Material Handling

The True Costs of Wasted Space

Reducing wasted space isn't simply a nice bonus, but a way to completely revolutionize your manufacturing operation

As we mentioned in our last post most manufacturers have some sort of space concerns, but we've found that they don't think about the costs of wasted space in the same way that we do. While it's most common to think about the costs associated with expanding into new spaces, what you should really think about is the opportunity costs from not being as efficient as possible in your existing spaces.

Space savings possibilities

How much space could you free up in your SMT storage areas? Ten percent? 20 percent? With that in mind it's easy to understand why so many think the only way that can gain space is to expand into a new space. The reality is that most SMT manufacturers can eliminate up to 90% or more of their existing storage space with modern Smart Storage Systems.

This can be hard to believe at first, but let's look back at that picture from our previous post with some back-of-the-envelope math to help illustrate what we're talking about.

undefined-1Let's start with the empty bins. Each of the bins in this picture take up approximately 4 linear inches across the row, but each row is 12 inches (at least) deep and about 12 inches high, which is a third of a cubic foot of space. In this small cropped photo we can see at least 10 bins completely empty.

Most of the bins have a single 7" 8mm reel in them, which means you have a bin with approximately a third of a cubic foot of available space space filled with one-hundredth of a cubic foot of material - around 3% total volume capacity. 

If you extrapolate this small example across an entire stockroom that typically has hundreds or even thousands of these bins that are mostly empty space, you can start to see how 90% space reduction isn't just a pipe dream, but very achievable with the right system in place.

The true cost is opportunity cost

This kind of space savings isn't a simple nice-to-have benefit that makes your life a little better. This kind of space savings is a game-changer that allows manufacturers to completely rethink how they are storing and handling their material.

Forget about reducing the size of your stockroom, what if you could eliminate it entirely? What if you could fit all your material in your feeder setup area? What if you could fit one month of your high-volume Kanban material right on your production line? This is the type of benefit that modern Smart Storage Systems are bringing to manufacturers right now, allowing these manufacturers to gain a huge edge on their competition.

Don't think about how you can tweak the boxes you put around your operation, think about how you can remove these boxes and truly revolutionize your material handling operation! As always, reach out to us at Inovaxe for more detailed information, and for your own personalized presentation and demonstration of our systems.

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