What You Should Know About Kitting and Its Benefits

  • by Mark Guy, Solution Architect, Morse Plc.
  • July 15, 2007
Implementing a kitting process in a discrete manufacturing environment allows you group items that are part of the same assembly into kits, which you can then track together. Find out about the functionality in R/3 that supports this process.
Key Concept
A kit contains a group of individual parts that may come from the same vendor. When an item is in a kit, you do not track it individually — you only keep track of the kit. You can build kits in- house or have a third-party vendor build the kits for you (external kitting). You can have a dormant kit, which is an inactivated kit, or an invoked kit, which is active.
Imagine a typical situation encountered in a discrete manufacturing process during which you acquire, stage, and consume many parts for your assemblies. In certain industries, such as automotive, thousands of parts can make up an assembly. You procure each part individually, receive it into the warehouse, and finally issue it to production. You could improve efficiency dramatically if you include multiple common components in a kit.

In procurement, for example, kits reduce the number of purchase orders for the individual components that you purchase from the same vendor. In the warehouse, kitting improves efficiency because you have a single kit box versus lots of individual component parts. You goods receipt a single “part” in the form of a kit, then put it away and pick it for production. This reduces the probability of an incorrect pick because you pick a single kit, compared to multiple individual components.

On the shop floor, using kits improves the assembly process efficiency because you can arrange the kit components in a logical order in the kit box, which avoids wasting time to search for the correct component. It also allows the operator to determine quickly if the assembly is correct by looking at the number of leftover parts.

However, many are not familiar with the kitting process. I’ll show you best practices for implementing a kitting process using standard R/3 with minimal configuration. I’ll provide an overview of when to use a kit and the typical kit life cycle. Then I’ll discuss how you can manage kits in R/3, including both in-house kits and kits that a third-party vendor produces for you.

Mark Guy

Mark Guy has 10 years of experience as a PP and QM consultant and currently is a solution architect at Morse. Morse is an international consulting company offering clients specialist business and IT advice and helping them execute for maximum benefit. Mark lives in Ascot, Berkshire, England.

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