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Application: Gun Smith Shop
Equipment: Two Megamat vertical carousels with mm550 controllers
Summary: Increased security, ergonomics, productivity and 86% floor space savings utiltizing two carousels.
The Gun Smith Shop at Lackland AFB has taken aim on improving their inventory management by implementing an automated Megamat vertical carousel solution from Kardex Remstar. “We needed to create as perfect an inventory management system as humanly possible,” said SSgt. Rebecca Pendleton.
The carousels store components and parts for all Air Force weapons which number more than 50 different handguns, rifles, shotguns, automatic weapons, etc. The amount of work that flows into this facility is based on actual need, not schedule. So there have been as many as 20,000 M16 rifles coming in on one day and other days nothing. “We have to be able to respond quickly and accurately to meet our mission, our automated system allows us to do exactly this,” said Pendleton.
“This is a secured area, and the few of us who have access are personally responsible for tracking every part in and out of our facility. In fact, if an audit were to go bad, I can be personally prosecuted and sent to jail...so I’m very serious about inventory management,” Pendleton stated.
In addition to the tight inventory control issues, space and productivity were issues at this facility. The space savings was dramatic. In fact, one Megamat carousel holds 44 of the drawer and cabinet units by itself. The facility’s weapons component and parts storage went from 750 sq. feet to 100 sq. feet, saving over 86% of valuable floor space.,“Space was simply running out and we spent most of our time running around looking in the 54 drawers and cabinets for parts,” said Pendleton. Two 15 foot tall Mega-Station vertical carousels each with 70 roll out drawers and a mm550 controller has replaced virtually all the cabinets and provides additional capacity to meet future gun models and their parts. The facility currently has over 3577 line items (SKUs) comprised of more than 375,000 actual items at a value of over $2.6 million dollars.
The carousels were positioned face to face to increase productivity. The operator simply goes to the mm550 controller and inputs the needed part number, name or shelf level. The carousel spins to the location and the corresponding pick light shows the correct drawer to open. The carousel is equipped with roll out drawers to provide maximum accessibility and easy ergonomics. Some drawers store larger parts in boxes and containers, while others store stocks, small parts, bits, tools, supplies, etc. which require divider sets. Either way each drawer is maximized for storage density.
Ability to Respond Quickly
“The automated carousels provide us the convenience of the drawer systems without the bending, walking and searching. Every drawer comes to me with a push of a button at the perfect work height. Also the overhead light and work counter are really helpful for counting parts and doing paperwork,” Pendleton continued.
Each mm550 controller holds the units SKU, quantity and location database. An easy inter-face allows each mm550 unit to have its database accessed via the department’s PCs and backed up for security issues.
Not only has the vertical carousel increased floor space without additional construction costs and increased productivity without adding additional personnel, for Lackland AFB the installation has also given those responsible increased peace of mind for securing stock items in a high security area.