Color-coded bin system increases efficiency

Millions of small parts kept orderly and traceable in equipment manufacturing facility.
By Josh Bond, Senior Editor
October 22, 2011 - MMH Editorial

After a manufacturer of earth-moving equipment experienced a spike in demand, it sought a heavy-duty plastic bin system and supplier. The solution addressed the company’s concerns about small parts inventory, organization and distribution throughout its manufacturing facilities.

The company explained its need for a new inventory system consisting of a very large variety of bin sizes and colors to sort, organize and transport literally millions of small parts. The supplier’s ability to meet deadline commitments was crucial. If incoming parts arrived before the bins were available, it could have been disastrous.

A specific mix of product was needed on each truckload and some releases encompassed multiple truckloads. Over a two-year period, more than 250,000 bins were shipped to the facility.  The project required top-notch coordination of shipments from five distribution centers along with expert demand planning to ensure each truck contained the proper mixture of bin sizes in the required corresponding colors.

With exactly sized bins for every application, and a variety of colors, the customer saw significant improvement in inventory control.

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About the Author

Josh Bond
Senior Editor

Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

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