Mobile storage solution optimizes storage density
April 01, 2012 - MMH Editorial
Aveva Drug Delivery Systems, located in Miramar, Fla., manufactures transdermal drug delivery systems that provide medication to patients topically, through the skin. One of the most commonly known is the nicotine patch for smokers trying to kick the habit.
The FDA strictly regulates all aspects of Aveva’s manufacturing process, even the manufacturing equipment itself must adhere to rigid guidelines. For example, if a machine needs a part replaced, it must be replaced with exactly the same part, explains Stephen Zakovsky, Aveva’s inventory specialist. “And, it has to be done in the least amount of time or a batch of medication could be wasted—and that’s expensive,” he says.
Because the company’s maintenance parts were not kept in a central location, rather stored in various places throughout its 117,000-square-foot facility, time was wasted when trying to locate specific items. Aveva’s remedy was to install a space-saving mobile storage rack system (Spacesaver Industrial, spacesaver.com) to optimize storage density and floor space and provide 24/7 access to replacement parts and tools.
The storage system includes two static end cabinets and five rows of mobile carriages in between. Carriages measure 7 feet high, 36 inches wide, and 30 feet long, and can be configured with heavy-duty shelving, drawers and cabinets to accommodate a variety of parts and tools. An ergonomically designed handle and a mechanical-assist drive unit enables the carriage to move easily along the track. As it moves, a single 3.5-foot aisle within the storage system is created, which allows full access to any cabinet by one inventory manager.
With more than 10,000 unique part numbers coded and consolidated into one centralized space that measures just 25 feet x 40 feet, the storage unit has improved organization and all but eliminated the duplication of parts purchases. In addition, integrating lockable drawers and having the ability to compact the aisle and restrict access to certain part positions have increased security of high-value parts.
“With controlled inventory, we are much more proficient in every aspect of the manufacturing process,” says Zakovsky. “We are able to find a place for everything critical to the operation and quickly service the needs of each department.”