Prove Critical for New and Existing Manufacturing Facilities
Before the end of 2018 there will be more than 500 new manufacturing facilities which open their production operations. These will all be operational by 2019 and most will be 100,000 (or larger) square-foot facilities. The market demand for greater production capacity will feature new automation equipment, conveyor systems, and an expanded area for specialty products.
Surveyed operations managers report that these new facilities create additional production capacity to stay ahead of growing demand for current products, and allow sufficient space to rollout exciting new technology of innovative product solutions to meet the market’s ever-evolving needs and expectations.
In fact, many of these new facilities have room to expand an additional 100,000 square feet in the future. The new facilities will have shipping capabilities which can expand parts and service support, along with enhanced capacity and productivity as part of a strategic growth plan.
According to John Murdoch, CEO of Alfacon Solutions, “We see these new plants requiring conveying and lift table equipment that offer customizable solutions. Off the shelf conveyor and lift table manufacturers are simply unable to accommodate the new manufacturing plant designs. New plants require a level of engineering sophistication and experience.”
Expanding Existing Plant Capacity
Existing manufacturing facilities are not exempt from keeping up with demand. Orders threaten to outpace plants’ ability to cost effectively hand pack product, especially at the B-2-C environment.
The need for increased line speed (picks per minute) cannot be overestimated. The automated machinery must offer capacity to expand in the future. The number of team members involved in packing inevitably decreases with improved picking speed. The speed and labor savings of high-speed automation makes it possible to add new products to meet customer demand.
Automation projects often began based on potential demand. Hand packing pre-made product is simply not a sustainable solution in terms of cost and output. High-speed automation is the only option. Specifying the objectives for the optimal solution, Alfacon Solutions’ works with the production team to outline a wish list of key automation attributes.
Increase Productivity without Compromising Quality
Murdoch added, “Lower material cost as well as the transportation and warehouse space saving advantages provide the benefit of faster time to market for new packaging, while ensuring that conveyors and lift tables are both easy to operate and maintain. We are proud to provide positive references from industry peers regarding machine quality and supplier training, tech support, and overall responsiveness to customers’ needs.”
Careful planning ensures zero delay for changeover; planning is another critical consideration because there was no room for product accumulation on many proposed conveyors. No one ever wants to design product overflow on the conveyors or the inefficiencies involved in stopping the production line.