A detailed look at the receiving process in a manufacturing workflow
Hello again 👋.
Welcome back to the Manufacturing 101 series where I am giving you an introduction to the way manufacturing companies operate by taking you step by step through the manufacturing workflow.
In the last part of the series, I introduced you to Paper Joiners Ltd, a fictional company whose manufacturing process we will dissect in this series. I also gave you an overview of the manufacturing workflow that Paper Joiners Ltd and every other manufacturing company follow. If you missed that part, you can find it here.
In this part of the series, we will dive into more detail about the receiving part of the manufacturing workflow.
Before we move on, I would like to take a moment to introduce myself to anyone who might be new to the blog.
My name is Ken Bourke and I have worked as an automation professional for almost a decade. During this time, I have worked on large global projects in different industries around the world.
In the last year, I have started producing content online to share my knowledge through free blog posts and free or very reasonably priced courses.
If you get some value out of this post then consider checking out my courses, joining the mailing list using the form at the bottom of this page, or, if you’re feeling very generous, buying me a coffee using the Buy Me a Coffee widget on this page.
With that bit of shameless self-promotion out of the way, let’s get back to looking at Paper Joiner Ltd’s Receiving process.
During the receiving process, a manufacturing company accepts deliveries of the materials that it needs to run its operations.
Companies receive obvious things like raw materials that are used to manufacture components, components that have been manufactured by suppliers, and packaging materials to pack finished products in.
They also receive less obvious things like toilet paper, which is not required for their manufacturing process but is required to keep the business running.
A receiving dock is a physical location in a plant where goods are received.
Paper Joiners Ltd has two receiving docks.
One is called the Components Receiving Dock, where all of the components that are delivered to Paper Joiners Ltd are received.
The other dock is called the Steel Receiving Dock, where all of the heavy steel coils are delivered.
As we will see later on, Paper Joiners Ltd needs two separate receiving docks because they need different equipment to receive components and steel coils.
At the Components Receiving Dock delivery trucks back up to bays to be unloaded.
Delivery trucks are unloaded with fork trucks, pallet jacks, or automated conveyor systems.
The choice of which method to use depends on what is being unloaded, the volume being unloaded, and the flexibility that the receiving company needs.
For example, an automated conveyor system can be used to unload a truck quickly but can only transport materials along a fixed path.
In contrast, a fork truck takes more time to unload a truck but can be used to transport materials and products to almost anywhere in the facility.
At Paper Joiners Ltd, conveyors are used to unload the trucks.
The components and materials that are unloaded from the trucks are placed on conveyors by operators. The automated conveyor system transports materials that are immediately needed to the production area and the remaining material to a storage area until it is required for the production process.
You can see an example of how this unloading process might look in the video below from Laurent Uvo.
Paper Joiners Ltd also has a Sheet Metal Receiving Dock.
This dock is used to receive heavy goods, like the huge rolls of sheet metal that Paper Joiners Ltd uses to manufacture the steel parts used in its staplers.
The receiving process for heavy materials is separated from the receiving process of components and raw materials because heavy materials require special handling equipment.
Specifically, roll and coil handlers are used to transport steel coils around a facility. These are special types of fork trucks and pallet jacks that are specifically designed to handle steel coils.
You can see an example of a piece of roll-handling equipment in the video below from Dimeco.
In this part of the series, we looked in more detail at how the receiving part of the manufacturing process works.
In the next part of the series, we will look at the production part of the manufacturing process and see how Paper Joiners Ltd uses industrial machinery to convert raw materials into useful components like steel brackets and plastic handles.
If you haven’t already, make sure to sign up to the mailing list below to be notified when that part is ready.
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