How Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems Improve MRO Spend
MRO, a crucial business function for organizations seeking growth and profitability, is essential to remain competitive in today’s maturing markets. However, the lasting effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has posed challenges for aerospace and defense organizations to manage their MRO spend as air travel demand has significantly decreased. To address these challenges, industry analysts suggest organizations explore opportunities to enhance operational efficiencies and reduce costs.
A disorganized picking and storage process in any aircraft manufacturing and parts maintenance facility can have a substantial financial impact on resources needed and inefficiency costs generated to run daily operations. Missing parts, a lack of a reliable real-time inventory, picking errors, and too much time wasted locating parts can bring high operational costs.
Accelerating trim costs through efficiencies is the process of reducing expenses related to materials used in manufacturing by streamlining processes and improving efficiency. Here are some ways to achieve this goal:
- Automate processes: Automating processes can reduce human error and improve speed, accuracy, and consistency in manufacturing, which can ultimately lower costs.
- Implement Lean principles: Lean manufacturing principles focus on maximizing efficiency and minimizing waste in production. Implementing these principles can help eliminate unnecessary steps in the manufacturing process, reduce lead times, and ultimately lower costs.
- Optimize supply chain: Streamline the supply chain by reducing lead times, improving supplier relationships, and minimizing inventory levels to reduce material storage and handling costs.
The use of technology, stabilizing the supply chain, and streamlining the workforce are some areas addressed by switching from a traditional shelf storage system to a vertical lift machine (VLM). VLMs are an efficient solution for aerospace and aircraft manufacturers and suppliers to reduce costs and prepare for future demand.
All picking operations are monitored and documented to offer full traceability of orders and monitor stock levels in real-time through inventory management software that integrates into any existing local IT system.
Inventory management software translates picking activity from the VLM into usable data easily integrated into any existing local IT environment for improved inventory control and accountability.
VLMs are already in place in many aerospace facilities across the United States. They can help organizations save valuable floor space, enhance productivity and accuracy, and secure their valuable aircraft tools and spare parts. The VLMs’ enclosed system of vertically arranged trays maximizes storage potential by using the available room height from floor to ceiling in a safe and secure unit that automatically delivers them to the operator with a tap on a touchscreen or a scan by a barcode reader. This automation eliminates the need to search for items and ensures that the correct part is delivered to the right person.
The result is a work environment that runs more efficiently, reducing the need to hire additional workers and enhancing worker productivity. Virtually any type of parts can be stored in the VLMs, and trays can be organized for items of every type and size. The VLMs’ reliable locking and validation feature is vital in an industry that demands precision, safety, and accuracy.
Tier1 MRO can help aerospace and defense organizations automate inventory management with a combination of VLM and software installed and customized to meet specific needs. The Tier1 MRO team of IT experts can also integrate the data generated by the automated inventory control solution into the organization’s ERP for maximum efficiency.
By adopting an automated storage and retrieval solution, aerospace companies can protect their investments and count on a substantial ROI within 6-18 months through increased productivity, significant space-saving, enhanced security and traceability, and greater efficiency across all aspects of the aircraft manufacturing and maintenance process.