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Fixed path off-ramp reduces downtime

Hoist replacement on parallel track means production continues as planned.
By Josh Bond, Senior Editor
October 02, 2012

While striving to meet specific time and efficiency goals, one facility found that productivity ground to a halt whenever a single component went down. Hoists were among the most common and costly downtime culprits in the computer-controlled renovation and refurbishment line. By installing a parallel “off ramp,” the customer was able to sustain productivity even while maintaining or replacing hoists.

A series of nearly 200 hoists continuously travel on an older rail system performing a series of inspections, dips, paint and oven stops. All of the hoists on the line are connected to one computer that operates and monitors the line efficiently.

Previous maintenance on the hoists had caused significant downtime, stopping the line and holding up the operation until the hoist could be removed, repaired and put back into service.

The same model hoist is used in most areas, so extra hoists and a sizable parts inventory is kept on hand to make the exchange procedure even more effective.

To minimize the line’s downtime, engineers developed a unique “off-ramp/on-ramp” set up to enable a quick change out of hoists. The system now allows individual hoists to be off-loaded and repaired as well as new or repaired hoists to be on-loaded to the line in a fraction of the time that had previously been needed for such repairs. The system improves the overall speed of the line while preventing rushed repairs.

Columbus McKinnon

Read more from the 2013 Casebook.

About the Author

Josh Bond
Senior Editor

Josh Bond is Senior Editor for Modern, and was formerly Modern’s lift truck columnist and associate editor. He has a degree in Journalism from Keene State College and has studied business management at Franklin Pierce University.

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