IJBUInk Jet Business Unit (Hewlett-Packard Development Company)
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Mathews Conveyor, a designer and manufacturer of material handling equipment with facilities in Danville, KY and Mansfield, OH, provided IJBU with a 3000 foot combination of pallet and case conveyors.
IJBU and systems integrator personnel developed a floor.
IJBU wanted to "see" the system run in a true-scale 3-D simulation before finalizing the design.
IJBU also would also have to install a high-speed, tote-based AS/RS.
IJBU wanted a system capable of delivering components for building inkjet printer cartridges to assembly line stations within a maximum, 30-minute JIT "window" from the time a work station placed an electronic order for specific components.
Aisles were becoming seriously crowded as production expanded to meet high increases in demand for IJBU's inkjet printer products.
So IJBU and systems integrator personnel developed a design concept using an overhead conveyor located above the plant's drop ceiling and below a reinforced plant roof.
Line drop buffers, acting much like "mini-miniloads," are one of the keys to success of IJBU's just-in-time system.
Custom designed at IJBU by manufacturing development engineer Dave Ingalls, these buffers consist, essentially, of an elevator riding up and down between levels of shelving holding totes.
"Besides aiding the design process," says IJBU's Bruce Johnson, "simulation served several other important roles.