Finding a solution that worksMarch 10, 2015 REDWIRE is news you can use from leading suppliers. Powered by FRASERS.
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One of this nation’s largest general retailers was analyzing productivity at its distribution centre. The centre services 488 stores across Canada. In an effort to improve productivity, management was looking at new technologies to semi-automate unloading operations of floor-loaded product from shipping containers. While some of the docks were equipped with powered flexible roller conveyors, the necessity to increase efficiencies was bookmarked as a priority.
Shipments of product in floor-loaded containers varied greatly in size, weight and dimension, and encompassed anything from boxes to tires to poly-wrapped items. Typically, two workers emptied a container: one to unload and one to palletize. On average, the unload time was 12 hours or 36 man hours. The company was looking to increase productivity.
In addition, like many warehousing operations, unloading containers is a physically demanding job. It subjects workers to hours of lifting and twisting and unfortunately can result in injury and possible lost time.
The company was introduced to the Destuff-IT Unloader, from Engineered Lifting Systems and Equipment, and agreed to participate in an on-site trial that put two identical containers side-by-side. Each container was filled with 2,400 boxes weighing approximately 30 pounds and assigned a team.
Team A (two workers) manually unloaded the boxes onto pallets. To reach the top of the box wall, workers used a step stool.
Team B used the Destuff-IT. One worker was positioned inside the container. In order to keep up with the flow of product being unloaded, two workers were required at the end of the conveyor.
The results of the trial showed over 100 per cent productivity gain: It took two employees 17 hours (at 142 units an hour) to manually unload the boxes, while it took three employees only five hours (at 480 units an hour) using Destuff-IT. When you look at total man hours to unload the container, the manual approach took 34 hours, while it was 15 hours using Destuff-IT. That’s a savings of $403 per container.
In addition, workers involved in the trial reported less fatigue when using the Destuff-IT, as lifting motions were minimized and they were placed in a better ergonomic position for handling boxes.
Whether the objective is to reduce injury or improve productivity, the Destuff-IT is an excellent solution. With proven productivity gains that not only reduce unload time, but also reduce or eliminate demurrage charges, standby charges and drop trailer charges, the Destuff-IT can also reduce the number of doors needed for the unload operation with more trailer turns per door.
Contact Engineered Lifting Systems and Equipment for more details.