Vertical and Horizontal Carousels

Vertical and Horizontal Carousels are ideal for making any area with large quantities of product or selections of products, more ergonomically efficient.

An effective Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) provides several benefits for supply chain management:

  • An efficient ASRS system helps companies cut expenses by minimizing the amount of unnecessary parts and products in storage, and improving organization of the contents of a warehouse. Due to automated processes, it also allows for more storage space due to high-density storage, narrower aisles, etc.
  • Automation reduces labor costs while lowering workforce requirements and increasing safety.
  • Modeling and managing the logical representation of the physical storage facilities (e.g. racking, etc.). For example, if certain products are often sold together or are more popular than others, those products can be grouped together or placed near the delivery area to speed up the process of picking, packing and shipping to customers.
  • Enabling a seamless link to order processing and logistics management in order to pick, pack, and ship product out of the facility.
  • Tracking where products are stocked, which suppliers they come from, and the length of time they are stored. By analyzing such data, companies can control inventory levels and maximize the use of warehouse space. Furthermore, firms are more prepared for the demands and supplies of the market, especially during special circumstances such as a peak season on a particular month. Through the reports generated by an ASRS system, firms are also able to gather important data that may be put in a model for it to be analyzed.

Vertical lift module

VLMs can be built quite high to match the available overhead space in a facility. Multiple units can be places in ‘pods’ whereby an operator can retrieve items from one unit while the other units are moving. Variants include width, height, load, speed and a control system.

The VLM board controls an automated vertical lift module. It stores inventory on front and rear tray locations or rails. Select a tray by entering a tray number in the built in control pad or by requesting a part through software. An extractor travels vertically between the two columns of trays and pulls the requested tray from its location. It brings it to an access point. The operator then picks or replenishes stock. Then the tray returns to its home upon confirmation.

VLM System Information

VLM systems sold in numerous configurations, which applies to different industries, logistics, as well as office settings. The VLM systems could be customized to fully utilize the height of the facility, even through multiple floors. With the capability of multiple access openings on different floors, the VLM system is able to provide an innovative storage and retrieval solution. The rapid movement of the extractor as well as inventory management software can dramatically increase the efficiency of the picking process. This occurs by simultaneously retrieving and storing trays in multiple units. Unlike large ASRS systems, which require a complete overhaul of the warehouse or production line, the vertical lift module modularizes, which easily integrates into the existing system, or rolls out over different phases.

Most common applications include: MRO, order picking, consolidation, kitting, parts handling, buffering, inventory storage, WIP, buffer storage, and many more.

VLMs provide floor space savings, increased labor productivity and picking accuracy, improved worker ergonomics, and controlled process.

Most VLMs offer dynamic space storage. This measures the tray every time it returns to the unit to optimize space. Safety features offer tilt tray delivery for increased ergonomic accessibility. Laser pointers which indicate the exact item to pick on each tray are also present.

Horizontal carousels

A horizontal carousel is a series of bins which revolve on an oval track. Every bin has shelves which are adjustable to .75″ and can be configured for a myriad of standard and special applications. An operator simply inputs a bin number, part number or cell location. This causes the carousel to rotate via the shortest path. Multiple horizontal carousels integrate with pick to light technology and inventory management software (a pod of carousels) used for order fulfillment.

A wave of orders go to the pod. A group of orders create a batch. The operator simply follows the lights and pick round robin from the carousels. They place items in a batch station behind them. Each carousel pre-positions and rotates when picked. By applying the “product to person” principle, operators do not have to move from their position to prepare the order.

When the batch is complete, a new batch begins and the process repeats until the wave is complete. Horizontal carousels can save up to 75% of floorspace, increase productivity by 2/3, accuracy levels. They save up to 99.9%+ levels and throughput up to 750 lines per hour/operator.