Vertical Storage, Vertical Lift Modules, VLMs, Vertical Carousels: 6 Reasons to Save Space and Time

Vertical Storage Solutions, Vertical Lift Modules, VLMs, Vertical Carousels, ASRS, Carousel, Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems – 6 Reasons How and Why to Implement Vertical Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems to Save Space, Time and Money
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July 5, 2011 - PRLog -- What is the value of unused space? It can have significant value, if used properly. Organizations that strategically optimize their storage and retrieval requirements rather than allowing it to “happen” can realize tremendous financial and operational benefits.

   Typically, vertical automated storage and retrieval systems, such as Vertical Carousels and Vertical Lift Modules (VLM) take advantage of unused overhead space to recover 70% to 85% of the floor space typically required by shelving and drawer systems.

   Vertical storage and retrieval systems, such as Sapient Automation’s Viper Vertical Lift Module (VLM) and Avenger Vertical Carousel, are designed with rotating shelves or moving trays which are retrieved in seconds and delivered at an ergonomically positioned pick window for easy retrieval or replenishment.


   The floor space recovered with the installation of vertical storage and retrieval systems can often be re-allocated from cost-associated functions of inventory to value-increasing production operations. Improved space utilization can also extend the useful life of existing facilities, eliminating the need for expensive square footage expansion to meet growth requirements. Their small unit footprint makes vertical systems especially valuable for point-of-use storage and Just-in-Time (JIT) applications.

   Because of their vertical design, these systems can be used to link multiple operations located on different floors, further reducing the amount of space required for storage and retrieval activities while improving workflow.

   More details on the difference between Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs) and  Vertical Carousels can be seen on this video.

Saving Space Saves Time and Money

   The space savings benefits of vertical storage and retrieval systems, however, are just a small piece of the savings potential of these systems. There are a number of reasons why reducing the amount of space required by storage and retrieval systems can result in significant savings in time and money.

   Reason 1: Conventional static storage systems like shelving require employees to spend up to 70% of their time traveling aisles searching for items. Vertical automated storage and retrieval systems such as Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs) and Vertical Carousels deliver items automatically to the operator, eliminating wasted walk and search time. The access area of VLMs and Vertical Carousels are ergonomically designed to present stored items at an ideal height for picking, usually about waist high. Typically, an operator’s walk and search time is reversed from that of conventional systems to 70% picking and only 30% dwell time. In many applications, this reversal of walk and search time can reduce labor requirements by up to 66%. Even with a smaller workforce, productivity can increase by more than 2.5 times, on average, in typical applications.

   Reason 2:  Vertical storage and retrieval systems (Vertical Lift Modules, VLMs and Vertical Carousels) also offer increased picking speed and accuracy when compared with drawers, rack and shelving systems. Intuitive controls and software allow organizations to use batch picking and integrated pick-to-light technology to improve throughput up to 500% in some applications. With the addition of position indicators, information displays, bar code scanning devices, inventory management and control software, picking accuracy can improve to 99.99% while throughput can improve up to 500%.

   Reason 3:    Redundant or non-essential handling can be reduced with vertical storage and retrieval systems, Vertical Lift Modules, VLMs and Vertical Carousels. Throughput improves, and the time saved results in less operating cost and improved customer service. Vertical storage and retrieval systems, Vertical Lift Modules, VLMs and Vertical Carousels can be integrated with ERP and WMS software to provide precise inventory management.

   Reason 4:    Since Vertical Lift Modules, VLMs and Vertical Carousels are totally enclosed and lockable, they protect products from external hazards and reduce product damage and pilfering. Because of this, inventories can often be reduced. Access to vertical storage and retrieval systems, Vertical Lift Modules, VLMs and Vertical Carousels can be controlled and tracked making it easy to keep specific items or groups of items secure from unauthorized personnel.

Making ‘Green’ Bottom Line Viable

   Going “green” with sustainable design and construction makes sense for the environment, but it’s sometimes difficult to justify.

   Reason 5:    By reducing the amount of space required for storage and retrieval operations by using Vertical Carousels, VLMs and Vertical Lift Modules, organizations can construct smaller, more energy efficient buildings. This optimized strategy can shrink the construction footprint by up to 15% in some cases, conserving natural resources and reducing maintenance costs. This improved space utilization helps reduce energy costs, which helps reduce an organization’s overall carbon footprint.

   Reason 6:   The ergonomic location of the access area also contributes to employee safety since this positioning design eliminates the bending, climbing and stretching associated with conventional shelving and rack systems. This can reduce the potential for injuries and the resulting Workers’ Compensation claims and workdays lost to recovery.

   Return on investment for a vertical storage and retrieval system, Vertical Lift Module, VLM and Vertical Carousel is often under 12 months. With current tax credits being offered by the US Federal Government, vertical storage and retrieval systems have never been more affordable. Organizations such as Sapient Automation provide a free Return On Investment (ROI) analysis to show organizations exactly how fast their ROI will be.

   Vertical storage and retrieval systems are designed to significantly reduce to space necessary for storage and retrieval operations, allowing that recovered floor space to be used in revenue generating operations. However, there are other benefits as well, and when those benefits are combined with space savings, the resulting reduction in costs and improvement in productivity can boost the performance of any organization.

Sapient Automation, a subsidiary of MDCI, is a leading provider of automated storage and retrieval systems for manufacturing, distribution, warehouses, institutions, retail and wholesale. For information about Vertical Storage Solutions call 888-451-9711, email: or visit the Sapient Automation web site at

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Sapient Automation, a leading provider of intelligent automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) including Viper VLMs (Vertical Lift Modules), Avenger Vertical Carousels, Spitfire Pick Carts and full range of Shark™ Inventory Management Software.These systems are used in a wide variety of industries and applications including order picking, order fulfillment, manufacturing, MRO, Maintenance Repair Operations, Hospitals, Medical Device Manufacturing, Pharmacy, Pharmacy Automation, Spare Parts, Tool and Die Storage, Laboratories, Sample Storage and many more. Used by Manufacturing, Distribution, Warehouse, Wholesale, Retail, Institutions and Government Organizations.

Source:Ed Romaine
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Tags:Automated Storage, VLM, Industrial Carousel, Vertical Storage, AS/RS, Vertical Lift Module, Order Picking, High Density
Industry:Industrial, Manufacturing, Shipping
Location:Doylestown - Pennsylvania - United States
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