I'm sure most lean practioners have used flow racks for material storage, part presentation, and/or kanban systems.
Here is a rack that has something new (at least to me). The rack (large picture here) has color-coded rollers (red, yellow, green) that can be used as visual controls for re-order points, min/max levels, etc.
It looks cool. I was initially excited about this, but now I'm trying to weigh the pro's and con's of this style rack.
- It can be tough sometimes to mark visual controls on a flow rack, you can use tape along a rail, vertical posts, etc. This gives you a pretty unambiguous signal that won't fall off, fall down, unpeel, etc.
- The rails look pretty easy to adjust/move left and right, to adjust for different sized boxes.
- The wheels might not be easy to change out. When your re-order point changes, you have to A) remove all of your boxes from the rack and B) pop out wheels and pop in different colored ones to change the visual control.
- It might be hard to see the rollers (and hence the colors and the visual control indicators) when boxes are on top of them.
- Might be more expensive than a regular flow rack.
Has anyone experimented with this? How do you view the tradeoffs of this? Click “Comments” to weigh in.
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