Design of a Material Handling Improvement Process

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Okocha, Charles
Ugwu, David
Gregoire, Stephane
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Sperling Industries is a large-scale fabrication and manufacturing company located in Sperling, Manitoba. It has a large scale steel processing plant, Shop 3, where they store and process I-beams, angle iron, and flat plates. The major concern with current operations is that accessing and handling inventory both to and from stock is time consuming and inefficient. Handling times from the storage to the fabrication lines for a single I-beam or angle iron are currently 10-30 minutes and 10-60 minutes respectively. Our primary objective of this project is to design a material handling system that will reduce these handling times and to perform a cost analysis to determine the economic feasibility of the design. We proposed two solutions, a short term solution with low capital costs that can be implemented immediately, and a long term solution with higher capitals costs that will require further planning to be implemented in the future at Sperling Industries’ leisure. The finalized short-term solution consists of using accessories with the existing telescoping boom loader to allow for easier access to the entire inventory. The accessories are a “Star Industries SI-1149” spreader bar attachment for forklifts and two “Eriez SafeHold Magnet RPL-70” permanent lifting magnets. These attachments allow the operator to access any desired piece of inventory from above rather than being limited by the forks of the forklift. We determined that this solution would reduce the average handling time of material by 10 minutes per beam, and by 20 minutes per angle iron. The total capital cost of this design is $18,041.86, and net yearly savings of this design are $350,800.00. The payback period for this design is thus 0.051years, or about three weeks. The finalized long-term solution consists of an overhead bridge crane to handle all of the material on the west side of the facility. The design is 260ft long and 70ft wide. This design also entails extending the feeder lines that send the material into the factory. This is done in order for the crane to be able to unload material directly from storage onto the feeder lines. The system is constructed […]