When Ken Turzinski co-owner of the Swedish TYRI Americas company in Stevens Point, WI returned from a Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP) trade show in Milwaukee during January of 2018, he showed then production manager Tony DeVoy a Box Latch™. His comment was, “Tony, would you have any use for a product that closes boxes like these without tape?” When Tony found how easy it was to use a Box Latch™, he immediately saw a use and placed an online order. The rest is history.
As it turned out, the use of Box Latches™ became part of a massive lean manufacturing makeover of TYRI’s systems.
Inventory Storage and Management
The first location where Mr. DeVoy saw a use was in first-in, first -out (FIFO) inventory management.
Like so many businesses, TYRI stores several thousand boxes that need to be opened and closed as they pick parts to manufacture LED and Halogen head and tail lights for Jeep® and John Deere®. A persistent problem was multiple boxes with same parts open making it difficult to keep track of their inventory.
Boxes from downstream suppliers with the same ID number were stored in racks. Once opened, staff either fold corners, taped tops shut, or left them open. When left open, it reduced storage space and allowed for contamination.
Now, the first time a box is opened, workers close it with a neon green Box Latch™ Large. Why neon green? Because it shows up no matter how much or little light is present. No duplication of open boxes, no tape, no box destruction, no contamination, no knife cutters, no damage to contents, instant recognition of the box from which the next parts should be picked and easy inventorying.
Our next installment will show how the Clip & Stack further assists TYRI’s lean manufacturing efforts.
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