Document Type

Research Paper

Publication Date



Warehouse picking is one of the most time and cost consuming activities in a warehouse, often requiring the presence of human operators, who travel within the aisles to retrieve the items needed by the customers. Several studies demonstrate that the travelling activity can represent even the 50% of the total picking time, with a subsequent creation of a separate storage and picking area for small objects. In the last years, new solutions for order picking systems have been developed, especially for small items. One of these solutions requires Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs), storage columns with extractable trays. In this paper, the employ of dual-bay VLMs, compared to a carton racks warehouse, has been analysed from an economic point of view. Some mathematical formulations have been developed, to estimate the total annual cost and the respective convenience limits of both systems, according to their productivity. Moreover, some useful guidelines for practitioners are derived.


Paper 3

Publication Title

Progress in Material Handling Research