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What Is Kitting in Manufacturing? 

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Small parts often need to be assembled into larger assemblies. In the simplest case, an entire assembly is produced from a single large piece of material, and then it’s cut into smaller pieces that are then assembled. In more complex cases, however, multiple parts must be cut from one large sheet or block of material to make several different assembly components at once. This process is called kitting. The resulting small parts are called “kitted parts,” and the bundles in which they’re packed for transport may also be referred to as “kits.” Go Freight Hub provides its 3pl services, knowing all this so they provide you the best services.

Why Is Kitting Used?

Kitting reduces processing steps by cutting down on equipment costs—one setup can produce multiple products—and potentially decreases production times by increasing efficiency if it is carried out in parallel with other operations. It also allows manufacturers to deal with fluctuations in demand, since different parts are produced differently whether they are part of a kit or not. Businesses often use custom kitting services to package multiple products into one kit and send them to customers.

Kitted Parts

Kitting typically involves components that are small or fragile, particularly when the kit is assembled out-of-sequence. Bulk materials, such as sand and gravel in construction, may also be kitted in order to reduce the number of loading and unloading steps involved during production. 

When Is Kitting Used? 

Many factors influence when kitting should be used rather than cutting material into parts individually. These include: 

The following examples demonstrate specific cases where kitting is advantageous over traditional manufacturing methods.

1. Kitting Automobiles

Although many cars are manufactured using a just-in-time system, where they’re built from beginning to end as they’re needed, others have parts that are made in advance and then kitted into the final product. This is most common with vehicles assembled in small numbers at a time—such as custom sports cars—or those produced by manufacturers making only one kind of car. In these cases, it would be inefficient or prohibitively expensive to keep all of the necessary components for an entire run of vehicles on hand at any given time. Instead, select kits containing different combinations of parts that correspond with the desired features and options for each vehicle are nested into larger boxes that contain everything needed for assembly. 

2. Kitting Aircraft and Other Complex Equipment

The aerospace industry has used kitted components extensively. Components for subsystems and assemblies may be produced in bulk, to ensure that there are always enough parts on hand, regardless of fluctuations in demand from airlines or various governments. These parts are then nested into kits called “trays,” which contain all of the necessary pieces for a particular assembly—one tray per major assembly or system configuration.          

In the case of commercial aircraft, however, these kits can be very large and complex. The Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner contains approximately 1 million individual parts—and over two dozen different kinds of kitted components!

Why Is Kitting Used?

The kitting process has a number of advantages. These include: 

Kitting vs. Just-In-Time

Just-In-time manufacturing is when components are only built just before they’re needed. It can be cheaper by reducing the amount of equipment required, but it may also increase waste and the number of steps involved in production if parts need to be manufactured in sequences that don’t correspond to their ultimate use in a product. Kit manufacturing allows for more flexibility in terms of how products can be assembled, since multiple options exist for different assembly methods or sequences—as well as when individual components are produced. In addition, kitted parts allow manufacturers to deal with fluctuations in demand without requiring large warehouses full of inventory—just a few different kits containing the necessary components, which are nested together as needed.

The End Result

Kitting can be an important part of any manufacturing process—whether it’s automobile production, aerospace engineering, or actually assembling the finished product! It allows companies to deal with fluctuations in demand more easily by reducing their need for large amounts of inventory—and also streamlines production by allow manufacturers to avoid time-consuming or complicated task sequences. 

Bower Group Packaging provides high-quality, cost-effective kitting and kit assembly services to industry across North America. To learn more about how we can help your company, visit our website today!