Tool and die company keeps productivity on track
Overhead handling system saves space and improves productivity in expanded facility.
Equipment in the NewsDairy industry leader builds on mobile racking system success Interworld Freight improves inventory control with pallet rack Reliable propane forklifts keep fast-paced business moving Lift truck transmission technology enhances drivers’ productivity 3PL use new lift trucks and rack installations to combat growth More Equipment News
Equipment ResourceHydrogen, the Future of Materials Handling Large, successful organizations are integrating hydrogen fuel cell technology into their lift truck fleets and benefiting from lower operational costs, reduced emissions and improved reliability.
K.K. Tool Company, a family-owned enterprise in Springfield, Ohio, was competing in the global market creating stamping dies for the heavy equipment industry and production machining products. But with customer demand on the rise, K.K. Tool needed to add several machines to keep up. By expanding the facility and installing a trolley and hoist system, the company was able to improve the workflow around the new machines, enabling improved productivity with the best use of available space.
As business grew, the company had squeezed the extra machines wherever they would fit in the facility’s limited floor space. The addition of 4,000 square feet and eight new machines meant they had the space and equipment to meet demand. However, it soon became clear that the workflow in the shop still led to cramped conditions for personnel, materials and forklift operators. The company partnered with a crane supplier (Konecranes, konecranes.com) to install a space-saving overhead handling system.
The supplier’s solution represented a unique answer to the company’s space concerns, and included a trolley and hoist on a light-track enclosed rail system. Suspended from the ceiling, one crane services all eight milling machines, while keeping the floor area free for lift trucks to maneuver.
The crane also featured an articulated bridge which allowed one end to move ahead of or behind the other by as much as 3 feet. This ergonomic feature significantly reduced the amount of effort needed to move the crane along the track and allowed small adjustments to be made without moving the entire bridge.
“The only way we can compete effectively is to work with machinery that helps us to make a product faster,” explains Kris Koehler from K.K. Tool. “We have to work smart by investing not only in employees and training, but also by investing in equipment that allows us to produce products in a more timely manner.”
Following the success of the crane solution over its first six months in operation, the company is now exploring the possibility of adding another hoist to the existing track.
About the AuthorJosh Bond, Contributing 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.
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!
System Report: Brownells new DC is flexible and responsive Pallet Usage Report: Pallets Remain Critical in the Modern-Day Warehouse View More From this Issue