All You Need to Know About Vertical Lift Storage Modules

Technology is quickly changing how businesses store goods in warehouses due to the continued development of computer software, AI, and robotics. These technological fields constantly find new ways to improve logistics and storage systems.

If you are considering a Vertical Lift Module (VLM) for your business, Shelving + Racking Systems, Inc. can help you design a custom VLM that fits your warehouse and business requirements.

We have partnered with Modula, a leading designer of automated vertical storage systems, to bring you and your business the best high-tech storage solutions. We also take care of the installation and show you how to operate it.

What Are Vertical Lift Modules?

A Vertical Lift Module (VLM) is an automated storage and retrieval system designed to be safer, quicker, and more efficient than manual storage management methods.

Instead of walking around the aisles looking for items, pickers input a code into the system, and the VLM quickly finds the item you need. Warehouses and other item storage locations significantly benefit from the VLM’s optimized storage footprint, efficiently using the available storage space and saving valuable floor space.

A VLM can significantly improve the overall efficiency of your warehouse’s picking and storage operation. It is a large enclosed structure consisting of two tray columns in a vertical carousel with an automated inserter and extractor in the middle. The extractor travels up and down the module, storing and picking up trays from the front and back columns.

The Modula system has an access opening near the bottom to place and process items in a series of trays. The window is ergonomically designed so that workers can easily handle trays and items. Right by the window, there’s a screen that the operator uses to control the module.

The Modula user interface is intuitive and easy to use, and most businesses can start using the Modula Lift quickly. For businesses that want to improve the efficiency of their warehouse or distribution center, a VLM is an ideal solution. It comes with a wide range of accessories to customize the system to your needs.

How Does the Vertical Lift Module Work?

With a Modula VLM, workers can control the inserter/extractor unit next to the pick-up window from the software panel. The touch screen control panel is easy to use, and workers can store and retrieve items with the push of a button.

The extractor device employs a dual-delivery external bay, aided by laser pointers for fast and accurate item picking. This system picks up trays from both sides of the unit and leaves them in the access window where workers can easily pick up the item they need from the external picking bays.

Modula Vertical Lift Modules use technology to store trays in the most compact way possible. Every time a tray is stored, the unit scans the height of the product on the tray. The unit can optimize space inside the vertical lift system by gathering data on product height.

The Modula VLM supports different tray dimensions and weight capacities, allowing you to use it for storing and processing multiple SKUs per lift module. A VLM also has an internal weight management system that prevents the overloading of trays. More importantly, storage trays are customizable with easy-to-install dividers, increasing the maximum storage density.

Benefits of a VLM For Automated Storage and Retrieval

Companies and warehouses can benefit in many ways from owning a vertical lift module. Businesses that need to store a lot of small parts and products efficiently can benefit from a VLM.

For example, a VLM allows pharmaceutical, engineering, and automobile companies to store bulk small inventory and parts in a way that’s accurate and accessible for faster order fulfillment. Some of the VLM benefits you can expect:

Saving space

Saving floor space in a storage facility is one of the main benefits of VLMs. With its compact design and vertical storage solution, the VLM makes efficient use of the space it occupies. The Modula VLM features a modular design allowing you to process items up to the ceiling height of most warehouses (up to 46’), freeing more usable room.

This optimized space utilization can help businesses expand operations without the costly investment of building a new, larger facility or renting another building. You can use the extra space for new workstations, administrative offices, additional storage areas to increase the productivity of a warehouse.

Improved productivity

A vital benefit of a VLM is its fast and accurate storage and retrieval system. The productivity of a business significantly increases when using a VLM because workers don’t have to waste time manually looking for items.

Modula Vertical Lift Modules can process up to 130 trays per hour, and each tray can support between 550 and 2,200 lbs. of items, allowing it to quickly process large quantities of light and heavy items. A VLM beats any traditional high-density storage system in terms of efficiency.

Improved worker safety

One of the primary benefits of a VLM is its ability to do the heavy lifting without risk to your warehouse personnel. The VLM’s integrated safety features and ergonomic access (e.g., picking window at an ergonomic height) allows your warehouse operators to complete their tasks with no risk.

The VLM helps you significantly decrease the employee injury rate, contributing to increased productivity and reducing labor costs.

Vertical Lift Modules

Better accuracy

Another benefit of a VLM is its increased accuracy levels. Incorrect inventory storage is a recurring problem in warehouses and one of the most common causes of item picking and retrieval issues. These picking problems result in significant losses of time and money.

You can integrate your VLM’s inventory management software system with your existing warehouse software solutions. These integrations are designed to reduce inventory errors and make item monitoring faster and more convenient.

Need an Expert Opinion?

Technology is creating great opportunities for businesses to become more efficient and productive. Some businesses have never considered using automated storage systems, and making the change can seem overwhelming. However, a VLM works with an intuitive software system that is easy to use, and businesses start profiting from a VLM right away.

If you are considering purchasing a Vertical Lift Module but would like more information, contact Shelving + Rack Systems, Inc., You can reach us through the contact page on our website or call us at (800) 589-7225.