Looking for a Low Cost AS/RS Solution? Meet the Vertical Lift Module (VLM)

Modern automation systems have grown to impressive sizes — but large automation systems are not the solution for every company. Physical constraints, as well as financial, determine the system. The build costs and system scope of a large automation system can be overkill for what your company needs. 

Some companies benefit more from a smaller, semi-automated storage solution. Thankfully, there are automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) solutions of all types of applications.

A vertical lift module (VLM) like the SSI LOGIMAT® by SSI SCHAEFER is an ideal low cost, entry level ASRS solution.

What Is A Vertical Lift Module?

A VLM is an enclosed storage system that contains two columns of stacked trays accessed by an elevator in the middle. These trays are automatically stored and retrieved for the user through an external computer interface. The elevator retrieves trays and presents them to the operator through the access opening.

Once the user completes their task, they VLM automatically returns the tray to a storage location based on stored item height and space availability.

Why Should You Choose A VLM Storage System?

Do you need more storage space?

VLMs make efficient use of vertical space in your warehouse. Depending on the height of your building, you could easily double or triple your existing capacity while improving picking performance.

Do you want to semi-automate your processes?

While there are many benefits to fully automating, some of those might be more than one needs. With a VLM, you have some of the benefits of automation, while still being able to retain a manual or semi-automated system.

Benefits of semi-automating are:

  • improved inventory control: user defined roles and metrics

  • guided picking: laser pointer to indicate what is picked, which is virtually error-free picking

  • increased throughput: picking more efficiently and faster overall. 

Do you want to avoid timely installation?

A fully automated system takes 12-18 months from design to go-live. A VLM can be up and running in as little as 3 months.

Do you want to avoid maintenance downtime?

VLMs require minimal maintenance. The SSI LOGIMAT pairs intuitive design with high-quality components — this keeps the system low-maintenance. Still, our Customer Service & Support team ensures the optimal availability of your system. Reliability is key to your operational success, and the SSI LOGIMAT provides that.

Do you need a custom storage solution based around your needs?

While the SSI LOGIMAT is a smaller system than a fully automated ASRS, that doesn’t mean you are limited to storing only smaller items. With a variety of bin shapes and sizes for the SSI LOGIMAT, you can tailor storage capacity to your needs. With the LogiDrive feature, you are able to extract trays beyond the access opening – meaning you can store heavier items that need to be lifted and placed by crane.

Use Cases for VLMs

There are many reasons companies turn to VLMs. Because of its versatility, the SSI LOGIMAT is an ideal solution for many of our clients. Here are just a few examples.

Secure Storage: Several SSI LOGIMAT installations serve as secure storage for key items. Thanks to the software capabilities of the SSI LOGIMAT, companies can limit access to trays by username and password. This is an ideal option to secure blueprints, prototypes, and sensitive documents, jewelry, certain pharmaceutical drugs and controlled substances. VLMs also provide full traceability of each access to trays per user—which is great for auditing reports.

Spare Parts storage is one of the most common applications. Floor space at manufacturing facilities is always very scarce and valuable. Several customers have sought out the SSI LOGIMAT to store repair parts on site, avoiding the need to use product storage space. This is especially important in facilities that run continuous shifts without any downtime.

Temporary Storage: Some facilities have used the SSI LOGIMAT to function as temporary storage during longer expansion projects. This is especially useful for facilities wanting to secure stored items, while keeping them away from the elements.

Are all VLMs the same? No – the VLM manufacturer is as important as the VLM itself. By choosing the SSI LOGIMAT by SSI SCHAEFER, you benefit from decades of knowledge, experience, and product quality wrapped into a single package.

If you have questions about the SSI LOGIMAT VLM, please let us know.