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Manufacturing and distribution of office and consumer furniture can be a labor intensive process. During manufacturing, components are often moved between operations by laborers pushing carts of parts. Finished goods are usually moved, via manned fork lifts, to storage locations and shipping. Larger furniture distributors and retailers often use fork lifts and static racking to move and store goods.
In today's global market, operations with high manual labor costs are finding it harder and harder to compete with off-shore manufactured product and low cost / ultra high volume international retailers. One of the best ways to regain a competitive edge is to reduce non-value added, recurring labor costs and one of the best ways to do that is to automate the manual handling portions of the manufacturing and distribution process.
Automatic conveyor systems have been used in limited capacities for many years in the furniture industry and robots are beginning to make inroads in repetitive manufacturing operations, but some other "high tech" equipment has now come down in price to the point where it too can be justified and applied in this industry to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
How Integrated Systems Design Can Help...
First and foremost, if there are repetitive high volumes of component movement within your manufacturing process, they need to be automated and, quite often, conveyors and robots are still the best answer for those tasks. Integrated Systems Design has equipment that can handle goods of all sizes and shapes within your manufacturing operation.
If conveyors would create too many barriers within your facility or you have some operations that are far apart, an Automatic Guided Cart (AGC) system may be an excellent way to move components and finished product between them.
To minimize the amount of fork truck traffic and operators in your manufacturing or distribution facility, a combination of conveyors, AGCs and an Automatic Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) can significantly reduce the labor and fork truck maintenance associated with storing, picking and shipping furniture. Most warehousing operations can also benefit from implementing Warehouse Management Software (WMS) to manage activity within the facility.
If you want to learn more about how we can make your business more efficient, give us a call or fill out and send in an inquiry. We have equipment and solutions to address nearly every manual handling operation and we'll help you determine which ones make the most sense and give you the greatest return for your dollar.