Buffer storage supports fast and smooth production processes. Buffer storage areas or systems are used to temporarily store items that will soon be needed for production or orders. Normally buffer storage does not have fixed storage positions for specific items. Buffer storage areas are often located near the shipping and receiving docks, and in spaces between two production zones along manufacturing lines to ensure smooth-running processes. The products kept in buffer storage must be ready to enter the manufacturing process quickly when they are needed. Buffer storage keeps production processes in balance during brief outages and whenever the pace of production fluctuates. The size of buffer storage and the floor space required are variable. Generally speaking, the production volume and storage costs are decisive factors. The Hänel Lean-Lift® and Hänel Rotomat® are space-saving systems that offer flexible storage management, making them ideal for buffer storage applications.
Efficient buffer storage between production process steps
If there is a shortage of material coming from the warehouse, production processes can slow down and that can be very costly. However, buffer storage resolves this problem. Parts and material are constantly supplied to the production lines or order processing areas to prevent delays. The design and size of buffer storage depends on the goods being manufactured, the cost of storage and the average downtime experienced on the production lines.
In principle, buffer storage serves as a "parking area" for items until they are needed for production or orders. In linear processes, these parking areas are located between two different sequential process steps and represent a temporary function. However, buffer storage can also be beneficial even if goods or parts need to be kept in storage for an extended time period. Items required for a specific manufacturing task, for example, may not be needed immediately at a particular moment, so they are kept in buffer storage nearby so that the production area does not become overloaded with these items. That saves production space. And that space can be used for other goods and parts needed for the production process.
When it comes to buffer storage, both the Hänel Lean-Lift® and the Hänel Rotomat® are ideal choices. For example, the Hänel Rotomat® delivers materials and parts to the access point within just a few seconds and provides up to 60% more storage capacity. This means that costly warehousing space can be utilized effectively.