Stocking Program for an Aluminum Producer

Expensive parts and long lead times for simple replacement items were causing headaches for the maintenance department at an aluminum plant in the Midwest.

Problem

Expensive parts and long lead times for simple maintenance items were causing inefficiencies in the maintenance department at a Midwest aluminum producer.

Most of the equipment in this plant is European so spare parts and seal kits usually have to be purchased directly from the equipment manufacturer. 

The issues they were having all led back to inventory optimization. They were using several different products for the same types of seals and gaskets. 

Basically, they didn’t know what they had in the plant, they didn’t know what spare parts they had on the shelf. They were living with very expensive and very long lead times for simple maintenance items.



Optimized the inventory system using years worth of historical data.

Solution


With a plan that lasted over several years, we worked the storeroom from one end to the other. We identified every possible item we would be able to supply and consolidate. Once we identified an item, we broke the item down and confirmed each component within that item. 

Now there is an active internal inventory list that is used by both CRC and the client.

The client knows and understands what they have in stock and it makes sense to them. They also have a better understanding of the history and movement of the inventory and what stock levels they need.

All items are tracked with the client's part number and cross-referenced with a CRC part number. This ensures the accuracy of the inventory.

The next phase of this involves a $110 million plant expansion. The expansion will add a new continuous casting line, single stand rolling mill, light gauge slitter, and four new annealing ovens. We will begin the same inventory optimization process for the spare parts needed for the expansion.

It is pretty amazing how simple items like o-rings, seal kits, and gaskets could delay production or even shut down a plant.

With a plan that lasted over several years, we worked the storeroom from one end to another."

- Kurt Totten



Need seal inventory guidance?

It's difficult to consolidate years of storeroom discrepancies if you just don't know exactly what's in there. We can work with you to develop a stocking program that doesn't lock you into certain inventory situations and gives you more purchasing flexibility.