Moving Car Bodies Made Simple By MasterMover Pedestrian Tugs
The automotive industry has grasped the concept of lean, just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing like no other. For this reason, designing efficiencies into the production environment is an everyday activity... and is one of the reasons why our manual handling equipment is so prevalent in just about every major automotive OEM and their tier suppliers.
Getting the right components in the right amount to the right place at the right time is the key aspect of the JIT manufacturing ethos. It is completely unacceptable in this industry for crowded lean-operating assembly lines to be waiting for components; and for this very reason the automotive industry was quick to grasp the benefits of pedestrian-operated manual handling equipment such as our Master Tug, Master Pusher and SmartMover.
In one instance, a major automotive OEM was moving pressed steel body parts from the pressing area in the robotic welding cells. Stacked in stillages, often weighing 1,500-1,800kg, the parts were moved by a ride-on truck, with manual assistance. The problem was that the operators had to wait for a licensed driver to become available and even then they could only move them one at a time due to base size restrictions, before once again waiting for the operator for the single-stillage return journey.
The introduction of an MT5/400 Master Tug revolutionised working practices. Now, not only can a single operator move two stillages at a time, but they are also able to transport four empty ones on the return journey... both trips without any reliance on licensed truck operators. As well as the significant time and resultant cost savings, the new procedure is also much safer due to the enhanced visibility offered by the Master Tug. Manoeuvrability is also greatly enhanced, thanks to the Master Tug’s compact dimensions, especially within the cramped robotic welding cell.