Why Vertical Lift Modules Are a Competitive Advantage for Manufacturers?

Vertical lift modules (VLMs)

Vertical lift modules (VLMs) are an innovative technology that has revolutionized how manufacturers store and manage their inventory. Manufacturing businesses operate in a dynamic and fast-paced environment that requires the timely delivery of quality products.

The success of manufacturing operations relies heavily on the efficiency of their processes and the ability to manage their inventory effectively. With the advent of VLMs, manufacturing businesses can now store their inventory more space-efficiently while reducing the time required for product retrieval.

Explore the benefits of VLMs in manufacturing operations and learn how they help businesses achieve a competitive advantage.

Increased Storage Density

VLMs are a highly efficient solution that can increase storage density using vertical space more effectively than traditional storage methods. VLMs consist of a series of trays or shelves that move vertically up and down within a storage unit, delivering items to the operator at the push of a button. As a result, they can provide up to 60% more storage capacity than traditional shelving systems, allowing manufacturers to store more inventory in less space.

Compared to traditional shelving and storage methods, VLMs store and retrieve items automatically. This eliminates the need for manual handling and reduces the likelihood of errors caused by human negligence. VLMs can be customized to meet specific storage requirements, ensuring space is used efficiently.

Enhanced Inventory Control

One of the biggest vertical lift module benefits is the ability to track inventory in real time, enabling manufacturers to understand their stock levels better. This allows manufacturers to monitor inventory levels more closely and adjust their inventory levels based on demand, ensuring they always have the right amount of inventory.

Real-time inventory tracking with VLMs allows manufacturers to optimize their order fulfillment processes. By having an accurate and up-to-date inventory, manufacturers can ensure that orders are fulfilled accurately and efficiently, reducing the risk of errors and delays. This is especially important in industries where demand, such as manufacturing, can change rapidly.

Compared to manual inventory control methods, VLMs have many advantages. Manual methods are often prone to errors and can be time-consuming, as workers may forget to update inventory records or misplace items. With VLMs, inventory tracking is automated, reducing the risk of errors and freeing up workers to focus on other essential tasks. This automation also saves manufacturers time that they would otherwise spend on manual inventory control processes.

Improved Efficiency

VLMs consist of a series of trays or shelves that move vertically up and down within a storage unit, delivering items to the operator at the push of a button. This system reduces the time required to retrieve items, as the operator can quickly locate and access the items they need without searching for them. In addition, VLMs can be customized to meet specific storage requirements, ensuring that space is used as efficiently as possible.

VLMs are much faster and more efficient than traditional picking and retrieval methods. Traditional methods involve manually searching through rows of shelving to find the required items, which is time-consuming and can lead to errors.

VLMs provide a streamlined and automated solution that reduces the time required to retrieve items. Real-world examples of time saved with VLMs are impressive. Companies have reported that they can pick and retrieve items up to five times faster than traditional methods.

VLMs use an intelligent software system that locates and retrieves items quickly, without delay or error. This increases the overall efficiency of the manufacturing process and allows companies to produce more in less time.

Cost Savings

Another benefit of the vertical lift module is its ability to reduce costs for manufacturers. This is achieved through a combination of factors, including reduced labor and storage costs. With VLMs, companies can reduce the number of workers required for picking and retrieval, as the system can perform these tasks automatically. This reduces labor costs and allows workers to focus on other areas of the manufacturing process.

Besides reducing labor costs, VLMs also reduce storage costs. The compact design of these systems means they take up less floor space than traditional storage methods. This frees up valuable space that can be used for other purposes, such as additional production lines or storage areas.

Long-term cost savings are also achieved with VLMs. Traditional storage methods often require regular maintenance and repairs, which can be costly. VLMs require minimal maintenance and are built to last. Companies can save money in the long run by investing in these systems.

Safety Features

Safety is a top priority in the manufacturing industry, and VLMs offer several safety features that make them a safe option for businesses. One of the key safety features of VLMs is their ability to prevent workers from accessing areas where they are not authorized. This is achieved through access controls, such as key cards or biometric scanners, which ensure that only authorized personnel can access the system.

In addition to access controls, VLMs also feature safety sensors that prevent the system from operating if a worker is in the storage area. This reduces the risk of accidents and injuries and ensures that workers are protected at all times.

Compared to traditional storage methods, VLMs offer superior safety features that can help prevent accidents and injuries. This is important for businesses, as it protects workers and reduces the risk of liability claims and lawsuits.

At Shelving + Rack Systems, we offer a range of VLMs designed to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes. Our systems feature a range of safety features, including access controls, safety sensors, emergency stop buttons, and appropriate shelving brackets for added safety.

Types of Modula Automated Vertical Lift Modules Offered by Shelving + Rack Systems

Shelving + Rack Systems offers three types of Modula automated vertical lift modules (AVLMs) for efficient and compact storage and retrieval of items:

1. Modula LIFT

Modula LIFT is an advanced automated storage and retrieval system designed for heavy items, making it an ideal solution for manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, and other industrial environments. It uses high-density shelving to store and retrieve items compactly and efficiently, even in small spaces. The advantages of Modula LIFT include:

  • Copilot operator console: The console offers a robust operator interface that can withstand numerous industrial applications. It has a 10.4″ full-color touchscreen display and a user-friendly Lift OS operating system, making it a highly intuitive tool for operators.
  • Maximum payload for every tray width: These units provide a diverse selection of load capacities and tray dimensions to suit a broad range of needs. Tray load capacities can reach up to 2,200 lbs. and tray sizes can extend to a width of 13.4 feet, ensuring these lift units can effectively fulfill the requirements of almost any warehouse or distribution center.
  • Modula WMS software suite: This comprehensive warehouse management software can efficiently handle Modula LIFT unit utilization or operate as an independent software solution. It can also seamlessly integrate with almost any ERP system.
  • Internal or external bay, single or dual delivery: The internal bay is the ideal option for limited space, while the external bay offers operators the most ergonomic workspace. When combined with mechanical manipulators and cranes, the external bay provides additional advantages, particularly for lifting heavy items.

