Integrate Part Protection and Material Flow
Carts with integrated part protection are a great way to control and manage WIP inventory. Instead of double handling WIP parts by putting them in a container, storing that container, and then putting that container on a cart for delivery to the line, build part protection and storage into the cart so the parts are going right from the press or sub assembly area to the cart. The cart can be used to store or sequence parts and then moved directly to the point of use. Better floor space utilization, improved quality, and reduced material handling labor.
Match part protection material to the part
Part protection is an art and a science. Often we see the wrong part protection material being used on the wrong parts, with predictably terrible results. There is a huge variety of part protection materials available – plastic, foam, coated foam, textiles, aluminum, steel – and they all have their place in containing and holding parts. Don’t just make a default choice of “This is what we used before” or “This is the easiest option we found”. Choosing the right material is a key element in improving the integrated functionality of your equipment, ensuring a longer lifetime of effective use and correctly protecting your parts inside your plant.
Use shipping racks to ship, WIP carts to move WIP
Your shipping / over the road racks were not designed to be used to flow materials in your plant. We see this so often and it’s such a bad practice, it has to be said again – your shipping / over the road racks were NOT DESIGNED to be used to flow materials in your plant. If you are doing this now, stop. There is easily 10-15% productivity savings available by moving to WIP carts to right size the material quantities and flow method. Design your WIP carts and WIP racks for the exact purpose they need to fulfill, don’t default to a shipping rack because that’s how the parts came in the door.