David Peacock: Silver Cell
It’s clear–consumers today are demanding more, thanks in part to the expectations set by e-commerce companies like Amazon. With this online retail growth, parcel companies are feeling the pressure.
They are expected to deliver more packages, do so quicker and at an ever-increasing level of efficiency. Material handling manufacturers must address this ongoing growth with parcel customers. Hytrol foresaw this trend and took the steps to prepare and support our integration partners and customers.
With that said, I’d like to introduce our Silver Cell.
This new focus factory in our manufacturing area is dedicated to the parcel business–primarily to fabricate and assemble heavy belt over conveyor products. Silver Cell provides options for Hytrol’s Integration Partner Network, as our integration partners collaborate with businesses like UPS, FedEx, and Amazon and their needs.
As part of our production facility, this fifth focus factory positions us for continued growth in 2017 and beyond. This year alone, we expect to produce approximately $25 million in parcel-related projects with a projected capacity of $60 million in the Silver Cell. The employees involved in this focus factory have done an outstanding job at getting everything up and running.
By anticipating this opportunity, we have been able to meet the challenging needs that continue to add to our competitive advantage.
There are two main benefits impacting our performance:
Optimizing Our Flow
To keep pace with our company’s incredible growth, it was determined that a dedicated focus factory was needed to handle these much heavier parcel products. After careful research, we invested $18 million in a facility expansion and capital equipment to elevate our efforts. Not only has this increased our capacity, but we’re now able to produce parcel products more efficiently for our customers.
Introducing New Processes
Unlike Hytrol’s other four focus factories featured in our production facility, Silver Cell maintains product flow directly from the lasers to the forming equipment and welders via a conveyor system. This gives us much better control of orders flowing through the facility.
While tremendous progress has been made within Silver Cell, there’s still some room for introducing new processes. The cell serves as a beta test for evaluating innovative processes to improve flow and efficiencies. The intent is to apply the lessons learned in Silver Cell to the other focus factories in the production facility. In doing so, we lessen the risk of implementation for our facility overall while continuing to meet an ever-increasing demand for our products.
In future months, we will be extending paint line loaders to hang parts at the end of the fabrication line and thereby easing the movement of heavy components. In addition to that enhancement, we are exploring the feasibility of adding robots to assist in daily operations. Each step we take adds to our organization’s capabilities.
There is certainly a great deal going on at Hytrol. It’s an exciting time. It’s made possible by an incredible workforce–the Hytrol Family–that comes to work every day, eager to make a difference. They are doing just that.
To meet the needs of our integration partners and parcel-focused customers, we will continue working diligently on our successes in the manufacturing industry and impacting the e-commerce market.