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Automation

Raymond Handling Concepts offers a full spectrum of warehouse automation solutions. Our team of experts specializes in automated storage systems, such as Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs), vertical carousels, and horizontal carousels. Material transport systems such as conveyor and vertical reciprocating conveyor (VRC) get your product where it needs to go.

Automated Storage Systems

We are an authorized Kardex-Remstar distributor. Kardex Remstar is the leading manufacturer of automated storage systems for small and medium sized parts. Over the past 50 years the company has installed 160,000 systems worldwide. While primarily manufactured in Germany, Kardex Remstar has been marketed in the United States for over 40 years. The United States headquarters is in Westbrook, Maine and manufactures some of the components used in the US.

Kardex Remstar systems are typically used instead of shelving. Benefits vary by application and solution, but are a combination of:

  • More productive order selection and kitting operations, saving labor
  • Higher density storage saving square footage
  • More accurate part selection due to light directed pulling and placing of materials
  • More accurate inventory counts

Kardex offers three types of storage system:

Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs)

Kardex-Remstar Shuttle XP VLM with tray in extracted position.

The Kardex-Remstar Shuttle is an enclosed structure containing two towers, which support trays of product, with an extractor (small crane) in between which delivers trays to an ergonomic, 33” high delivery window. This operator-friendly design provides excellent visibility of all parts on the tray. Trays come in a wide variety of sizes and capacities to fit almost any application or available footprint. When trays are presented, the optional Transaction Information Center (TIC), across the front of the tray, will direct the operator on the location, quantity and part number to pick.

Shuttle configurations

  • Height: typically 20 to 40 feet, with some machines over 80 feet.
  • Trays are frequently equipped with an adjustable grid system to create various size bins
  • Very flexible in terms of product height, every inducted tray is measured for height and stored in an appropriate vertical space in the machine
  • Typical tray exchange time is about 30 seconds.
  • The machine can be run with a basic, integrated controller which will track and retrieve the location of thousands of part numbers, or sophisticated software with extensive functionality.

Vertical Carousels

Woman operating controls on a Kardex-Remstar Vertical Carousel containing work uniforms.

Vertical carousels are structures containing a series of carriers (shelves) connected by heavy chain at both ends. When an operator requests a particular carrier, all carriers move together around an oval track until the requested carrier lines up with the picking window. Carousels and carriers are available in a variety of sizes and capacities, and a mix of secondary shelves can be provided.

Vertical carousels at a glance

  • Height: Up to 33 feet
  • Fast transition from carrier to the next carrier, about 5 seconds
  • When carriers are presented, the optional Transaction Information Center (TIC), across the front of the machine, will direct the operator on the location, quantity and part number to pick.
  • All carriers in a machine are on the same vertical center or pitch, clear height is 2” less than pitch on most models
  • Maximum pitch is 19.5 inches
  • The machine can be run with a basic, integrated controller which will track and retrieve the location of thousands of part numbers

Horizontal carousels

A man operates a computer controlling several horizontal carousels with different bin sizes and colors.

Kardex Remstar horizontal carousels contain a set of wire baskets, called bins. The bins traverse an oval track to deliver product to the operator. Bins are divided with wire shelves to maximize storage capacity.

Horizontal carousel configurations

  • Horizontal carousels are often set up in groups of two or three, called pods.
  • In a pod configuration, while one machine is presenting parts for picking, the other carousels are moving the next required bin to the pick position.
  • Height: bins are typically 8 feet high, with the faster moving items usually stored on the shelves between 2 and 5 feet high.
  • Various depth and widths of bins are available.
  • Shelf heights are easily adjustable.

Kardex-Remstar Software

Kardex-Remstar VLM with computer screen showing the next pick position.

Kardex-Remstar’s 6th generation Power Pick Global software has been used in real world applications for the past 25 years. It is a fully realized, stable, and flexible software solution that can easily be integrated with nearly any inventory control system. The same software package can control any combination of Kardex-Remstar VLMs, vertical carousels, and horizontal carousels. Features such as Pick-To-Light and Put-To-Light increase picking speed and accuracy, while the software’s intelligent inventory management can utilize Kardex Remstar’s dynamic storage and retrieval systems to store up to 85% more product by volume.

