Workstation cranes lighten the load
Canadian utility manufacturer employs freestanding workstation cranes that move steel trays safely and eliminate worker injuries
Warehouse in the NewsDouglas Battery celebrates 95th anniversary Is Your DC Ready for E-commerce Growth? Here’s How to Handle More SKUs and Inventory Turns Global rigid bulk packaging market to grow at a CAGR of 4.23% through 2020 Innovation Stage to return to Pack Expo in November Engineering workforce development model from ISA and the Automation Federation wins national award More Warehouse News
Warehouse ResourceIs Your DC Ready for E-commerce Growth? Here’s How to Handle More SKUs and Inventory Turns The rise of e-commerce and multi-channel fulfillment has caused distribution centers (DCs) to experience ever-growing numbers of stock-keeping units (SKUs) and more inventory turns, up to an average of nine in 2015.
In the last stage of manufacturing, workers perform the final welds then lift the trays onto a cart to be prepared for shipping. The best way to lift the trays is from both ends at one time. The problem is that the trays are heavy, long and difficult for one person to lift.
“They are awkward to pick up,” says Ken Conrad, maintenance coordinator. “The way you have to bend and lift the trays puts a lot of strain on your back. If the same person did that job all day they'd be hurting by the end of the shift.”
The problem was evident and productivity was decreasing. Additionally, five lost-time injuries each year were attributed to this task. So, Thomas & Betts installed a freestanding workstation crane (Gorbel, 800-821-0086, http://www.gorbel.com)) to safely lift and transport the trays.
The crane system measures 20 x 30 x 17 feet tall and has two aluminum bridges, each with a 165-pound capacity. The crane features remote mounted pendant handles attached to the master unit that controls the movement of two handles simultaneously. The bridges move easily and independently along the runways so that one worker can lift even the longest, heaviest trays from both ends at once while guiding it to the cart.
“Reducing product damage was important, but it was a secondary compared to the safety of the people handling the products,” says Conrad. Since installing the freestanding crane system, productivity is consistently high and workers are no longer at risk of injury.
About the AuthorLorie 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!
The data-driven lift truck Top 20 Lift Truck Suppliers 2016 View More From this Issue