A bespoke conveyor system from LB Foster Materials Handling has been installed at MINI Plant Oxford. The solution presents a constant supply of wheels to the fitting operators on each side of the production line in the most efficient and ergonomic manner.
The main driver for the new equipment was that the wheel fitting position needed to be moved further up the production line. Consequently a conveyor system was required and possible improvements to the wheel fitting operation explored.
To meet the brief, LB Foster, the Leicester based materials handling specialists, designed and manufactured zero line pressure accumulating roller conveyors complete with pop up transfers and tilting units for each side of the line. These conveyors are now used to transport the wheels in the correct sequence from the ground floor lifts to the cars as they progress down the line.
Gary Bale is the managing director of LB Foster Materials Handling, he comments: "Due to the time restraints on this contract it was vitally important we successfully completed the project within the tight deadline specified. To eliminate production downtime, we carried out the installation during a planned shutdown period.
"The innovative system has successfully delivered on a number of levels for MINI Plant Oxford; not only improving on the ergonomic design, but also significantly reducing the amount of time taken to complete the task."
As part of the solution, LB Foster’s in-house electronics team designed the controls for the conveyor solution and were responsible for their integration into Plant Oxford’s existing software.