2. Modula OnePick

Modula OnePick is a highly sophisticated automated vertical lift module (AVLM) offered by Shelving + Rack Systems. This system can handle bins and boxes of varying sizes and shapes, making it highly versatile and adaptable to different storage needs. One of the key features of OnePick is its fully automated picking bay, which eliminates the need for operators and external handling systems. This makes the picking operations faster, more accurate, and safer.

The system can be seamlessly integrated with different material handling systems, such as conveyor belts, rollers, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), and automated guided carts (AGCs), making it highly efficient and flexible.

The OnePick warehouse retrieves items from several rows in a tray using an advanced system that synchronizes the extractor device and the tray movements.

The trays can be fitted with accessories, such as partitions and dividers, which make the tray layout highly flexible and easy to modify. Combined with tray height storage and 1” tray adjustability, this allows for optimized usage of the VML’s internal cubic volume.

The VLM controls the height of the material, checks for available spaces, and selects the perfect storage location to minimize space waste.

3. Modula SLIM

Modula SLIM

The Modula SLIM offers a compact and flexible storage solution without compromising speed and accessibility. It is ideal for smaller warehouses, factories, and facilities that need to store items in a narrow space, as it is less than 66″ deep and occupies just 32.29 ft² of floor space.

With the Modula SLIM, businesses can store a wide variety of items, including containers such as bins, boxes, cases, and cartons, as well as loose parts and small items like spare parts, bottles, and coils. This flexibility allows businesses to optimize their storage density, recover floor space, and reduce picking times, making materials accessible to all operators quickly and ergonomically.

By seamlessly communicating with any ERP system, this tool can effortlessly integrate into a company’s processes. It tracks picking and restocking operations, controls access, and records activity to eliminate errors. It is also equipped with dynamic tray height storage, which calculates the optimal location for storing trays, eliminating wasted space and maximizing the available storage area.

It also has a total payload of up to 55,115 lbs. with 22.96 ft in height and 66″ in depth. It uses best-in-class VLM technology, which ensures there are no load imbalance problems common in vertical carousel systems. The energy consumption is less than 1.2 kW/h, and it can be powered with either a three-phase (480V) or a single-phase (110V) power supply.

Additional Lift Features:

Besides the standard features of Modula AVLMs, Shelving + Rack Systems offers several optional features that can enhance the efficiency and productivity of these systems:

Modula Green Energy Recovery System

This system is designed to recover energy produced during the lowering phase of the tray movement and use it to power the lift during the upward movement.

This innovative technology reduces energy consumption and operating costs and promotes sustainability and eco-friendliness. By reducing the energy needed to operate the lift, manufacturers can enjoy cost savings while reducing their environmental impact.

Partitions & Dividers

Modula offers a wide range of partitions and dividers that can divide trays into sections and compartments, making organizing and storing different items easier.

Sliding Console

The sliding console is an ergonomic accessory that allows operators to adjust the control panel height to their preference, making it more comfortable and efficient to use.

With this feature, operators can easily adjust the control panel to their preferred height, reducing strain and fatigue during long periods of use. This results in a more comfortable and efficient work environment for operators, increasing productivity and reducing the risk of injury.

Automatic Door

This safety feature prevents unauthorized access to the lift and ensures that the items stored inside are secure. With this feature, manufacturers can rest assured that their products are always safe and secure.

The automatic door can also restrict access to the lift, ensuring only authorized personnel can access the items stored inside.


A visual aid that helps operators quickly locate and pick items from the trays, reducing picking times and improving productivity.

Laser Pointer

The laser pointer guides the operator to the exact location of the item they need to pick, reducing errors and increasing accuracy. With this feature, manufacturers can ensure that the right items are picked every time, reducing the risk of errors and costly mistakes.

The laser pointer is particularly useful for manufacturers that store items that are similar in appearance, as it allows operators to distinguish between them easily.

ESD Protection

ESD Protection is a feature that prevents electrostatic discharge, which can damage sensitive electronic components and devices that are stored in the lift.

With this feature, manufacturers can confidently store delicate electronic components and devices, knowing they are protected from damage. This feature is essential for manufacturers specializing in electronics or other delicate products.

Label Printer

The label printer is a convenient feature that allows operators to print labels for the items they store in the lift, making it easier to identify and locate items when needed. With this feature, manufacturers can quickly and easily label items as they are stored, reducing the risk of confusion and lost items.

Help Your Manufacturing Business Succeed With Shelving + Rack Systems

The future outlook for VLM technology in the manufacturing industry is bright. As manufacturers continue to look for ways to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance safety, VLMs are becoming an increasingly popular storage solution.

At Shelving + Rack Systems, we offer a range of VLMs that are designed to meet the specific needs of our clients. Our VLMs are equipped with advanced features that enhance storage density, inventory control, efficiency, cost savings, and safety. By working with Shelving + Rack Systems, manufacturers can take advantage of these benefits and gain a competitive advantage in their industry.

If you want to learn more about how VLMs can benefit your business, contact Shelving + Rack Systems today at (800) 589-7225 to schedule a consultation with one of our experts. We’ll work with you to understand your needs and design a customized vertical lift modules solution that meets your requirements.