Logistics are a concern for any business. Not only will these methods help to ensure consistent quality control, but products are able to be stored, inspected and distributed with ease to the end customer. However, none of this would be possible without what are known as shuttle solutions. How are these processes defined and why are they so very critical within a commercial or industrial organisation?
As the name may already hint, a shuttle serves one primary purpose. It is designed to aid in the movement of a physical item within the work environment. An example can prove very useful here. Let us imagine that we are examining the step-by-step process of manufacturing shoes. One machine will construct the soles, another fashions the laces while a third designs the fabric tops (to name but a few steps associated with the system). Shuttles within this environment will transport these disparate items from one location to the next (to be combined together). Also, they are able to place individual parts within storage units for future use.
Outside of the Facility
However, it is also critical to recall that shuttles are just as important in terms of supply chain distribution. An end product will normally need to be sent from the manufacturer to the distributor. Thus, this term can also refer to the physical means of transport between one location and another. Some common examples here can be a lorry shipping the same aforementioned shoes to a regional warehouse for distribution or a farm that requires the regular collection of vegetables before they are sold at a market.
Efficiency is Key
Shuttles are only as effective as the ways in which they are implemented. In terms of in-house designs, they are frequently controlled by bespoke software packages to maximise their effectiveness. When referring to the physical transportation of a product outside of the facility, logistical planning and management are paramount in order to meet what will often prove to be demanding time frames. These are some of the key metrics which are associated with shuttles in regards to the workplace.
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