SST Uses Zappers for Inventory Counting and Picking

Solid Sealing Technology, Inc.  (SST) has been using the Crescendo enterprise software in its growing manufacturing business since its inception in 2004.  As their company grows,  owners Gary Balfour and Alan Fuierer are constantly seizing opportunities to maximize workflow efficiency.  SST recently deployed Opticon OPN 2001 pocket memory scanners (which we here at Efficiency Partners affectionately call “zappers”) in their stockroom.  These simple, inexpensive devices are employed by SST for two primary functions, inventory cycle/physical count and issuance of components to manufacturing work orders.

SST builds both catalog and custom products from thousands of engineered components.  Because purchased component lead times can be lengthy, SST requires pinpoint inventory accuracy to be able to make and keep delivery promises to its customers.  In addition, SST maintains end-to-end lot traceability to support its quality objectives, so each batch of components is bagged and tagged with barcode labels within the stockroom bin system.  To keep its inventories accurate, SST relies upon cycle counts, counting approximately 20 items twice each week.  SST recently performed a complete physical count (its first in five years).  With the help of zappers and scale-counting techniques, SST was able to perform the count of 200,000 individual pieces of inventory in a single day.  Zappers allow specific lot numbers and quantities to be accurately recorded and then directly uploaded to the system with the simple push of a button.   After zapping the bin number, the operator zaps the barcode label on the bag and then zaps the quantity using a barcoded number pad.  Items with high quantities are counted by weight using a scale attached directly to the Crescendo system to save time.   As each bin is counted and zapped, a simple green sticker is applied to the bin to prevent double counting or overlooked bins.

The other important application for zappers at SST is picking source components from the stockroom to production work orders.  When issuing required components to manufacturing work orders, the operator first scans the work order number, then the lot number barcode on the component package, then the quantity issued using the barcoded number pad.  The operator can maximize his/her efficiency in this process by picking multiple work orders at a time and recording items picked with the zapper.  The zapper is subsequently uploaded to the system automatically, with a visible display of any picking discrepancies.  This new process ensures accuracy  for both inventory and quality control purposes, as well as efficient workflows.

Opticon “zappers” can help save both time and errors for many business processes.  They are easy to use and easy to integrate with other applications.  Contact Efficiency Partners at 518-874-0616 to discuss ways your business processes can become more efficient.

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