Archive: Aug 2022

Kitting & Assembly: Learn the Difference and the Benefits

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Benefits of Kitting & Assembly

Kitting and assembly are two terms that are often used interchangeably, although they actually refer to different processes. Kitting and assembly are used to improve efficiency in manufacturing or to package pre assembled products for consumer convenience.

What Is the Difference between Kitting and Assembly?

When determining the best production or fulfillment solution for your operation, you may want to evaluate the efficiencies that kitting and/or assembly can provide and learn the difference between the two.

Kitting

Kitting is a process that bundles two or more items together to create one single, ready-to-ship, or ready-to-use kit with a new single SKU. Kitting products together helps manufacturers when several components are required during a manufacturing process to have all the tools and materials needed at the right place and time to facilitate efficiency. Kitting helps inventory tracking by compiling all components into one new SKU to simplify inventory management.

Kitting is also used to satisfy end-user consumer needs with several components sold together as one kit. Many examples of this include subscription boxes, cosmetics, hardware, and direct mail kits, the list is endless.

Assembly

Assembly is a process that involves combining two or more separate components together to create one product that is then sold or used as a single item. Assembly lines are used in many fulfillment centers when products must be assembled in bulk. Assembly lines are common in production facilities and provide efficiency to manufacturers for mass production of various components from small items all the way up to automobiles.

Kitting and Assembly: In-House Or Outsourced Process?

Both kitting and assembly are processes that are commonly performed in-house, at the place of fulfillment or manufacture. Many companies, however, are realizing the benefits of outsourcing kitting & assembly to experienced providers.

Kitting and Assembly In-House

Companies that perform kitting and assembly as part of their own production process must allocate resources to support the in-house process or sub-process. Resources include the space to perform kitting and assembly processes, employees to perform the kitting which involves training and labor expense, and time allocated to manage the inventory and logistics of all products.

Kitting and Assembly Outsourced

Companies that outsource kitting and assembly processes can realize significant benefits when evaluating the process thoroughly and putting a cost to the time and effort of in-house operation and management. When production lines can simply pack parts in bulk and ship to a kitting provider, rather than take up their own floorspace to combine their own parts into a single unit, they can allocate that space to other production processes. This helps to grow their business and focus on their niche product market.

Partner with a Kitting and Assembly Provider

When evaluating kitting and assembly providers, look for a company with experience, attention to detail, capacity, a proven quality track record, and the willingness to partner with you for ongoing success. Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, has been providing kitting and assembly services for more than 80 years. With a large, state-of-the-art facility featuring 17 shipping and receiving bays, we have the capacity to dedicate kitting and assembly workstations to ensure an optimized flow of material.

PPS is committed to total customer satisfaction by investing in our staff with ongoing training and development and a focus on high-quality work processes. We enjoy extremely low turnover, and a dedicated team committed to providing efficient, quality production solutions with meticulous attention to detail. We provide kitting and assembly solutions for companies of all sizes, including some of the largest manufacturers in the country.

PPS offers high-quality kitting and assembly with decades of experience and a commitment to excellence. We practice lean operations, cross training, value stream mapping, full product traceability, and ISO:9001 certified processes. Contact us to learn more about improving your efficiencies by outsourcing kitting and assembly to a quality-minded, experienced kitting and assembly company.

How Material Kitting Enhances Manufacturing

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Material Kitting

Manufacturers often kit final products to bundle items together for sale to consumers but kitting also plays a beneficial role in the manufacturing process.

What Is Material Kitting in Manufacturing?

Manufacturers are focused on the most cost-efficient production to produce quality products, with a focus on continual improvement, reducing waste, and streamlining processes. Kitting materials that are required during a production process can significantly improve production cycle times and shop floor efficiency. When certain jobs require specific tools, materials, and work instructions and the required kits are available where and when they are needed, this significantly cuts down on operator time hunting down all the materials required.

Kitting may include certain raw materials that go into a particular product, packaging materials for that product line, or labeling materials. Quality control inspection checklists combined with the equipment necessary for specific jobs could be kitted to improve efficiency during QC inspections and ensure that all required parameters or critical dimensions will be checked as required. Material kitting in manufacturing can significantly improve production times by ensuring that all materials, parts, or components that are required during a process are available when needed.

