Benefits of Board Storage | CADCode and Flexstore

 In Case Studies, News

Episode 3 – Benefits of Automated Material Handling | Board Storage System

Ben Fatchen from Cabinet Systems & Darrel Aldridge from SCM Group Australia talk about the implementation of the SCM Flexstore inventory storage system in Port Elliot, South Australia.

In this episode, we explore the benefits of automated material retrieval in reducing downtime, labour input and increasing yields through being able to use multiple sheet sizes over one batch.


The Flexstore board storage or inventory retrieval system
is an automated storage solution for our panel products. The benefits of that solution
to our factory is that we have an automated material retrieval – we can prepare
the next day’s cutting overnight which once again limits the downtime of the
cutting process throughout the next day. It allows us to handle multiple sheet sizes
of the same material without downtime between material changes on the machine.

With this system here, all the material is stored in the
one place and the machine is force feeding the nesting machine and the operator
is basically at the other end waiting for the components to come off. It reduces
the amount of labour that is needed to run that nesting machine and put away
material and handle that material. Those operators can go somewhere else which
means the cost of cabinet comes down because you’re using one guy to cut
material. It has reduced their lead time substantially.

We have found in quite a short amount of time we’ve been
able to multiskill I think we have three staff that can manage that system throughout
the day. So when it comes to people having leave and holidays, we’re finding it’s
not having as large an impact on production flow, which when you have time
sensitive orders, it becomes a major issue.

One of the benefits of the board storage system was the
fact that we can handle multiple sheet sizes of the same material and where
that solves a problem that we were having was with our goCabinets order, our
flat pack orders, we were receiving a lot of small batch runs that were really
time sensitive. The issue we had if we were running a 3600 by 1800 sheet of
whiteboard, to cut one carcase, the waste was huge, and that waste had to be
handled, and there is obviously big costs associated with not just the waste,
but the handling. The ability to be able to change sheet size to a more
appropriate sheet size on the fly allows us to handle just-in-time orders so we
can run a small batch onto a small sheet, with small amount of waste and also
we have the ability, which is driven by the software, we found that not a lot
of software companies can do this, was goCabinets worked in with CADCode
systems with their post processing system that allows us to manage multiple
sheet sizes across one batch.

We can run for example a job with 4 sheets, and
each sheet can be a different size. Between software being able to handle that,
and the board storage being able to handle that, we can cut those 4 sheets one
after the other in the same time we can cut 4 sheets of the same size. We’re
finding we are up around 15-20 square metre per week of material saving – that
and the labour saving and waste cost, we are not having to dispose of those
large off cuts – it’s pretty substantial.

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