Vertical Lift Module (VLM)

4 Reasons Your Warehouse Should Go Vertical

Vertical storage has become an exceedingly common method to gain storage density, increase inventory accuracy, reduce safety risk and improve productivity.

1. To Eliminate Dead Space in Your Warehouse 

Storage density is increased by eliminating dead space. Dead space is the unused space above the top of your product on a shelf or rack and the ceiling.

If your shelving is 7’ tall and your ceiling clear height is 20’, you are wasting 13’ of storage. Other dead space includes the open shelf space behind the product. If your product is 12” deep and the shelf is 24” deep there is 12” of dead space. Dead space is also the air between the top of your product and the bottom of the shelf above. If your product is 6” tall and your shelf spacing is 18” then 12” is wasted. Vertical storage has become an exceedingly common method to gain storage density, increase inventory accuracy, reduce safety risks and increase productivity. Vertical Storage 

Vertical storage has become an exceedingly common method to gain storage density, increase inventory accuracy, reduce safety risks and improve productivity.

Bins, cartons, and boxes also lead to dead space. If your product is 2” x 2” x 2” (8 square inches) and it is stored in a 6” x 6” x 6” bin (216 square inches), you have 208 square inches of dead air. Add up all the dead space within your storage shelving, and you are left far below 50% utilization of the space it is taking up in your building.

2. To Maintain Control of Your Inventory 

Inventory accuracy is often lost because shelving does not provide a neat and orderly fashion of organization. 

Boxes of your product on a shelf can look very much like the product next to it. If a picker is under-trained, hurried or careless they can easily take the wrong product. Inventory can be put into the wrong location and then cannot be found at all. 

Wolter Group space consultants describe situations in which customers have spent 6 hours of each day looking for lost inventory.

3. To Increase Your Productivity

A sea of shelving is a paradise for lost productivity. Vertical Storage for Order Picking 

Operators walk up and down aisles looking for locations. Often these distances can add up to miles per day walking. Once the location is found the picker most often has to bend, stoop, twist or reach to gain access to the product. This leads to lost time injuries. Throw a rolling ladder into the mix and the safety issue increases not to mention the loss of productivity. Aisle rows are great hideouts for employees who would rather talk about last night’s game than pick product.

4. To Utilize Vertical Space with Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs) and Carousels

Almost all dead space is eliminated. 

These units can go to within 6” of the ceiling. The trays where the product is stored can be configured with infinite sizes of compartments to fit infinite sizes and quantities of items. In some units, the tallest item on the tray is measured and only that height of storage space is used. 

Vertical units have software that improves your inventory. They can be interfaced directly with your inventory software allowing for real-time inventory accuracy. Barcode, photo, and line drawing verification can insure the picker has picked the correct part. The operator cannot proceed to the next pick until the count has been verified on the unit’s controller. Cycle counting can be part of the daily process guided by the unit software. Access can be denied to unauthorized users. 

One operator can work with two or three vertical units at one time. The distance they travel between units is less than 10 to 15 feet. Trays can be pre-positioned so an operator is not waiting for a tray. The trays are positioned at economic work height. Lift-assist can be added for items stored that are heavy. The units keep the operator on task.

If you wish to:

  1. Gain back 50 to 75% of your floor space
  2. Increase inventory accuracy by 50% or more
  3. Pick the same amount of lines in 4 hours with 1 operator vs 4 operators in 8 hours
  4. AND Reduce safety issues

…then you should consider vertical storage units.

Contact us to schedule your space utilization survey today.