by Luc Seesing President of SMD Machinery
General productivity at sheet metal fabricators and machine shops, is measured by how much input is required to get a certain output. Often "O.K-looking" numbers show up. Fair enough.
But if you look a little closer, at how much capital and space is wasted with poor material storage & retrieval, the landscape changes dramatically. Nice looking numbers turn out to be rather bad looking numbers instead.
Material storage and retrieval is one of the biggest waste factors. Most plants that I have seen (and believe me, I have seen a lot of plants) seriously struggle with storing and handling material. Sheet / plate as well as bar-stock (long-span) material.
Of course, Just In Time delivery of the material to your plant would be great. You would not even have a storage issue. But keep dreaming. Reality is different.