Vertical Storage Systems: Seven Reasons to Get a Vertical Lift Module
While not every warehouse needs a vertical lift module (VLM) – a contained tray access system that takes advantage of typically unused vertical space in a warehouse – VLMs are the vertical storage system solution for many challenges found in warehouses and shop floors across the world today. Here are just a few benefits that this equipment provides:
- Space Savings: Obviously, space is at a premium in warehouses and on shop floors. And because real estate equals money, it makes sense to utilize every cubic foot of space within your facility; vertical lift modules help you do that as they optimize previously unused vertical space and effectively increase your storage capacity (while occupying only a small footprint) – creating up to 75% floor savings. This reason alone can justify the purchase – and facilitate a quick return on investment.
- Increased Productivity: Employees are quickly able to locate parts or products with this type of vertical storage system – without the need to walk endlessly up and down aisles. After inputting the product name, order number or parts list into the control pad or computer interface, the requested materials are delivered to the vertical lift module’s access point. Some VLMs provide a pre-picked tray, while others use lights or other indicators to let personnel know which items (and how many) to pick. This, along with a verification system, ensures correctly picked orders and minimizes mistakes.
- Improved Ergonomics: The vertical lift module delivers materials at a worktable height, which means no bending over, straining for a high shelf, or climbing ladders for retrieval by personnel. All parts are brought to the “golden zone” (between the shoulders and waist) for picking. Improved ergonomics also means fewer workplace-related injuries and higher job-satisfaction levels for employees who regularly access the vertical storage system.
- Enhanced Security: Vertical lift modules have lockable doors, so they provide a secure storage for situations in which materials or parts have a high value and can easily be removed from the premises (such as jewellery or small electronics). What’s more, all access to the VLM’s contents can be tracked by date, time and specific employee, so there are no mysteries when it comes to inventory management.
- Customizable Height and Configurability: Vertical lift modules offer flexibility to decrease or increase height – the modular aspect of the VLM allows you to add or take away height modules as your needs change. You can even install multiple VLMs side by side or back to back to fully capitalize on the available vertical space. Most VLMs offer various (and customizable) product trays heights, further maximizing the space utilization within the VLM and offering enhanced flexibility in product sizes you can store (unlike a typical vertical carousel storage system, which has fixed shelf dimensions). You can even configure a second-story or mezzanine-level access area to further customize the VLM to your particular operation.
- Simplicity: Adding a VLM is simple; most systems are self-contained and can be easily integrated into your current storage application, and operator training on storage retrieval is quick and straightforward. Downtime is minimized and productivity quickly increases to higher levels after installation.
- Professional Appearance: Because VLMs have a sleek, enclosed design, they don’t have an open-shelf “warehouse look” and instead match the smooth metal finish of a typical filing cabinet. This office-friendly appearance means a VLM will be just as at home in a research facility or consumer-facing space.
Can you think of benefit #8? What other benefits do vertical lift modules have? Share your experiences and opinions in the comments. And if you’d like to ask us a specific question about VLMs, feel free to contact us.