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Automated storage and retrieval systems are not just for e-commerce order fulfillment. Government can also benefit from automation. AutoStore AS today announced that the General Services Administration installed an automated record filing and retrieval system inside a recently completed Federal Bureau of Investigation central records complex in Winchester, Va. The FBI facility includes the U.S.’s first robotic filing and retrieval warehouse in a GSA project.
AutoStore was founded in 1996 and claimed that its Cube Storage Automation is the densest and one of the fastest order-fulfillment systems in existence. More than 500 of the Nedre Vats, Norway-based company‘s systems are in use in 30 countries over a wide range of industries. AutoStore said its partner network of systems integrators design, install, and service its automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS). The company has offices in Oslo, as well as in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Japan, and South Korea.
FBI works with Swisslog, GSA to automate storage
Certified by the National Archives and Records Administration, the secure, state-of-the-art, 250,000-square-foot facility was built to consolidate and contain records previously housed within 256 field offices around the world.
After comparing several automation technologies in consultation with Swisslog, an AutoStore integration partner, the GSA and FBI selected the AutoStore solution for its cube storage technology to automate the filing and retrieval of more than 2 billion pages of official paper records.
The dense system eliminates the need for aisle space and uses all available areas for filing documents, said AutoStore. Within the cube, 140 radio-controlled robots maneuver through an overhead steel grid system 16 levels deep, to identify and retrieve requested items from any of 360,000 filing bins.
System to streamline requests, reduce carbon footprint
AutoStore said its cube system will help streamline the file-request process. With the automated system, the FBI will save time in finding and retrieving files, allowing staff to focus on more high-value work. Its software tracks both record and bin numbers, allowing the robots to work securely without the system supplier having any access to the records themselves, said AutoStore. Placed away into darkened, climate-controlled bins, paper records are also safe from environmental elements.
“It is a privilege and honor to know our innovative warehouse automation technology serves U.S. government agencies,” stated Karl Johan Lier, CEO of AutoStore. “With the agility, efficiency and accuracy of AutoStore robots operating within our elegantly sophisticated high-density grid, the FBI will be able to carry out their mission with greater effectiveness and maintain its leadership in vital information management.”
In addition, the filing density of the system will reduce the footprint required to house files in the facility or other FBI offices, saving money on rent and freeing up valuable space for other mission needs. Built for nearly 500 employees, the Virginia complex opened earlier this year and will be fully operational by 2022.
And what about fire protection ?