking & rails) and automation (vehicles, software & radio system) which are cleverly integrated by the Smoov Solution Partner.  It is the responsibility of these crucial members of the Smoov team to provide all-inclusive “turnkey” installation of the system and their direct involvement in the process ensures that the customer’s specific requirements are met fully.      
Additional elements, such as automatic bays, lifts, stacker cranes, AGVs, LGVs and anthromorphic robots, are easily integrated into the system if they should be required for logistical purposes.

 

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Basic elements

strutturaStructure
• Racking
This is the metal load-bearing structure, made up of both vertical members (frame uprights) and horizontal pallet-holding elements which are similar to those used in a Drive-in warehouse.  Its dimensions depend on the weight of the pallets and the number of levels in the warehouse.

Rails
These are integrated horizontal elements which are not found in a normal Drive-in warehouse.  They are essential for the movement of the ASRVs.

asrvAutomation
• ASRV
This distinctive acronym stands for Automated Storage & Retrieval Vehicle and refers to the vehicle(s) dedicated to the storage and retrieval of the pallets.
Small in size and not physically attached to the warehouse, the ASRVs carry out the storage and retrieval of pallets with a maximum load of 1500kg.  They move along rails installed between the racking and move into position below the support level of the SUs.  The central platform raises and allows the pallet to be lifted and moved to and from the loading and unloading points in the bays.

SoftwareKit

• Smoov Software Suite
SmoovBraindown2
SmoovDoctordown2
SmoovPlacerdown2

 

radio• Radio communication system
Responsible for the continual transmission of data between the fleet of ASRVs and the Supervisor, or central control system, it is able to ensure continuous operation.

 liftAdditional elements
• Lift
This essential element provides vertical in/out handling of the pallets and movement of the ASRVs between the various levels of the warehouse.  The specific typology and the technical design of the device will be defined and realized by the Solution Partner. 

 

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Operation of the system

The Smoov system has been designed to be easily integrated with the client’s WMS, making it easier for warehouse operators to use, without making substantial changes to the standard operating logic.
With the help of the Brain and Placer programmes in the Smoov Software Suite, the fleet of ASRVs carry out the missions in full compliance with the internal storage logic (ABC classification, average stock, FiFo, LiFo, FeFo) optimizing the paths and therefore also the performance of the system.  
When an operation cannot be carried out immediately, the intelligence of the vehicles allows them to give priority to subsequent operations.

 MAIN OPERATIONS

1. Retrieval sequence

Using the warehouse management system (WMS), the operator sends retrieval missions.  The system uses various parameters and constraints to identify the pallets to be retrieved.   
Once the mission has been received by radio, the ASRV moves along the aisle, moving under the pallets to reach the retreival position.  Once the location has been identified, the ASRV moves into position under the pallet and by raising its platform it picks up the pallet.  It then moves through the service aisles to take the pallet to the access bay for picking to be performed.

2. Vertical movement


lliftUsing a lift
Vertical pallet movement between the various warehouse levels is accomplished automatically via a lift built into the system.  Depending on the availability of the automation units which make up the fleet, the SU can be vertically handled either by moving it on board the ASRV, or by moving just the pallet.  In the second option, once the laden ASRV reaches the lift it deposits the pallet into the lift for handling then leaves it in order to pursue other handling missions on the same level. 

carrelloUsing a forklift truck
Vertical movement of the ASRVs between warehouse levels is achieved by direct intervention in the bay with an operator on board a forklift truck which is also used for the retrieval of pallets.


3. Automatic recharging of the ASRV vehicles

autoricaricaThe automatic battery recharging system (if installed) ensures continuous operation.
The intelligence of the vehicles means they can recognize their own level of charge, as well as considering the requirements of any planned operations, so that they are able to autonomously manage their needs by going to the appropriate docking stations when necessary.    
For situations in which it is not possible to wait for recharging, the battery pack can be replaced.  This can be carried out semi-automatically with the help of an operator, or completely automatically by suspending activity of the ASRV for a few minutes.  

 

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The Advantages

It is in the worst conditions that extraordinary innovations give their best
Smoov ASRV

Technical, operational, economical and functional – these are just some of the strong points that an innovative system like Smoov provides for the rationalization of both the warehouse and goods handling.  A range of possibilities that make for more adaptability, flexibility and reliability.

Adaptability
Choosing Smoov makes it possible to create automatic warehouses in more challenging situations such as pre-existing premises with obstructions, shapes or dimensions which would normally make them unusable. 
Below are some of the main examples:

Adattabilità Smoov Asrv

Low-roofed areas
Smoov is able to overcome the limits imposed by height restrictions which make the use of AS/RS technology difficult by using small-sized automation units which move horizontally.

Presence of support columns
A Smoov warehouse can easily be adapted to flow around pillars or other structural obstacles and allow simple installation of the system.

Complex layouts
Smoov ASRV technology can be simply adapted to the most oddly-shaped premises to exploit every area to the full.


Flexibility
The technical and economic modular structure of the ASRVs, and the absence of physical limits for a delimited area of the warehouse, mean considerable flexibility in terms of:

• Surface area dimensions
The warehouse dimensions (no. of pallet positions) can be extended in any direction in a very short time, quickly adapting to unexpected necessities.

• Production capability
It is possible to vary production capability (no. of operations per hour), independently of any changes being carried out simultaneously to the warehouse dimensions.  This can be accomplished quickly by varying the number of ASRVs in operation, either buying or hiring them.

• Density/selectivity
A warehouse can be created to respond to very different requirements, hypothesizing situations with high selectivity (and low density) or high density (and low selectivity).  
Every warehouse may also provide areas with different degrees of selectivity and density where the physical configuration can be varied over time with very little work.

• Investment
The advantages described above make it possible to create a warehouse of any type or size without the need to predict future requirements and risk too great an investment for current needs.  The warehouse can easily be modified over time as requirements become concrete.

Reliability
The nature of Smoov ASRV technology makes the automation process particularly reliable for the following reasons:

• Distributed automation
The operation of Smoov in a fleet provides greater operational continuity as the ASRV vehicles are not bound to a specific area of the warehouse.  In this way a whole section of the warehouse is not out of operation when a temporarily out of order vehicle is substituted.

• Rapid replacement
If there should be more serious technical problems, the technical assistance provided by Smoov Aid Point ensures that the non-operational ASRV is substituted within a few hours using the Smoov Courtesy service.  This level of assistance is only available using Smoov technology because of the small size of the ASRVs and the absence of physical connections between the warehouse structure and the ASRV, which allow rapid replacement using plug and play technology.

 

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Safety and Controls

sicurezza

The whole system conforms to all of the safety requirements covered by the Directives which control this sector (Directive 2006/42/EC on Machinery).      

Safety components such as collision avoidance systems, optical and audio alarms integrated with safety locks on access points, safety mesh enclosing the warehouse and appropriate operating programs ensure the highest level of safety for warehouse operators and stock.  

The ASRVs are designed and manufactured with the intention of eliminating any risks associated with their use, both in the fully automated warehouse and in a warehouse with manual entry/exit of storage units and ASRVs.  They operate within the completely enclosed environment of the warehouse and access to them is controlled and monitored by the supervisory system (Supervisor).  

A high level of safety is even ensured during maintenance operations inside the warehouse system by blocking handling of any ASRVs within the warehouse.

The technical data and characteristics of the products in the catalogue should be considered purely indicative and may be subject to possible changes.

 

 

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