How IKEA Uses Drones for Inventory Management

In my last post I went a bit into the theory of where drones in manufacturing may be applicable. They are not really for transport, but there is a possibility to use drones to gather data – provided you don’t need an expensive pilot and there are preferably no workers around on which a drone could crash. In this post I would like to show you the use of drones at IKEA. This is pretty much the only case I know that is not a mere trial, test, showcase, or example, but an actual beneficial implementation that receives a wide roll-out, with dozens of warehouses and stores either already having drones or planned to receive drones soon. Many thanks to Omid Maghazei for the information and details, see source below.

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The 6R Goals of Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing aims to improve manufacturing. In this post, I would like to look at the 6R goals and clarify them. The 6R are right product, right place, right time, in the right quantity and quality, and at the right cost. It has a lot to do with logistics, not only for the final product, but also for the raw materials and intermediate components. Let’s have a look:

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The Modern Way to Buy Screws

Screws, or more generally fasteners, are a main staple in most industries. Recently I visited a factory and saw a nice way to automate the procurement of screws and other fasteners. This Industry 4.0 solution is part of a vendor-managed inventory (VMI), where you not only buy the screw, but also the service of always having enough screws, and let the vendor manage the hassle of making sure there are enough screws. I found the example in this factory quite neat, and hence decided to tell you about it. Let me show you.

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About Just in Time and Fluctuations (Like… a Pandemic…)

Global logistics networkJust in Time (JIT) is a powerful tool in lean. However, it is not an easy tool. Using it without understanding the requirements can quickly make things worse. I have written about related topics before, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, Just in Time was often blamed for a lack of material, usually by people who do not understand how just in time works.

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How the Corona Virus affects Logistics

The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2, is running through the world like a wildfire. Besides killing hundreds of thousands of people, it is also creating a huge headache for the economy. Many countries are currently experiencing a second wave. In this post I will look at how the pandemic affects supply chains, how they react, and how this may shape supply chains in the future.

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Amazon Kiva Storage Strategies

Amazon Kiva Close upAmazon uses a pretty neat and nifty way to store its materials using robots. These are commonly known as Kivas, although Kiva is only the name of the company that originally invented them. Amazon calls them Amazon Robotics. In this post I will look in detail at both the design of their storage pods and how Kivas manage their inventory.

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