Automated Storage Solutions Create Value in Modern Manufacturing
At the start of every new year, people traditionally make resolutions for change. It’s often a time organisations seek to add value to their operations by finding new ways to lean processes, improve efficiencies, reduce costs and above all increase profits. This year, resolve to add value in 2014 by considering the value of time, space, picking, people and accuracy within current operations.
Value of time
How many minutes does it currently take to make an average pick and what would the impact of cutting that time in half add to your bottom line?
Kardex Remstar automated storage and picking solutions deliver items directly to the operator, drastically reducing travel and search time commonly associated with shelving. This allows the operator to spend more time picking, increasing overall productivity by 2/3.
Automated storage and picking solutions often only require one worker to handle the same volume due to the reduced travel and search time. More often, facilities are choosing to maintain current labour levels when implementing automated storage and picking solutions to increase picking productivity, resulting in higher picking capacities without additional labour.
Value of space
What is the value of additional floor space? The value of floor space varies depending on the activity occurring in that space.
When compared to standard shelving, a Shuttle XP Vertical Lift Module (VLM) can save up to 85 percent of floor space. Eliminating aisle space required for shelving and utilising the complete floor to ceiling height provides organisations with a smaller footprint.
Implementing automated storage and picking solutions creates floor space for additional manufacturing or other value added activities.
Value of picking
Is picking one order at a time limiting picking operations? Workers picking one order at a time often find themselves walking several miles a day and visiting popular SKU locations multiple times.
Using an automated storage and picking solution for batch picking, one worker can fill multiple orders (called a batch) in just one rotation or cycle of the unit. Batch picking can easily be paused to fulfill hot picks immediately on demand.
Speed picking not only reduces bottlenecks in shipping or manufacturing but allows facilities to meet specialty demands.
Value of people
Do workers suffer from fatigue, are workers at risk of injury? All Kardex Remstar solutions operate on the goods-to-person principle, stored items are brought directly to the operator, eliminating reaching, bending, walking, twisting and lifting activities commonly associated with shelving.
This OSHA friendly work environment reduces worker fatigue and reduces risk of worker injury.
In addition to worker ergonomics, all units feature multiple safety systems. Light curtains, emergency stop buttons, automatic shutter doors and photo eyes ensure the safety of both workers and the stored items.
Value of accuracy
What is the true cost of a mispick? The cost of a picking mistake is typically calculated using the cost of the item and the additional shipping costs incurred.
Now, consider how much time is wasted returning the incorrect item to inventory and then picking, packing and shipping the correct item. There are additional hidden costs too; consider unhappy customers and the negative impact to your company reputation. All Kardex Remstar solutions can be integrated with light directed picking technology, increasing picking accuracy to 99.9 percent.
Whether the filing cabinet is overflowing or the warehouse is backed up from the holidays, implementing automated storage and picking solutions can increase profits and add value to operations.
Kardex Remstar automated storage and picking solutions can increase productivity, maximise floor space, increase throughput, protect workers and reduce mispicks. It’s all about putting value back into operations in 2014!
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.