Lift truck scales raise productivity

Fork-mounted scales make it possible to lift, weigh, move and record a load in one smooth operation.

By ·

Serving the automotive industry for nearly 50 years, Quality Metalcraft in Livonia, Mich., is a leading automotive production facility. The company delivers quick turnaround on high-quality components, ranging from small brackets and simple fabrications to large body-in-white components and assemblies.

Each process begins with a flat laser blank, which arrives at its manufacturing facility with an identification tag that is scanned upon arrival. To confirm material costs, each metallic component is weighed twice: once as it arrives and once after it’s been processed. Forklift operators were waiting in line for the scale and transactions were documented by hand, which was proving time-consuming and inaccurate. 

“This process consumed a massive amount of extra time; plus, we couldn’t identify at which stage a work order was during processing. We also discovered our floor scale had been inaccurate—on some occasions, as much as 10% of the time,” says Ron Hassen, plant manager.

Managers implemented a forklift scale system (Avery Weigh-Tronix, http://www.wtxweb.com) that provides legal-for-trade weighing of loads up to 10,000 pounds and uses electronic weight sensors for reliable, repeatable weighing. Its built-in system allows operators to accurately weigh materials in motion, which means no more waiting in line. And, the fork-mounted scales feature no flexures, hydraulics or springs—allowing it to withstand frequent jolts and still deliver accurate results.

The company has also implemented a wireless scanner that allows the forklift operator to scan the flat laser blank when it arrives, instantly assigning materials for each job number an initial weight.

This job can now be tracked on the company’s computer system throughout processing: allowing managers to keep a running total of the materials used at all times.

This electronic documentation keeps employees up-to-date on each job—a significant advantage at the company, where at any moment 250 production parts may be rolling out the door. 
“This system allows us to know how much our materials weigh, instantly record the weight, and know in which processing stage each work order is at all times—so we know when the work order will be done,” Hassen adds. “Keeping track of these jobs throughout our three-building manufacturing facility saves us significant time while helping us maintain accurate records.”


About the Author

Lorie King Rogers
Lorie King Rogers, associate editor, joined Modern in 2009 after working as a freelance writer for the Casebook issue and show daily at tradeshows. A graduate of Emerson College, she has also worked as an editor on Stock Car Racing Magazine.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Sorting Out Your Sortation Options
Guiding you through the process of evaluating and selecting the right “mission-critical” sortation solution
Download Today!
From the April 2017 Issue
How does a fastgrowing, e-commerce startup company build out order fulfillment capabilities? Thrive Market answered that question with its new facility in Indiana.
2017 Warehouse/DC Equipment Survey: Investment up as service pressures rise
Putaway 101: Everything in its Place
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2016 Warehouse/DC Operations Webcast: Confronting omni-channel complexity
During this webcast we’ll examine the current activities, trends, and best practices in warehouse and DC operations management and how companies plan to address complex issues associate with omni-channel fulfillment.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
ProMat closes: Make your plans for Modex 2018
With a record number of exhibitors and attendees seen at ProMat 2017, MHI anticipates more of the...
Keynote: Magic is the result of over-preparation and over-delivering to customers
During his keynote presentation Wednesday afternoon, Earvin “Magic” Johnson told a packed...

Keynote panel confirms digital supply chain shift seen in new MHI study
Wednesday’s keynote panelists agreed it is time to embrace the shift to digital supply chains seen...
MHI to honor original products, solutions with 5th-annual Innovation Awards
On Wednesday, during MHI Industry Night with Dana Carvey, the winners of the 5th-annual MHI...