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Robotics Case Studies

Velox Machine Guarding Protects 3-Dimensional AS/RS Solution

Husky Rack & Wire

Situation: Advance Storage Products responded to a new customer request to design and implement an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) that would allow the company to efficiently transition from a third-party logistics provider to an in-house operation in its production facility. The solution needed to utilize the company’s existing facility space and provide the operating flexibility and cost justification to accommodate the company’s ever- changing production demand, SKU profile and storage capacity.

Advance’s experienced engineering team designed and implemented a turnkey solution in a short 6-months utilizing its next generation automated storage and retrieval system, ROVER. The system not only met the required pallet storage capacity and throughput rate, but also achieved the customer’s security measures and OSHA safety compliance standards through an innovative machine guarding solution provided by Husky Rack & Wire and its Velox Machine Guarding system.

Advance was responsible for the automated system engineering design, planning, installation, testing and project management. Advance partnered with one of its key material handling equipment suppliers, Husky Rack & Wire, to design a customized and highly secure machine guarding solution for the protection of customer employees, products and equipment.

Advance worked with the customer in developing a Functionality Specification Description (FSD) that detailed the required design parameters, storage capacities, throughput rates and other performance requirements. The fundamental operation of the system involved the ROVER receiving pallets at the inbound station and subsequently storing, retrieving and passing along same pallets to automated guided vehicles (AGVs) at the outbound station for staging, loading and shipping.

The ROVER system was designed to provide a highly configurable, 3-Dimensional, shuttle- base AS/RS solution that was highly flexible and scalable. The footprint of the system was approximately 14,000 square feet, five (5) levels high – and utilized less than half of the space a similar sized traditional rack system would need. This space-efficient design delivered the added benefit for significant future expansion and scalability of production and storage and handling operations.

General project specifications are listed below:

ROVER System:

  • Approximately 257 feet long x 53 feet wide x 5 levels high
  • 3,000 pallet storage capacity
  • From 500 pounds up to 3,000 pound pallet weights
  • Up to 50 pallets storage/retrieval per hour

Velox Machine Guarding:

  • Over 650 linear feet of 6 foot high guarding fence
  • 130 – 6 foot posts
  • 3 – 3 foot swing doors

The ROVER system conveyors, elevators, automated guided vehicles and various moving components required an innovative machine guarding solution that provided 24/7 safety, security and protection for employees, products and equipment. The guarding would also need to provide multiple access points for system operating and maintenance needs. Advance previously worked with Husky Rack & Wire and was confident its proven Velox Machine Guarding system would deliver the optimal solution to meet the customer’s security requirements, as well as regulatory safety standards.

Husky and Advance engineers worked together in designing an effective machine guarding solution that facilitated quick and easy assembly combined with simple field modification and installation to create the exact fit around the perimeter of the ROVER system. Three 3-foot swing doors provided easy yet secure system access needed for equipment inspection and maintenance.

Result: The ROVER system and Velox machine guarding solution achieved the customer’s primary goal to transition from its current third-party logistics provider to an efficient in-house storage and handling operation. The system design and operation not only met but also exceeded all Functionality Specification Description (FSD) parameters in providing the required pallet storage capacity and throughput rates.

Moreover, the small footprint of the entire system offered the customer tremendous flexibility and scalability for future production and storage and handling expansion. Another key benefit of this system has been documented with its low maintenance and high reliability. One example of this benefit is with roller and AGV battery performance that has significantly surpassed the expected operating life by more than 100%. The customer continues to realize the operating and cost value of their decision to work with Advance Storage products in the design and implementation of their new ROVER AS/RS system.

Mads Jesperson, V.P., Automated Systems with Advance Storage Products stated, "the ROVER system was the perfect automation solution that met our customer's primary goal to transition from a third-party logistics provider to an in-house storage and handling solution.  The flexibility and cost-effective system provided the required high-density storage and throughput efficiency to meet their changing production demands, SKU profiles and storage capacities.  The customer was also very pleased with our team's proactive approach in working with Husky Rack & Wire to install its Velox Machine Guarding solution that provided optimal safety and security for the entire ROVER AS/RS system.  The modularity and flexibility of Velox allowed for quick assembly and installation creating an integrated and seamless solution that exceeded the defined operating parameters, safety and security standards and customer expectation levels."

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