Productivity is a huge issue for many manufacturers. Almost no matter what you make, as a manufacturer, there is a push to be more productive with fewer resources.
This is why manufacturers often look for new production innovations, such as improved manufacturing automation technology, new processes for making certain parts/products, and other time and labor-saving techniques that can speed up production in a cost-effective manner.
One way to improve your productivity on the manufacturing line is to improve the parts and materials handling basket trays that you use in your production process.
How can a better custom steel tray improve your productivity? Here are a few ways:
#1: Improved Handling from One Process to the Next
In many parts finishing processes, there are multiple steps to getting a part ready for final assembly/shipment. This usually means that you have to move a part or load of parts from one work station to another.
A poorly-optimized basket can be difficult to handle manually or move using automated systems (conveyors, hooks, etc.). This slows down the production process as workers struggle to get your parts from one work station to the next.
Using a custom steel wire tray or basket that is optimized for easy handling or integration with your automated conveyor system streamlines the process of moving parts from one station to the next, saving time and improving productivity.
#2: Reduced Occurrence of Damage to Your Parts
Few things can kill the productivity of a manufacturing process as quickly and severely as having to remanufacture or scrapping of damaged parts. Reprocessing a part because of light damage sustained from a poorly-designed parts handling container means consuming extra time, labor, and materials on getting that part ready for shipment.
Even worse is the scrapping of a part because of damage. In this instance, the materials and labor spent on the part up to the point where it had to be scrapped is essentially wasted and you have to start over from the beginning. This drives up both costs and time spent trying to fulfill a particular order.
Using a custom basket tray for handling your parts more securely and safely can reduce the occurrence of damage to your parts during your parts finishing process, meaning fewer parts in need of rework or scrapping. This allows you to more easily meet production deadlines because you are not wasting time making a part twice to get one unit finished.
How can a basket be optimized to limit damage to parts? There are a few different ways, such as:
- Using a soft coating material. Some basket and tray designs utilize a coating of soft material to cushion impacts, reducing the risk of contact damage when a part meets the surface of the basket.
- Using dividers to separate parts. When processing multiple parts in a single load, contact between the parts is a common source of damage. Keeping parts separated minimizes the risk of this happening.
#3: Implementing “Cradle to Grave” Processing
Another major time sink in a manufacturing process is the moving of parts from one tray/container to another for individual processes. This is usually done because the containers being used cannot survive a specific process.
However, depending on the nature of your parts finishing processes, it may be possible to design a tray or basket that can be used in all of the processes you employ. This eliminates the need to constantly move parts from one tray to another during your finishing process, saving time and labor.
Additionally, this can save you storage space in your factory, as you no longer have to stock several different kinds of containers for one type of part that you make. This reduces the carry cost for your baskets and frees up space for adding more production capacity.
These are just a few of the ways that a custom tray or basket design can improve your productivity. To see how other companies have used custom steel baskets to be more productive, check out the case study at the link below.