6 Simple Steps to Getting Started with a Material Handling System

Have you used a tube and joint system before and wanted to implement it in your new role? Have you seen the product in another facility? Perhaps you’re planning a new production line or an extension? Given that modular systems are a relatively new manufacturing asset in North America, Flexpipe has assisted several customers in implementing and optimizing this type of equipment in their businesses. Building on this experience, we felt the need to create this 6-step guide to help you get started in using tube and joint systems.

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Please note: If you already know how modular pipe systems work and just want to open an account, click here.

  1. Decide on a simple project to build first

    You may have an idea of what you want to improve. To this end, we recommend you choose 2-3 projects that are simple to assemble with a significant payoff.

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    Pick projects that you will be able to showcase but that are also easy to build such as KPI board frames, simple handling carts, or existing workstation add-ons. Targeting simple projects, such as those previously mentioned, will help you to choose the starter kit that best suits your needs.

    Make sure management agrees on your pick. Involving key employees with the design process will ensure their support to lessen change resistance.

  2. Decide who will design and assemble

    Even if it might change over time, you should target a potential creative and handy Flexpipe assembler(s).

    By consistently calling upon those same individuals, it’s a win-win both efficiency and innovation. Why? Because these employees will quickly master the ins and outs of the modular system with each assembly they do. Furthermore, they’ll be able to leverage their expertise and creativity towards future structural improvements. That said, there is a learning curve with assembly where the first structure might require 6 hours though after a few builds it may only take 3.

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    The Flexpipe system is simple and requires mainly creativity. Concept ideas should be the responsibility of anyone who wants to make improvements. However, structure designs and assemblies should be verified by a qualified person.

    You should take advantage of this learning curve by always involving the same assemblers.

    More information:
    If you want an in-depth explanation of whom can assemble Flexpipe, read about the 8 types of people who can assemble Flexpipe

  3. Make sure you have the proper tools and space

    This is usually a step that clients disregard as unimportant. If you already know that you will be assembling Flexpipe on a regular basis, you should address this right away.

    Did you know that a good setup with dedicated space, storage, and the right tools will save you up to 30% of assembly time?

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    We have designed a unit called the Flexpipe Crib to organize your Flexpipe parts. The unit arrives pre-cut with assembly instructions which makes it an excellent project to get started. The Crib also comes with the essential tools needed to work with a pipe and joint system.

    More information:
    If you want to learn more, make sure to check out the Flexpipe crib
    Alternatively, if you would like to learn about the tools we offer, click here

  4. Select the right starter kit

    Starter kits are a bundle of the most common components. We have created different bundles according to structures types, industries, and budgets.

    Flexpipe starter kits are an easy solution to getting started; you will learn quickly how the main parts work after your first 2-3 assembled structures.

    General Starter Kits

    The General Starter Kit comes with our standard 28-mm pipes, the most frequently used metal joints and a few casters and levelers. If you are planning to build a little bit of everything or if you are not sure yet which kit you should choose, this is the starter kit for you.

    All other Starter Kits

    These kits come equipped with specific parts depending on the structure type you want to build. They all come standard with 28-mm pipes with the most commonly used components. If you know you will be making more carts, workstations, boards, or flowracks, you should choose one of our specialized starter kits.

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    The above starter kits come with 1 detailed assembly plan that includes a bill of material (BOM).

    More information:
    Everything you need to know about our starter kits
    For more details about our standard starter kit, click here
    Choose one of our specialized starter kits

  5. For additional help, send us a sketch

    Above Starter kits come with 1 detailed assembly plan that includes a Bill of Material (BOM).

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    Send us a hand sketch with dimensions and weight capacity and one of our project managers will work out the details with you to come up with a complete 3D drawing that meets all your needs.

    Take advantage of this offer as it will help speed up your first project. The CAD drawing will also help showcase the project before it gets assembled as well as easing the assembly process for the workers.

    More information:
    To send us a sketch, please download and fill out this project sheet.

  6. Ongoing training

    Once you have completed the first 5 steps and have finished your first project, you can now build more complex structures.

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    However, complex structures can still have hiccups, so please take a look at our learning section to address any problems that may arise. We have multiple videos online with step by step instructions to make your Flexpipe journey easier.

    You can also subscribe to the Flexpipe photo community to receive each month the best structures made by Flexpipe assemblers and other community members around North America.

    More information:
    Learning section: How to build Flexpipe structures
    Be inpired by our Flexpipe photo gallery

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