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Megastar Systems distributes Industrial Vertical Solutions from Megamat and Office Filing Solutions from Kardex AG . Megastar Systems Systems has the only ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) Compliant system. This system allows all organizations in the private and public sectors to meet ADA legislation, and protect themselves from future issues.
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Megastar Systems: $4,066,684.00
The MegaLift Vertical Lift Module and the MegaStation Vertical Carousel offer flexible, high productivity storage and retrieval solutions for a wide range of manufacturing and warehousing applications. Both provide ergonomically efficient improvements in operator productivity and system throughput while maximizing space utilization and reducing operating costs. The MegaLift is an enclosed system of vertically arranged trays, an ergonomically designed extraction platform, and computerized controls.
The MM550 Controller built into MegaStar vertical storage systems can improve inventory management efficiencies of metalworking storage and retrieval operations, according to the manufacturer. Operators simply enter a Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) number using the on-board keyboard, and the system automatically delivers the requested item to an ergonomically positioned access window. The controller can store up to 10,000 single items or SKUs per machine, and a display provides alphanumeric item and location information including actual quantity, minimum quantity, and stock turnover.
By replacing traditional shelving with a vertical storage and retrieval system, Thermo Forma has not only improved productivity, but has also freed valuable floor space to accommodate market growth.
The company used a triple-tiered shelving system with 27 feet x 54 feet x 7 feet sections, some 30,618 cubic feet of shelving capacity, to store both service parts and components used in the manufacturing operation. The storage system required employees to spend a significant amount of time walking aisles, searching shelves to fill orders. The shelving system was also designed so that the receiving operation was at the top of the system's mezzanine. This location required extensive product handling - in some cases, cartons were moved and re-stacked up to five times before they were delivered to the correct storage location. Travel, search and handling time reduced the company's ability to meet increasing demand for its products.
To improve the efficiency of the parts storage and retrieval operation, Thermo Forma installed two MegaLiftT Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs) from MegaStar Systems to replace a portion of the rack and shelf system. The MegaLift VLM is an enclosed system of vertically arranged trays, an ergonomically designed extraction platform, and computerized controls. It can store up to 2,000 lbs. per tray with a total maximum payload of 88,000 lbs.
Why a Vertical System?MegaLift VLMs are designed to automatically present stored items at an ergonomically correct height for safe, efficient order picking usually 39 inches above floor level, about waist height for most people. This location helps reduce the incidence of job-related injuries caused by reaching, stretching, bending, and climbing necessary to retrieve items from traditional shelving. "Golden Zone" positioning, combined with the vertical design concept of MegaLift VLMs, improves productivity and system throughput by allowing operators to fill orders without walking aisles searching for items. Although Thermo Forma still uses shelving in its parts storage operation, the installation of the two MegaLift VLMs has reduced walk and search time 50 to 60 percent, improving system throughput and employee productivity.
"Our personnel are our most valuable asset, and their safety and health are primary concerns," Knowlton said. "These VLMs allow us to offer them a more productive way to do their jobs, as well as a safer way to do it." The system design of the MegaLift VLM allows it to be configured to meet varying ceiling heights. For example, one VLM is installed in the Thermo Forma service area. This VLM features dual access and is 22 feet tall, with one foot of ceiling clearance. The other VLM, a 26-foot tall unit with 10 inches of ceiling clearance, is installed in the manufacturing receiving area.
The contents of approximately 25 percent of the shelving system fit into one VLM, freeing up about 7,660 cubic feet of space at the Thermo Forma facility. The recovered floor space allowed the company to relocate the receiving operation from the top of the mezzanine to the ground floor only a few feet from the receiving dock. Vendor supplied parts are now placed on a conveyor and delivered to the storage area.
Putting the System to WorkOrders for parts required in the manufacturing operation are sent electronically to centralized printers in the receiving department. Pick lists are printed with the item description, quantity and location. The operator removes items from the MegaLift VLM and then searches shelving to complete the order. The system has been configured so that the most frequently requested items are stored in the VLM, allowing the operator to remain in one place to complete most of the order. Items that are used in combination are located in the same tray to reduce the number of transactions required to pick an order.
Service parts orders follow essentially the same route as manufacturing parts orders, being electronically entered and sent to the receiving department where a pick list is printed. Operators pick parts from their VLM and retrieve other parts from the shelving system. When an order is complete, it is boxed and queued for pick up.
Since the installation of the MegaLift VLMs three years ago, the service parts department has increased its workload 30 to 40 percent without the need to hire additional staff. Because parts are stored in an enclosed system, they are dust free when shipped to customers, maintaining the company's quality image. The installation of the VLMs was based on a 2.4 year ROI calculated on the productivity increases alone. Factors such as floor space recovery, improved inventory management and the reduction of lost time caused by product handling inquiries were not included in the equation.
"The VLMs have certainly helped us improve our internal processes and procedures and meet our growth plans," Knowlton said.
Company's Near and Far TechnologyT improves the throughput of the MegaLift Vertical Lift Module (VLM) by automatically managing the location of stored items for the most efficient retrieval. The MegaLift VLM is an enclosed system of vertically arranged trays, extraction platform, and computerized controls. Utilizing Near and Far Technology, the VLM's on-board tray database automatically cycle counts tray usage and re-optimizes the VLM at the operator's discretion. Faster moving SKU's are located closer to the access opening, slower moving parts, farther away.
The MegaLift VLM (vertical lift module) is an enclosed system of vertically arranged trays, an ergonomically designed extraction platform, and computerized controls. The Flexispace feature allows random storage of products to optimize the cubic space availability within the VLM, permitting items of varying sizes to be stored efficiently. The modular design of the MegaLift VLM allows it to be configured to meet varying ceiling heights and to free up floor space.