VAR Solution Reduces Packing Errors At End Of Production Line
In the world of manufacturing, it is often difficult to maintain both speed and accuracy. Copeland Corporation (Sidney, OH) called on The SMS Group (Sidney, OH), a VAR specializing in manufacturing solutions, to address such a problem.
Copeland manufactures compressors for residential and commercial air conditioners and commercial refrigeration systems. At the end of the production line, workers pack up to 500 compressors an hour, many of which look exactly the same, for several different customers. The compressors are packed on skids in groups of 40. Due to the similarity of the products, compressors were often sent to the wrong customers, sometimes resulting in customers sending back entire truckloads.
Copeland turned to The SMS Group, which created a packing verification solution that reduced end-of-the-line packing errors to zero.
When a compressor reaches the packing area, its work-in-process tracking label is scanned with a fixed-head scanner. Scanning the label also queries Copeland's scheduling/SQL database to determine which customer gets the compressor. Then, an on-demand system prints a nameplate label for each compressor as it is picked, using a SATO America, Inc. (Charlotte, NC) M-8400R Ve thermal printer. The nameplate is placed on the compressor, and the operator scans that nameplate using a wireless handheld unit to verify the product is being packed in the right skid. "By printing the nameplate labels at the point of contact, workers can pack skids more efficiently," says George Dade, senior IT business analyst for Copeland.