Often Production stores are the largest single application in a manufacturing environment and when you have several different items all being produced on the same production line, downtime just isn’t an option. As a result, these production lines will need to be changed. This makes the change parts store mission critical in the healthy running of the production line.
In manufacturing its normal for production lines to have maintenance stores, many are electro-mechanical, and thus prone to break down. This is where the maintenance store really comes into its own as it ensures that spare parts are available to keep the production line back up and running. The cost of loss production means that companies will look for the best solutions to guard against production line downtime.
Automation offers a simple and over time less expensive solution. A vertical lift system for example utilises all the available space (up to ceiling) and is designed to make the maintenance store more easily accessible as its located at a more convenient location, which speeds up the production. Also, automation guarantees near on 100% stock accuracy with no line downtime. This is useful when stores need to understand what’s to remain and what is to be changed for different production runs such as increased production capacity, gained by feeding product to the process faster and more accurately.
Usually, spare parts are supplied to customers directly from manufacturing operations. These spare parts can be stored separately, in stock rooms, or in finished goods. Either way they require efficient storage and picking to ensure a faster customer response.
An added opportunity that some manufacturers are benefiting from is to take a centralised production store approach by positioning smaller holdings at Point of Use. This again can offer benefits depending on how your production is set-up. Automation also ensures that parts are handled as few times as possible as parts can be easily damaged, so it is essential that care is taken in transit between store and production line. The flow of materials in and out is critical as it dictates production capacity.
Automation also benefits the finished goods to shipping process – Items need to be stored before completion for Work in Progress buffers or stores – this makes access extremely easy and has become popular in many UK manufacturing facilities. These buffers and stores should be situated as close to the production line as possible in a space efficient way with little workflow impact.
Kardex in the UK has been working with Manufacturers for more than 30 years and we have created a white paper that shows some other key points, especially in regard to the warehouse.
To learn more about Kardex visit us at www.kardex.com