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Throughput models for a dual-bay VLM order picking system under different configurations

Fabio Sgarbossa (Department of Management and Engineering, University of Padua, Padova, Italy) (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway)
Martina Calzavara (Department of Management and Engineering, University of Padua, Padova, Italy)
Alessandro Persona (Department of Management and Engineering, University of Padua, Padova, Italy)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 14 June 2019

Issue publication date: 7 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Vertical lift module (VLM) is a parts-to-picker system for order picking of small products, which are stored into two columns of trays served by a lifting crane. A dual-bay VLM order picking (dual-bay VLM-OP) system is a particular solution where the operator works in parallel with the crane, allowing higher throughput performance. The purpose of this paper is to define models for different operating configurations able to improve the total throughput of the dual-bay VLM-OP system.

Design/methodology/approach

Analytical models are developed to estimate the throughput of a dual-bay VLM-OP. A deep evaluation has been carried out, considering different storage assignment policies and the sequencing retrieval of trays.

Findings

A more accurate estimation of the throughput is demonstrated, compared to the application of previous models. Some use guidelines for practitioners and academics are derived from the analysis based on real data.

Originality/value

Differing from previous contributions, these models include the acceleration/deceleration of the crane and the probability of storage and retrieve of each single tray. This permits to apply these models to different storage assignment policies and to suggest when these policies can be profitably applied. They can also model the sequencing retrieval of trays.

Keywords

Citation

Sgarbossa, F., Calzavara, M. and Persona, A. (2019), "Throughput models for a dual-bay VLM order picking system under different configurations", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 119 No. 6, pp. 1268-1288. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMDS-11-2018-0518

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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