Back to the Future Day…for Automation

BttFHappy Back to the Future Day. If you don’t know what this means, is was on this day 30 years ago in the ‘Back to the Future’ movie trilogy, where Marty and Doc Brown traveled 30 years into the future to…today. While they saw what the future looked like around Hill Valley, they didn’t happen to visit a distribution center. Back in 1985, automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) weren’t quite as well-known as they are today. In fact, back in 1985, a report looked at the current future of AS/RS titled ‘Automated Storage, Retrieval Systems Picked As Industry‚Äôs Rising Stars’.

The article from 1985 said that “In the material handling industry, sales of automated storage and retrieval systems, with applications ranging from warehouses to automated factory environments, will top $1 billion by 1994.” Fast forward to 2015 and the AS/RS market is over $15 billion. That’s some nice growth.

A lot has happened in 30 years in automation. While we don’t (yet) see hooverboard-driven AS/RS load handlers or shuttles, who knows? Maybe that’s next. If it is, Great Scott!


About John Clark

John is responsible for Marketing and Business Development at the North American headquarters of viastore systems in Grand Rapids, MI.

He has over 20 years of broad hands-on experience in all aspects of marketing and communication, including writing, content marketing, advertising, design, trade show and event planning, public/media relations, website, lead generation and management.

Prior to viastore, he has held marketing management positions at TGW Systems and Dematic, both global material handling automation companies.

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