Our client approached us with a blank-sheet looking for a solution to automate their reel handling process. With operators at each of the seven production lines having to manually handle long and heavy shafts (>2m and up to 70kg) the need to improve health and safety was a key driver. The manual operation also required forklifts to transport the 1.5T reels between the warehouse and production environments, so the second driver was to increase hygiene compliance by removing the cross contamination. Another driver was to meet increasing production capacity with reduced reliance on labour.
Our solution centralised the reel shafting and de-shafting process. This allowed a single operator to prepare the reels for all seven lines while at the same time created a single transfer point between the warehouse and high hygiene production area.
An AGV operating in the high-hygiene zone transports the reels to and from each of the production lines. The AGV further enhances health and safety, hygiene and production throughput by removing manual forklifts from the production area.