When to Use Material Kitting

When considering incorporating or changing a material kitting process in your manufacturing application, there are some situations where kitting adds significant value. If the following conditions exist, you might want to evaluate your material kitting process:

  • When a large variety of small components are required to be incorporated into the production process
  • When time is being wasted locating materials and components on the production floor
  • When some products require customization of things like shape, color, accessories, or packaging
  • If there is a shortage of space that prevents stocking required materials closer to the area needed on the production line
  • Material kitting can enhance the production process if any of these situations exist or other conditions which can be improved with streamlined methods.

    How to Use Material Kitting in Manufacturing

    As manufacturers create the Bill of Material or BOM, for specific production jobs, everything that is a part of that finished product, including all materials and labor, is accounted for. When components in the BOM arrive at the production process when and where they are needed, in a ready-to-use kit, operators save time for improved efficiency.

    All of these individual components can be kitted to create a new SKU, which simplifies inventory and handling. Quality is also improved with a kit of parts that have already passed all quality control measures and are assured to be within acceptable specifications. Kitting requires production managers to determine the most beneficial products and materials to bundle for improved manufacturing efficiency.

    When kitting multiple components in large quantities, it may be beneficial to utilize the services of a contract kitting and assembly provider.

    PPS Provides Material Kitting for Manufacturing

    Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, offers kitting solutions to manufacturers of all sizes, including some of the largest Fortune 100 manufacturers in the country. We utilize our large, modern, state-of-the-art facility with the capacity to dedicate kitting stations designed to meet customer specifications. With a dedicated staff, automated equipment, and a commitment to detail and quality processes, PPS improves production efficiencies in a variety of industries and markets.

    We are experienced in efficient kitting processes, practicing lean operations including value stream mapping (VSM), to improve efficiencies and reduce waste. PPS offers a variety of secondary production solutions such as kitting, assembly, packaging, and many secondary packaging solutions customized for the manufacturing line or display-ready products.

    PPS is an industry-leading production solutions provider with more than 80 years of experience. We differ from other kitting providers in our kitting expertise and commitment to our staff and customers. Contact us to learn more about improving your material kitting to enhance your production processes.

    Improving Assembly Efficiency with Kitting

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    mproving Assembly Efficiency by Kitting	 parts

    Efficiency is a key driver of profitability, especially in manufacturing operations where time is money. Kitting is proven to improve efficiency, thus increasing profitability, in many manufacturing applications. Having the parts required delivered to a certain production station at the time they are needed saves operators from hunting for parts that they need and supports lean, continual production operations.

    Kitting Saves Time, Time is Money

    The cost of each component produced, whether a small part or a large automobile, is dependent upon a few different factors, including the raw materials going into the product, the cost of labor, and the time it takes to produce each unit. Reducing the “cycle time” of each product produced is one area where manufacturers have some control and try to improve, thus reducing each component’s cost. If time is shaved even in seconds off of a production cycle, that’s seconds that are opened up to produce more parts. Time reductions also provide more production for the same labor expenses in most cases, thus making labor more efficient.

    Lean Manufacturing with Kitting

    Reducing time where possible is one key aspect of lean manufacturing. Reducing the time it takes to produce products and the time that parts are stored in inventory, whether raw materials or finished goods, improves efficient operations. This is especially true in assembly operations where a production line must have the parts they need, as shutting down a major assembly line is not an option in many operations. Just shutting down one production line at an automotive OEM plant can cost tens of thousands of dollars in a matter of hours.

    Kitting Improves Efficiency and Inventory Reductions

    Storing products costs money in terms of taking up space in addition to the cost of the purchase. This is why many manufacturers practice lean manufacturing, which emphasizes waste reduction and optimized flow of goods, usually with just-in-time (JIT) deliveries of required materials. This also helps to prevent items from becoming obsolete while in storage.

    By reducing the amount of inventory, companies can improve their inventory turnover ratio, which indicates efficient inventory management, improving balance sheet ratios and cash flow. Kitting is an excellent way to improve efficiency when assembling components and to help reduce product cycle times and inventory storage. Kitting requires careful planning and logistics considerations to receive the right parts at the right time but is well worth the improvement in efficiency when assembling components.

