This thesis summarises the development of an Automatic Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) test-bed at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) within a dynamic knowledge environment. The ASRS developed consists of control hardware and software communicating over a Fieldbus network. A simulation model of the WIT ASRS (capable of modelling any similar hi-bay storage system) and an order generator were also developed and these are linked to a database and a results spreadsheet. This ASRS allows for a range of control strategies and order types to be investigated utilising the order generator and the database. There was also a facility developed which allows this mathematical model to run the actual requirements that the ASRS physical model works with, this allows for complete correlation between both models. The development of a mathematical model plus a physical model ensures better understanding of ASRS making the sequence of operations obvious and helping to clarify the broad range of strategies to interested parties. The best recorded performance was with current dwell point, simultaneous travel, dual control, free-nearest storage and nearest retrieval strategies selected in combination. In general, dual control improved performance (in terms of throughput), simultaneous travel was found to be better than rectilinear travel, dwell point at origin gave very poor results, and a dwell point at current, pick point or deposit point appears best. Within the Knowledge environment a number of findings were made including: the development of a physical model is hugely beneficial to the acquisition of tacit knowledge by the chief researcher and supervisor and greatly benefits the development of undergraduate students (3 groups). The greater the volume of tacit and explicit knowledge available the faster the up-take for the students in a structured knowledge environment. There are great benefits to the college research centre by having a full time researcher in this area especially when the subject matter becomes complex, the learning curve for students can then be very steep.
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2007|
- Automated Storage and Retrieval