AIA: Conveyors, Workstations Boost Throughputs
April 1, 2006
Digital Monitoring Products (DMP, Springfield, MO) specializes in the design and manufacture of network security systems, like those used in bank ATMs and retail stores. A privately held company, it is one of the last electronic control panel firms that manufactures all of its products in the United States.
In 2005, after three decades in business, the company underwent a major expansion of its manufacturing and engineering facilities at the company's Springfield headquarters. This expansion resulted in approximately 40 percent more floor space for production, new-product development and customer service. As part of the upgrade, the company, which incorporates lean thinking into its manufacturing processes, also revamped a number of its production lines.
Central to this upgrade were a number of in-line assembly and packaging processes built around the model 8000 modular workstation from Lista International Corp. (Holliston, MA) and a battery of electrostatic dissipative conveyors from SmartMove Conveyors (Fall River, MA).
According to production manager Mark Hillenburg, DMP chose to go with the Lista-SmartMove combination because it allowed for cleaner, more efficient operations, with less stacks of inventory and product getting in the way of operators. Using 8000 modular workstations and SmartMove conveyors, DMP was also able to change over its production lines with minimal effort.
"Lista's modular system approach and SmartMove's sectioned conveyors allowed [us] to reconfigure two 48-foot lines into three 32-foot lines, without disruptions," Hillenburg says.
Lista 8000 modular workstations come in five standard heights and three standard widths. In addition to working in concert with conveyor systems, they can be arranged in back-to-back layouts and adapted to a wide range of applications through the use of components such as shelving, power beams, footrests and casters.
SmartMove modular conveyors are available in a variety of widths and section lengths for creating continuous and angled conveyors systems up to 60 feet long. Walk-through gates, adjustable stands, turning modules and multilevel options can also be used depending on an assembler's need.
According to Hillenburg, DMP selected the 8000 system in part because of the positive experience he'd had with Lista products in the past. However, even he was a little surprised at the ease with which DMP was able to reconfigure its line with the new workstations.
"We put one line together late one night," he says. "We arrived a little late the next morning expecting to need to show production what we had in mind. They were already running production on the line with a 30 percent reduction in takt time.
Hillenburg adds that just as important, if not more so, is the fact that operators like their new environment. This means productivity gains are more likely to be sustainable for a long time to come.
For more information on workstations, visit www.listaintl.com, call 800-722-3020 or eInquiry 8.
For more on conveyor systems, visit www.4smartmove.com, call 800-581-2876 or eInquiry 9.