How VLMs Elevate Aviation Maintenance

January 27, 2021 | News

How VLMs Elevate Aviation Maintenance Inventory

Vertical lift machines, sometimes also referred to as vertical lift modules and VLMs, exist to achieve a singular goal – to provide smart, adaptable inventory management that boosts employee safety and elevates productivity within a footprint that helps you maximize storage density.

VLMs excel in many industries, but they’ve delivered tremendous results to the aviation industry, where aircraft maintenance and repair operations are expected to store a larger and larger variety of components to support commercial aircraft fleets.

From aircraft locks to power distribution units, the demands of aircraft maintenance, repair and operations teams are varied. Traditionally, this inventory has been stored in steel shelving units or drawer cabinets on multilevel mezzanines, then placed and picked into locations by parts runners.

As the need to store more components increases, there are two main issues these companies are confronted with.

A Lack of Space to Accommodate Growing Inventory             

Generally, parts inventory storage in aviation facilities is outdated and extremely manual. Add to that locations in spaces that are constrained by other revenue-generating departments, and you’ve got a major logistical headache.

The parts department usually has to completely relocate or simply utilize the floor space it occupies more wisely. Relocating electronic components, such as gyro panels and lighting control modules, introduces the risk of damaging these specialized parts, further complicating the search for solutions to space challenges.

A Need for Increased Traceability

Aviation components are often tracked down to the lot and serial number level, meaning traceability and easy identification is critically important. Parts like wing tips and fuel boost pumps must be traceable back to the manufacturer.

Traditional storage methods and processes lend themselves to pick errors and lost parts – and it’s largely not the fault of any singular person or issue. Parts specialists will sometimes place parts into the wrong locations, making the part impossible to find when it is requested by aircraft maintenance mechanics, and chaos builds.

Full traceability is a must for these manufacturers. If there ever is a request to know who touched the part and when, it can be provided promptly and accurately.

How VLMs Address these Challenges Painlessly

VLMs allow these aircraft maintenance operations to utilize the tall ceilings of their facilities to increase the storage density within their existing footprint. Units up to 30 feet tall are quite common, making more optimal use of space.

In addition to this storage density, VLMs provide access from the ground floor, meaning they no longer require personnel to climb stairs to find inventory.

Parts traceability is addressed by VLMs with cutting-edge software technology that logs the moves of the units. Every action the machine performs is timestamped and logged.

In the case of a mispick or other pick error, a root cause analysis can be performed to determine who had access to the location, when the movements occurred, and what transactions occurred prior to and after the original transaction.

VLMs also provide flexibility in the types of inventory that can be stored. Imagine having your electronic boards alongside flap transmitter assemblies. Having the flexibility to store small products like diodes in the same storage device as larger assemblies maximize the return on investment for aircraft maintenance operations.

Aviation maintenance operations across the globe utilize VLM technology to solve these issues.

From major airlines to the world’s leading package shipping companies, VLMs are relied upon to deliver parts in an expeditious fashion while also maximizing a facility’s space and resources.

How Vidir Is Delivering the Ultimate VLM Solution

The Vidir VLM is a revolutionary entry into the category, providing smart, adaptable inventory management to make good on a simple promise – helping operations maximize density and increase productivity.

With two tray towers, one in front and one in back, and a center elevator, trays are extracted and presented efficiently and at a safe, ergonomic height for operators.

The Vidir VLM brings a range of innovative features that set it apart in the industry and make it a best-in-class solution for inventory management.

Automatic height detection measures the amount of storage space required for each tray, then performs complex calculations to choose the most efficient storage location every single time.

The intelligent software that helps make that possible also ensures the material handling process is smoother and more efficient than ever, and an easy-to-use interface allows operators to pick and stock item lists, integrate with an ERP system, run reports easily, engage in remote monitoring, and more.

Combine it all with industry-first servo motors with best-in-class 10HP lift capacity and a high-performance, durable, and safe chain drive, and you’ve got the leading VLM on the market.

To learn more, visit today.

Vertical Lift Module

Revolutionary new inventory management solution

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