Case Study: Distribution Center Customer
Our client is a large distribution center of a major electronics and consumer goods retailer that uses a “pick to light” system where boxes travel on conveyers to an in line air bag packing system to fill the voids in each box.
The customer had a competitive air bag system at the time and they needed to increase throughput and improve ergonomics at their in line air bag packing station. Employees complained of poor lighting and also back, neck, shoulder and arm fatigue due to an overhead air bag hopper system in place at the time.
The air bag system at the time was slow and at times they had trouble with downtime. They also had complaints from end users that air bags would arrive flat or less than full therefore not fully protecting their shipments.
To improve the efficiency of the air bag station while at the same time delivering a steady flow of properly filled and sealed airbags. To save the customer money on their annual spend on airbags. To create a good ergonomic work environment at the air bag packing station that would also enhance lighting in the area making it brighter and safer.
Sealed Air Solution
We took Rob Dennison (Territory Business Manager) of Sealed Air Corporation in to see the customer’s application and he suggested the Fill-Air Rocket inflatable packaging system.
Rob said, “This machine runs at a speed of one hundred feet per minute, by far the fastest and most reliable air bag system on the market today”.
The Rocket system is one of the latest success stories to come out of Sealed Air’s prolific R & D department. It boasts simple operation, a very small foot print, recyclable film and versatile film options all at a very competitive price.
Sealed Air was able to offer rolls of air bag film with longer footage which means lower costs and less roll changes. With the film being thinner than their previous film it offers an opportunity to reduce the amount of waste going into the waste stream.
The old air bag system was taken out including the air bag hopper . Rob quickly set up the new Rocket system that employs a very simple delivery system to the user on the line. The positive results were immediate.
The employees were ecstatic about the speed of the unit, no longer having to wait for air bags to fill the box. The poor lighting issue was resolved right away by taking down the old hopper system giving the workers a brighter and safer work environment. Probably the biggest positive impact was the ergonomic improvements made, the workers no longer had to constantly reach up for the air bags. The bags are now being delivered to the worker at a comfortable working level right in front of the box to be filled.
Kevin Haynes, Territory Manager for Metric Packaging Solutions said, “We are always looking to help our customers find better ways of protecting their products”. Any time we can improve productivity, lower costs, reduce damage and increase employee satisfaction for a customer we feel we have done our job”.
It has been a true pleasure working with Metric. They have turned an area that was a consistent bottleneck into an area of strength. The throughput has increased while employee satisfaction and morale have gone up as well. From the outset they were aware of the challenges we had. While the goal was to relieve or eliminate the bottleneck, it couldn’t be done with any risk to the work environment. They came back with a plan that worked on all levels. They have my highest recommendation and my sincere thanks. Craig – Distribution Centre Manager