After all, Sensit assembles its specialized apparatus at its Valparaiso, Ind., headquarters, and stores raw parts and completed products in its expanded warehouse; the AS/RS specialist is based in nearby Noblesville. Initially, Sensit contacted the specialist in search of a better way to organize and access its parts. To avoid the workplace risks of step ladders, Sensit originally stored hundreds of small components on a large collection of 5-foot- and 6-foot-tall shelving units.
Sensit’s assemblers picked their own parts, losing valuable production time as they walked up and down the rows every morning to amass each day’s inventory. As Sensit’s product line—and its customer base—grew, so did the shelving configuration, which threatened to take over the company’s entire warehouse. Efficiency suffered and assemblers lost valuable work time.
However, the supplier conducted a thorough onsite evaluation of Sensit’s needs, workflow and storage criteria, and proposed that Sensit replace its shelving with an AS/RS. Sensit implemented the specialist’s recommendations, adding six of its AS/RS units to transform its process.
Currently, the specialist’s AS/RS solution rises up to 20 feet tall, with an elevator that stores parts on 80 tray-like pans and delivers them at waist level when an operator taps a request onto the unit’s touchscreen. The vertical orientation enabled Sensit to reclaim valuable warehouse space and transform how it conveyed parts to assemblers.
With an efficient materials handling system installed, two inventory runners supply assemblers with their daily parts requirements. Touch pad password protection ensures that only authorized employees access either parts or finished products, while a user log eases system operation tracking.
Recently, Sensit’s warehouse space faced a second challenge. Assembled products had begun to accrue on shelves and shipping efficiency had taken a hit because finished orders had become difficult to locate. This time, the supplier recommended one of its 20-foot-tall vertical lift modules with a 10-foot-square footprint.
“[They] enabled us to do much more than recapture space,” says Rodney Kidder, purchasing manager at Sensit. “We’re also seeing heightened speed and accuracy in our shipping operations, along with enhanced safety and ergonomics for our employees.”
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