Elasto Provides is a rubber fabricator and distributor that provides kitting services. Along with your rubber seals, gaskets, and insulation, we can kit your plastic parts, metal components, and rubber-to-metal bonded assemblies. Everything you need arrives together and on time, and you’ll like how kitting can save you time and money.
Kitting and SKUs
Kitting groups and packages two or more related products together to create a new stock-keeping unit or SKU. These numeric or alphanumeric identifiers make it easier to track inventory, but too many SKUs can hurt operational efficiency. For example, manufacturers that have too many SKUs spend more time finding, sorting, handling, and organizing stock. This adds labor costs, requires more storage space, ties up cash in inventory, and increases tax liabilities.
Kitting reduces the number of SKUs that you have and decreases these risks and expenses. SKU reduction might take some work up-front but consider the benefits. For example, you could order all of the rubber parts that you need for a vehicle. For each new assembly, there’s only one SKU to process. Everything that you need is packaged together, and the parts are easy to order, receive, store, use, and pay for.
SKU Reduction Checklist
Is your company a candidate for kitting? Do you have too many SKUs? Here are some questions to ask and answer.
- Are your stockers spending too much time sorting and handling stock?
- Are your pickers making an excessive number of trips from inventory shelves to the assembly line?
- Are you concerned about the cost of walking back and forth from the warehouse, and maybe stopping along the way?
- Do you struggle to manage problem SKUs?
- Do you carry excessive amounts of inventory to avoid stock-outs?
- Do you make SKU decisions based on avoiding headaches rather than maximizing profits?
- Do you struggle with calculating your carrying costs per SKU?
Even if you answered “yes” to some or all of these questions, you might still have reservations about SKU reduction because of the work involved. But consider the valuable benefits that you’ll get.
Five Benefits of Kitting
There are five main ways that kitting can save you time and money.
- Faster assembly
- Reduced overhead
- Volume discounts
- Reduced packaging waste
- Fewer errors
The following sections explain.
Kitted parts are faster to install because everything you need is in the same box. With a seat assembly, for example, all of the molded rubber parts can arrive in the same box, including rubber-to-metal bonded assemblies for the seat track.
Kitted parts reduce overhead because there are fewer SKUs to order, receive, store, and pay for. If your company uses just-in-time inventory (JIT), a box of kitted parts can move from your dock to the assembly line and bypass the warehouse.
The price of individual items may change over time. Plus, it’s usually more expensive to buy one-off items instead of making regular purchases from a vendor. When you buy kitted items on a schedule, you may be able to get a volume discount since your supplier is regularly selling more parts in fewer shipments.
Reduced Packaging Waste
Multiple rubber products that can fit inside a standard carboard box don’t require special packaging. These boxes can be recycled, of course, but kitting can reduce the number of incoming boxes that you need to temporarily store and then break down.
Because kitting reduces your SKUs, it reduces the risk of mistakes during purchasing, receiving, warehousing, picking, and payment. For example, if parts with several different SKUs have a similar appearance, a picker may pull the wrong item from an inventory bin.
Kitting saves you time and money, but there’s a way to get even greater value. Instead of just putting the parts you’ll need in a box, Elasto Proxy can package your parts in assembly order.
Kitting with Assembly Packaging
Assembly packaging arranges kitted parts in order of installation. When you open the box, the part to install first is on top. The part you need to install next is below the first part, and so on. At the bottom of the box is the part to install last. Because they’re kitted items, all of the parts in the box belong to the same SKU. Let’s look at an example.
A heavy equipment manufacturer orders a kit with 25 different parts. An assembler opens standard packaging and looks for the part to install first. If this part has a similar shape or size to another part, the wrong part might get picked. The assembler may then unpack all of the parts on a worktable, search for each part as it’s needed, and then walk back and forth to the line. That’s unproductive – and expensive.
A Better Approach
Meanwhile, another worker opens assembly packaging that contains the same 25 kitted parts. There’s no confusion about which part to install first since it’s on top. The assembler just follows the work instructions and removes each part from the box when it’s time to install it. There’s no searching for parts and no need to dump them on a table. There’s no walking back and forth from the table to the line either.
