Medical device manufacturer uses automation and shelving to improve its working environment

By improving its working environment, the manufacturer has been able to store more in less space and reduce item damage by 25%.

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While in the process of building a new facility, a medical device manufacturer set a few goals including storing and transporting their inventory more safely and in a more organized manner, while also creating a facility that their staff enjoyed working in.

To achieve these goals, the manufacturer decided to use a combination of automated equipment and shelving, along with five different style and color-coordinated blue and red containers and dividers. Vertical lift modules (VLMs) were outfitted with 1/4-inch thick, space-efficient VLM dividers, which are adjustable on 2-inch centers to fit any item in the inventory. The units’ 4-inch height also extended the height of the tray, virtually doubling its capacity.

Any inventory that is picked out of the VLMs will be placed into nestable postal-style totes that travel on the conveyor—with corresponding paperwork to the packing area. Multiple tote orders will nest right on top of each other. When these nestable totes are not in use, they are nested into each other for 70% space savings.

If inventory is less active, it is stored in hopper-front totes on static shelving and then picked and transported on the same conveyor. Bulkier items will be transported in blue nest totes that are 11.5 inches deep.

In addition to improving its working environment, the company reported that, “by using this equipment with different style totes and dividers,” it has “been able to store more in less space, reduce damage by 25% and cut already low picking error in half.”

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