Case Study Summary
Apex Tools & Orthopedics, a member of the Colson Medical Group and a subsidiary of the Marmon Group under Berkshire Hathaway, is a global leader in surgical instrument design and manufacturing. Their factory, based in Guangzhou, sought to optimize its warehouse operations. They transitioned from traditional shelving to a more efficient storage solution provided by two Modula Lifts, achieving remarkable results.
Initially, Apex Tools & Orthopedics used traditional shelving in their warehouse, which presented several challenges. First, they needed to optimize their limited space. As their inventory continued to expand, the constraints of their warehouse space became increasingly apparent.
Another critical challenge was the need to enhance the precision and efficiency of their inspection processes. With a diverse range of materials to handle, including raw metals, auxiliary materials, various parts, and semi-finished products, maintaining accuracy and minimizing errors in their inspection routines was imperative.
Furthermore, they sought a solution to reduce the workload on their operators. The traditional shelving setup necessitated extensive manual labor, with operators spending valuable time searching for, retrieving, and organizing materials.
To address these challenges comprehensively, Apex Tools & Orthopedics invested in two Modula Lifts, which transformed their storage and retrieval processes. Here are the key details:
- The two Modula Lifts occupy only 710 square feet of floor space, a mere 0.7% of the total factory area, yet provide 2,475 square feet of storage space, accommodating 80% of the company’s material volume.
- Weight distribution plates were added to the units to evenly distribute the load across the floor, ensuring the safe storage of heavy items.
- An integrated LED bar significantly improved picking speed by precisely indicating item locations within the trays.
- Sliding consoles were added to the Modula units to reduce operator labor intensity.
The Modula automated solutions not only met but exceeded all of Apex Tools & Orthopedics’ requirements. The company is now considering expanding the use of Modula solutions to other facilities, showcasing the effectiveness and versatility of this storage solution.