Realize work load reduction and productivity improvement at logistics center - "Corresponds to changing transportation lines" and "Towing of long carts" -
1. Company Introduction
Since its establishment in 1953, Mizuno Sangyo Co., Ltd. has increased its lineup of products to meet the diversifying needs and has now reached the stage as a trading company.
Our main business is to propose and supply products requested by customers, mainly containers and packaging materials.
We will help you by accurately understanding the needs of your customers and creating new products, services, and new business models.
We will continue to make proactive product proposals for new possibilities while addressing various problems such as environmental issues while flexibly responding to changing times.
2. Business issues
Kanto Logistics Center, where CarriRo® was introduced is the largest logistics center in Mizuno Industry.
Among them, the processing section carries out daily picking with 15 employees and 190 part time, delivering 55,000 items per month and handling more than 10,000 items.
We handle various types of products such as take-out packaging materials, kitchen equipment such as detergents, and cleaning tools. We handle picking (total picking → picking by store), inspection, packing, and shipping (conveying).
Among them, there were soaring labor costs and shortage of human resources, and the issue was how to reduce the burden and increase productivity.
3. Reason for introducing CarriRo®
The goal was to improve the working environment and productivity by reducing the workload of workers due to the rising labor costs and the shortage of personnel.
In particular, the long cart used in the processing section (width 60 cm, length 180 cm) can carry a large amount of luggage at one time, but the total weight when loaded is considerable, making handling difficult.
We thought that it would be possible to reduce the workload of workers if this could be towed, and we examined the introduction.
At first, we considered the introduction of AGV and rented a demonstration machine and conducted a test for several days. However, it was concluded that it was difficult to introduce due to restrictions such as the intersection of the flow line with the forklift and the work layout.
The important points when introducing the CarriRo® are not only to reduce the workload, but also to be able to handle the changing flow of transportation as well as to be able to carry packages at once.
Since multiple workplaces are moved by one pick, the flow line to be transported changes each time.
A type of conveyor that installs tape on the floor, such as AGV, can not cope with such changes in the transportation flow line, but since CarriRo® follows people, it can also handle complicated transportation flow lines.
Also, because there are various shapes of luggage, there are some large items that do not fit on the cart.
By loading it on the CarriRo® body, it becomes possible to carry products that could not be carried at once.
4. Effects after introducing CarriRo®
About half a year has passed since the introduction of CarriRo® in October 2017.
Prior to the introduction, products were placed on a long cart and pushed by hand. By connecting the long cart to the CarriRo® and to follow in the Karugamo mode (towing), the burden on the operator who was towing the long cart was eliminated.
In addition, since the long cart is pushed and conveyed by hand during transportation, it was insufficient in terms of securing the forward visibility (safety), but by following it, it becomes possible to secure the forward visibility and in terms of safety. However, a significant improvement effect was obtained.
In terms of improving productivity, products that could not be placed on long carts were placed on pallets and later transported by forklifts.
When connecting a long cart and a CarriRo®, it is possible to place products on the CarriRo® body, so it is possible to carry large products that do not fit on the long cart at the same time.
As a result, transport by fork and picking by the operator multiple times have been eliminated, which has helped improve productivity.
5. Next Deployment
Currently, CarriRo® is limited to use in certain areas. (It is due to the difficulty to return to the predetermined position after the towing.) In response to this result, we are planning to develop the operation by the CarriRo® in other areas as well. In addition, if autonomous project which is currently under development is completed and it shall be introduced, it becomes possible to change from the towing of workers to the operation by towing by Autonomous Driving, and it is possible to drastically reduce labor. Based on that fact in the future, we are also planning the development of CarriRo® while also considering a significant layout change of the workplace.
6. Layout of the premises
From the Central starting point we are using in two courses, red course and blue course.