When one of Australia’s largest vehicle manufacturers had to assure clients that spare parts would be available during and after the planned closure of its operation, it contacted King Materials Handling for advice.
A team of engineers and managers employed by the vehicle manufacturer were tasked with providing two new state-of-the-art facilities – one in Melbourne and one in Adelaide to cope with ongoing demand.
Firstly, there was a need for very large trolleys. Flatbeds with end frames in-filled with mesh, and tied together at 2m high with lateral supports.
With a push handle at one end; docking by double deep motorized pallet trucks from both ends, plus pick up by forklift from both sides, the trolleys were ready to take the bulk spares from the store to the packing line.
Then the team started with a blank sheet of paper in order to design the packing centres.
They worked out the optimal work flow – exacerbated by the large cartons required to protect some of the panels, then they devised the ultimate equipment to service the volume of work, making sure that the equipment provided, best met the needs of the packing team members.
The first requirement was for an operator controlled scissor lift table, with a raised height of 1m to cater for different height operators.
It needed a large deck to cater for the oversized cartons; a slick surface to make it easy to push the product around, and down turned edges and radiused corners for safety.
Several options were considered. The team finally decided on an air operated lift table with push button pedestal controls, an 1800mm x 1600mm deck of zinc plated steel, and fitted with a concertina safety skirt to prevent ingress of limbs and dust.
Secondly, a large packing bench fitted with height adjustable legs was required, using the same zinc plated large deck, and a unique roll film holder that pivots down to bench level, so that the operator can change the roll at a safe height.
Thirdly, a large bench with a multi directional top was needed. This was supplied using upturned castors, a surprisingly easy solution to what is normally an expensive problem.
Castors are cheap to replace and take two minutes to swap over, so it doesn’t matter if one or two get destroyed along the way, but what they offer is a larger surface area to prevent the cartons being “golf balled” if they rested on the castors with a load for some time (as can happen with ball transfers), and very little resistance, along with no maintenance – even if they get soaked, as they have no bearings and are totally plastic.
All of the benches and lifts are tied together with high quality gravity roller conveyor, leading into wide mouth strapping machines, with craft paper void fill machines supplying cushioning infill as required.
The company consulted with a number of suppliers before settling on King Materials Handling in Bayswater, Melbourne.
Partly because King were able to offer the full range of products from one source, and partly because the deadline was to supply everything in a very short timeline, which meant working overtime and through public holidays. Always a tricky situation - when no other companies are open to support you.
Ron Mileham, Managing Director of King Materials Handling, praised his core group of suppliers, who rose to the challenge, to supply the order in full and on time, sometimes under trying conditions.
The client supplied shop air drop hoses to the air lift tables, and using a team of installers, completed the two packing centres on time, to open exactly as planned.
King Materials Handling
Ph: 03 9720 7181