Smarter process and more productivity

Right manufacturing principles along with quicker, more reliable system are the need of the hour for higher productivity
The mantra in achieving a successful, smarter result in production technology is optimisation in process flow, and contribution to the productivity of a manufacturing facility varies depending on the type of industry.
Material handling industry, which involves the process of converting raw materials, components or parts into finished goods, requires the movement of the raw material along an assembly line, shop floor or across multiple manufacturing locations. Yes, material handling is also an inherent part of the manufacturing process.
Need of automated material handling solutions in industrial manufacturingIn today’s fast growing world, the advent of industrialisation and globalisation has resulted in mass and rapid manufacturing of industrial components, machineries, automobiles etc. Earlier, human intervention and errors in every process of handling and manufacturing resulted in considerable loss of man-hours and wastage. To overcome all these flaws, man devised upon efficient material handling system from the time of procurement of raw materials till the delivery of the end product as Sudhir S, Director, Sigma Hoist Co. Pvt. Ltd., remarks, “From time to time, successive developments in industrial manufacturing resulted in automation which greatly reduced human intervention thus increasing the productivity.” “Automated assembly lines revolutionised the automobile manufacturing industry in the early 1900s,” remarks Tushar Mehendale, Managing Director, ElectroMech. “Automated material handling solutions offer several advantages, including speed, precision, safety and consistency. Automated material handling solutions become important when the manufacturing process is continuous and time is very critical. Automated material handling also helps keep work areas free of clutter, delivering raw materials and components ‘just in time’ to the point they are required in the manufacturing flow.”
In today’s industrial scenario, productivity is also extremely important, and material handling equipment contribute significantly in this. According to Dale Homer, VP – Service, WMI Konecranes India Ltd., “From smooth transportation of raw material to delivery of finished products, all is dependent on material handling equipment. In process industries like mining, steel, power etc., manual material handling is not feasible and breakdowns for even a single day cost huge losses. Automated cranes are easy to operate with minimum human supervision and reduce downtime.”
Functional areas of material handling solutions“Material handling systems are used at every step of manufacturing process,” says Mr Homer. In any manufacturing firm, storage of raw materials, semi finished, finished, and bought-out as well as subsequent ensemble in manufacturing, assembling, testing and packaging till despatch have to be handled in a systematic way in the right time and the right moment. The automation comes into picture when one needs to follow subsequent synchronisation in every step of manufacturing. Mr Mehendale gives a different perspective of major standard requirements which are typically at the point of receiving raw materials, movement of materials to the respective work station, transferring sub assemblies among work areas, and loading of finished goods.
Achieving smarter process and more productivityRight manufacturing principles along with quicker, more reliable system leads to higher productivity. Right principles like pre-planning for co-ordination make the job for project manager important. “Pre-planning for co-ordination in every aspect of production results in optimal output with minimal wastage or error,” says Mr Sudhir. “Periodical discussions and communication among different departments in a firm result efficient running of an institution.”
Also, there is a new trend of designing lighter, higher-efficient equipment which are easy to operate with minimum human supervision and have eco-friendly features which directly lead to productivity.
Solutions available to optimise materials handling process automationIn this overly crowded industry, all the big players try to woo clients with innovation as Mr Sudhir explains, “By the advancement of science and technology, many tools are easily available which when used alongside the conventional material handling equipment would enhance the production of materials.
He also suggests that the initial cost of procuring these tools — PLC controls, drives, sensors and encoders — are comparatively high; however, in the long run these get overshadowed by efficient industrial output.
Mr Homer also highlights some of the advanced features for handling critical activities like SWAY control (reduce accidents), working limit (define the area in which crane is allowed to move), end positioning (designate exact position for load) and TRUCONNECT remote monitoring and reporting (collect and send real usage data from the crane through a remote connection).
Creation of jobs or eliminationIt is definitely worth debating over automation which would alter the creation of jobs. It may sound cliché but it differs organisation to organisation. “Each manufacturing sector has its own style of working, and the automation of the same would initially create turbulence between the management and workforce,” Mr Sudhir voices his opinion.
Sometimes, even an organisation needs to look at the bigger picture while making decisions. Some decisions may not favour a particular section, but ultimately it is for the betterment of the firm and workforce.
Solutions for manufacturing activitiesKonecranes India offers a series of profile crane systems, electric chain hoists, jib cranes, standard EOT cranes, and process EOT cranes for different industry applications like steel, power, paper, petrochemical and shipyard. The company also provides a complete maintenance service like crane runway survey, wire rope survey and crane reliability survey.ElectroMech has been designing, manufacturing and commissioning material handling systems with emphasis and specialisation in EOT cranes and hoists. Its product range includes single and double girder EOT cranes, gantry/goliath cranes, wall-travelling cranes, semi-gantry cranes, jib cranes, underslung and lightweight cranes for in-shop handling requirements, chain hoists and wire rope hoists. It also offers customised equipment such as tunnel mucking systems and stacker cranes (80 kg to 300 tonnes and above).  Sigma Hoist is one of the largest manufacturers of wire rope hoists and industrial cranes in South India with the experience of more than 3 decades. Its range of hoists include standard hoists, flame proof hoists, flexible trolley hoists, extended trolley hoists, suspended and foot-mounted hoists, creep speed hoists, customised speed and higher lift hoists (ranging from 500 kg to 50,000 kg).

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