Container Planning—Systematic Container Planning

The goal is to reduce material handling by direct and indirect labor. To accomplish this, you need to (see more in Muther and Haganas 1969)

  • 1. Review problems associated with current containers.
  • 2. Identify desired improvements and container features with respect to
  • • Ergonomics at points of loading and unloading and kitting
  • • Visibility of contents
  • • Accessibility
  • • Protection
  • • Cleanliness
  • • Storage density
  • 3. Identify alternatives to current containers.
What is material handling? Source

Figure 6.8 What is material handling? Source: Muther, R., and Haganas, K. Systematic handling analysis. Management and Industrial Research Publications, Kansas City, MO, 1969.


Figure 6.9 Containers—example.

  • 4. Estimate costs and benefits.
  • 5. Evaluate and select the best.
  • 6. Publish a container plan identifying the preferred container for each type of part.

Several container types are illustrated in Figure 6.9.

Planning and Process Improvements

The main goals are to improve coupling of sequential operations, recover associated storage space for value-adding activities, and reduce material handling. To accomplish this, you need to (see more in Plenert 2011)

  • 1. Prepare a detailed multifunction process chart of the current process.
  • 2. Agree on objectives, performance goals, and characteristics of the desired process, including customer service, utilization, setups, and material handling.
  • 3. Review current procedures, rules, and assumptions.
  • 4. Challenge the current process and identify desired improvements.
  • 5. Identify and agree on which classes of parts could be made using a pull system and which must remain as push and expedite.
  • 6. Prepare a detailed multifunction process chart of the improved process.
  • 7. Identify necessary, enabling improvements in
  • • People: organization, roles, responsibilities, job design, and assignments
  • • Policies and procedures: rules, timing, guidelines for lot-sizing
  • • Information systems
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