Labeling is another important consideration with any sequencing project. In addition to any internal supplier labeling requirements, the manufacturer usually requires specific labels to be affixed to the parts and the shipping racks.
- These requirements, of course, vary by manufacturer. They can also vary by each manufacturer plant, as they have their own internal initiatives and specifications. Usually, each sequenced part will require a bar-coded label, along with some other basic part information, such as sequence number, customer part number, etc. It is important to finalize the label requirements for each program, as they may change. Part labels can vary in size from as small as .75" x 1.5", to a more common 2" x 4" label size, or larger.
- In this environment, the supplier receives the sequencing requirements and builds the parts in that order to match the sequence order as communicated by the manufacturer in one of the above listed Receipt of Sequencing Requirements. There are different variations of building in sequence. Attributes to consider include the nature of the product and how the product is packed at the end of the line as well as how the shipping racks are loaded on the truck. Some suppliers have a need to reverse the build sequence of a certain number of parts in order to accommodate packing requirements. This may be necessary in order to ensure FIFO principles, despite the design of a shipping rack, which may only allow for the last part placed in it to be pulled first by the manufacturer. Reversing the build sequence can help ensure the use of FIFO. Still others need to reverse build entire trucks due to lack of floor space for storage.
- Rack labels also vary in size and specification. A more common type is a standard 4" x 6" (or 4" x 6.5") AIAG-type shipping label containing several pieces of information. The rack number, high and low sequence number, Plant ID, Line ID, and more may be included on the label. In some instances, the rack label may actually be a simple 8.5" x 11 piece of paper (without the adhesive), with or without a barcode. The label may also need to contain a grid schematic of the rack with the part numbers listed in the appropriate rack positions. Again, these requirements vary greatly by manufacturer.
- The objective is to work closely with the manufacturer to identify label specification requirements, such as size and content. In addition, the positioning of the labels on the part needs to be addressed. Some parts do not have class B surfaces and alternate solutions for labeling may need to be identified.
There are pre-defined labeling guidelines for all manufacturers, but the each plant has the ability to allow for variations in the labels.