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Organisations looking for flexible staffing capabilities for seasonal peaks to economic downtimes are finding horizontal carousels have multiple benefits, according to Diamond Phoenix.

Horizontal carousels are a composition of automated rolling shelves held on a track that deliver items to a worker, thereby eliminating the need for workers to leave their stations to find those items.

Companies currently using horizontal carousels are realising increases in throughput of up to 750 per cent and decreases in man hours needed by more than 60 per cent, with productivity and accuracy also increased.

For distribution centres, order fulfilment, manufacturing and other similar applications, horizontal carousels are often configured in ‘pods’ of two carousels with each pod containing a light ‘tree’ in the centre to indicate which item to pick.

In peak seasonal order picking with multiple carousel pods, each pod (or station) can be operated by one worker.

Alternatively, when orders slow down, one worker can select from multiple pods or an entire line of horizontal carousel pods.

Return on investment (ROI) from these systems ranges from one to two years.

Internal rate of return (IRR) is often greater, adding value to the company itself.

The increase in efficiency, effectiveness and order flow has also been documented to reduce energy consumption and real-estate usage in companies using horizontal carousels.

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