It should come as no surprise that the size of the products being moved is a vital consideration when choosing material handling equipment. Despite this, many companies have item master data tables that are incomplete or out of date.
Consider the example of a carton conveyor system that has rollers. In this case, not knowing the exact dimensions of the cartons that will be conveyed can cause all sorts of complications. If the cartons are too long, they could jam on the curves, but if they’re too short, they could end up getting stuck between rollers. If they’re too wide, they will not be able to fit between the guide rails in the first place.
When it comes to your item master, the more dimensional data you can include, the better. At a minimum, you’ll need the width, length, height and weight of the pallets, cases, and units. You should also know how many cartons can fit into one tier on the pallet and how high you can stack them. Items that will need special storage or handling should be flagged, as should those that cannot be used on conveyors.
Improving Your Item Master
If you think your item master comes up short, there are a few ways you can help bring it up to an acceptable standard. If you don’t have a lot of resources, simply grab a tape measure and start measuring all of your current items, and then do the same as new ones come in. Of course, this process can take a long time and is susceptible to human error, which is why an automated dimensioning system is often used to simplify the task. If one isn’t in your budget, you can always rent one for the short term to help get your system up-to-date. Once you have all the right measurements in place, choosing the right material handling equipment will be much easier.
This blog post was based off an article from Tompkins Inc. View the original here.