Apparently, automated storage and retrieval systems aren't just for warehouses anymore.Westfalia Technologies Inc., a company that provides warehouse and plant automation solutions, has teamed up with real-estate developer Pugliese Co. to bring AS/RS technology to consumers.
Westfalia will provide the automated handling systems for a planned series of self-storage facilities that Pugliese will build in Florida. The first installation, slated for completion in late 2008, will include more than 500 modules measuring 10 feet by 20 feet by 8 feet. Larger modules for boats, trailers, and cars will also be available.
When a customer swipes a coded ID card, the AS/RS will automatically retrieve the appropriate module and deliver it to a secure area. The building's design eliminates the need for freight elevators and long walks down dark hallways, and it will be far more secure than the garage-door-style layout that's popular in suburbs, say the developers.
The unique concept may appeal to more than just boat owners in upscale seaside towns: The project has drawn inquiries from federal and state emergency and law enforcement agencies that are interested in storing disaster-relief supplies and criminal evidence.