Saturday, March 12, 2011

Column #57 - Is it really THAT heavy?

Well, from the tumbling, rumbling of an 80 lb motor free-sliding down a ramp and then blowing out across the warehouse floor, we have this tendency; let’s say that as the parts come to the down ramp and there are parts backed all the way up the ramp. This keeps the motor from sliding down…it just follows the chain of parts to the bottom rather slowly. Once it gets there, the packout person puts the 80lb motor box into that big ‘ol 4x4 export box that’s full of parts for the Service Branches. Under that heavy motor was bandsaw blades, motor brushes, envelopes of small parts, etc. Do I need to describe the condition of those small parts after being squashed by a heavy motor for hundreds of miles? I think you get the idea. There was no telling how many tens of thousands of dollars of product had to be junked because of damage like this. There again, in the minds of the ‘new guys’…the computer ‘told us how the stuff had to go in the export box’- instead of treating the Warehouse system as a TOOL, they treated it as the Master…and it cost us dearly. One could make a good case, that neither Porter-Cable nor Delta ever recovered from this fiasco.

So OK, after several months of time (like 6 or 8), extra computer professionals being brought in, the P-C Distribution VP losing his job (as he should have), the President of the new Porter-Cable/Delta losing his job (as he should have), we FINALLY started shipping…sort of rationally. Parts were getting out and they had the light-weight stuff on TOP of the heavy stuff, we sort of settled down…or so we thought.

Oh, as a side note, us Tech Guys had our Tech-Lab in the warehouse, right outside our office…underneath that overhead conveyor that contained all those parts that were headed to the down ramps. Well, we would be out there working and all of a sudden we hear a CRASH, right beside us. We looked around and there on the floor was an 8 lb router inside its box.
What tha???
As it turned out, the conveyor would fill up with items headed to packout and things would stack up and jam up and eventually something would jump the side rails and come crashing down at us. We had several close calls and it finally led to us placing a trapeze net under the conveyor, over our Lab area, to catch the incoming missiles. What “fun” that was…

More of the continuing adventure, next week.

Send your questions or comments to: and we’ll see what we can do to help you.
Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this newspaper. Neither the author, nor this newspaper, accepts any liability for the content of this article, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.

No comments: