Forklift Free Operation: Compensating Downtime from Bullwhip Effect and Escalating Operation Safety 2018-01-1389
The base of this project formed when trying to mitigate the loss due to downtime in logistic operation. This paper provides the insight about the interdependency of various variables that contribute toward the Bullwhip effect in Production Downtime and how the Forklift free operation can help tackle this problem and at the same time incur safe work environment. Findings from the optimization project led to the detection of the root cause of the loss of valuable time in operations related to the movement of material due to forklifts. This waste of precious movements rapidly scaled up as the material flowed through the facility and shipped out as finished goods. The concept of forklift-free operations on the production floor seemed to be a potent solution, but it came with its challenges. After SWOT analysis of the change in operations, the outcome favored the changes. This paper focuses on the findings related to cause of the Downtime Bullwhip effect and the stepwise progression and implementation of the automation by replacing forklift with the tugger and then eventually run fully autonomous automated guided vehicle (AGV’s). The significant contribution by the simulation of the entire future state operation after the overhaul and cost-benefit related at each stage of implementation.
Considering the increase in forklift-related safety incidences as per the recent data, reducing the interaction of the forklift with the production floor is an excellent way of escalating safety index for an organization. This additional benefit of safety has a significant impact on the scale of the economy when considered the overall budget of the program. This saving is giving enough room to accommodate various Collaborative robots to tackle challenging human-robot interaction work cells.