CAROUSEL STORAGE SYSTEMS - Production and Operations Management

A carousel storage system is series of bins or baskets fastened to carries that are connected together and revolve around a long, oval track system. The track system is similar to a trolley conveyor system. Its purpose is to position bins at a load/unload station at the end of the oval. The operation is similar to the powered overhead rack system used by dry cleaners to deliver finished garments to the front of the store. The typical operation of the storage carousel is mechanized rather than automated. The load/unload station is manned by a human worker who activates the powered carousel to deliver a desired bin to the station. One or more parts are removed from the bin, and the cycle is repeated.

Carousels come in a variety of sizes, ranging between 10 and 100 ft in length of the oval. As the length of the carousel is increased, the storage density increases, but the average transaction time (Storage or retrieval) decreases. Accordingly, the typical carousel size ranges perhaps between 30 and 50 ft to achieve a proper balance between these opposing factors.


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