What is a Kit-Cart?
With more and more variants of the end-product for manufacturers nowadays and especially OEMs within the automotive industry there is not enough room to store all the different part numbers at the assembly line at the same time. Therefore, components need to be provided just in time or in sequence or in smaller batches using e.g. kit-carts or carts where you store different part numbers but in smaller quantities. How do these carts look like and why would a modular system like FlexQube be a preferred concept to use in these applications?
Many times, you refer to this as naked material presentation. That means that the components are being presented to the operator at the production line or at the workstation without any emballage, plastic covering or taken out of the box and placed in a position where the operator can just grab the part without spending any extra time on unwrapping the items. Kitting parts means that more of the work related to material handling is transferred back to the warehouse or logistics employees.
Kit-cart for heat loops at Whirlpool and for ring shaped components at Eberspaecher
The space on the assembly line and the pace on the assembly line is crucial, which means that the operators and assemblers cannot spend any unnecessary time unwrapping parts or opening cardboard boxes. They must concentrate on putting the part onto the end-product and let the material handling tasks be handled by the logistics people. Kit-carts are a useful tool in all this and the need for flexible solutions is of course great since the shape, dimensions, quantity etc. will change over time.
Using a flexible and modular system like the one from FlexQube makes it possible to adjust and adapt the kit-cart to the constantly changing needs. FlexQube have cantilever-style carts to hold pipes, rods, wire ropes or hoses. We have delivered these solutions to a variety of industries including heavy industrial equipment companies like JLG Industries, Cummins, and Doosan Infracore. Other references for kit-carts are Whirlpool and Isringhausen.
Kit-cart for ring shaped components at Eberspaecher
The strict definition of kitting actually means that the kit contains the precise number of parts or amount of material to produce a set number of products. But a more broad defintion of kit-carts means that the carts are being used to transport a limited amount of parts to the assembly operations, in some cases also in sequence, meaning that the parts must be put onto the cart in a specific order to make sure the operators pick the right part for the right product. Of course, it is also important to setup the kit-cart in an efficient way to make sure the picking time, both in the warehouse but more importantly, at the assembly line is kept short. By gathering information about batch sizes, sequence, mix of parts and other parameters, FlexQube is able to help customers design and adapt the perfect kit-cart. A kit-cart with built in flexibility for upcoming changes in component design and manufacturing mix etc. A kit-cart can be used for one specific type of components or for multiple different components. They can vary in size and complexity. If it holds very large or heavy parts it is important to consider lifting tools and make sure those can access the component at the assembly line.
Kit-cart for windshields at a bus manufacturer
In the kit-carts category on our Solutions Library™ platform you will find a number of different designs that can help you bring the material to the operators in a better and quality assured manner.
If you're looking for a similar solution, contact us at [email protected]
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