Curious about how different kinds of automated storage and retrieval systems would affect your DC's operations? Getting some answers may be easier than you think. A software tool designed to let users analyze warehouse performance by comparing the use of shelving and several types of automated systems is now available for free download. Developed by the Carousel and Vertical Lift Module Group of the Automated Storage/Retrieval Systems Product Section of the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA), the software—version 4 of the Carousel & VLM Planning Package— covers three types of order-picking technologies: horizontal and vertical carousels and vertical lift modules (VLMs).
The easy-to-use tool asks a series of questions and allows the user to compare the technologies in terms of number of units, number of man-hours, and amount of floor space required to accommodate the facility's needs. The tool, which includes an ROI estimator, can be used to analyze needs in specific work areas and zones or total facility requirements.
The tool can be downloaded for free at the MHIA Web site.