Contact TriFactor- Material Handling Systems Integrator
Information And Tips
TriFactor White Papers

 

TriFactor shares thoughts on effective ways to reduce costs, increase capacity and improve the accuracy of your distribution facility.

Ways to Improve Material Handling Efficiency

 
Critical Factors when Choosing an Order Picking System

 

Planning a Warehouse or Distribution Center

 

Choosing a Conveyor System

 

More White Papers

TriFactor Articles

Articles featured in trade publications that highlight our Client Partners projects, TriFactor and information written by TriFactor's staff. 

 

The Five Most Common Mistakes When Planning a Distribution Center by TriFactor's Craig Bertorello and featured in Supply & Demand Chain Executive (online).  

 

Seven Factors to Consider When Choosing an Order Picking System by TriFactor's Richard Gillespie and featured in Industrial Distribution (online).

 

More Articles

Facebook, TriFactor, Lakeland, FL

 

TriFactor, Lakeland, Florida, Twitter

 

TriSupplies Logo

Material Handling Case Study - Medical Products Distribution

Company Description

Exactech, Inc. of Gainesville, FL, develops, manufactures, and markets orthopedic implant devices, related surgical instrumentation and biologic services to hospitals and physicians in the United States. The company, which employs more than 200 workers, has annual sales in excess of $100 million.

Situation

The company invested heavily over the years to develop its administrative, infrastructure and distribution network to meet the growing demands of the healthcare industry for its products. It is imperative for Exactech to deliver its products quickly to meet critical medical deadlines. Faced with increased demand, the company’s relatively small 12,000 sq.ft. warehouse and labor-intensive hand-picking system was unable to fulfill orders as quickly and efficiently as necessary.

Assessment

Exactech Packing Area

The TriFactor Needs Analysis determined that there was not sufficient warehouse space for hand-picking. A new facility was needed so that the distribution operation could be totally reengineered, and yet be efficient in a relatively small space. To achieve this objective, it was necessary for Exactech to change the way it handled distribution, particularly with accuracy and speed driving the process. As a result, it was determined that a larger facility and more automation was needed to eliminate as many “human touches” as possible.

Solution

The decision was made to move the operation to Exactech’s 25,000 sq.ft. warehouse, still relatively small for this type of operation, but with twice the space of the original facility. TriFactor designed and installed a 24v MDR (Motorized Drive Roller) style conveyor, which utilized a smaller footprint, partially because of its ability to accumulate on the inclines and declines. This style of conveyor is 40%-60% more energy efficient and 45% quieter than traditional conveyor systems. Because operation can never be “down”—they must ship on time, every time––the system was designed to operate with a backup generator during power outages. With the use of correctly applied automation, TriFactor increased picking and replenishment efficiencies by 200% and the company’s receiving capacity by 400%. The new system allowed in-coming product to be segmented and sorted to four separate workstations, where it could then be transported to a pick location for distribution. Not only is the 24v MDR conveyor a ‘green’ technology, it is virtually maintenance free. To complement the ‘green’ aspect of the conveyor, Exactech installed energy-efficient low power lighting, a polished floor in which the reflection would allow for less lighting and a high-gloss floor to reflect more light. They also added a whisper-quiet, high efficiency compressor – all of which allowed Exactech to qualify as an Environmentally Friendly workplace. The system was designed to be flexible to meet the needs of a growing business.

Result

Order Picking Area, Carton Flow Rack and Shelving

The TriFactor team completed the project on time and on budget. The immediate results included creating an environmentally friendly facility with work-noise reduction to 55-60 decibels (about the level of the average soft rock radio station) that is energy-efficient. The new system also allowed for 20%-40% growth without hiring additional personnel. In addition, the automation cut distribution time by allowing orders to be filled later in the day and still be delivered on time, which was not possible previously.

ROI

A return on investment is estimated to be less than 18 months.

Exactech Facility Layout

Related Information

 

“We want you to know that the success of the project was the direct result of the process you established in the beginning, starting with the Needs Analysis.  It was an excellent example of a true partnership.  Because you are good listeners and understand the enormous benefits of a cooperative working relationship, the project met our expectations and came in on time and on budget.”

 

Kevin Godwin
Director of Customer Operations
Exactech

System Summary

Company:
Exactech

TriFactor Provided:
Phase 1 Needs Analysis
Phase 2 Final Design
Procurement
Installation and Training

Size:
29,000 Square Feet

Facility Type:
Customer Operations Center, Distribution

Products Handled:
Surgical Implants and Tools

Markets Served:
Physicians and Hospitals Worldwide

Products Utilized:
24v MDR Conveyor
Merge and Sortation
Accumulating Inclines and Declines
Scanning Equipment
Mezzanine