Based on a study performed by the Dutch research institute TNO (Delft/Amsterdam), Storopack has developed together with Hüdig + Rocholz (Velbert) and Vanderlande Industries (Veghel, The Netherlands) the equipment used for a packing station connected to an automated intra-logistics system. The construction and allocation of all elements are based on parameters, which describe the optimum working conditions for the packing process according to the study. TNO has now been commissioned to test prototypes in the subsequent project phase and to document the efficiency achieved in the procedures. Instead of limiting matters to “Ergonomics through experience”, the partners will offer a standard which is based on measurable results in the future.
The client for the ergonomic investigation is Vanderlande Industries. The company has already reviewed past procedures when receiving and sending shipments. At the conclusion of TNO’s tests, the result of the collaboration between Storopack and Hüdig + Rocholz is expected to be presented this summer as a fully integrated packing station “PACK@EASE”.
All three partners have experienced similar results: with improved ergonomics, the productivity during packaging can be increased by up to twenty percent in individual cases. An installation, which takes the packer’s physique and musculoskeletal system into account allows for a well thought-through process including all the necessary handling steps, facilitates faster packing. Fewer mistakes are made and the task can be carried out for a longer period of time without signs of fatigue.
As a rule, most of the manpower of a distribution or logistics center is used at the packing station. By increasing the efficiency in this process step, the running costs of the intra-logistics system can be considerably reduced.
The packing station fulfils all prerequisites to assure a constant level of performance. The box with the goods is received via a slightly angled chute on the packing table, so that the employee can comfortably reach into it. The packing table from Hüdig + Rocholz is adjustable in height and also has a lower level to accommodate higher packages, as well as to fill them with protective packaging material. The silo for the sensor-operated supply of air-cushioning material Airplus from Storopack is directly attached above this. Vanderlande Industries is responsible for the technology at the feed and control level for the link to the automated intra-logistics system.
Individual models are possible as standard equipment. Thus, Hüdig + Rocholz can add elements for IT or filing purposes. Storopack can also offer integration with the Paperplus Chevron system instead of air cushions.
In general, up until now the packing process has attracted little attention in the intra-logistics world. In planning a new distribution or logistics center, packaging belongs to the periphery and when improvements to an existing plant are concerned, this partial area is normally found in the lower third of the task list. Companies often forego productivity potential.
The “PACK@EASE” packing station can provide a remedy. In this project, all the necessary competences have been brought together, in order to fundamentally think through packing as a partial function of an intra-logistics system and implement these in daily practice. The verified ergonomic performance of the new solution provides effective, efficient and ergonomic working conditions.
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