Developing advanced manufacturing technologies is only part of what we do at Mazak to help you increase your productivity and profitability. As part of our comprehensive Optimum Plus customer service program, we offer world-class parts support to maximize the return on your machine tool investment. By stocking more than 50,000 unique part numbers, we are able to achieve 97% same-day delivery on all our orders.
After all, in today's 24/7 manufacturing world with urgent demands and just-in-time logistics, it's more important than ever to maximize uptime. That's why we are committed to continuous investment in our spare parts fulfillment so you get the fastest possible solution to the unexpected and your facility keeps running smoothly. In fact, we recently invested nearly $1 million to expand our North American Parts Center in Florence, Kentucky, enabling us to continue our commitment to providing one of the industry's largest inventories of spare parts—which is valued at more than $65 million.
The expansion increases our facility's storage capacity by 25%, growth that will also support our many new and upcoming machine tool models. Two new fully automated vertical lift module (VLM) storage systems—which join 13 other VLMs in an advanced automated storage and retrieval system—will boost small parts capacity by 5,600 parts, and we are replacing an existing rack system with a new one that will provide 286 more pallets of large part storage. In total, the expansion allows the Mazak Parts Center to inventory almost 14,000 additional parts to keep customer machines up and running.
We group the VLMs into four pods or pick-and-pass workstations. Within each module are 8 feet wide, 34 inch deep trays that can hold up to 1,100 pounds of parts. (There are also wider units capable of handling oversized parts.) Together these pods create a 150-foot long picking area, with a conveyor line running in front of them. For heavy parts, we have a pallet storage area that is serviced by an automatic stacker crane.
Our Parts Center currently ships 1,000 aftermarket parts daily and has the capability to process up to 2,000 orders within a five-hour shift. Since our customers are busy during working hours and most often place part orders late in the afternoons, the Parts Center is staffed well into the evening hours to ensure those orders get same-day shipping. We also streamline access to our massive spare parts stock through our highly successful PartsWeb ordering program that puts customers in touch with the North American Parts Center 24/7.
To confirm every customer's spare parts order is accurate and quickly filled, we use a five-point check system that is managed by our warehouse management system:
1. We carry sufficient inventory so that a particular part is always in stock when our customers place an order.
2. We label every part with a barcode for identification.
3. Each tray's light strip displays the stock number and part name of the item(s) a worker must pick for a particular customer order.
4. When a worker puts the item(s) in the tote, it re-displays a visual, digital message of the pick order.
5. In the pack area, we check the item(s) against the original order to ensure accuracy before shipping.
With our five-point system, we are able to achieve nearly 100% part-picking precision. Pair this accuracy with our same-day delivery on 97% of all our orders, and we're able to offer our customers the best in parts distribution—which is critical in today's highly competitive 24/7 manufacturing world where there is no margin for error.