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Carousels provide continuous uptime.

By Staff

Metal manufacturer uses pick and pass system to save space and increase capacity.

Iscar Metals manufactures metal cutting tools: 9,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) worth of metal cutting tools. Orders come in from 11 regional sales offices, and it's common to see 1,100 orders per day. In fact, business is so good that the company, in Arlington, Texas, outgrew its 15,000-square-foot warehouse.

To facilitate continued growth and improve efficiencies, Iscar installed six horizontal carousels in the warehouse that occupies only 4,500 square feet and holds three times the inventory.

The numbers add up

The new system saved 70% of floor space, holds 300% the inventory, increased same-day shipments to 99%, and runs 24/7 with no downtime.

The six bottom-drive carousels stand 10 feet high, have 38 bins each, and are split into two pods of three.

One operator in a single pod will pick up to 400 lines in an hour-40,000 parts a day, with an average of three lines per order. Using a pick and pass method, the operator from pod one picks then passes an incomplete order to the operator in pod two who completes the order and sends it on to shipping.

Orders are downloaded to the PC and sorted by ship method. A pick ticket is printed then scanned to set up the batches. The software optimizes the batches to minimize carousel rotation and illuminates a pick module to indicate position and quantity of the SKU to be picked. Orders are picked into assigned totes as directed by the sortbar.

'The system allows us to complete shipment of that day's orders and use the night shift for replenishment,' says Lloyd Dack, logistics manager. 'We run these carousels around the clock and haven't experienced one day of downtime.'

White Systems, Inc. 800-571-8822

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Publication:Modern Materials Handling
Date:Oct 2, 2007
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