Small, easy to carry loads (a handful of moulding, one or two boards) are hand carried.
Medium to large loads are moved on carts. We have two basic types - one has a base about 24" (600mm) off the ground with a platform size of 24" x 48" (600mm x 1200mm) with built-in arms. These are used mostly for larger moulding orders, or small "blanks" (ripped or further processed strips). The other is more of a platform truck (aka factory cart) that can hold a full pack of lumber. They are about 15" (375mm) off the ground with a platform size of 32" x 60" (800mm x 1500mm). If you've never used one you probably would have a hard time believing that a single person (or, even a married one if they haven't gotten to old and lazy) can easily move 1500 BF (3.5 cubic meters) by themselves as long as the floor is smooth and flat.
Larger completed orders are metal-banded and then lifted off one of the bigger carts with a forklift and stacked for delivery. Most of our flooring orders are placed directly on a pallet at the final process location (it varies depending on various options).
Came to the question as I'm trying to weigh the convenience of storing in height vs time it takes to do that (palletizing, strapping, wrapping, etc.)
So we did try Cabmaker's system, but as the boxes stored in height kept falling on the dogs, we went through several dogs and lots of clean-up. Now we sled the dog to the destination and carry the boxes...
Mel, you know true Lean does not allow for idle WIP. If it's done at one process it's being worked on at the next!
Admittedly, our type of product is probably easier to handle than cabinets and their components*. We have enough carts so that material waiting for the next process (on the very rare occasion that happens!). Occasionally we will prepare "blanks" (hit-or-miss dressed and R2E) ahead of time, and we will just put them back in the warehouse. We have a bunch of tie-down straps that we use to stabilize these packs/stacks, and if the material is really narrow or unstable we may put thin stickers across in a couple places to keep them from "beach balling".
*It seems that most people on this forum are in cabinets. I've also heard it said here that moulding is a much easier business to operate profitably than cabinetmaking. So, are most people masochistic, or are all the moulding people just not looking around here because they have no problems and their business is spectacular?
David--for sure was thinking about that. Cut down on WIP sounds good--but not sure to which extent you really can.
If the painting dept goes through 4-5 jobs a day, with varying finishes, and need for further processing from other depts after, I'm thinking you kinda have to live with a certain amount of WIP.
Can't really have the finisher switching guns every time someone makes a box, or the trucker delivering by piece. So you somewhat have to (momentarily) store those big bulky empty suckers--pretty space consuming. Even if it's for a few hours, they have to sit there.
I think cabinet folks are totally nuts for sure :)
Again, our product line is different, but here is how we handle the finishing process.
Most of what gets finished is from a make-to-stock material. Generally, once a day all current orders are pulled from our inventory racks and sent to finishing. They are separated by species/finish. Any custom jobs that were completed milling were sent to the same location as the other raw inventory and sent to finishing at the same time.
However, we also do a fair amount of hopping around on finish. We have about 8 guns, set up for each "type" (not necessarily color) of finish, with the proper needle and cap sizes. And we use the 3M PPS system so we can change colors in not much more than a minute. Of course, the standbys are set up in the AM and ready to pick up and spray on a moments' notice.
We have racks in the spray room as well as the packaging/chop room for finished product, and even have a cart that has a rack system built into it. It's one of the small carts with arms, and we drilled holes about every 2-3" (50-75mm) so that we can insert dowels. The dowels have a small "dado"(?) cut all around them at the point where the go through the arms so they don't shift sideways. We start out with no dowels on the bottom, and as each row fills up add another set of dowels. Once filled we generally reverse order, but you can sneak a piece out of the middle if you need to and are careful.
David, I may be in cahoots with one of your employees, who tells me that a) your shop is decently sized b) also very well organized c) that you are a really good employer. So I'd love your opinion on this.
As for shop size, I'm thinking about this one a lot. How big is big enough? See, real estate in our area is no laughing matter. It'll eat up a ton of your overhead cost. So of course everyone tends to go as small as they can.
I'm thinking hey, lets play ball with this. Small space, big goods (lol). Go in height is my first thought. Gawd ain't making more land but the sky is forever, as is our shop ceiling.
But am I forgetting anything about height stored goods? Any logistical issues? Dunno.
My first thought is that the trucker is expensive. He's an employee, but with massive overtime. Spends a ton of time digging out orders, air spraying the dust of em, lugging them into the truck... lather, rinse and repeat.
So is storing boxes in pallets wrapped by non-overtime payed employees less costly? Then I guess he'd have to fork it all down. Then what--does he have to unwrap it all to truck it?
Going vertical is tempting, especially if you are already in a space that has high ceilings. The biggest challenge will be adequately protecting the material, as forklifts are very unforgiving. You will want pallets that are at least 2"/50mm bigger than the item being stored to reduce the likelihood of hitting something with it. And, as you suggested, you want something to keep dust and fingerprints off. Stretch wrap or movers' blankets are two options I would consider.
