Life Fitness

Warehouse Kitting

 

Kitting is the task of building advanced “kits” out of various components, to merge with finished goods or to stand-alone. Examples include computer components or furniture packs. If you ship similar orders in quantity, the potential savings and benefits of fulfilment kitting can be significant. Not all items can be kitted though. Some components are too big or too fragile for kitters to handle. The items typically kitted are repeat or volume items that take up substantial processing time. High value parts are suitable for kitting as well, because the process offers better damage control.

Assembly Process:

Keep the assembly process simple.

  1. Production team define the parts required for the kits
  2. Storage team pick the kit parts either sequentially, in batches, or in zones.
  3. Parts are sent to the assembly area
  4. Individuals package the kits together in a specific order*
  5. A quality review is conducted to make sure all parts are included

*Item placement is vital for safe packing, movement, and unpacking of kits.

Kitting zones:

A 3PL supplier can perform kitting for you, but with some planning it can be done in-house. In-house kitting gives you more control and a quicker lead-time. Kitting can either be located in a central picking store or in decentralised areas close to the assembly stations. Utilising a central picking area offers you the benefit of making many different kits in the same area. A great solution is to install a mezzanine floor, as your central pick zone. Mezzanine levels make use of your vertical space and will safeguard against other warehouse operations infringing on the kitting area.

Benefits:

  • Cost savings on inventory costs, reduced due to integrated storage and assembly
  • A good system reduces walking and searching times of assembly operators
  • Better shop floor control by just handling the kit containers through the assembly system instead of every component container
  • Better control and visibility for expensive or perishable components and subassemblies
  • Faulty components are spotted earlier in the process, preventing possible issues or stops on the assembly line
  • Parts are stored in closed packages until they are used in kits, minimising the risk of damage
  • Product changeover is easier
  • The complexity of the overall process is reduced, resulting in an easier understanding of it for new staff
  • The learning curve for assembly workers is less steep since the kits are easier to learn

Limitations:

  • Kit production is time consuming
  • An error in the process can result in a complete stop of an assembly line
  • Kits containing defective parts must be re-kitted
  • Missing or faulty parts result in half-finished kit
  • Temporary shortage of parts may force the assembly person to kit short or “cannibalise” (take from) other kits
  • Kitting can be monotonous and result in low worker morale, leading to injuries and unmotivated personnel
  • Additional demands are placed on workload planning

 

An efficient kitting system requires accurate inventory records and a well-planned kitting procedure. Designing your kitting system should be done with the same care and planning as designing a picking system. Whether you outsource order fulfilment or do it yourself, kitting could be the breakthrough your business has been waiting for.

WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS SAY:

  • “Thank you also for your excellent advice, installation and service during our fit out. You've been a pleasure to deal with and have made a very stressful exercise a whole lot easier.”
    - Campbell Graham, Manager, Keables Pty Ltd, West Footscray VIC
  • “DWS were super quick and efficient in installing the mezzanine and developed a thoughtful design which has greatly assisted our business. The outcome was a high quality, well installed and functional extension almost doubling storage capacity for our business. Highly recommend this company to deal with.”
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