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After reviewing PK USA’s current storage situation, Sizemore noted that one design of existing wire mesh container originally made over 20 years ago by Steel King, an industrial storage rack and pallet rack manufacturer, was still functioning well and had several decades of use left in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

Intermodal units, at 278,767 containers and trailers were up 6.7 percent compared to the same week last year and marks the third best week for intermodal ever recorded based on AAR’s data.

LM Group News Editor Jeff Berman recently conducted a wide-ranging interview with Bobby Harris, President and CEO of non asset-based 3PL BlueGrace Logistics about various aspects of the freight transportation market.

It’s small, but senior brass at YRC Worldwide will take it. After nearly seven years of continuing losses in excess of $2.6 billion, the parent of the nation’s second-largest LTL carrier posted a narrow net profit in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.

As was the case for the second quarter, third quarter earnings results for publicly-traded less-than-truckload (LTL) carriers are again strong. Signs of solid earnings results from carriers that have posted earnings to date include tonnage increases, gains in weight per shipment and average daily shipments, higher yield, and revenue per hundredweight.

While the holiday season is known to bring good tidings and cheer to all, it may also come with another thing that is not so pleasant: higher rate freights. That was the thesis of a commentary written by Mark Montague, industry pricing analyst and chief market-watcher for DAT, a Portland, Ore.-based subsidiary of TransCore.

Comments

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


© Copyright 2013 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA