Refers to the creation of kits

What is kitting?

To best grasp this concept, it is important to understand the philosophy behind certain industrial companies’ work. Indeed, most wish to remain focused on their core activities and entrust certain complex operations to service providers.

Let’s look at a specific example. Brand X wishes to give its customers a full toolbox: the container is of course manufactured separately from the tools, which will be placed inside the box following an internal or external operation. The whole pack will then be sold by distributor Y.

There are two possible solutions for reaching this goal and creating a unique consumer sales unit:

  • The tools can be placed in the case or box without any outside help, running the risk of it taking lots of time and space;

  • Otherwise, the components (tools and boxes) can be delivered to a specialized operator who will take care of : they will assemble the components, thus “creating” a batch that will make up its own original consumer sales unit, that will be labelled and packaged.

A lot of companies whose activity requires assembling components turn to logisticians specialized in operations.

Specificities of kitting: the 3 pillars

  • is used within a “pull flow system”, meaning that production is synchronized with assembly needs.

  • Assembly is synchronized using the takt time method.

  • Ensuing advantages are mostly financial, thanks to proficient control over cash flow and material goods, given that components are all delivered to the same place at the same time by the industrial company.

Examples and practical applications

Advantages of outsourced kitting

Logisticians specialized in have workshops designed to ensure strict compliance with the safety rules required for production agents. areas, where the components are taken from, are also carefully studied to provide optimal productivity without causing any musculoskeletal disorders for employees. Necessary investments are of course made by the operator.

The company that manages the also manages waste (mostly packaging) for the entire assembly line.

In the automotive industry, previously-prepared kits are placed on AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles) and gradually taken to the edges of the production lines, cleared of all movement, as needed for assembling the car. Following kit preparation, the parts to be assembled are scanned (components), to better manage the kitter’s needs.

When looking at assembling part of a plane, all the components are placed on a mobile handling unit. This light and mobile rolling unit contains all the parts required by an assembler to carry out their manufacturing orders.

  • The sub-contracting industrial company (in this case, the aircraft manufacturer), saves on space in its own warehouses, as it no longer needs an assembly line or dedicated units.

  • flows can be synchronized with the specialized operator’s as soon as the components have been produced.

  • The specialist conducts all the required operations in their dedicated workshop, and does all the necessary quality and quantity checks before conducting packaging and labelling operations.

  • For “just-in-time” delivery, the goods are loaded and delivered worldwide.

  • It is wise to associate a tracking service when transporting goods, to get a specific idea of where an order is at any given time. Tracking systems are a good way of following up on orders placed on e-commerce sites.

  • The specialist who conducted all the operations will also handle any returns, then will increment stock levels, and will proceed to re-package the product before sending it back to the customer if required, or to the After-Sales department.