To achieve maintenance simplicity, information about the status of each control card section is sent to the central control software via Ethernet computer networking technology. If a control card goes bad, the operator or maintenance staff can pinpoint exactly which card is bad on a computer screen and make an immediate replacement. Downtime is minimized and guesswork is eliminated. Only those parts that absolutely need to be replaced are replaced. All of this helps to lower the cost of maintaining the conveyor.
Now apply that same principle across a fully automated warehouse or distribution center—the gains realized in efficiencies and productivity are staggering.
Making sense of simplicity
There’s more to reaching a state of operational simplicity than replacing workers with one-off automated solutions. You need a strategy in place that guides those purchases while ensuring you’re making your operations and maintenance more intuitive and easy to manage—not less. Getting there requires a long-term vision and a lot of heavy thinking upfront from experts who take the time to really understand your operation. But the payoff is worth the effort. After all, you don’t see too many people clamoring to trade their iPads for a No. 2 pencil.
Kevin Ambrose is Chief Executive Officer and President of Wynright Corp., Elk Grove Village, Ill., an independent U.S.-based provider of intelligent material handling systems. With more than 200 engineers in-house, Wynright designs, manufactures, integrates and installs a full spectrum of intralogistics solutions, offering both Wynright-branded and third-party equipment to meet client needs.