Improve On Your Processes

If you’re looking for ways to improve on your processes, and in turn, improve your profit margin, then it may be time to look at your machinery.

The following story is based at a cheese packing company (we can’t reveal the name), where it was noticed that in order to reach the cheese trays, the employees were having to hunch over a little. Doing this thousands of times a day meant that ergonomically, it wasn’t helping their backs at all (note here – future health claims could be on the horizon), and it was also noted that there was potential for improvement in several areas with regards to speed of the conveyor.

The company had recently expanded its contract packaging services, and was looking to add a further line for the cheese trays, so that was the ideal time to put in new units to ensure upgraded services, and employee comfort.

The Solution

Adjustable height conveyors to accommodate employees’ needs.
A higher-friction belt to prevent the trays slipping (ensuring no additional reaching for staff).
In addition – if the line started to back up, the ‘stop’ at the end of the belt simply allowed them to slide into place via an additional low-friction belt.
A reversible ‘centre drive’ allowing it to be re-purposed for use in a different area (and even fed from a different direction).
Installation of an overhead shelf, with excellent lighting above the conveyor.
And a table attached to the conveyor where boxes were packed, meaning the employee was able to handle multiple trays of cheese in one swift motion, and pack them into the cartons.

The benefits
As well as the obvious advantages of having a height-adjustable line, the trays arrived to the packing station with the correct orientation. Rather than just grabbing and assembling them – the employees could sweep up multiple packages, knowing they were all in the right configuration.  This resulted in improved efficiency, allowing the job to be done by one person, not two.