Everything You Need To Know About the New eKitting Scanner App Enhancements
Proplanner’s robust PFEP database allows users to define the part plans. These plans track the entire flow of the part from warehouse to supermarket to line. The PFEP system also has an execution component used for the electronic distribution of pick sheets (e-Kitting) and Kanban tickets (e-Kanban). These applications allow users to communicate and track unit-based kit carts and Kanban tickets through the system. These applications had been previously developed on the Windows CE platform and now have been converted to work on any Android device.
The Proplanner system has integration with MRP systems such as SAP, Oracle, PTC thus allowing the import of planned and production orders. The combination of the orders with the part plan data allows the system to generate part picking lists by unit. This is the basis of e-Kitting. Kanban on the other hand is a pull system wherein demand (or tickets) generated on the floor is sent to the warehouse and the need is accordingly replenished.
The process of e-Kanban starts with an operator or a water spider making a Kanban request from the floor. The request is then sent across to the warehouse in the form of a printed label. This label is then scanned, and the replenishment cycle of that parts begins. The label can be scanned multiple times from replenishment to delivery to allow tracking of the full box of parts to the line.
The process of e-Kitting is not based on the pull from the floor rather it is based on the build schedule for the day. The kits need to be prepared well in advance of the unit reaching a station so that there is ample time to deliver to the line. The kitting process begins with a part picker scanning empty carts and the PFEP system generates the pick sheet for that cart based on the next unit in the schedule.
What's New to the eKitting Scanner App
The scanner application controls the functions available to each user based on the role that they are assigned to. The available functions are –
Edit Server Address – Allows the user to edit the server to connect the mobile device to.
Show Kitting Only features – Will show only the kitting buttons.
Show Kanban Only features – Will show only the Kanban buttons.
Scan Part Location or Part Number – Allows scanning the location of the part OR scan the part number being picked.
Reset Carts – Allows the user to reset all the parts placed on the cart.
Reset Units – Allows the user to reset the picked unit (undo all picked parts for picked unit(s)).
The pause picking is a feature that was added for the picker to be able to quickly open another cart while pausing the clock on the cart and unit being picked. This feature was added to allow last-minute requests from the line for units and carts that moved up due to issues on the line.
Reset Carts and Units
These functions also allow the pickers to easily adjust to changing schedules. If a certain unit has been moved off the schedule and parts for that unit have already been picked, then these functions (which are role-based) allow the picker to reset all the parts picked and make the unit available for picking at a later point in time.
Alerts for under-consumption of carts
This alert was added for multi-unit carts with the intention of not having under-utilized carts be sent to the line. If the cart capacity (# of units on the cart) exceeds the number of units on the build schedule, then the operator is shown a warning and is asked to stop picking.
Tracking empty carts
The normal cart cycle is – Open Cart – Close Cart – Transit Cart (if any transit locations exist) - Deliver Cart – Open Cart. The cart after delivery is ready to be opened again. Proplanner now offers the ability to track the empty cart from the station where it was delivered back to the supermarket. This is achieved by adding Return-Transit status values. The new cycle is Open Cart – Close Cart – Transit Cart - Deliver Cart – Return Transit (1…n) – Open Cart.
Certain carts on the line are picked for a fixed set of parts. These carts are non-unit-based and carry specialized parts that cannot be on a Kanban call and cannot be stored in bulk on the line. These carts typically carry enough parts for affixed set of units. The scanner app will now allow the picker to open such carts, pick the fixed set of parts and deliver them to the line.
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