The manufacturing industry is aching from a labor shortage that is
aggravated by a double-whammy. First, the stellar workforce it has is getting older. Employees can’t physically accomplish what they could a decade or two ago. The jobs are physically demanding, so workers are more vulnerable to injury, and they can’t get things done at the speed they once could. In addition to their physical limitations, they are preparing to retire. This generation is working longer than generations before, but they can only go so long before it’s time to call it a career.
Retirement wouldn’t be as big an issue if it weren’t for the second factor in the labor shortage: the industry doesn’t have the draw that it used to. Younger generations aren’t as interested in manufacturing jobs. Many of them aren’t used to manual material handling-related work. They’re more interested in computers and technology than building and organizing. Consequently, there aren’t enough applicants to replace the retiring workforce. Manufacturing is a thriving sector, so losing people is a hardship.
Some solutions that are being implemented include hiring temporary employees, scaling back to a leaner production, and incorporating more automation. But what if there were another option that effectively utilized the staff you have, optimized the productivity that a temp worker was able to do, and contributed to your lean initiative?
That’s what manufacturers are finding is the case with tug and cart systems.
Battery-powered tuggers are designed to provide the muscle necessary to move very heavy loads, or ones with a high “Draw-bar Pull.” In and of themselves, they absorb the effort of pushing and pulling so that just one person can safely move just about anything throughout a facility.
Suddenly your 50-year old veteran or your twenty-something temp can singlehandedly move a large piece of equipment or inventory quickly and without strain.
Add carts to the equation, and now you can more than quadruple the amount of work that one employee can do. A tug can pull carts behind it like a train. If you hook four carts up behind it, one person is making four trips at once, or doing the work of four people. There’s no fatigue setting in between the rounds, and with components being delivered faster, the other departments benefit from the timely availability of what they need.
All in all, having a power tug, especially as part of a tug and cart system, is like having extra employees pitching in every day. It completely optimizes productivity and increases the capability of the employees who use it. Tugs fit seamlessly into lean models, especially those reducing waste of transport, waiting, and motion.
To add manpower to your floor without hiring anyone new, talk to Load Mover Inc. We will help you determine the practicality and benefits of using a power tug at your facility. Call us at 952-767-1720 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.