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Work-In-Progress Handling

Issues

Traditionally, Work in progress (WIP) handling is done by either using forklifts or hand-carrying items to move WIP from one process to another. However, this imposes extra tasks on workers and requires a buffer area for WIPs awaiting the next process.

  1. 1.Buffer Space : When the production rate of one process and the following process is not the same, it requires buffering space to keep WIPs. When number of SKU increases, buffer management becomes complex and required area becomes larger.
  2. 2.Sequencing : WIPs produced in one process are not always processed in the same order in the following process. Thus, sequencing work is often required in the buffer area.
  3. 3.Just in time delivery : With manual WIP management, it is difficult to feed WIP to the next process at right timing, creating loss time.
  4. 4.Labor cost : When the number of SKU increases, WIP handling workload to production operators becomes heavier, resulting in labor cost increase.

Solution

Daifuku's solution is to introduce AS/RS, which provides transporting, buffering, and sequencing functions, near by production lines. The system operates according to the following steps:

  1. 1.WIP moved from process and stored in buffer AS/RS.
  2. 2.Stored WIP data is registered in warehouse management system (WMS) as inventory.
  3. 3.AS/RS retrieves WIP and conveying equipment delivers it to the next process point when required.

The system provides following benefits as a result.

  1. 1.Space saving : AS/RS utilizes vertical space efficiently to save horizontal space for buffering.
  2. 2.Labor saving : No need for workers to do sequencing or looking around the WIP needed.
  3. 3.Time saving : AS/RS supplies right WIP just in time for processing.
  4. 4.Improved inventory control : WMS manages accurate WIP inventory status and its processing history.

Product

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