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Material Screening and Selection

Material screening is a type of supply chain service that takes place prior to manufacturing. The premise is to filter or otherwise separate a (usually granular) solid into different piles or sections based on size. Most bulk raw materials require some form of screening or crushing in order to meet manufacturing or product requirements, so this seemingly niche process plays out with remarkable frequency.

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Benefits of Material Screening

Evening Material

Have you ever found lumps in your sugar bowl? While these are harmless and still able to sweeten your coffee, the same can't be said when those coarse lumps are in asphalt, grains, or other materials that depend on a uniform consistency to ensure smooth processing or use. Screening can include methods of breaking up these sorts of oversized clusters to promote a consistent and quality product.

Remove Impurities or Contaminants

In addition to physical consistency, material screening helps promote consistency of quality. This is easiest to see in situations like pharmaceutical products, where adulteration during the manufacturing process can have serious ramifications for safety and health. Another way of putting it is that material screening can help separate the wheat from the chaff—literally, if necessary.

Increase Consumer Choice

Most supply chain services can connect back to improving the customer experience in some form or another and material screening is no exception. Screening can separate materials by size and shape, after all, and in some cases, this can lead to extra consumer options and products for a business to sell. Look at the different types of salt and sugar granularities that you can buy at the store. Each one is ideal for a different purpose even though they are ostensibly the same material. Making it easier for customers to buy exactly what they need is never a bad thing.

Make Manufacturing More Efficient

Production is heavily influenced by the volume and quality of the materials that undergo processing. In some cases, such as the above-mentioned pharmaceutical example, impurities or adulterants can cause entire batches to be tossed out. In others, the end quality is not necessarily affected but the quantity of production yields, or the processing time itself may suffer. There are, of course, ever-present wastage concerns as well. Effective material screening helps enhance the efficiency and reduces potential costs of the entire manufacturing process.

Lean Supply Solutions is a third-party logistics order fulfillment and supply chain management company in Toronto.

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