The company, which manufactures technical products out of its 250,000 square foot facility, manages its stock levels using a ‘just in time’ inventory and manufacturing process. The process was implemented to reduce flow times within production and improve response times to customers. It works by bringing parts into the stock room and distributing them to the areas of the plant exactly when and where they are required in order to increase efficiency and eliminate waste in the manufacturing process.
By employing a largely manual process using printed picking lists, the company found that mistakes could be costly. If any incorrect parts were sent to the work stations, they would have to be taken back to the stock room and the correct parts found and brought out – all of which cost the business time and money. Equally, if the error was not identified, incorrect parts could be sent out to customers, having a direct impact on customer satisfaction levels as well as reducing efficiency and proving costly if orders had to be re-fulfilled.
To overcome these issues, the company approached The Scale Works, an Avery Weigh-Tronix distributor which provides design, consultation, supply and servicing of a wide range of weighing solutions in the Tennessee area.
By using the multi-function ZM405 weight indicator linked to two independent scales, the customer was able to improve efficiency and reduce costly errors. The design of the ZM405 indicator also allowed them to take advantage of the dot matrix Graphic Array area which sits to the right of the main weight display, enabling the customer to display messages to the operator.
The part number of the required item is displayed on screen for the operator, who then picks the part and weighs it to determine the average piece weight. The part number and piece weight data is transferred to a back office computer by wireless Ethernet, where it is analyzed against a database. Providing that the weight data fits with the information stored against the part number in the database, the ZM405 will display a message the on the weight display area to authorize the operator to proceed.
Randall Hardin, Sales Manager at The Scale Works, explains “By using the ZM405 to verify both the part number and the weight of each item, the company has resolved the issue of incorrect parts being used and cut shipping errors. In turn, this has had a positive effect on inventory levels by ensuring that parts only leave the shelves when requested and verified. “
After just two months of use, the customer returned to The Scale Works to purchase additional Avery Weigh-Tronix systems.