The General Services Administration (GSA) installed an automated record filing and retrieval system from robotics technology company, AutoStore, inside a recently completed Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) central records complex in Winchester, Virginia. The facility includes the country’s first robotic filing and retrieval warehouse in a GSA project.
Certified by the National Archives and Records Administration, this 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, GSA and the FBI selected the AutoStore solution for its cube storage technology to automate the filing and retrieval operation of more than 2 billion pages of official paper records. The dense AutoStore system eliminates the need for aisle space and uses all available areas for filing documents. Within the cube, 140 fast and reliable 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.
“It is a privilege and honor to know our innovative warehouse automation technology serves U.S. government agencies,” said 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.”
The AutoStore solution will help streamline the file request process. With the automated system, the Bureau 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. Placed away into darkened, climate-controlled bins, paper records are also safe from environmental elements.
Additionally, the filing density of the system will greatly 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.