Kardex Remstar software highlights

  • The software runs the machine movements, pick lights and put lights.
  • Numerous software modules are available for batch picking, serial # tracking, lot # tracking, cycle counting, order processing, light directed placement, inventory reports, label printing, tool management and other functions.
  • The software can support additional storage locations such as carton flow, shelving and racking
  • Kardex Remstar offers 24/7 customer support through their national hotline.
  • There are thousands of systems in place and the software can exchange information with host systems in a variety of formats

Kardex-Remstar General Notes

Transaction Information Center (TIC) showing which bin needs to be picked from a Vertical Carousel.

The three primary Kardex Remstar storage solutions – vertical lift modules, vertical carousels, and horizontal carousels – all work to maximize storage density and operator efficiency. The combination of space and labor savings often show Return On Investment (ROI) of over 40% per year.

Kardex Remstar storage type comparison

  • Shuttles are the most flexible and, given high ceilings, the densest.
  • Shuttles can have trays with different security levels for high value or quarantined inventory.
  • Horizontal carousels are the lowest cost relative to the volume of materials stored
  • Used as pods, horizontal carousels are typically the most productive in terms of lines picked per worker hour.
  • Reliability is excellent, as all three technologies have been improved over decades of experience.
  • Equipment life in most applications is 15 to 25 years.
  • Typical maintenance costs are between 1% – 2% of equipment cost annually.
  • All three systems can be used in refrigerated / freezer applications for biological or chemical storage
  • All three systems can be provided with certified seismic calculations to support building permits

Conveyor

TGW Systems Inc - UBT 2 Conveyor
Conveyors carry totes, cases, or individual items by either power, or gravity. They are an important part of zone picking, as well as a goods to picker system, due their ability to transfer goods between zones and work stations. Long distance travel requirements are met by the use of powered conveyors. Depending on the application conveyors use belts, rollers, slats, and chains to move goods. Gravity conveyors use rollers, or skate wheels.

Roller conveyors permit a variety of material handling operations such as photo-eye enabled zoned accumulation, sortation, and merging. Belt conveyors provide a cost effective means to transport goods over long distances. Gravity conveyors can be utilized when an elevation change in the facility can be used to provide the force to move goods. Gravity flex conveyors are used to load trailers and are customizable by the end user to improve efficiency. Slat conveyors are seen in manufacturing operations where hot goods are being transported. Empty Carton Conveyors ECC, or trash conveyors is a subset of belt conveyors and is used for cardboard waste removal from detrashing operations seen in pick modules. Typically trash conveyors feed a compactor.

In a high throughput operation the ROI on a conveyor system can be quickly achieved. With the use of high speed sortation such as a shoe sorter and the more cost friendly narrow belt sorter the conveyor system can not only transport goods from point A to B, but more importantly transport goods from point A to points B-Z.

Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor (VRC)

Vertical reciprocating conveyor (VRC)
Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors (VRCs) are a cost-effective, safe, and easy way to move materials from one elevation to another. They are ideally suited for the safe and efficient movement of materials to a mezzanine, rack storage system with catwalks, or any new or existing upper floor level. VRCs are safer than using a forklift truck, and are more efficient than manpower to move materials between levels. They are easier and less costly to operate and maintain, than elevators or forklift trucks. VRCs are classified as a material conveyor, and operators do not require OSHA forklift training.

Whatever the load may be, moving materials between levels utilizing a VRC is much more efficient. They can safely transfer pallet loads, as well as carts and boxes that many not fit on a forklift. In most cases, a VRC is ready to go; with a forklift, it may not be available, so efficiency is decreased.

There are different types of VRCs available: a hydraulic VRC, most commonly used for movement at a rate of 6-8 times per hour, or the faster, continuous operation of a mechanical unit; there are VRC’s that are designed specifically for moving tote boxes and small cartons between deck levels, like a dumbwaiter. VRCs can be configured to meet your specific load, height, and speed requirements.

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For more information about our warehouse storage solutions, pallet rack systems, and accessories, please contact us today using the form below