What is a horizontal carousel? A horizontal carousel is an oval track with a series of metal bins with shelves that rotate horizontally to an operator when an item needs to be picked. The bins rotate via the shortest path to the operator.
This goods to person (goods to man) automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) provides easy and cost effective integration and implementation for order picking applications. Often referred to as “simple automation,” horizontal carousel systems provide the major benefits of automation minus the risk, complexity and potential down time.
With operators able to hit up to and over 450 lines per hour per operator, horizontal carousel systems can be triple tiered up to 38 feet tall to optimize vertical cube and save 60% and more floor space. Horizontal carousels provide throughput and density in facilities with under 13 foot ceilings.
Horizontal carousel pod configurations are flexible based on each specific application requirements. For example, a Flexi-Workstation can be created to allow managers to vary the amount of labor required to pick at any given time. An hour, day, week or month can have a different labor requirement set to match actual peak and valley requirements. Real busy, have one operator per two carousels picking… real slow, have on person picking 10 or 16 carousels… match real time requirements with actual labor.
Likewise, a universal pod can be created to match specific SKU/inventory requirements in one convenient work station. For example one pod or work station can consist of three horizontal carousels, a Vertical Lift Module (VLM) or vertical carousel and flow rack. This allows slow moving items to be placed in a vertical storage medium for high density space savings, medium and fast movers go in the horizontal carousels and really fast high velocity items go into the flow rack with pick to light. One opeerator and PC controls all the activity for batch picking. This eliminates floor space and labor while increasing accuracy and extending order cut-off times.
This type of flexibility is often not found in an automated warehouse and order picking system.
Using Vertical Carousels for Order Picking Operations
Horizontal carousels are most often used in an integrated work station called a pod. The pod consists of two to five carousels, pick to light Light Towers/Lightrees between each two carousels, software, a bar code scanner, conveyor or carts with put lights to create a batch order work station. When a batch of orders come to the pod, each carousel pre-positions automatically and the Light Tower indicates which carousel, shelf level is active and how many items to pick. Once picked, the operator turns around to the batch station and follows the put lights and places the correct quantity in the indicated tote and hits the task complete button. This is repeated until the entire batch is completed and the next batch is inducted into the pod.
For some applications, horizontal carousels can be used as a independent rotary shelving system. A foot or pedestal control is used to rotate the bins manually until the correct item is delivered to the operator.
Horizontal Carousel Benefits
Cost effective order picking with 450 or more lines being picked per hour/operator combined with pick to light accuracy rates of 99.99% levels makes the horizontal carousel a great solution. The 60% plus space savings, ability to move, configure and reconfigure as system requirements change makes it a valuable asset for warehouses and order fulfillment operations.
Horizontal carousels can be combined with UltraBot IE robotic ASRS picking systems and UltraBatch dynamic batch picking stations to increase throughput and space savings while decreasing labor and errors.
Popular Horizontal Carousel Brands and Trademarks (ISD owns none of these trademarks):
Just a Few Horizontal Carousel Applications: