Vertical Lift Modules Add Efficiency to Manufacturing & Service Operations

March 12, 2015

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VLMs offer multiple benefits

vertical lift modules add efficiency to manufacturing & service operationsA leading manufacturer of controlled-environment laboratory equipment used in educational, biomedical, pharmaceutical, clinical, and industrial applications installed vertical lift modules to add efficiency to manufacturing and service operations. Ever since, the manufacturer has not only experienced improved productivity, but has also freed up valuable floor space to accommodate market growth.

why VLMs?

The manufacturer's market growth and product expansion made it necessary for the company to improve their efficiency and better control their costs, especially in their parts handling and storage operation. Before VLMs, their existing system required "too much human handling and lifting of boxes," according to the senior planner/analyst. The storage system required employees to spend a significant amount of time walking through aisles and searching through shelves to fill orders. Since their receiving operation was located at the top of the system's mezzanine, it also required extensive product handling. In some cases, cartons had to be moved and re-stacked up to five times before they were delivered to the correct storage location.

The company decided to install a VLM system, since VLMs eliminate much of the time spent searching for inventory as items are automatically delivered at an ergonomic waist-level height for safe and efficient order picking. The installation of two VLMs has reduced walk and search time by 50-60% and has also improved throughput and employee productivity, all while also ensuring the health and safety of employees in the workforce.

One of the VLMs is installed in the manufacturing service area. This VLM is dual-access and 22 feet tall with one foot of ceiling clearance. The other VLM, 26 feet tall and with 10 feet of ceiling clearance, is installed in the manufacturing receiving area. The contents of approximately 25% of their previous shelving system (made of 27' x 54' x 7' sections, some with 30,618 cubic feet of capacity) fit into a single VLM, freeing up about 7,660 cubmic feet of space at the facility. The recovered floor space allowed the company to relocate the receiving operation from the top of the mezzanine to the ground floor, just a few feet from the receiving dock.VLMs improve operations & save space in manufacturing company


Since the installation of the VLMs, the service parts department has increased its workload 30-40% without needing to hire any additional staff. Because the parts are stored in an enclosed system, they are kept secure and dust-free when shipped to customers, maintaining the company's high-quality image.

The installation of the VLMs was based on a 2.4 year ROI calculated on the productivity increases alone. The added benefits such as floor space recovery, improved inventory management, and reduction of time spent searching for parts and reduced risk of product handling injuries weren't included in the equation beforehand. All in all, the VLMs have helped the manufacturers improve their manufacturing and service operations immensely and meet their current and future growth plans.

contact us for Vertical Lift Modules

Southwest Solutions Group® provides design and installation services for vertical lift modules to add efficiency to manufacturing and service operations as well as a wide variety of other applications. SSG will also provide you with a free consultation to determine your space and storage needs before the design process begins. To learn more or to speak with a VLM specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.


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