Posted: Jun 25, 2010  |  By: A&D Australasia Pty Ltd
Topics: Materials handling & storage and supply chain > Automation & robotics

Waste reduction and stock discrepancy management

Online: www.andaustralasia.com.au
Phone: 03 9372 1522

A&D Australasia has used its weighing and measurement technology and local automation engineering expertise to create a valuable customised solution for one of Australia’s leading beverage producers.

The company commissioned A&D Australasia to design and manufacture a system that could accurately account for stock discrepancies that were often arising after raw materials were utilised in production. A typical process involved stores preparing raw materials for each product run - liquids, powders, caps, labels, packaging etc.

On completion of that batch run, production would have remaining stock of various materials in part measures – eg, half a roll of labels, quarter of a tub of flavouring etc. These remaining quantities seldom matched with what was expected ‘on paper’ and it was becoming very problematic on two fronts:

This was affecting the bottom line and also disrupting the esprit de corps between departments.

As Australia’s largest manufacturer of weighing systems and one of the only weighing companies in the world to have a systems integration and automation division, A&D had to think outside the box to come up with a simple yet powerful solution, physically robust enough to withstand the harsh conditions of a wet area production line. Utilising off-the-shelf components, A&D designed a mobile, rechargeable weighing trolley with customised software running on an onboard touch panel PC. This had a wired or wireless link to a label printer that enabled production staff to accurately label the partly used items and sign off that there was now ‘x’ amount remaining.

Using the custom software created by A&D TechEng, the operator simply entered the product code via a touch-screen dropdown keypad, placed the item on the trolley-based scales, then pressed the digital ‘print’ button to produce a label. The software would calculate the volume, weight or part count and include this critical information on the label along with product info, date, time and operator signature block. Goods returned to stores for future use were now clearly quantified and areas of loss could be accurately identified and production consumption/forecasts adjusted where required.

These mobile systems were waterproof and could be used for days on end before a rapid 4-hour recharge would be needed.

The objective was achieved and ROI for the customer was clear and rapid.


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