    PPS Supports Lean Manufacturing with Kitting for Assembly

    Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, understands the importance of lean manufacturing and on-time delivery as an ISO9001:2015 registered kitting provider with more than 80 years of experience. We provide kitting solutions for companies of all sizes, including some of the largest Fortune 100 companies in the U.S., as well as small to midsize businesses.

    We practice value stream mapping (VSM) in our own operations to optimize kitting and assembly processes. This ensures the most efficient process to meet your production requirements with a focus on high quality and timely delivery. Our staff is unique in that we enjoy a dedicated team that enjoys coming to work and enjoys working together thus cross training, and fulfilling lean production processes are simpler when all team members are focused on providing an exceptional material flow.

    PPS utilizes automated equipment combined with a trained, skilled staff in addition to quality control and lean manufacturing best practices. We offer a large, modern facility with the capacity to dedicate customized kitting and assembly stations to meet customer needs. Contact us to learn more about improving your assembly operations from an ISO9001:2015 certified kitting and assembly provider.

    Advantages of Kitting Realized in All Market Segments

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    Kitting is a process that provides solutions to a wide range of industries and sectors that rely on kits to streamline their manufacturing and fulfillment processes. Companies in many industries use kitting to improve internal operations or to satisfy customer demands.

    Advantages of Kitting Realized in Endless Industries

    Kitting can be found in such a wide range of industries and applications we simply cannot list them all, although some of the most common examples of how kitting benefits companies can be found in the following industries:

  • Automotive – automotive manufacturers rely on maintenance kits ready when they need them to conduct maintenance or repairs, service engines, transmissions, and critical components. Kits with easy access to the tools and parts needed significantly improve maintenance and production efficiency. Kitting provides organizational benefits to streamline a variety of automotive production processes.
  • Aerospace – Kitting helps to improve strict quality control and high-stakes industries like aerospace and aeronautics. Kits with parts that have passed quality control and are ready when needed support efficiency and safety.
  • Defense – military and defense operations rely on a broad range of kits with tools, mission-specific products, and equipment packages ready when needed.
  • Oil and gas – the oil and gas market utilizes kits containing repair and replacement parts, seals, sealing compounds, and critical components to support safe and efficient processes in the field.
  • Medical devices – manufacturers of medical devices require kitting when different devices are required to be assembled for the end user, whether for a hospital supply room, operating room, or customized to a specific patient.
  • Furniture and appliances, light fixtures – kitting provides solutions for various furniture and appliance and light fixture products. Combining products for replacement parts or custom lighting solutions improves branding and customer satisfaction.
  • Paper Goods, Sales, and marketing – kitting large quantities of paper products for brochures, sales and marketing, promotional materials, training programs, and more can be time-consuming for large companies to perform in-house. Third-party, contract kitting companies have been providing solutions for paper goods and marketing materials for decades.
  • Toys – kitting is a huge part of the toy industry, where many products must be organized and sold as a set. Many toys are packaged together in ready-to-ship kits, such as Lego products, model airplanes, board games, Barbie accessories, and more. Toy companies improve internal efficiencies and reduce errors when multiple elements are combined into a single kit to speed up the picking, packing, and shipping process with accuracy.
  • We often take for granted the kitting that is involved in the many products that we purchase. Making sure that consumers have what they need when they need them and having everything packaged for convenience and appeal is always on the mind of the manufacturer or the brand. When companies work with an experienced contract kitting and assembly provider, they can realize many benefits internally and with improved customer satisfaction.

    PPS: Delivering Decades of Kitting and Assembly Services

    Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, has been a leader in providing kitting and assembly services for more than 80 years. We offer high-quality, cost-efficient kitting solutions to companies in all industries of all sizes. We offer vast experience in a wide range of kitting products from small to midsize companies to some of the largest Fortune 100 OEMs in the country.

    PPS differs from other kitting providers in our commitment to employees, dedicated staff, and low turnover. As a fully sustainable not-for-profit organization, we offer the flexibility to customize your kitting and assembly requirements to meet your production and budgetary needs. Our focus is on providing sustainable employment to our staff rather than profit and on continual improvement with training programs and strict quality policies.

    PPS is a leading Midwest supplier of secondary production solutions, including kitting assembly, packaging, electronic kitting, and more. We utilize automated equipment, a skilled trained staff and adhere to strict quality procedures as an ISO9001:2015 certified kitting provider. Contact us to learn how to improve your kitting processes with an experienced contract kitting and assembly provider.

    Future Trends in Secondary Packaging

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    Secondary Packaging Trends

    Secondary packaging describes the packaging used for transporting products and for displaying branding loyalty of prepackaged products. Secondary packaging differs from primary packaging as it does not come into direct contact with the products, although both packaging types do sometimes converge. Typical examples of secondary packaging include cardboard boxes, cartons, and plastic crates, among others.

    The Role of Secondary Packaging

    The role of secondary packaging is mainly to protect packaged products and to keep primary packaging intact. Corrugated, boards, and paper are the largest product segments used for secondary packaging with trends expected to continue to grow. Newer materials being used for secondary packaging include pulp-based material, ethylene-based resins, and thin seal nonpetroleum and polypropylene-based products.

    Opportunities and Drivers for the Secondary Packaging Market

    Secondary packaging plays a vital role in transporting a variety of goods and products, and when shipping many types of products must ensure adequate protection, such as when transporting medical-grade products. Many manufacturers and product brands are putting more focus recently on secondary packaging materials produced with sustainable methods that provide biodegradability and weight reduction.

    Another consideration is self-display capabilities, such as unwrapping a skid of products in a wholesale consumer store where the primary packaged products are ready for sale. Many shelf-ready displays require that the lower part of the case remains on the shelf with proper graphics and branding and the ability to survive the logistics of the supply chain.

    Oftentimes the retailer mandates the type of secondary packaging they will accept.
    Product protection is always a role of secondary packaging, as well as convenience with SKU proliferation, traceability and product security.

    The most important trends driving the secondary packaging market include:

    • Product protection
    • Weight reduction
    • Display ready cartons
    • Variety packs / multi-packs
    • Sustainable, biodegradable, or recyclable materials
    • Traceability and product security

    Many brands are altering other aspects of their secondary packaging process to meet logistics requirements and branding mandates of retailers along with better suiting the needs of customers. The largest format changes are geared mainly towards material reduction and improving operational efficiency. Many companies are changing their secondary packaging strategies with these goals in mind with strategies such as:

    • Replacing corrugated packaging with shrink wrap film
    • Switching to display-ready, wraparound cases
    • Replacing cases with rigid trays
    • Evaluating sealing options with glue or tape
    • Switching to flexible packaging in sealable bags
    • Working with an experienced secondary packaging provider can help you to understand your options and how to improve the quality and efficiency of your packaging process.

      PPS Offers Experienced Secondary Packaging Solutions

      Peoria Production Solutions, PPS, provides contract packaging, repackaging, and secondary packaging solutions for companies of all sizes. We offer more than 80 years of experience operating as a fully sustainable not-for-profit company focused on high-quality secondary production solutions customized to the needs of our customers. PPS follows a strict quality policy as part of our ISO9001:2015 certification and is dedicated to ongoing employee training and continual improvement in every process.

      We offer a large, modern, state-of-the-art facility with the capacity to set up customized packaging workstations to meet the needs of our customers. We provide high-quality production solutions for some of the largest Fortune 100 companies in the country and small to mid-sized OEMs, adding value with quality products and services delivered on time.

      We are experienced in all types of secondary packaging and continually invest in automated equipment such as auto bagging and weighing. PPS provides experienced palletizing services and more than 17 shipping and receiving bays for optimized flow of goods. Our Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP, system allows for complete lot-code product traceability and full accountability of all customer-supplied material.

      PPS is an industry-leading Midwest production solutions provider, offering contract packaging, wrapping, kitting, assembly, sewing, and other processes customized to improve your production efficiency. We differ from other packaging providers with our focus on jobs and our employees over profits, allowing the flexibility to meet your production and budgetary goals. Contact us to learn more about future trends in secondary packaging and how to improve your packaging process.