Manager with chart controlling workplace productivity in a factory

Increase workplace productivity with (smart) lifting equipment

Automotive, Food & Beverage, Logistics, Manufacturing, Wood

If it’s one word that describes today’s work situation, it’s BUSY. Manufacturing and logistics companies are constantly looking for ways to be more productive and get more work done in a shorter time period. In this strive, manual material handling is a common but often unknown barrier to success. Using smart material handling equipment will help you boost workplace productivity in more ways than one.

Empower your employees to work smarter, not harder

When we talk about workplace productivity, we are referring mainly to how much work is accomplished over a particular time period. When a business is fully operational and functioning at capacity, productivity should (in theory), be maximized.

However, a company’s workforce is a considerable contributing factor to its ability to reach productivity goals. Creating a productive workplace doesn’t only ensure that you meet your business goals, it also helps you create a healthy and engaged workplace culture. In turn, boosting employee morale positively affects not only productivity but employee retention as well.

Three factory workers at their workstation

Manual handling – a bottleneck to productivity goals

In many industries, including manufacturing and logistics, human labour is still needed on the production/warehouse floor. Workers need to ensure a smooth process of transferring materials (handling) from one machine to another, or from one workstation to another.

Woman lifting large kegs in a factory  Warehouse worker bending into a pallet to lift a box

A common manual material handling task performed by workers is the lifting of objects. Manual material handling increase the risk of injuries and work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as back pain. MSDs are one of the most frequently reported causes of lost or restricted work time.

 Guide to risk assessment and preventions  Click on this guide to find out how to do a risk assessment at your workplace. 

Different ergonomic lifting aids and tools are available. However, smart lifting solutions helps you achieve two objectives: reducing the risk of injuries AND improving your workplace productivity.

For example, a company within food product manufacturing has a task in their production process that involves emptying heavy flour bags into a mixing bowl. To meet targets, 120 bags are added to the mixing bowl every hour. Two workers are assigned to lift each bag from the pallet onto the metal grate above the bowl. The workers experience body strains and fatigue, getting worse throughout the day. By using a smart lifting solution, like a vacuum lifter, the company can both increase worker health & safety and improve productivity. By using the right lifting equipment, the bags can be lifted faster and without physical strain. Ensuring an even flow of bags into the mixer, every hour of every day.

How can lifting solutions improve workplace productivity?

Investing in a material handling solution, such as a vacuum lifer or hoist, can boost you company’s productivity in more ways than one. These lifting solutions are designed to lift, move and manipulate a wide range of objects and materials. From large oil drums to cumbersome plastic sacks, there is a lifting solution for just about anything. So, how do these solutions improve workplace productivity?

Move more loads in less time

Just because employees can physically lift and move heavy, large or cumbersome objects, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s efficient. Especially in the long run. It may take two or three workers 10 minutes to move a liquid-filled drum across the factory. An overhead rail-based vacuum lifter allows a single worker to perform the same task in minutes. Without physical strain.

Another example is two workers picking heavy packages for a customer order in a warehouse. A mobile vacuum lifter will allow one single worker to pick these orders faster and with higher safety. Making it possible for any employee to singlehandedly lift even the heaviest or bulkiest items.

Reduce the risk of injuries

Many work-related injuries are the result of employees picking up and/or moving heavy objects the wrong way. It can also involve less heavy objects that are handled at a high frequency or over an extended period of time. A smart lifting solution does not only make material handling faster, it takes away the physical strain on the workers bodies. Thereby increasing workplace productivity and reducing the risk of injuries simultaneously.
Warehouse worker falling due to manually lifting boxes

Boost employee morale

One of the lesser-discussed benefits of smart lifting solutions is the positive impact it has on worker morale. Far too many company’s use outdated tools and equipment (or none at all). Employees appreciate when their employer makes an effort to invest in lifting equipment that will improve their health and safety. Increased worker morale is likely to boost employee efficiency and retention.

How can TAWI help you achieve your goals?

If we invest in a lifting solution, wouldn’t it slow down production? What equipment can ensure that we maintain productivity? These are common concerns among production managers when considering implementing lifting equipment in their production process.

TAWI lifting equipment does not slow down, but often speeds up operations. Below are just a few examples of customers who have experienced time-savings.

“We’ve experienced 50% time reduction when unloading boxes from pallets. These are pretty significant gains, which is why TAWI vacuum lifters have exceeded our expectations”, Jeff MaDouse, Operations Manager at Hawe Hydraulic.

When choosing a TAWI solution, you will get a high quality system, adaptable to your specific requirements and a loyal partner from the first point of contact to the implementation in your facility. TAWI offers a full range of smart lifting solutions, including mobile order pickers, vacuum lifters, lifting trolleys, cranes and hoists. Contact us and find out how we can help improve your bottom line.

A real life example

Rockwool is a leading supplier of stone wool products and insulation systems. At their production site in Belgium, manual handling used to be involved in many steps along the production process all the way to packaging and palletizing the finished product.

Lifting the finished products from conveyor belt to pallet involves handling boxes weighing between 20-30kg. Every pallet contain up to 72 boxes. Over a work shift, one single employee will fill at least four pallets, lifting a total weight of 7200kg in a short time period.

A few years ago, Danny Flass, production site supervisor at Rockwool, made the decision to invest in lifting equipment to make work more ergonomic for the employees as well as ensuring that the same work speed could be maintained throughout a whole shift. Using TAWI vacuum lifters and trolleys, productivity has been increased with time saving effects and the workers can perform the work faster without getting tired.

“The investment in TAWI lifting equipment pays of quickly due to the obvious health benefits for the employees”, Danny Flass, Production site supervisor at Rockwool Belgium.

man lifting

 

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