Topper Industrial Addresses Assembly Challenges: Kitting Defines Lean Manufacturing

September 7, 2018 Fork Truck Free Info 4159 Views


Part kitting and sequencing translates into error proofing, track and trace, allowing line-side assembly variations without expanding a facility or compromising quality.  Topper Industrial is a champion of material handling equipment that encourages and promotes lean manufacturing and kitting assembly; off-line inventory management shortens operator walk time. By bring materials systematically to the operators there is decreased line-side clutter on operator walk paths while permitting increased product types and variants.

Only in effective kitting is just-in-time line-side inventory achieved, which also reduces waste. Cart delivery can be easily and fully integrate kitting, sequencing, error proofing, and traceability once configured; it is easily replicated across operations within a plant and/or enterprise-wide.

Part Sequencing Shortens Operator Walk Time

Cart delivery ensures that valuable time is spent on part assembly rather than wasted time finding the correct parts. Topper Industrial carts are configured to a sequencing system for off-line part pickers to stagger or reverse order parts before placing them line-side for assembly. Sequencing of cart delivery can be automatically updated based on real-time production schedules, so parts arrive in time. Nothing need be loaded on a cart unless it is gated quality controlled and parts are traceable ensuring correct part placement is verified before moving further down the line. Vision inspection systems can check for incorrect or absent parts.

At each station, where off-line pickers are kitting or sequencing parts, carts arrive when needed, thus notifying workers of low part inventory or improper bin placement. With highly accurate error proofing systems, off-line pickers can adjust quickly, preventing line shutdowns. Parts are continuously tracked, giving purchasing better visibility into inventories; shortfalls and excesses are avoided.

Lean Assembly Kitting Eliminates Lineside Clutter

By creating cart-delivered line-side part kits, operator walk paths are clear and just-in-time line-side inventory eliminates waste. Delivery carts allow manufacturers to accomplish advancing competitive best-practices utilizing lean manufacturing.

As customers increasingly expect custom products, multi-model manufacturing becomes increasingly complex. The combination of a strong part kitting and sequencing application combined with error proofing and track and trace has given many manufacturers the capacity for variants without expanding a facility. Line-side assembly cart delivery means more space can improve throughput and voluminous SKU without increasing square footage.

Cart delivery provides a framework to redesign the conventional material supply systems throughout the manufacturing sector, and particularly the automotive supplier companies, by considering the demand characteristics and the bill-of materials of the products, on the basis of lean production principles.


Pull-based (Kanban) systems often utilize assembly kitting to replenish components on the assembly line. Because the high material handling costs and space requirements, as well as many product customization requests, kanban systems using line-side delivery coordinate supplying components with relatively ease.

Although conventional Kanban systems require replenishment of components by containers, kitting often proves a better systematic method to save space in buffer areas of the assembly lines where products have common components. The kitting methodology was developed based on clustering of components into the kits. Replenishment of kits of components is coordinated by Kanban.

The time spent by the assembly line operators for checking the parts availability can be eliminated. Material feeding time is significantly reduced  and time spent by the production planner for controlling the production requirements are reduced by half.


About Topper Industrial

For more than twenty years, Topper Industrial, ( based just outside of Milwaukee, WI, has been a leader in the material handling equipment industry. The company’s product roster features industrial carts, conveyors, lifts, lifts & tilts, shipping racks, containers, casters, and cart components. From mother-daughter carts to quad steer carts to tilt carts and rotate carts, Topper’s material handling solutions make delivering material line side more effective through more efficient practices. Topper Industrial has a team of experienced professional experts able to assess and provide the right product for all material handling equipment requirements.

Topper Industrial is a proud member of MHI. Follow on Twitter @TopperInd or on LinkedIn.

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