Willingness to invest in future yields big dividends with 76% return on investment in first year.
Contributed by | Intelligrated
Beginning in 1946 with a single manufacturing facility in San Carlos, California, Kelly-Moore Paints™ has grown to the largest employee-owned, and the 5th largest paint company, in the United States. Supporting over 165 local stores, Kelly-Moore is “the painter’s paint store,” providing high-quality paint and related products to contractors, commercial and maintenance accounts, and do-it-yourself consumers. Today, the company maintains two facilities - in California and Texas - manufacturing and distributing nearly 15 million gallons of paint per year. State-of-the-art on-site laboratories ensure quality control and produce some of the most technologically advanced paint products available, including their eCoat Recycled and Zero-VOC Enviro Coat and Green Coat lines.
Once the buckets are filled and sealed, they are conveyed via 15 feet of Accuglide zero-pressure accumulation conveyor.
Finding a Palletizing Solution Partner
Intelligrated rose to the challenge. A design team, with specialists in conventional, robotic and hybrid palletizing manufacturing and integration, was assigned to the Kelly-Moore project and led by Intelligrated’s Director of Robotics Integration, Bill Natsch. The Alvey robotic palletizing system would be built, assembled and tested in St. Louis and installed by Intelligrated’s local Los Angeles-based technicians.
End-of-arm tooling from Intelligrated, lifting five-gallon pails in groups of three to the build station, contains a custom-designed ring within the vacuum plenum to prevent the flow of air from pulling out a tinting port.
An Engineered Solution
With strict space limitations in the building, the Intelligrated team set out to design the most compact solution for the building’s manufacturing processes. Building columns set in the middle of the room made fitting the palletizing cells a tight squeeze with only inches to spare. The system designers wanted to ensure that Kelly-Moore would not have to make any structural changes to the building to accommodate its final design.
The five-gallon pails posed their own engineering challenge. A two-inch diameter tinting port on each lid that allowed customers to tint the paint in the store could not withstand a vacuum. The solution was end-of-arm tooling that would be designed and manufactured by Intelligrated with a custom-designed ring within the vacuum plenum to block the flow of air from pulling out this port. The pails would then be lifted three-at-a-time and palletized in a nested configuration.
Key Benefits: Zero Pressure Accumulation and Line Changeovers Without Delay or Retooling
Key to this system was the ability of the Alvey robotic palletizer to accommodate quick line changeovers. This flexibility proved invaluable shortly after installation, when a large Kelly-Moore customer requested a custom run of three-gallon pails. Although they had the same footprint as the five-gallon product, the new pails were several inches shorter. Intelligrated handled the request with a straightforward pattern addition, avoiding the typical retooling required for a conventional end-of-line installation.
Results: 76% Return on Investment in First Year and 80% Reduction in Changeover Time
Saving $25,000 - The original system design did not call for the Alvey robotic palletizer to handle the pallets. However, once the Intelligrated team looked at the rates that Kelly-Moore required, they determined that the robot could handle the empty pallet placement at the build position without significantly impacting the speed of production. This design change saved Kelly-Moore $25,000.
Continuous Improvement, Improving the Earth
“Our employees can see the benefits of the Alvey robotic palletizer,” said Hussinger. “It makes them more willing to participate in some of our other initiatives; it proves that we’re not just talking about change. Winning awards like the “Large Green Business of the Year” is a result of our hard work, our willingness to invest in the future and our commitment to continuous improvement.”
* 2010 Large Green Business Award is hosted by the San Carlos Chamber of Commerce
Kelly-Moore System Overview
Intelligrated Alvey® robotic palletizing system integrating Motoman EPL-160 robotic arms
Intelligrated Accuglide™ accumulation conveyor
Intelligrated pallet dispenser
Intelligrated chain-driven live roller pallet conveyor
Intelligrated pallet transfers
Tepro Machine & Pac Systems
Controls & Programming Software:
(from left to right) Project Manager Tim Lasko, Intelligrated; Maintenance Manager Brendan Ingraham, Kelly-Moore; Plant Manager Keith Hussinger, Kelly-Moore
Intelligrated is a leading North American-owned, single-point provider of automated material handling solutions with operations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Intelligrated designs, manufactures and installs complete material handling automation solutions, including conveyor systems, IntelliSort® sortation systems, Alvey® palletizers and robotics, Real Time Solutions® order fulfillment systems, warehouse control software and advanced machine control—all supported by 24x7 Customer Service and Support.
Serving the warehousing, distribution, consumer product manufacturing, postal and parcel markets, Intelligrated collaborates closely with its clients to develop productivity solutions and responds to their needs throughout the life of their material handling systems.
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of RoboticsTomorrow
Honeywell Intelligrated is a leading single-point provider of automated material handling solutions with operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil. Intelligrated designs, manufactures and installs complete material handling automation solutions, including conveyor systems, IntelliSort sortation systems, Alvey palletizers and robotics, Real Time Solutions order fulfillment systems, warehouse control software and advanced machine controls.
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