Carousels: Turning picking into productivity

Not just for high-density storage anymore, today’s carousels are delivering product to the person while increasing productivity, reducing labor, saving space and cutting energy costs.

<p>High-density storage carousels not only save floor space and optimize vertical space, they bring the product to the person, which increases throughput and improves picking accuracy.</p>

High-density storage carousels not only save floor space and optimize vertical space, they bring the product to the person, which increases throughput and improves picking accuracy.

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Vertical and horizontal carousels have been moving product through warehouses and distribution centers for more than 25 years. In addition to creating dynamic high-density storage, carousels can be credited with increasing productivity, reducing labor, saving space and cutting energy costs.

The concept of carousel technology hasn’t changed much over the years. That might be because a carousel is a robust and dependable piece of equipment, and it is mechanically pretty simple, says Jack Lehr, vice president of sales for automated systems for SSI Schaefer. What is changing is how users are applying carousel technology. “About five years ago, however, engineers in the United States started to recognize that the goods-to-person process is hands down the most efficient picking process,” says Lehr.

So, if you have a picking operation, are carousels the right solution? “Any manufacturing plant, warehouse or distribution center currently using a traditional static rack and shelving system should investigate the possibility of incorporating an automated solution like a vertical or horizontal carousel,” says Christina Hilligoss, marketing and communications manager for KardexRemstar.

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About the Author

Lorie King Rogers
Lorie King Rogers, associate editor, joined Modern in 2009 after working as a freelance writer for the Casebook issue and show daily at tradeshows. A graduate of Emerson College, she has also worked as an editor on Stock Car Racing Magazine.

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