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Horizontal Carousels

DistribuTek Leaning Center

Horizontal Carousels are a linked series of rotating bins of adjustable shelves driven on the top or bottom by a drive motor. Rotation takes place on an axis perpendicular to the floor at approximately 80 feet per minute. Items are extracted from the carousel by order pickers who occupy fixed positions in front of the carousel(s) and who may also be responsible for controlling their rotation. Manual control is achieved via a keypad which tells the carousel which bin location to rotate forward, and a foot pedal which releases the carousel to rotate. The carousels may also be computer controlled, in which case the sequence of pick locations is stored in the computer

A picker assigned to one unit must wait for it to rotate to the correct location between picks. A picker assigned to two or more carousels may pick from one carousel while the other is rotating to the next pick location. The objective is to keep the picker picking.

Horizontal carousels vary in length from 15 to 100 feet, and in height from 6 to 25 feet. The length and height of the units are dictated by the pick rate requirements and building restrictions. The longer the carousel, the more time required, on average, to rotate the carousel to the desired location. Also, the taller the carousel, the more time required to access the items. Heights over 6 feet necessitate the use

In addition to providing a high pick rate capacity, horizontal carousels make good use of the available storage space. Very little space is required between adjacent carousels, and the only lost space is that between parallel sections of bins on the carousel unit. One important disadvantage of horizontal carousels is that the shelves and bins are open. Consequently, item security and protection can be a problem. The price of a carousel unit starts around $5000 and increases with the number of bins and the weight capacity.
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