Don't have time to read this article? Watch it instead!
Manufacturers can boost the efficiency and safety of their material handling with vertical storage systems. The systems are ideal for storing and retrieving materials and parts by taking advantage of idle overhead space. And while companies turn to vertical lift modules for their retail, distribution, and inventory requirements, these systems are not limited to warehouse inventory.
Vertical storage is useful in practically any stage of the manufacturing process. Because the systems utilize space so efficiently, they are on the shop floor, helping increase productivity, providing a safer work environment, and giving much-needed organization to all those components that make up a manufactured product.
Here are a few applications to consider:
With their large weight capacity, vertical storage systems work well for heavy-duty applications such as storing bar stock, sheet metal, tubing, wood, etc. When combined with loading tables or jib cranes, operators can quickly retrieve raw materials and transfer them to their equipment (milling machine, saw, laser cutter, CNC machine tools) safely and efficiently, without employing cumbersome forklifts.
Sub-assemblies and Components
Manufacturers often place vertical storage systems strategically so their assembly workers can access semi-finished products and sub-assemblies conveniently and safely. Because these critical items are close, employees do not wait for a forklift driver or overhead crane operator to retrieve the components from warehouse inventory and deliver them to the assembly area. Once again, the judicious use of a vertical storage system enhances productivity and safety.
Perhaps you remember when tool rooms housed all the tooling for various machines and operations. Workers walked to those "rooms" and requested the tools they needed from a window, usually at a caged-in area. They then waited for the item and returned to their machine, only to reverse the procedure when they were through with the tooling.
Needless to say, there was much unnecessary movement and wasted time in these archaic methods, and today, smart manufacturers store their machine's tooling where it is needed—at the machine. Vertical storage systems are the perfect solution for machine shops, fabrication shops, and other manufacturers that require tooling changes in their operations.
Maintenance and Spare Parts
Every manufacturer has equipment that requires maintenance and repairs. Because these replacement parts are typically smaller, a vertical buffer module is ideal for storing them and any specialized tools used to replace them. With the ability to retrieve components accurately and quickly, maintenance crews can have the machine back in production with minimum downtime.
Which Type of Manufacturing Benefits from a Vertical Storage System?
The short answer is all of them. Think about the various types of manufacturing happening throughout the country and the world: repetitive, process, discrete, and job shop manufacturing. All can benefit from a vertical storage system's space-saving, accuracy, safety, and organizing advantages. Not sure how a vertical storage system can help you? Talk with the experts at Kardex Storage Systems.
With us as your strategic partner, you can meet your goals of an organized manufacturing facility while increasing productivity and saving floor space. Contact us to discover how!