The Toyota Production Systems Lab focuses on manufacturing concepts, tools and techniques like line balancing, kanbans, jidoka and others.
In July 2011, the Rochester Institute of Technology installed two pick-to-light products from Lightning Pick Technologies in their Toyota Production Systems Laboratory. The TPS lab provides hands-on education in fundamental production line behavior, focusing on the use of teamwork, problem solving and state-of-the-art technologies to achieve process improvement.
The lab was founded in 2006 with support from the Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, and features two reconfigurable production lines, storage areas and conveyors. The lab focuses on manufacturing concepts, tools and techniques like line balancing, kanbans, jidoka and others. An integral part of four courses in RIT’s Industrial and Systems Engineering curriculum, the facility also supports activities for K-12 students and both undergraduate and graduate students in engineering or other disciplines.
In March the TPS lab expanded by 58% in size, primarily to add space for student order picking, kitting and distribution activities. Ken Lawrence of KRL Marketing (phone: 215-453-6782, email [email protected] or visit https://www.krlmarketing.com) assisted RIT in the design and implementation of technologies for this area. KRL Marketing is a technical manufacturers’ representative supplying warehouse productivity and safety systems along with sustainable solutions for energy, safety, environment and industrial instrumentation. The new plan included pick-to-light technologies which would enable students to explore light-directed systems applied to both production and distribution/order fulfillment applications.
In July RIT selected two products from Lightning Pick Technologies, a leading provider of pick-to-light and other paperless picking solutions based in Germantown, WI.
RIT installed the LP Express product for their parts/order picking line, which features three zones of gravity flow rack and roller conveyor. The LP Express package enables users with classic pick-to-light applications and a lower number of light device location requirements get the benefits of light-directed systems at an attractive initial project budget price point. Express offers the same best-in-class TW Series cable-free light device hardware utilized by hundreds of recognized corporate entities for their large scale distribution center installations of the full Lightning Pick version solution. Also included is the order fulfillment execution software for order management, system configuration and real-time productivity statistics.
The TPS lab also outfitted two workstations with Lightning Pick’s Build2Light system specifically engineered for error-proofing, assembly, parts picking, kitting and other production-related processes. Build2Light offers a full catalog of hardware options and the TPS stations use the same AW Series selected by several major manufacturers, as they can be mounted to flat or curved surfaces like popular tube rack applications. B2L is a stand-alone application comes with enabling software allowing users to easily configure their own best process directly to from their BOMs.
For more information about RIT and the Toyota Production Systems Laboratory visit https://www.rit.edu/kgcoe/facility/toyota-production-systems-lab or contact Professor John Kaemmerlen, Associate Lab Director, Industrial and Systems Engineering ([email protected]).