The decision to invest in warehouse automation is usually motivated by the desire to improve the organization and the management of the storage facility, to increase its productivity and the way it handles different orders, minimizing errors and optimizing costs. The Automated Vertical Lift Machine organizes items in trays. It is an automated solution that has really taken hold in the last few years in the world of logistics and manufacturing. VLM machines are integrated into the logistics process without requiring radical changes in organizational planning. At the same time, they have significant advantages in terms of process efficiency.
But despite the proliferation of these automated solutions, there is still some uncertainty, especially among managers looking for automation and optimization. This uncertainty stops the right decisions making and makes business owners and managers prefer traditional, static warehousing solutions.
IN THIS ARTICLE WE WILL PROVE WRONG 6 MYTHS ABOUT THE VLM SYSTEMS
1.* The installation of this machine is very complicated and time-consuming, and it requires stopping the production for a long period of time
One of the conditions for a successful business is constant productivity, able to satisfy the requirements of all clients. The reorganization of part of the production process or supply chain raises many concerns. However, the time required to install an Automated Storage and Retrieval System isn’t more than the time required to install traditional static solutions. At the same time, an additional advantage is a small space required to install the machine, leaving the rest of the warehouse working.
Loading goods in the Vertical Lift Machine can be also completed in very short periods of time, thanks to the easy trays loading process. It is quite clear that the reorganization of a static warehouse requires more time and space than the introduction of an Automated Vertical Lift Machine and in this sense, this is the better solution.
2. * Vertical Lift Machines are not flexible enough and you can’t store goods of different sizes
A second myth is that only goods of the same size can be stored and organized. Unlike automatic warehouses with stacking cranes, the Automated Vertical Lift Machine doesn’t require goods to be organized in specific storage units. The goods are organized in vertically arranged trays and the software tracks the exact position and tray of each stored unit, as well as their quantity and the weight of each tray. The flexibility of the system is further guaranteed by the ability of the Automated Vertical Lift Machine to control the distances between the trays autonomously, so the system can organize products of different sizes and weights. This is the so-called "Dynamic Tray Height Storage" technology, which ensures that all available vertical space is 100% optimized. In addition, with the help of various dividers and expanders you can optimally organize each tray >> watch the video, here.
3. *Vertical Lift Machines are not reliable, as there is a high probability of blocking and difficulties in retrieving goods
This is perhaps the most common myth, discouraging the investment in warehouse automation with VLM. This stems from the fear that a machine may actually slow down production due to downtime and that this investment can only bring additional problems.
Few people actually know that the Vertical Lift Machine can also be operated manually, in case of possible damage, meaning the lift can be raised or lowered to reach any specific tray or good stored. The process continues through a mechanical control mode. Also, it is important to say that the possibility of the failure is minimized, with periodic maintenance, made by the system integration company.
4. * Vertical lift machines are not compatible with other software solutions used in the organization
The Vertical Lift Machine and its slimmer and compact analog are able to interact with the existing software in any organization and can be synchronized with the logic of already established goods flow processes.
5. * Vertical lift machines require large investments, meaning a long ROI period
Many people are surprised to learn how affordable the Automated Storage and Retrieval System actually is. In most cases, when people think of storage and commissioning systems, they imagine warehouses full of complex equipment and installations. They mistakenly believe that these solutions require large-scale time and money investments.
All this is not true when we are talking about Automatic Vertical Lift Machines. Each machine can be purchased separately, which means that you don’t need to reorganize your warehouse, completely. You can introduce automation in small, consecutive steps. In addition, these systems are installed quickly and reduce production downtime losses to almost zero. The price of a machine depends on its size, type, and configuration, but the average price of one machine is about 30,000-35,000 euros.
This makes Automatic Vertical Lift Machines the best solution, for almost any business or product, as it guarantees fast ROI, always when you store and retrieve a large number of non-palletized loads.
6. * Vertical lift machines require qualified personnel to operate the equipment
Apart from being very flexible in terms of the storage processes, as well as when it is installed, this type of automated warehouse equipment is very easy to use. Operators, using the machine don’t need any special skills. In terms of time, required for training - it is much less than the time required for a new staff member to learn the exact location of all products stored in the warehouse or to reach a specific location in the warehouse, each time when there is an order. Vertical Lift Machines use the so-called “goods in humans” principle and you retrieve the required item with the push of a button.
This type of automatic storage and retrieving solution guarantees higher safety levels than traditional warehouse solutions, because traditional solutions require operators to make dangerous movements in order to reach certain products. The picking bay of the Automated Vertical Lift Machine is positioned to ensure the ergonomic position of each warehouse operator. So, the decision to invest in Automatic Vertical Equipment is an advantage for the whole business, including warehouse operators and staff.
Automatic Vertical Lift Machines are advanced solutions, but this doesn’t mean they are difficult to use. On the contrary, they are flexible and guarantee clear and short-term ROI.