Recently, one of our automotive clients came to us wanting a solution that would manage and deliver heavy totes from the kitting cell to the lineside point of use. The initial problem they were having was created when they added more parts to larger totes in an attempt to keep up with production. The resulting weight increase of each tote led to ergonomic issues. To stay within safe ergonomic limits, totes that can hold eight parts were limited to six. The only way totes could be filled to capacity was to incorporate a lineside delivery system which eliminated the need to manually handle full totes.
The solution Trilogiq USA designed for this customer is multifaceted.
Empty totes are delivered on a rack, and are placed on a kit cell cart (shown below) that is pushed through the kit cell to be filled. Once full, the tote is loaded onto an elevator by means of a bump release. The bump release ensures that totes are not being manually lifted when put into the delivery system.
The elevator (shown in the left lane in the image below) then automatically lifts the full tote to a height that is sufficient to be able to flow with gravity to the end of the kit cell staging rack.
Full totes accumulate on the staging rack and are picked up with a daughter cart equipped with a hands free tote transfer. The daughter cart is then loaded into a mother cart where it is towed to the lineside point of use (POU) rack. Below you see a daughter cart locked into the mother cart.
When arriving at the POU rack, the daughter cart is pulled out of the mother cart where it is bumped into the lineside rack, locking into place and releasing the full totes hands free to the POU lineside rack.
When full totes reach the single pick point of use, parts are individually pulled out and placed in the vehicle.
The now empty totes are slid over to the outbound lane and into an elevator where they are lifted to a height sufficient to flow to the end of the rack. There is a piece of guarding between the two lanes on the rack so that totes cannot be pushed onto the elevator if there are still parts in the tote. Empty totes are then picked up by the same daughter cart that just delivered full totes. The daughter cart, is then placed back into the mother cart where it is towed back to the kit cell to deliver the empty totes, pick up full totes, and continue the cycle.
Once testing of the system is completed, clear guarding will be placed on the sides as a safety feature. While complex, a lineside delivery system like this makes parts flow more efficiently, keeps work within ergonomic limits for operators, and cuts out room for operator error.