Not every company needs the most sophisticated conveyor system and complex computer controls. The top priority for many operations, particularly those in the small and mid-size range, is basic and reliable equipment. They want to be able to ramp up quickly when order volume dictates. And when they do add new equipment, they want it up and running fast.
Hytrol's "Stockyard" service is tailor made for companies with these kinds of requirements. Hytrol guarantees 24-hour shipment of more than 500 models of conveyor equipment in 2,500 sizes from the Stockyard. In fact, if the order is not shipped within that tight timeframe, Hytrol pays the freight.
This communication services company is a good example of a company that has benefited from the Stockyard. They provide a range of printing and media replication services, including assembly, fulfillment, and distribution. Their fulfillment Center focuses on two main activities: (1) assembling printed material with CD-ROMs and other computer media and (2) fulfilling print orders for end-users.
The 150,000 square-feet operation today incorporates a variety of conveyor equipment, including belt, horizontal power, live roller, and gravity. But when the facility opened, only a limited amount of powered equipment was in place. As the business grew, they added more and more equipment — most of which was ordered from the Stockyard. Orders were placed through a dealer of Hytrol equipment. The company also works closely with a Hytrol Integration Partnerr to identify its equipment requirements.
In the Assembly part of the operation, short segments of gravity conveyor feed the powered units in the multiple lines used for handwork, automated collation and packaging, and sub-assembly work. Forklifts then move the completed orders to the shipment-staging areas.
In fulfillment, which is basically a pick-and-pack operation, there's a powered accumulating unit with the EZ Logic feature. EZ Logic controls the accumulation and movement of product from zone to zone, giving them better overall control of the fulfillment activities. Final shipment preparation in this area is done on gravity conveyors.
Portable belt conveyors are used throughout the facility in both the assembly and fulfillment areas. These flexible units can easily be added to or removed from a work area as required by order demand or other operating considerations. As with all of the other conveyor equipment, the belt conveyors can be ordered through the Stockyard with 24-hour shipping.
Though the company's fulfillment center is growing steadily, it still needs to remain flexible. For operations like this one, the approach of adding equipment as needed from the Stockyard makes a lot of sense. Ordering is fast and easy. Installation is simple. And downtime is virtually non-existent.
"We've stuck with Hytrol because of the dependability of their conveyors," sums up the company's director of turnkey operations. "We install the equipment and we're up and running. And there is very little maintenance required."
Over the past two years in particular, the company has seen significant productivity improvements from the additional conveyor equipment put in place. Production has effectively tripled at the site, while overall labor costs have dropped significantly.
Companies like them with a need for reliable and trouble-free equipment can enjoy these same types of benefits from Hytrol equipment and Stockyard service. Plus, all units arrive on site pre-assembled, minimizing start-up time and maximizing cost savings. These are the kinds of advantages that a growing number of small and mid-size operations are finding hard to resist.
In the Assembly section of the fulfillment center, powered conveyor units move material on three types of assembly lines: handwork, sub-assembly, and packaging and collation. Short segments of gravity conveyor feed the powered units here. In fulfillment, a pick-and-pack operation, product movement is controlled by a powered accumulating conveyor with the EZ Logic feature. Final shipment preparation is done on gravity conveyors. Portable belt conveyors can be added or removed throughout the facility as needed.