Travel-time models and fill-grade factor analysis for double-deep multi-aisle AS/RSs

in International Journal of Production Research, 54 (14)

ISSN : 0020-7543

Xu, Xianhao ; Zou, Bipan ; Shen, Guwen ; Gong, Yeming (1976-....)

Voir la revue «International Journal of Production Research»

Double-deep multi-aisle automated storage/retrieval systems are increasingly applied for storing and retrieving unit loads, with advantages of increased space utilisation, reduced number of aisles and improved efficiency of storage rack (S/R) machines. In such systems, the retrieval process may consist of the rearrangement of blocking loads, based on the assumptions of uniformly distributed storage locations and random storage policy. We formulate analytical travel-time models of both single- ... and dual-command cycles under three rearrangement rules. We validate the analytical travel-time models by simulation and conduct numerical experiments to analyse the effect of the number of aisles an S/R machine serves, the fill-grade factor and the command cycles on the expected travel time of the S/R machine. The results show that the expected travel time of the S/R machine is increasing with the increase in the number of aisles an S/R machine serves and the increase in the fill-grade factor, and dual command cycle outperforms single-command cycle in terms of cycle time. To deal with the trade-off between the storage space cost and the operational cost of the S/R machine, we develop a decision model for finding an optimal fill-grade factor to minimise the total cost. We find the condition when an optimal fill-grade factor exists and show how to calculate it. Based on the decision model, we compare the performance of double-deep multi-aisle automated storage/retrieval system (AS/RSs) and single-deep single-aisle AS/RSs. The results show that double-deep multi-aisle AS/RSs outperform single-deep single-aisle AS/RSs in terms of total cost, although double-deep multi-aisle AS/RSs need more storage locations.

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