When it comes to improving the efficiency of your warehouse, vertical lift modules can offer solutions. These automated shelving and retrieval systems allow you to optimize your speed, space, and labor force.
Here are nine ways that vertical lift systems can help improve warehouse operations:
1. Optimizing warehouse space
Wasted warehouse space can result in both wasted money and wasted hours. Not only are you losing out on potential storage, but you may lessen your throughput volume at the same time.
A vertical lift module makes the most of your vertical space. You can choose the height of the unit to reach as far as your space will allow, without worrying about how you will reach your stock. Some vertical lifts allow additional adjustments, so they can fit exactly into the space available.
2. Automate data input
A vertical lift module will automatically manage data input every time an SKU (stock keeping unit) is placed in the unit or picked. This saves the time an employee would have to spend recording the data.
In addition, the risk of human error in data entry can be drastically reduced. This data can then be integrated into your Warehouse Management System.
3. Manage inventory
The vertical lift module’s software keeps careful track of the items on its shelves. It will measure the size and weight of each SKU, ensuring the shelves are never overstocked or overburdened. These tasks are completed automatically, reducing labor hours.
4. High density storage
Vertical lift modules combine maximum storage capacity with the smallest footprint possible. This is particularly valuable for warehouses with limited floor space.
Traditional industrial shelving requires aisles that take up your floor space. A vertical lift module only requires one access point, where the trays are delivered to the employee after the items have been picked. This greatly reduces the floor space needed per storage unit.
5. Slotting optimization
A key feature of the efficient warehouse is slotting optimization. This means placing items that are frequently picked together in proximity. A vertical lift module allows you to practice this easily and effectively.
The information provided by the automated data entry allows you to determine optimal slotting positions. You can also place popular items in an optimal position on the lift, so they are picked faster. These small changes are simple to employ and control with an automated system.
6. Combine storage needs
Storing small items on oversized shelves or pallet racking results in wasted space. If you stock multiple sizes of SKUs, you may struggle to find storage that optimizes space for all of them.
Vertical lift modules have adjustable shelf heights. This allows you to store items of varying sizes within a single unit, maximizing your space.
7. Faster picking process
Automated picking means you can reach higher shelves quickly. However, it will also save time by reducing the need for employees to walk around the warehouse.
Vertical lift modules allow your employees to remain at a single station, picking items from cartons or trays that are delivered to them. This allows them to operate at a higher rate.
8. Improve ergonomics
A major problem for warehouse efficiency is poor ergonomics. If your employees are walking long distances to reach different aisles, as well as taking extra time, they will become tired quickly.
Additionally, stooping low or reaching up to access shelves can result in strain. They may also be injured if an item falls from a shelf, or if they must lift something heavy. These problems will affect your output rate.
The delivery area for a vertical lift module is set at a comfortable height. This prevents stooping or strain and reduces the risk of workplace injury.
9. Lower operating costs
The cost of installing a vertical lift module can be quickly offset by the return on your investment. As well as improving speed, the automated picking process means you do not need as many employees. You can expand your operations without the cost of hiring and training new personnel.