The e-commerce and direct-to-consumer markets have made warehouse SLAM areas (Scan, Label, Apply, Manifest) a critical area within the order fulfillment processes. Here’s how using vertical reciprocating conveyors (VRCs) for SLAM applications can help you make the most of precious space and prevent warehouse bottlenecks where you can least afford them – the last 100 feet of your fulfillment operations.
With just-in-time fulfillment, customized orders, and direct-to-consumer selling, your parcels could be leaving the dock aboard your own vehicles or those of half-a-dozen different carriers. And that means a lot more work for your SLAM area.
Scan, Label, Apply, Manifest (SLAM) describes the last 100 feet of a warehouse operation, where a wide range of processes happen to prepare orders for life in the outside world. These include:
- Scanning and checking packed orders against invoices
- Adding catalogs and pack slips, and sealing boxes
- Weighing, dimensioning, and shipping rate shopping
- Printing and applying shipping labels
- Final confirmation scans
To keep up with the ever-increasing customer demand, fulfillment center SLAM areas have grown exponentially over the past few years. High-speed, high-volume SLAM operations can easily contain 100 or more processing stations all working in parallel, and each station must be kept fully stocked with the supplies needed to ship customer goods. Incorporating mezzanine areas for the storage of packing supplies, labels, and printer toner allows for materials to be kept close to each SLAM station but, how do you safely and efficiently access this space?
Complex Problem, Simple Solution
Accessing mezzanine areas via stairs not only slows down your SLAM operations, it fatigues your workers and compromises safety. Incorporating a vertical reciprocating conveyor (VRC) from PFlow Industries offers an efficient, flexible, and fully customizable solution to solve this challenge. Our VRCs (also known as material lifts) operate within a smaller footprint than forklifts, and are safer and more efficient than moving materials manually via stairs. VRCs can be easily incorporated into a SLAM area and provide an added level of safety, as they have an enclosed carriage structure that prevents materials from falling while being lifted and lowered.
As a pioneer of VRC technology, PFlow provides purpose-built material handling lifts made to move loads between any number of floor levels. While our robust mechanical conveyors are made to move large loads between multiple levels, our equally powerful two-level hydraulic lifts offer a simple, effective solution perfect for the unique challenges of a SLAM area.
Designed to move material loads between two levels, our 21 Series and D Series hydraulic lifts provide flexible lifting options to safely and easily move materials and supplies to a second level like a balcony or mezzanine.
For SLAM area material lifting solutions that require integration with an automated system, require continuous lifting ability, or require lifting to 3 or more levels, PFlow’s M Series and F Series mechanical material lifts are the workhorse that can withstand 24/7/365 use.
Chances are your warehouse was not designed for your current SLAM operation. PFlow VRCs can be installed in spaces where forklifts, inclined conveyor belts, or conventional scissor lifts just won’t go. In fact, our equipment might help you reach previously inaccessible space!
Our fully customizable VRCs are available in straddle, cantilever, and 4-post designs to allow them to be fully integrated with existing automation equipment such as horizontal conveyor belts and allow for flexibility in loading and unloading of materials.
PFlow’s VRC solutions are customized for your specific needs and are capable of moving everything from individually boxed materials to fully loaded shrink-wrapped pallets.
Not all material lifting solutions are equal when it comes to total cost of ownership. PFlow VRCs are built-to-last and have a proven track record of reliability that you can count on to keep your SLAM operations running at peak performance. PFlow equipment comes with a lifetime structural warranty and conforms to ASME B20.1 safety standards.
Smart Solutions to SLAM Lifting Challenges
The secret to making the most of limited SLAM processing spaces is to ensure everything your staff needs is close at hand. PFlow Industries’ VRC solutions can help by making sure materials are where you need them, when you need them.
Contact us today or click below to learn more about how we can help you raise your SLAM game to the next level.