Whip the WIP in Manual Material Handling

posted on: Thursday March 14, 2013

According to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission, “…Material handling often composes one of the largest cost components of a product, operation, or service, and Express Singled  2unnecessary handling of materials costs time and money.” Unnecessary handling along with unnecessary wait time can increase work in progress (WIP). For optimal production management, one works to minimize WIP. It requires storage space, causes traffic congestion, and overall represents product not yet being sold – for perishable items, this can mean a complete loss of product.

Maximizing the amount of product transported while minimizing the labor required to do it is an extremely effective way of reducing WIP. Companies across the globe are finding battery-powered tugs to be a successful way of accomplishing both. Reports show additional benefits to the tugs:

  • Safer loading and unloading of trucks
  • Less or no need for forklifts
  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Increase in space available
  • Increase in employee morale

Why They’re Effective

Powered tugs attach onto anything with wheels to perform pushing and pulling tasks. They maneuver awkward, tight turns, and can be powerful enough to move a plane. One of the greatest benefits to WIP is the tug’s ability to pull multiple carts attached together for a train effect. This allows one person to clear an entire storage area full of product in one trip.

The tug is ergonomically designed so that its operator isn’t fatigued or strained during use. This has further helped employees do more work in one day without tiring or incurring injury. One person can move loads that would usually require multiple personnel or expensive equipment to get from point A to B.

Advancements in this equipment have produced some of the most impressive powered tugs around. Load Movers, for example, were created to increase the safety of the tug as well as its power. The Load Mover models are ergonomic and specially designed to pull more weight without tipping. The attachments can be custom-made to fit any hitch or hook. Here are a few examples of what other companies are moving with their tuggers:

  • Airport luggage carts
  • Large slabs of hanging beef in meat-packing plant
  • Hospital beds
  • Garbage dumpsters
  • Food trays and carts – in hospitality, health care, and food service settings

Of course, the most common application is within the warehouse transporting parts and products between stations, on and off a truck, and throughout the warehouse. The tugs take up very little space and can be operated by anyone – features well-liked by those moving to forklift-free sites.

Overall, tugs like the Load Movers have proven to be an ergonomically effective and powerful tool to reduce WIP. Best of all, manual material handlers really like them. Employees find them easy to use and a boost to productivity – all without wearing out their bodies by the end of the day.

For information on how the battery-powered tug can minimize your WIP, visit the Load Mover website http://www.loadmoverinc.com/ or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Load-Mover-Inc/341543952621965?fref=ts