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Assembly kits with variable part physical attributes: warehouse layout design and assignment procedure

Marco Bortolini (Department of Industrial Engineering, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy)
Maurizio Faccio (Department of Management and Engineering, Universita degli Studi di Padova, Padova, Italy)
Mauro Gamberi (Department of Industrial Engineering, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy)
Francesco Pilati (Department of Industrial Engineering, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy)

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 14 October 2020

Issue publication date: 3 December 2020

316

Abstract

Purpose

The kitting feeding policy creates kits with the parts of each product to assemble. Each kit contains elements with heterogeneous physical properties imposing heterogeneous logistic facilities and management solutions for storage and handling. The purpose of this paper is to present and apply a two-step procedure to design the part warehouse layout and to assign locations in case of kitting with high-variety part attributes. The proposed procedure aims at reducing the kitting travelled distance, shortening the picker paths, best positioning the components in the warehouse to enhance the possibility of creating kits through a single corridor access. The saturation of the warehouse and the minimization of the required storage space are also considered.

Design/methodology/approach

Starting from part categorization, the proposed two-step procedure, of general applicability, designs the component warehouse, sizing the corridors (Step 1) before clustering the kits in terms of part commonality and best-assigning clusters to corridors (Step 2) with the goal of reducing the travelled distance and saturating the available storage space.

Findings

A comparison model considers the traditional versus the proposed warehouse layout highlighting the potential saving in the picker travelled distance. A case study taken from the harvesting machine agricultural sector exemplifies the applicability and the practical implications of this research.

Originality/value

Elements of originality are the warehouse design strategy and the assignment model for parts based on their physical attributes and their occurrence in the assembly kits. Finally, the case study taken from industry, with a high number of components and part categories, adds value to the research making the proposed procedure able to address large-scale industrial problems.

Keywords

Citation

Bortolini, M., Faccio, M., Gamberi, M. and Pilati, F. (2020), "Assembly kits with variable part physical attributes: warehouse layout design and assignment procedure", Assembly Automation, Vol. 40 No. 6, pp. 857-868. https://doi.org/10.1108/AA-10-2019-0173

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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