While they're not cheap, cantilever racks (available one- or two-sided) will give you a lot of storage quickly, and way cheaper than adding on or buying more building. The open structure of a cantilever rack will allow storage of long cabinet sections unlike a typical "pallet rack" that's designed for standard sized pallets.
I think that if it were me, I would have made (or, make yourself if you want) custom pallets deep enough to put two standard depth cabinets face to face, in various lengths up the the longest you typically produce. Make up cards with a place for job name/number, pallet # X of Y, delivery date, etc and staple them or make clips that hold them on each pallet. Make them big enough (and write in Magic Marker) you can read them from the forklift seat...
Depending on your delivery procedure, I would consider strapping the cabinets to the pallet (over the movers' blanket, with corner protectors) with ratchet straps when putting them in storage. Then, when it's time to ship you just pull the pallet and load it in the truck. Assuming you're using a box truck, and the cabinets are properly put on the pallet there should be no need to strap anything down inside the truck. Doing the prep work ahead of time (which needs to be done some time anyways) saves messing up a delivery because you forgot that X needed Y, as well as protecting stuff as it sits around.
Those racks are nice. Pricey sure... time to nerd out a bit on what our (non) system costs.
-Trucker spends 1 hour on average every day shuffling things, to access what he needs for an order.
Lets assume he makes 16$ an hour.
-16 x 5 = 80$ a week. For one year 80 x 50 = 4 000$/year.
A floor person will spend time shuffling things around after the trucker is gone, to get the paint racks back by the paint shop, the shuffled items tucked in again, etc. Approx 30 minutes a day. Lets assume a 15$ an hour wage.
-7.50 x 5= 37.50 For one year 37.50 x 50= 1875$/year
Depts making goods will stack what they made as they can. But then the coordinator has to collect things for the paint shop, while shuffling. About 45 minutes a day.
Assuming the coordinator makes say 18$ an hour.... 13.5 x 5 = 67.50$ over a year 67.50 x 50 = 3375$ per year.
So shuffling, at a bare minimum, would be around 4000 + 1875 + 3375 = 9250$
So I'm thinking that would be a good restructuring budget? Workers have to put finished product somewhere, might as well put it somewhere designated that won't move twice.
This is without counting the fact that the trucker is often doing overtime, so x 1 1/2 salary for over 40 hours, and the extra time taken to walk across the shop to retrieve things. Plus the bonus pissyness from shuffling lol.
Fully burdened*, it's probably double that, plus or minus.
*add in benefits, including (in the US, at least) employers' portion of Social Security/Medicare, paid time off (two fifteen minute breaks a day is 2.5 hours a week), medical insurance, non-productive time, etc. Our fully burdened rate is somewhere around 2.5 times the hourly rate.
Oops, I forgot to add, there are cheaper places to get said racks as well. If you are serious about them and can't find a better place in Canada to get them, let me know - I don't have it at my fingertips, but I can find out where we got ours.
The trucker is losing 250 hours a year when he could be delivering product. What happens if he could have delivered everything and returned back to the shop in a 8hour workday and now he either needs to work OT because of the hour he spent or deliveries get delayed throwing schedules off and causing more scheduling time.
If a fabricator is losing 30 minutes a day and his production works out to $100 per hour in SALES then we are losing the opportunity to increase capacity at minimal cost.
I think if the trucker's time is 100% delivery and not related to production then his internal hourly rate for costing should be based on supporting the costs of the truck plus any other direct delivery costs rather than supporting the plant overhead which may be a higher burden.
"I think if the trucker's time is 100% delivery and not related to production then his internal hourly rate for costing should be based on supporting the costs of the truck plus any other direct delivery costs"
In theory, yes. But do you really think it's actually LESS than a production worker? Depreciation on a truck is at least as much as any shop equipment, probably more (in reality - not for tax purposes). What about commercial insurance, WC is about the same, truck drivers still get holiday and medical insurance, etc. You also need a place to park the truck and keep up on the maintenance. I'd be interested to see a detailed study that showed truck drivers cost any less than shop workers.
And, as you said, that's assuming they're full time truck drivers. Most places don't have businesses big enough to justify that. So that means they aren't making money doing billable labor or at least doing non-billable labor so a skilled worker doesn't need to do it.
I guess how the truck costs are captured depends on how delivery is "sold". If they sell a kitchen, delivered as part of the kitchen cost then yes, all the costs need to be blended into the same OH bucket.
If they deliver and "subsidize" the delivery cost then the same rule applies. On the other hand if I am a customer1000 miles away and want to send my own tractor trailers to pick up completed kitchens for my high rise then why should the kitchens carry the overhead of a truck?
In our delivered and installed work I account for delivery as part of OH but we add mileage and delivery hours for anything above the first floor.
In our work that isn't delivered we charge for pallets, palleting, wrapping and loading as a separate cost. It allows us to focus on a product cost without all the excess labor to get it out the door.
Its not unusual for us to have packing and freight exceed the cost of the product.
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