Value-added manufacturing transforms engineered products into goods that save you time and money. It’s different than fabrication, the process of manufacturing a product like a gasket from a semi-finished material like an extrusion. By outsourcing fabrication and leveraging a vendor’s value-added services, you can reduce costs and improve efficiency.
Consider the following example. Instead of paying your employee to cut and bond gaskets, you outsource the gasket fabrication. If you’re using a relatively expensive employee to cut-and-bond, you’ll save money on labor costs. You’ll also reduce material waste from mis-cuts and improve material yields. Yet outsourced fabrication can do even more.
Value-added manufacturing like parts marking, kitting, and custom packaging make your products faster, easier, and less expensive to order, receive, stock, pick, and install. That’s true for gaskets as well as for thermal and acoustic insulation. Even rubber floor mats provide an opportunity for added value.
Let’s take a closer look.
Parts marking with inkjet printing and UV drying produces letters and numbers that are easier-to-read for fewer picking errors. Clearly-marked parts can also reduce labor costs because employees won’t need to compare unknown parts to engineering drawings. Marking isn’t limited to part numbers, however. Inkjet printing and UV drying supports the inclusion of production information like the manufacturing date.
Parts marking also supports traceability, an important consideration in many industries. If your company supplies parts to distributors or maintenance and repair organizations (MROs), part numbers that look crisp and clean can promote perceptions of product quality. They won’t de-laminate like labels or rub-off like markers either.
Kitting and Custom Packaging
Kitting and custom packaging are value-added services that simplify ordering and receiving, reduce freight costs, speed picking, and optimize assembly. For example, let’s say an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) needs cabin insulation for specialty vehicles. The OEM can order 15 different parts and receive as many as 15 different shipments. That’s a lot of shipments to pay for and plenty of paperwork to process.
Inventory and assembly can increase waste, too. If each of the 15 parts arrives separately, stockers could make as many as 15 different trips from the receiving area to the storage racks. Then, when it’s time for assembly, pickers need to pull the parts and move them to production. There’s wasted time spent wandering the warehouse. Then, if the wrong part gets picked, it’s back to the racks.
These aren’t the only risks or costs. If 15 different parts come from 15 different suppliers, the failure of any one supplier could leave you with quantities of 14 parts that won’t complete an assembly. For Procurement, there are 15 different SKUs to order and 15 different vendors to track. For Accounting, there are as many as 15 different invoices. Working with a single vendor, SKU, shipment, and invoice is easier.
To reduce costs and increase efficiency, the OEM begins ordering custom-packaged kits that contain all of the cabin components for a specialty vehicle. Each kit arrives in its own box, but there are fewer shipments since the boxes are shrink-wrapped together and arrive on a freight pallet. Instead of stocking 15 separate parts, inventory personnel just put individual boxes on a shelf.
Then, when it’s time for assembly, there’s no hunting for the right parts to pick. They’re already in the same box. Plus, the parts are arranged in order of assembly. In other words, the top-most part is the one that’s installed first. This assembler starts with the ceiling, works down the walls, and installs the flooring last. The back of the parts are clearly-marked, too.
Custom Fabrication and Value-Added Manufacturing
Are you looking for custom fabrication and value-added manufacturing? Elasto Proxy offers all the services that you need and has 25+ years of experience to prove it. To learn more, contact us.