keeping up with precision in machining job shop
A state-of-the-art job shop produces high quality made to order precision machined parts in a wide variety of materials for the oil and gas industry. With the continuous growth of the job shop, warehousing the finished goods before distribution was becoming a bottleneck. To solve this problem, they installed vertical lift modules (VLMs) in order to provide more storage capacity and faster fulfillment in the job shop warehouse.
multiple layers of benefits
Since expanding wasn't an option, the company installed two 13-foot tall VLMs with inventory management software and pick-to-light technology. The VLMs have provided 92% floor space savings, a 30% increase in inventory capacity, a 42% increase in productivity, and have cut mispick errors in half.
More Parts, Less Space: The two VLMS occupy only 320 square feet and recovered 3,680 square feet of floor space from the previous 4,000 square feet of shelving.
Faster Order Fulfillment: With the 42% increase in productivity, the warehouse has gone from picking 10,000 to 17,000 parts a month with an increase in staff of only one part-time employee.
Reduction in Picking Errors: Each storage location contains a part number with multiple lot numbers. Previously, workers would locate the part and have to search through multiple parts for the correct lot number. The VLMs now present the operator with the exact part to pick, which has increased pick accuracy to over 99%.
Safety and Ergonomics: The VLMs deliver the required part to the operator at an ergonomically positioned waist-high access opening, eliminating the need for bending and reaching required for static shelving. Employees also aren't climbing ladders and pulling heavy parts down from the top of the shelving.
Automated Picking Process: Filing work orders is quick and easy with automation. A bill of materials is entered into the ERP system which sends a work order directly to the inventory management software. Each line is sorted by due date. The operator simply selects the lines to fill and the VLM moves to retrieve the required parts and deliver them to the operator. The display at the access opening shows the exact location and quantity for the operator to pick. The operator picks the quantity required and sends it to packing and shipping.
Smart & Efficient Organization: In addition to providing more storage capacity and faster fulfillment, the VLMs have enabled the warehouse to keep up with the growth of the job shop. Workers no longer waste time searching for parts, picking the wrong parts, or risking injury.
contact us about more storage capacity & faster fulfillment with VLMs
Southwest Solutions Group® provides design and installation services for vertical lift modules (VLMs) to provide more storage capacity, faster fulfillment, enhanced productivity, and more in warehouses and production facilities. We will even provide a free consultation to determine your exact needs before the design process begins. To learn more or to speak with a material handling specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.