Case Study Material Handling
Whether you want to upgrade and improve your material handling operation, integrate robotics and other automation technologies into your existing lines, or have a complete system designed and delivered from scratch, LJS Solutions can take on any project demands.
If your success relies on accurate, timely movement of product, then we have a material handling solution to suit your requirements.
The following success story is just one example of how the LJS Solutions team of experts serves our clientele’s material handling needs.
BOMAG Americas is a leading international manufacturer of technology and equipment used in the construction industry for the compaction of soil, asphalt, and refuse. One of their production facilities was outfitted with a manual conveyor system that was not only inefficient, but also physically demanding on employees.
As Greg Loibl, BOMAG’s EHS Maintenance Technician, puts it, “We could have thirty orders on the production line, and we were having to push them down the conveyor by hand to get them where they needed to be.”
This was a major problem. The inefficiency of requiring employees to frequently leave their workstations to move materials along, combined with an uncomfortably-low conveyor height, negatively impacted the line’s throughput, increased its costs, and was an ergonomic liability. In addition to the conveyor system’s problems, the fork truck aisle required that the straight-line approach be offset, which made it difficult to work and limited the available space for order accumulation.
BOMAG Americas decided to partner with LJS Solutions to convert the manual conveyor system to a more organized, automated system, with manual selectivity that would allow production team members to move product from the manual pick/load areas to individual packing, weighing, and invoicing stations in an efficient manner.
A 56-ft. ASC belt line-driven roller system combined with a 35-ft. ASC motor-driven roller (MDR) conveyor now drives zones of non-powered rollers, creating an efficient and cost-effective automated system with increased throughput at faster fill rates.
The system we put in place now lets an operator stage cartons and totes in holding sections, allowing the integration of products picked from pallet rack sections with smaller products from multi-function storage carriers. From their station, an operator can load product manually, place additional cartons in the holding area for accumulation, or place more product in other loading areas to increase picking and accumulation.
When the cartons are ready for release to the packing areas, the operator can move cartons onto the automated conveyor to the next accumulation zone, and on down the entire production line. The result is a continuous flow of product to any one of six packing stations.
Greg explained, “These conveyors are set up for different locations and stopping points, so the individual operator knows who is checking the various locations where things get done.”
LJS Solutions’ engineering team also solved the straight line offset problem by integrating the packing station’s weight scale into the conveyor site frame design. This created a flow-through application that allows operators to perform manifesting tasks without pulling the orders offline.
Prior to final installation of the new system, BOMAG Americas’ parts department experienced a sharp increase in demand. The ASC Power Roller Conveyor from LJS Solutions provided the exact solution they needed to deal with a surge in production.
The increased height and width of the conveyor plus other improved ergonomics contributed to the boost in throughput, but it was the user-driven automation of the system that was key to Bomag Americas’ ability to systematically manage the heightened demand.
By combining automated conveyance with end-user decision-making, the line operators now have the true versatility to make decisions based on order type and size. The system became instantly scalable to accommodate order velocity and product variation, as well.
Greg Loibl affirms the success of BOMAG’s new system. “Orders are through the roof right now—close to a 40-percent increase—and our team has been able to keep pace. I love that we can get products stopped where we need to, so we have an endless supply for those working on the end result.”