Eliminating unproductive travel and search time, horizontal carousels are designed for high speed order picking and parts delivery. Bins mounted to an oval track rotate horizontally to deliver stored items to an operator- saving space, reducing labor costs, speeding throughput and improving order accuracy.
Available in a variety of widths and heights, the horizontal carousel can be customized to any application. Horizontal Carousels can be double stacked to create one picking zone on the first floor and a second picking zone on a mezzanine level. Bin width and height is also variable. Location height can be adjusted post installation by easily rearranging shelves.
Combined with pick-to-light technology; the operator is directed to the exact location of each pick improving accuracy rates to 99.9%. A pick-to-light light tree is placed next to the pick face of the horizontal carousel and lights to direct the operator to the location displaying the quantity to be picked.
Utilizing Horizontal Carousels
To speed picking times, horizontal carouses are often used in pods. A pod is two or more horizontal carousels used in an integrated workstation with software and pick to light technology. While the operator picks from one horizontal carousel in the pod the other is pre-positioning the next pick, so the operator has minimal downtime. In a horizontal carousel pod a pick is always ready and the operator is rarely waiting.
Horizontal Carousels used in pods can be easily adjusted to meet peak order times. A pod of four horizontal carousels can operate as one pod with one operator. With a simple software adjustment, the pod can be split into two pods (each containing two horizontal carousels) with one operator in each pod to speed picking and meet peak demand.
Batch picking is also common in horizontal carousel pods. Batch picking allows an operator to fill multiple orders at one time. Using inventory management software, an operator can create a batch of orders and fill them all at one time. When the horizontal carousel presents a SKU for picking to the operator, the operator picks the total SKU quantity for all orders for the batch and distributes the SKU quantity among the orders requiring the SKU in the required quantity. Using batch picking, the operator only visits a SKU location one time during picking, creating efficiencies. Batch picking multiple orders at one time can increase productivity by up to 2/3.
Put away Productivity – When using software and light directed technology the put-away process can be automated much like the picking process in reverse. This process allows for batching multiple items for put-away which can provide as much as a 400 percent increase in productivity over conventional paper of RF put-away processes.
Improved Accuracy – By using software and light directed picking and put-away the operators are more accurate in their process. This should lead to picking accuracy of greater than 99.8 percent. With just a 1 percent improvement in error reduction can lead to great savings. If you consider an error in picking can cost as little as $50.00 if caught internally or as much as $ 200.00 if the product is shipped incorrect. These costs include reprocessing an order, repacking the order, freight costs for returns as well as reshipment of the order. This means Just 5 errors per day can cost between $ 62,500.00 and $ 250,000.00 per year. That represents only a 1% improvement on 500 lines per day. Penalties for errors or losing customers due to poor quality service can potentially cost much more.
Space Savings – While there are other storage systems that may provide greater spacing savings the Horizontal Carousels if properly designed and implemented can provide a great improvement in space utilization. Compared to other automated storage solutions, such as Vertical Lift Modules, Vertical Carousels, or Mini-Load systems the horizontal carousel is much less expensive per cubic foot of storage.
Reliability – The Horizontal Carousel is a simple mechanical device that has been proven over decades of implementations. With proper maintenance the Horizontal Carousel can provide an uptime of greater than 99.9 %. With redundant controls devices in many cases the access to inventory stored in a Horizontal Carousel can be accessed even when there is a failure of some controls or software.
Inventory Accuracy and Control – Using software solutions and light directed picking and put-away the overall accuracy of the process will naturally impact the accuracy of the inventory. Also, with proper interfaces with host systems the inventory is updated to provide real time inventory information and availability for allocation to orders. In addition, access can be controlled to assure the inventory accuracy is not compromised.
Horizontal Carousel much like any equipment deployed in a storage and retrieval application is only one option available. To maximize benefits there needs to be a complete analysis of the inventory and processes to assure the greatest value. Material Flow Technologies has the experience to provide a complete analysis of your operation and evaluate if Horizontal Carousels will provide the greatest value for your company.
Material Flow Technologies specializes in the evaluation of the most valuable solution for your application. We are pleased to offer a no obligation initial interview that will provide recommendations for the best alternatives to generate improvements in your operation. Our comprehensive evaluation provides equipment and system recommendations while also estimating costs and return on investment (ROI).