Storage/Retrieval of Lay-Up Tools for the Aerospace Industry

Design & Manufacturing of a Storage Retrieval & Lay-Up System
Storage Retrieval & Lay-Up SystemRequest A Quote


Ward Systems engineered and manufactured this large scale vertical automated storage/retrieval (AS/RS) and lay-up system for a customer in the aerospace industry. The storage part of this system measures 24' wide, 80' long, and is 19' high. It incorporates 6 bays of 12 storage spots with 6 elevators.

The Lay-up part of the system incorporates 300' of track, 11 individual workstations, 10 vehicles, and is operated via user-friendly touchscreen consoles.

The system is used to transport mandrels into the climate-controlled bond room for lay-up of the composite leading edge slats for aircraft. The AS/RS system features a 7-level storage unit housing 72 mandrels, each up to 20' feet long and weighing as much as 3,200 lbs. Energy-efficient Power Pallet vehicles, which feature pivot wheels that enable them to move in 4 directions, are radio dispatched to retrieve the aluminum forms and move them to the specified workstation. After lay-up, a 6' x 22' open floor vehicle moves the 15,000 lb. molds to the curing machine.

This complex system was the result of one year's worth of thoughtful engineering, meticulous planning, precision fabrication, and careful installation. It has enabled the customer to achieve their desired production goals in a timely and cost-effective manner, and should serve them well for years to come. For more information about this project, or how our expertise for executing large scale, complex automation systems can benefit your operation, contact us today.

Highlights of Design and Manufacture of AS/RS and Lay-up System

Product Description
  • This storage/retrieval and lay-up system is used to transport the mandrels used to lay-up the composite leading edge slats for aircraft.
  • We developed vehicle based storage and retrieval system with multiple levels and flexible access to 11 layup stations in a climate controlled bond room. The payloads were 3200lb 30"x 264" tables that held shaped mandrels for layup of the composite leading edge slates for an aircraft. We also developed 6'x22' open floor vehicles to move 15,000lb molds to the curing machine.
Capabilities Applied/Processes
  • Primary:
    • Engineering & Design
      • Designed pivot wheeled vehicles that could travel in any of 4 directions. Designed storage units that had 6 double storage levels and 1 fly through level. Designed open floor vehicle that could carry 15K lbs. molds.
  • Secondary:
    • Installed system and supplied on site rep.
Overall System Dimensions
  • Storage System Width: 24ft
  • Storage System Length: 80ft
  • Storage System Height: 19ft
  • Lay-Up System:
    • 300 ft. of track
    • 11 work stations
    • 10 vehicles
    • All touchscreen operator controls
Material Finish
  • Powder coated Steel with extruded aluminum track
  • The System Stores 72 Mandrels up to 20 feet Long Weighing as much as 3200lbs
  • Retrieves Lay-Up Tools From Storage and Transports Them into the Bond Room for Lay-Up
  • Utilizes Custom Designed Power Pallet
    • Highly Effective at Moving Large/Heavy Payloads
    • Very Energy Efficient-Only Uses Power When it is Actually Going from One Place to Another
  • PLC Control Interface
  • Wireless Controller Used for Power Pallets
    • Radio Dispatched to Retrieve Aluminum Forms, Then Move them to Workstations in the Bonding Room
    • 7 level storage units to store 12 fixtures.
    • Open floor vehicle to move 15,000lb molds
Industry for Use
  • Aerospace
Delivery/Turnaround Time
  • 12 months
Delivery Location
  • Tulsa Oklahoma
Standards Met
  • Customer Specifications
Product Name
  • Boeing 787 Slats

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