Assembly departments and companies require special equipment for toting and mobilizing parts of various shapes, sizes, and weights around a warehouse. Parts need to be delivered from the loading/unloading dock to the assemblers who need them for any given product, and then the emptied containers must be picked up and returned to the loading and unloading dock.
Companies must use dollies and carts or “monument” ergonomic equipment to stage parts and deliver them to the assembly line. This can be done either with forklifts or tuggers to improve your sequencing process. Here are the differences between dollies and ergonomic equipment and how each can be used successfully for in-house sequencing.
What is “Monument” Ergonomic Equipment?
“Monument” Ergonomic Equipment operates in much the same way as a dolly but remains stationary rather than moveable through a facility. Ergonomic equipment is bolted to the ground and then can be rotated and tilted however it needs to be for the assembler or dock worker to prepare the needed parts.
Considerations with “Monument” Ergonomic Equipment
While ergonomic equipment can be used line side, this is only really practical for a business that isn’t trying to limit forklift use. Parts that are staged in a monument system need to be delivered from the loading dock to the assembly line via a forklift, which means greater forklift and truck traffic throughout a facility. If a company wants to go fork-free, they will want to only use ergonomic equipment in sequencing and loading zones, limiting forklifts to that area as well.
What is a Full-Dolly Fleet?
With a full-dolly fleet, companies can quarantine their forklifts exclusively to the loading/unloading and sequencing area, leaving assembly free of the hazards of forklift-related incidents. All efforts in forklift safety and training can be focused on a single zone in the warehouse, rather than extending throughout a facility.
Assemblers can have multiple dollies per assignment and swap them out as needed, and tilt dollies can be used to make it easier for them to grab what they need. When a dolly is emptied of all parts, it can be set back ready for pick-up while the employee grabs the next full dolly by hand instead of needing to wait for a forklift driver to come and move the next set of parts over from the staging area.
Transporting Dollies with Tuggers
Tuggers are used to deliver dollies to-and-from the assembly department. These vehicles are much safer than forklifts because the driver has a completely unobstructed view of the facility around them, ensuring a safer drive to their destination as all people and equipment in their path is fully visible. Tuggers also can pull multiple dollies with a variety of parts behind them in a train, unlike a forklift that can only collect a stack of matching containers or racks.
Benefits of a Sequencing Approach to Assembly
To accomplish this movement through a facility safely and efficiently, many companies use a sequencing approach in which they stage all the parts needed for a particular build in the unloading area before transporting them to the assembly department. When this transportation is done via a full-dolly fleet, containers of all shapes and sizes can be hooked up to a tugger and be delivered throughout the facility based on need. As they go, the driver can also collect the empty dollies from each workstation, which keeps production moving smoothly and rapidly.
At American Manufacturing, we use this approach in our assembly department as it enables us to remain fork-free and have fewer loads and unloads throughout the entire process. This means less time wasted getting the parts where they need to be so all energy can be focused on assembling our customers’ products!
Shop our line of carts, dollies, and ergonomic equipment, or contact us to learn more about our assembly services.