Banta
Location : UK
Industry : High Tech / Electronics

Description

Banta provide ancillary kits to Dell computers on very short lead times. Kit make up is unique to each order and hence the operation works to very tight time windows. Continued growth at Dell had increased pressure on the Banta operation and there was concern that the operation may struggle with future projected growth.

Purpose and Scope

Logistics Simulation was commissioned to study the following areas:

• Build a data model that covers end of pack line at Banta to order merge at Dell to test numerous growth scenarios for the next 3 years.
• Evaluate the supply chain and processes used to get product from end of pack line to merge point at Dell. Consider alternative solutions and assess their benefits to the operation. Gain outline costs for any proposals.
• Evaluate Pack Line design and operation. Look at alternative solutions, pre-kitting, variable operator stations and make recommendations to solutions that could improve the operation.

 

Conclusions

The data model proved that with the new lines planned at Banta that there would be just enough capacity to meet the growth targets for the next three years. This would however require very high levels of operation of the pack lines and transport / cages would be very highly utilised. Any breakdowns at these peak periods would result in the big problems.

Numerous options were considered for process change. Solutions recommended for further investigation were:
• Changing the present cage used for inter-site transport to a dolly which would increase capacity
• Removal of manual handling from Banta pack lines. Conveyor to cage / dolly area and pick / place unit to stack
• Automated or semi-automated solution at the Dell line side. Two solutions were examined in detail, one involving robots
• Changing scanning procedures, either through automated image capture or RFID

These solutions were costed by potential suppliers and were put together into a series of combined options. Headcount savings were calculated with the assistance of Banta

Pack line design looked at three areas:
• Improve line efficiency
Conclusion that variable workstations should be considered so that at quiet times operators could cover a larger proportion of the pack line

• Pre-building complete boxes
Conclusion – After extensive analysis this was found to be impractical as there were no high volume, generic kits for any of the markets served

• Pre build kits
Conclusion – A select number of kits would be very beneficial to helping improve the throughput of the pick lines. Overall the total number of picks would increase, but the peak throughput of the line would increase and the pre-build would take place in quieter periods of which there were plenty.

 

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