Material handling in Electronics Industry

Fast stock rotation and thousands of components make material handling in electronics manufacturing complex.  OEMs and CEMs are having to ensure that the correct components are used without mishandling sensitive electronics and minimising downtime of production lines.

Using traditional storage shelves can make deploying FIFO approaches to stock management complicated.  Different tape and reel sizes make transporting multiple reels sizes inefficient, and handling sub-assemblies require extra care to avoid damage.

FlowTube’s modular approach allows electronics manufacturers to create a range of solutions that are suited to their many different material handling requirements.

With the deployment of Industry 4.0 across more industries, mobile solutions for storage and picking allow more effective integration with smart industry platforms.  From tracking high-value components and finished goods to pick-to-light systems and compatibility with AGVs, FlowTube is the ideal partner to provide the material handling solutions to support your Industry 4.0 strategy.

Flow racks for more efficient stock management in the electronics industry

Flow racks allow two-sided operation with the loading of components from the input side and picking from lineside.  This creates more efficient use of space and flow of electronic components through the production line.

Modular flow racks are ideal for high volume components such as LEDs, microcontrollers and memory, which require older components to be moved through the production line quickly.


  • Products presented ergonomically for easier visual and physical access
  • Build multiple tier systems based on reel and box sizes to ensure storage of inventory is efficient
  • Tracks mounted with inclines keeps material flowing to the front of the picking station resulting in better stock management
  • Deliveries can be quickly loaded into the back of flow racks in a FIFO system
  • Solutions can be fixed or mobile.  Mobile solutions installed on castor wheels for movement around the production facility
  • Coloured tubes are available to match up to corporate branding or visually colour-code different zones and products

Custom storage shelves for electronics industry

Designing custom storage shelving allows production facilities and distribution centres to plan storage and optimise space to maximise storage capacity.


  • Shelving can be designed to store reels and boxes, or totes for smaller packaging and loose components
  • Tracks mounted with inclines keeps material flowing to the front of the picking station
  • New inventory can be quickly stocked directly to the supply side of the shelving
  • Systems can quickly be modified to adjust shelving spaces for larger or smaller boxes
  • Build storage structures on castor wheels for mobile storage

Custom picking trolleys/carts for electronics industry

Trolleys/carts, designed for picking can make production lines more efficient, can combine shelving and toast rack elements to securely hold reels and boxes on the same solution, saving time and reducing walking time.


  • Trolleys/carts can be designed to carry specific items such as tape and reels, or a mix of tape and reels, trays and rails to move components more efficiently
  • FlowTube's modular and lightweight design approach allows AGVs to easily dock with and move the trolley to the required location
  • Reduced travel time between storage and assembly lines as you can carry more inventory
  • For more extensive production lines, using trolleys/carts in a caravan increases capacity to move more inventory
  • Create mobile production lines with trolleys/carts docking into production cells for more efficient component handling

Creating custom production cells for the electronics industry

Production cells can be designed to handle various sized components and different stages of production.  Anti-static mats and straps can be installed to ensure components are not damaged when handled.


  • Extra lighting can be added to make PCB layouts and components more visible
  • Power bars can be added for use with soldering irons and other assembly tools
  • Picking bins can be integrated with pick-to-light to provide clear guidance on what is to be picked next with feedback to move to next pick
  • Trolleys can dock with production cells for smoother movement of components to assembly.  The trolley can be removed when more components are required and replaced by another