One of the biggest challenges manufacturers face today is finding a suitable facility and space design to fit their unique assembly line. The reason having the right space is so important is simple— an inappropriate and insufficient amount of space usually leads to a significant reduction in line throughput and it can even cause accidents. Slowed production and safety risks can be a serious threat to your businesses bottom line, not to mention your reputation.
Fortunately, there are ways to save space in your assembly line, which will ultimately keep processes running smoothly, your workers are safe, and the money flowing. The following are some material handling ideas to conserve space in your assembly line, enhance worker safety, and reduce your storage footprint.
Vertical storage racks utilize unused vertical air space, while helping keep parts and other equipment from cluttering valuable floor space. Take a look at this case study to find out how Valley Box’s vertical rack solutions helped a robotics manufacturer regain valuable floor space, reduce inventory man hours and save money.
Vendor Maintained Inventory
By carrying less inventory, you will save space—it’s that simple. So negotiate with your vendor to manage restocking a lower minimum/maximum, often referred to as Vendor Maintained Inventory or "VMI" for short. Chances are they'll be more than willing to accommodate you to keep your business.
Invest in Multi-Tool Systems
Multi-tool systems facilitate more than one function. By combining two or more functions into one tool you'll eliminate the need to store a vast array of equipment. Simply put, having too many tools and other equipment lying around can monopolize a tremendous amount of space.
A bonus? The all-conquering multi-tool system allows the worker to complete tasks faster and more efficiently. Take the shrink wrap cart pictured above. It acts as a storage device and is used during installation. It can easily be rolled around the part being shrink wrapped and contains all the equipment necessary to do the job.
Adding pumps, hydraulics and other such electric components can take the strain off workers. If the worker has to lift, tilt or rotate your products during assembly, consider material handling equipment with a built-in assistance.
Worker health and safety is vital to company morale, lowers accident rates, and in turn, workers comp rates are decreased. Employees will be more inclined to maintain this useful equipment which falls in nicely with good housekeeping and keeping work spaces clean, organized and functioning.
Keep it Tidy
A little housekeeping can go a long way. If tools and materials are constantly cluttering the floors and other work areas, it’s time to schedule a training session that’s all about housekeeping. When workspaces are clean not only will you preserve more of your precious space, production will run smoother and workers will be safer.