Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


PK USA expands on-shoring operation with “stackable” storage containers

By Staff
September 23, 2013

After expanding operations eight times to meet customer demand since 1989, PK USA is expanding again as its customers add new vehicles in the U.S. that had previously been assembled overseas.

But to continue growth PK USA, a primary supplier of metal body, chassis, and plastic injection parts for domestic and international automotive companies, had to optimize its operations.

The parts supplier, which stores up to 1,000 stamped parts and components between its stamping and assembly processes, had been using eight different types of containers for storage in existing warehousing.  But this arrangement was not sustainable with continued production growth.

“Many of our storage containers used space inefficiently, had weight and stacking limitations, and required frequent replacement because they broke down in our environment,” said Dan Sizemore, a senior engineer at PK USA’s Shelbyville, Indiana facility.  “If we hadn’t sought new custom containers, we would have had to expand our warehouse to meet the demands of continued growth.”

According to Sizemore, for instance, a new product needing parts storage between die set ups was not stackable with wood pallets or wood containers, and required considerable storage space.  Among the variety of storage containers, the material handling capability was also less than flexible, and their tracking and inventorying needed improvement as well.

After reviewing PK USA’s current storage situation, Sizemore noted that one design of existing wire mesh container originally made over 20 years ago by Steel King, an industrial storage rack and pallet rack manufacturer, was still functioning well and had several decades of use left in it.

Sizemore recommended the continued use of the wire mesh container, plus adding a few new custom containers, including some with corrugated sheet metal walls, that would be fully stackable and accessible from all sides.  This would consolidate storage from about eight container types to about four custom container types optimized to store and stack efficiently in existing warehouse space, while expediting material handling.

“All in all, the enhanced material handling brought about by Steel King’s custom racks and containers have reduced part damage, as well as protected them more securely,” said Sizemore. 

He added that because they are “stackable,” this has minimized the need for warehouse shelving. 

“We did not have to purchase any type of shelving system, since we were able to stack the containers on themselves,” said Sizemore.

Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

The trend of rising weekly diesel prices remains intact, with the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) reporting this week that the average price per gallon of diesel gasoline increased 1 cent to $2.914 per gallon.

When the United States House of Representatives last week voted extend current law and authorizes surface transportation programs through the end of July by a steep margin, it was widely expected that the United States Senate and follow their lead. That is exactly what happened on Friday, May 22, with the measures headed to President Obama to be signed into law.

For the month of April, Cass and Avondale found that truckload rates in April, which measures truckload linehaul rates paid during the month, were up 3.8 percent annually, while intermodal dropped 1.9 percent annually during the same period.

Following the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) signing off on ratifying a new five-year contract with the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) on May 20, the ILWU followed suite on May 22, saying that 82 percent of its longshore worker members voted to ratify the tentative contract agreement between the parties that was reached on February 22.

Straying from its typical seasonal trajectory, United States-bound waterborne shipments dipped from March to April, according to data recently issued by Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA