Sorting parts – Why cabinetry shops are adopting fixed racks?

In every cabinet shop, different steps in the work process move at different paces. Automated processes like panel sizing and CNC cutting will output finished parts more rapidly than one-at-a-time steps like edge banding and dowel boring.

Mobile cart

To even out the ebb and flow of parts production, shops use sorting bins to collect and accumulate the parts into production-ready stock. While many shops use mobile bins or rolling racks for this purpose, more and more firms are adopting an even more effective approach: Fixed rack.

Fixed racks optimize and give the capacity to easily centralize the organization of parts, allowing you to sort multiple jobs at once, whereas mobile bin sorting strategies require one bin per cabinet, or per job, jobs or for multiple similar pieces. When production ramps up, that makes for a lot of rolling bins, using a lot of floor space – and can lead to chaos in the plant.

Fixed racks – how does it work?

These fixed rack can be installed at a variety of locations in the plant, including along the perimeter of the plant. But the most forward-thinking firms use the optimal approach: a pass-through partition design, with each storage slot clearly labeled for the type of part or cabinet it holds. Dual-side access allows parts to be loaded from upstream operations or retrieved for downstream production simultaneously.

With fixed rack, there is no lag time as is the case when processing one job at a time. As workers at each stage complete batches of components, they place each component into individually labeled slots.This permits faster and more efficient assembly. Workers from downstream assembly production stages know to go to these clearly labeled storage rack bins, to find the components they need without having to search between bins or different areas of the plant, as with rolling bins

The key benefits of fixed racks

Fixed rack

The fixed rack storage rack is very compatible with lean production principles, which seek to cut wasted motion. Cabinet shops using the approach say it provides several advantages:

  • Wasted motion reduced; workers know where to place and retrieve parts.
  • Errors in part picking fall; like parts of the same unit are sorted together, reducing redundant sort bins by half.
  • Optimizes space utilization: wall racks open workspace by eliminating rolling racks, which are obstacles to workflow.

Accumulating finished parts in a fixed rack also encourages each stage of production to move at its natural speed. It reduces the temptation to slow down or speed up to avoid overwhelming co-workers.

But the biggest gains cabinet shops report in sorting components at the fixed rack (by job) is increased production flow and optimised assembly efficiency, and decreased search time or lost parts through misplacement.

The WEB-CAB team can introduce you to a parts-sorting workflow system. You can then combine that with the WEB-CAB Production Assistant application, to track the movement of every part, every cabinet, and every customer project from panel sizing, to parts cutting, all the way through shipping and fulfillment. Learn more from the team at WEB-CAB, Inc. www.web-cab.com