increasing space and productivity with automated carousels & VLMSautomated horizontal carousels increase picking rates & productivity

A 60,000 square foot parts department was steadily growing to over 78,000 SKUs. To accommodate this growth, the company purchased six horizontal carousels and four shuttle vertical lift modules (VLMs) that would be implemented in phases in the parts department. The automated horizontal carousels and VLMS not only led to a space increase in the parts department, but it also allowed the department the capacity to sustain their growth for the next 5 to 8 years. Click here to learn more about the 5 key benefits of horizontal carousels.

implementation of automated carousels& VLMs in parts department

In the old facility, the mezzanine storage took up three floors and occupied 9,000 square feet of space. With the installation of the automated horizontal carousels, the entire carousel picking zone now occupies 2,600 square feet–a full 71% in floor space savings. With the horizontal carousels, the operator inducts up to eight orders into a batch and pushes a button that spins the carousels into position for the first pick. The pick-to-light technology directs the operator to the exact location of the desired SKU and displays the quantity to pick. The operator then picks the specified quantity and distributes it among the order batches as directed by the put lights. The worker picks until all parts from the automated horizontal carousel zone have been picked. In addition, wait time is eliminated because the carousels ensure that the next pick is always ready for batching. (See videos see videos)

automated horizontal carousels VLMs increase space & productivity

The VLM shuttles now occupy 620 square feet, freeing up just under 3,000 square feet of floor space in the parts department for an 83% floor space savings. With the shuttle VLMs, the operator creates a batch of orders and picks and distributes SKUs from the four VLMs among the orders. With the installation of the VLM shuttles and automated horizontal carousels in the parts department, the department was able to both increase space and increase picking productivity while also improving worker ergonomics and preventing worker injury.

benefits at a glance

The parts department experienced many benefits of installing automated vertical carousels and shuttle VLMs in their facility, including:

auto parts department increases space with automated horizontal carousels & VLMs

  • Increased picking productivity with automation
  • 71% floor space savings in horizontal zones
  • 83% floor space savings in VLM zones
  • Improved worker ergonomics and safety
  • Capacity to sustain growth for the next 5 to 8 years

Contact Us for Automated Horizontal Carousels & VLMs to Increase Space

Southwest Solutions Group® provides design and installation services to parts departments needing automated horizontal carousels and VLM shuttles to increase space and productivity. SSG will even offer a free consultation to determine your department’s exact needs before the design process begins. To learn more or to speak with a specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.


horizontal carousel videos