VLM Automated Storage with Unique Features

vlm MRO parts storage traysAn MRO facility for aircraft maintenance stored parts and equipment in a vertical carousel installed by Southwest Solutions Group all the way back in 1973. After 20 years of service, they decided it was time to upgrade their storage and called on SSG to install a brand new VLM (vertical lift module) in its place. What’s unique about this application is the facility’s need for a dry fire suppression system, which needed to be both out of the way and easily accessed.

The Right Time for New Innovations

The vertical carousel served the facility well throughout its 20 years of use, but it was time to move on to new and upgraded technology.

We deployed a 28′ tall vertical lift module as well as its integrated inventory management software. VLMs also provide more durability and security than their old vertical carousel. While vertical carousels are overloaded by heavier items, vertical lifts provide the flexibility to store and distribute items of varying weights.

Customized tray divider sets provided an inexpensive way to subset their inventory for easy picking and identification. These adjustable trays, along with the VLM’s flexibility, also allowed them to store small and large parts within the same unit. Small parts as well as bulky items such as clutches and motors are stored in one centralized location, making them easy for staff to find and retrieve.

Dry Fire Suppression Keeps Stored Items Safe

dry fire suppression system on vertical lift moduleIn the event of a fire, the MRO facility also had to make sure that none of their valuable equipment or parts aren’t destroyed during fire fighting operations. While VLMs have built-in sprinklers, these could damage stored items irreparably. The dry fire suppression system, instead of water, releases an aerosol chemical when triggered by an alarm or a pre-set temperature.

The small control unit is mounted to the side of the VLM—out of the way, but easy for users to access in an emergency. It’s also easy to use, requires minimal power, and is much less complex than a conventional wet fire suppression system.

The VLM includes a variety of additional safety features, including dual smoke detectors, an emergency pulley, and an emergency stop and override to make the system as safe as possible. A controlled access shutter door keeps items secure.

Contact Us for More Information

Southwest Solutions Group® provides design, installation, and maintenance services for VLMs and automated storage systems in a wide variety of applications. For design and planning assistance or to speak with a specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.