Assembly lines are the backbone of manufacturing. They are also very complex, because their flow depends on many factors: how fast workers perform their tasks and coordinate with each other, how fast they can access parts and components they need and how ergonomic their workbench is. When it comes to workplace organizing and optimization, Logistic Packaging experts have the answer: storage bins and storage trays integrated in racking systems.
How Ergonomics Impacts Productivity in Assembly Lines
Increased productivity does not equal working harder, but more efficiently. Every worker has their natural limit in the speed of performing a task. However, workers can perform more tasks in a given period of time if their workplace is:
- Neat and well organized
- Designed to offer quick and easy access to necessary tools and devices.
This is what ergonomics is all about: a workplace that enables workers to perform their tasks with maximum efficiency, without having to perform any unnecessary actions that consume both time and effort.
The Role of Returnable Packaging in Assembly Lines
A neat and efficient workplace requires careful planning in terms of supplying workers with necessary tools, spare parts and other items they usually need in their work. In this context, returnable plastic packaging plays an important role. Plastic storage bins and trays can be:
- Used to the entire logistic loop within the assembly facility
- Arranged in an ergonomic manner
- Labeled to offer workers quick access to the items they need.
To understand the impact of returnable storage bins and other similar packaging solutions, we will analyze two scenarios.
Assembly Line Work without Reusable Packaging
In the first scenario, which still happens in many production facilities across the world, the parts are delivered to workers in the cardboard boxes they arrived in from their producer. In most cases, they are not properly sorted and workers have to look through the boxes to find out what they need.
This takes a lot of time. At the same time, there is no proper tracking of the rate of depletion. In this case, workers run out of parts and they have to wait until the new box is brought from warehouse. This means that even the most efficient worker, with excellent time management skills is unable to reach the top of their productivity.
How Assembly Lines Work with Storage Bins in Place
When a production facility starts using racking systems with plastic storage trays and bins, the workflow is optimized in several ways.
1. Workers Can Access Necessary Parts Quickly
Storage bins have a special open front design. This feature facilitates quick access to the contents. The bins are easy to load in the warehouse and workers can get each part they need without leaving their workplace or performing supplementary actions.
2. Keeping Track of Supplies
Each storage bin has a specific volume and load capacity. This means that a warehouse supplies planner can always know how many items left the warehouse. Floor managers in the assembly line facility can note how fast each type of item is depleted. By combining these sets of data, it is easy to create an efficient plan for ordering and supplying parts, so that workers have the exact number of parts they need, without shortages or excess stocks.
3. No More Clutter from Single Use Packaging
When a delivery box made of cardboard empties, it is put aside, waiting to be collected for recycling. When a storage bin empties, it is taken back to the warehouse to be refilled. Thus, there is no clutter and no operational costs for disposing of single use packages.
4. Making the Best Use of Available Space
Storage trays and bins can be customized with dividers, inner boxes and compartments. This means that workers can put different parts in the same bin. Thus, if they need various parts in a specific order, they can easily get them from the same storage bin.
5. Implement an Effective Labeling System
Last but not least, storage bins and trays have smooth surfaces for label holders. Therefore, each assembly line manager can create a simple and effective labeling system. In this way, both warehouse managers and workers will know what each tray contains, eliminating errors that lead to reduced productivity.
At Logistic Packaging we are dedicated to helping companies improve their operational efficiency in order to become more profitable. We invite you to send your questions by email or discuss your specific project with our packaging experts in a Skype video call!