Is there an easy way to improve the lifetime of your roll containers?
K.Hartwall is known as the leading supplier of load carriers, tugger trains and AGVs for the Retail, Postal&Parcel and Automotive industries – basically for all operations where goods need to be efficiently moved and delivered in prime condition.
Most of these goods are handled by roll containers such as the Compactainer®, a high-quality nestable unit made to withstand rough treatment in the logistics chain. We know that load carriers are often damaged through misuse and accidents in spite of training and handling instructions.
Most of the damage on roll containers is caused by excessive forces applied to the unit, for example strapping them too tight in a truck or pushing them from the side with forklift trucks. In more extreme cases it can even happen that roll containers fall off loading platforms or hit by trucks in the yard.
Taking all this into account we design our products to be user friendly and easy to maintain so that it takes only minutes to replace parts such as side walls, gates, base or shelves. To make our customers’ life easier we also offer spares packages including the parts which get most usually damaged.
However before replacing a damaged part, it is worthwhile to check if it can be repaired instead. Of course, when damaged beyond repair make sure to mark the roll container, recover the intact parts which can be recovered and saved as spares and scrap the rest.
To help repair and maintenance work, K.Hartwall has designed a repair bench with a set of suitable tools to repair items such as bent sides, frames, bases or forks.
A good example of utilizing the repair bench is a leading supermarket chain in Ecuador which changed its logistics operations between DC and stores to use Compactainer® roll cages instead of pallets. The transition was easy as they were able to start the DC operation fresh with roll containers.
At our visit after the first roll out, we met with a happy customer. However, there were concerns about broken units. When inspecting the roll containers, it was clear that they had been subject to misuse.
It is important that damaged units are taken out of use immediately as they might be a Health & Safety risk for the operators. As the use of roll containers was completely new, a lot of these issues were minimized by training the DC staff and outsourced logistics company. We also introduced an easy education tool: the “Funny Guys” poster, which was placed in changing rooms, cafeterias and other spots where workers spend time. The poster gives advice on proper handling with funny pictures and short comments, in this case in Spanish.
The DC has a repair shop for logistics equipment. K.Hartwall together with our Ecuadorian distributor arranged a repair and maintenance education programme for the Compactainer® including:
- Identification of damage types, remove damaged units from operation
- Decision on whether to repair or scrap the unit
- Efficient reparation of the units with the help of the repair bench
The training was well received. Repair staff were motivated and could see the added value in their daily operations: light damage could easily be repaired and thereby prolong the lifetime of the roll cages. And this is great news to their management as it reduces the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) turning the fleet of Compactainers into an investment rather than a liability.