Flexible Kitting Carts in the Automotive Sector Part of the Fork Truck Free Initiative 

April 17, 2016 0 Comments Fork Truck Free Info 4565 Views

Topper Industrial has engineered a fleet of flexible kitting carts which function effectively and efficiently with tuggers that present sequenced kits of parts to each of a manufacturer’s assembly stations. The core of the system is a supermarket storage area located in the company’s warehouse. Parts and components are pulled in sequence and placed in the compartmented kitting carts that were built using proprietary pipe and joints. Each cart holds either one product kit for single assignments or in some cases, multiple kits for small batch production. Presenting the specific kits for production offers efficiency for manufacturing because the workers receive exactly what is needed, when needed, and no more. The cart features compartments and two shelves, all with floors and sides for damage-free parts handling and easy load/unload in the ergonomic strike zone. The cart has capacity to hang components and supplies for quick identification and retrieval.

Sara Pearson Specter, Editor at Large for Modern Materials Handling magazine added that driver-less, battery-powered automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) and automatic guided carts (AGCs) have long been deployed at automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) facilities as a means to eliminate forklifts and the inherent potential safety risks they pose to personnel and products.

Pearson also noted, “Initially deployed to deliver components and kitted parts to assembly workers lineside at the point of vehicle assembly, automakers have now further expanded the use of these autonomous vehicles elsewhere in their plants. The practice not only extends the “fork-free” safety mandate, but also supports greater flexibility within operations as OEMs now build multiple vehicle models on the same line—and offer an ever-expanding selection of customization options to customers.”

Further, AGV and AGC installations have trickled down from OEMs to their suppliers. Now, Tier 1, 2 and 3 sub-assembly and component manufacturers who supply the automotive OEMs are installing these systems in their own facilities, and reaping the same benefits, Topper Industrial, a leading manufacturer of various material handling equipment, shared the importance of the systems, equipment, and processes required by OEMs in the automotive industries. From well-recognized suppliers to remote small part providers, the automotive kitting process must be cost-effective. These processes all require quick turn-around on product orders.

According to Ed Brown, founder of Topper Industrial, operating in a fork truck free environment accelerates response time between order placement and production. Topper Industrial products have been deployed by vehicle OEMs and suppliers throughout manufacturing and assembly facilities worldwide for more than a decade, providing robust, smart devices, and industrial carts for all segments of the automotive industry. While working with so many major manufacturers across North America, the team understands the importance of ergonomics and safety making it the top priority when designing custom solutions for clients, which is why the company supports a fork truck free approach.

Topper Industrial

Posted by Jillian Burrow, Marketing Manager for Topper Industrial – Material Handling Solutions

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