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Modular materials handling systems will help you with implementing lean manufacturing and continuous improvement principles. Your team’s creativity will help reduce the 8 wastes and can result in a 10% increase in productivity per year. It has been a proven system for more than 50 years now. Here are the 8 reasons why you should consider using a material handling system.
The modular systems allow you to disassemble and reuse the pipes and joints over and over. This reduces the cost of equipment when processes or products change. It also allows the structure to be evolved. For example, a workstation can be adapted and improved easily and quickly according to worker’s suggestions. This results in a greater employee satisfaction.
Due to the millions of different products out there, it is important to have millions of different structure types and designs to accommodate every company’s needs. Modular systems are ideal for creating tailored and ergonomic structures according to your exact needs. No need to use a product that does not fit the job well or takes up too much floor space.
Modular handling systems are a perfect tool to help leaders implement lean manufacturing in your business. Because they are adaptive, evolutionary, creative and easy to use, modular tubes and joints help to reduce the 8 wastes continuously. This tool is a great ally to implement kitting, 5S, point-of–use, one-piece flow, visual management structures, and much more.
Before 2010, Flexpipe was a made-to-order welding factory fabricating steel racks, carts, and tugger carts. We know first-hand that modular systems help save 30% to 50% on the equipment budget. This allows a company to do more with the same budget while keeping a small inventory of pipes and joints for prototypes and quick fixes. This will increase employee satisfaction.
According to a Flexpipe survey in March 2016, 74% of Flexpipe users said that the modular systems have helped to improve the factory image. The product helps to standardize working structures with a professional and tailored look that will increase client and supplier confidence when touring the plant.
Because the Flexpipe system is a simple system requiring very minimal tool sets, all employees can create and build without having to familiarize themselves with new tools. They can participate in designing structures, for example by pitching outside of the box ideas during a kaizen event, or they could build their stations at the Moonshine Shop. In any case, they should be continuously asked how to improve the structures they are working with.
Even if Flexpipe is made from steel tubing, it is 20% to 30% lighter than a standard steel structure. This is ideal for loading and ergonomic constraints for push carts or flowracks. Also, well-designed structures will minimize surface and maximize piping to reduce hideouts and weight. Linear means better visibility and more sustainable 5S programming.
From production floors to conference rooms, maintenance departments and packaging lines, modular systems can be introduced in various situations and departments. It is one simple hardware solution, which avoids multiple purchase requests. Using a modular system reduces the need to look around for specialized products and suppliers, saving time for both requester and buyer. Different colors and finishes give different looks to any structure.
Julien is one of the co-founders of Flexpipe. He has been working in the material handling industry since 2006 building custom-made steel racks, carts, and workstations. He has a large experience in implementing tugger carts for lean manufacturers trying to improve material flow. He started Flexpipe in 2011 and since then, he made his mission to grow Flexpipe and deliver the modular system to new markets by making it more affordable.