Have you ever struggled to keep track of your inventory because counting everything in a bin is simply too labor and time-consuming? Counting by hand with the regularity you need to actually have an impact is unfeasible. Yet, the consequences of not having an accurate count can be disastrous. What if you all it took was putting your storage bin on a scale and that counts the contents and automatically sends the information to your email or inventory tracking software?
Throughout our 30 years innovating and manufacturing scales, Arlyn Scales has built good rapport with some of our manufacturing clients and this is just a small piece of what we know about the problems manufacturers face:
Problems Manufacturers Face With Keeping Inventory
Manufacturing operations often require a large number of different parts. Fasteners can constitute a portion of these, including everything from rivets and tabs, to screws, nuts, bolts and washers. Connectors of various types, such as circular, high voltage, modular, surface mount, flex circuit, and many others are also required. A myriad of electronic components may be used, such as microprocessors, led displays, filters, capacitors, switches, fuses, transformers and resistors. Other parts can include gaskets, overlays, and a huge array of plastic components.
To complicate the situation, there may be a number of different items that are being manufactured. Each item has its own parts list. There also may be a number of shared parts between the different items. Keeping track of the parts in inventory is critical.
Consequences can be huge when just one of those many little pieces is out of stock.
This little error has shut down manufacturing production for hours or days, costing the company an immense amount of financial losses and strain.
When the piece is a specialized part with a long lead-time and requires re-ordering long before the stock is depleted, this can put managers and supervisors in an unenviable position.
While software programs may help keep track of forecasted usage, actual usage will almost always vary. This is due to parts that may be ruined or lost during the manufacturing process. For these reasons, it is preferable to maintain actual inventory levels at all times. Of course, it is not practical to continually count all the parts in each of the bins. Parts counting scales are available to help in this process.
How a Normal Counting Scale Can Help Manufacturing Plants Do Inventory with Occasional
- A sample of a part is placed onto the scale platform.
- The counting scale registers the weight of an individual part. Hint: save this weight measurement in the scale’s software for future use!
- Now place a full bin of that same part on the scale (all items in the bin must be homogenous).
- If you’ve already saved the weight of the bin by itself (i.e. “tare weight), the scale’s software will automatically subtract the weight of that bin and then display the total number of parts in the bin with the suffix “pcs” so it is clear that the measurement is pieces and not pounds, grams, etc.
While this will speed up the process of taking inventory, it will still be a very time-consuming process if there are many bins with parts.
Arlyn Scales offers an exciting, nearly fully automatic way to keep real-time control of your inventory.
This system cuts out the step of having to remove each bin from its storage place, placing it on the scale and manually having to decide if it’s time to reorder.
>> Contact Arlyn Scales to discover how we can implement a nearly fully-automated solution in your manufacturing plant.
In sum, the system works by placing scales under each bin of inventory you want to track, the scales are connected to a display indicator that saves, calculates, creates alerts, lights up and can even send automatic messages once a pre-determined amount has been reached that signals that it’s time to reorder.
Continue reading for more details.
Innovative, Real-Time Inventory and Automatic, Remote Alerts of Low Levels
Some manufacturers find that if they maintain tight communication with the companies that source their parts, that they can avoid unexpected shortages and keep well stocked. In this past, this has meant that a distributor comes on site to count the parts. This is costly, too occasional and still endangers the manufacturing operation.
Arlyn Scales provides a grand solution: our real-time inventory control is achieved through a bin scale system with remote access. This is how it works:
Individual scale platforms are placed underneath each parts bin you’d like to keep real-time track of. A number of bin scales can be connected to a scale controller to obtain the weight in each bin. Many scale controllers can then be wired together into a small, specialty network.
This network is attached to an Internet-connected communication module.
A remote web hosted computer communicates with each of the communication modules where module reports the weight of each bin to which it is connected.
A database on the remote computer maintains the piece weight of each part that is being monitored, along with the empty tare weight of the bins that hold the parts.
Given this information, the host computer can calculate the number of pieces that are currently in each of the bins.
The database also holds alarm and target information. When the number of pieces in a bin falls below the required value, an alarm is generated so that the distributor can arrange to refill the bin in question.
Because the data is hosted on the web, anyone with the proper security permission can access the information. This allows employees of the distributor to see this data from any device with an Internet connection.
To iterate: a salesperson or stock employee can view this information, again with appropriate password security protection, from a cell phone or other WiFi-capable mobile device.
Inventory control bin scale systems offer significant savings to the parts distributor. While there is a cost for the bin scales themselves, there will be huge savings in time.
Cost and time savings are a reflection of fewer distributor visits to the manufacturer’s sites. The process of acquiring the actual inventory values will be much quicker. As it will now be automated, it will also be much more accurate. The bin scales themselves may include a local display with alarm lights, so on-site employees can respond to low inventory situations.
Because this is a web-hosted system, the distributor may access data from many different manufacturing clients. As there are security measures in place, only those people who should be allowed to view inventory information from any particular client will be able to do so.
>> Tell us at Arlyn Scales about your manufacturing processes and we’ll see if there is a way that a scale and weight system can save you time and money. Don’t hesitate to call! 800-645-4301.