In this example, the headliner are on top and installed first. The floor mats get installed last, so they’re on the bottom of the assembly packaging. If this sounds efficient to you, consider going even a step further and combining assembly packaging with just-in-time inventory. The kitted items travel in a single box right from the receiving area to the line, bypassing the warehouse and all of its associated costs.
More Kitting Examples
Here are three more examples of kitting for industrial rubber products.
- Automotive parts
- Service truck bodies
- Hydro vac trucks
The following sections explain.
Kitting for Automotive Parts
The automotive industry needs molded rubber and plastic parts that are delivered on time and made of approved materials. The Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers who buy these components include metal stamping and machining companies that want to streamline their vendor management, inventory control, and logistics to control costs and achieve greater efficiencies. In an industry where part prices are calculated in fractions of a cent and OEMs take months to pay invoices, managing cash flow is key.
Operationally, it’s inefficient to buy just one or two components from many different suppliers. Managing all those vendor scorecards comes with a cost, and there’s added paperwork for front-office personnel. There’s also a cost to warehousing large volumes of molded rubber and plastic parts that aren’t needed for a while. Tier 2 and Tier 3 companies can get a volume discount if they buy more up-front but that can tie up cash. It can also tie up floor space, which is why OEMs like JIT.
Metal Stamping and Machining Companies
Elasto Proxy supplies molded parts to metal stamping and machining companies that want a better way to support automotive OEMs, but not at the expense of their own operations. That’s why these suppliers issue Elasto Proxy a blanket purchase order for all of the molded parts that an OEM needs. Elasto Proxy buys all of the parts, stores them in its warehouses, and then ships them on time to the OEM. Metal stamping and machining companies aren’t billed until the parts arrive, and that helps them conserve cash.
The benefits don’t end there either. Tier 2 and Tier 3 supplies that don’t have to store molded parts in their own facilities have more space for productive activities. They need fewer racking and shelving units, but they can still pursue high-volume OEM opportunities. That’s why when a metal stamping company needed multiple molded parts for a seat assembly, Elasto Proxy crafted a complete supply chain solution, beginning with our own vendor network of trusted suppliers from overseas.
Types of Kitted Parts
Elasto Proxy can supply you with molded rubber parts like bellows and boots, and with rubber-to-metal bonded assembles like bumpers and brake pedals. We can also provide you with molded plastic parts and plastic-to-metal bonded assemblies if you need them. Whether it’s inside the cabin, outside the vehicle, or under the hood, Elasto Proxy sources everything you need and delivers it in a way that’s smart, fast, and efficient.
The table below shows some of the automotive parts we can kit.
Engine Bay Components
Ducts and hoses
Silicone hose connectors
Glove box liners
Tail lamp gaskets
Console bin mats
Wheel housing liners
Seating topper pads
Gas tank pads
Door water barriers
NVH and BSR components
Kitting for Service Truck Bodies
Service truck bodies are usually made of lightweight, rust-proof aluminum or durable, powder-coated steel. Wherever metal parts meet (such as the edges of a door and a tool compartment), surface irregularities can create small gaps that require sealing and insulation. Rubber parts are also used to protect fenders, tool shelves, and the back end. To provide secure footing, anti-slip grip tapes are used.
As the image below shows, Elasto Proxy can fabricate and kit these parts for service truck bodies:
- latch gaskets
- fender flares
- anti-slip mats
- compartment door seals
- rubber bumpers
- debris mudflap guards
- anti-slip grip tape
Kitting for Hydro Vac Trucks
Hydro vac trucks are equipped with powerful vacuum systems, dust separators, pumps, blowers, and rust-free water tanks. They may also have a heater for unthawing frozen ground. Many of the major systems on a vac truck are made of metal, but hydro vac truck parts also include rubber components for sealing and insulation.
Elasto Proxy can fabricate and kit these and other rubber parts for hydro vac trucks.
- Anti-vibration mounts
- Bumper and mud or debris flaps
- Access-hole gaskets
- Anti-slip grip tapes
- Floor mats
- Acoustic insulation
- Window gaskets and D-shaped door seals
- Silicone hoses
Just let us know what you need.
Choose Fabrication or Distribution Plus and Kitting
Elasto Proxy is a rubber distributor and fabricator that provides kitting services to manufacturers who want to improve efficiency and reduce costs. Ready to learn more? Talk to our team.
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