THE many 'lean' advantages of Creform System's compartmented dunnage carts/racks are also supported by economies of design, construction, materials and custom, build-to-order performance.
The concept, created by Creform Corporation, integrates individual compartments, partitions or rack linings for varying component configurations into a rugged, yet lightweight, framework structure built using the Creform System of plastic coated pipe, joints, and hardware accessories.
The compartments or other protective elements help to prevent part-to-part contact, strategically group parts for kit assemblies, present parts in sequential order to match assembly requirements, and provide quick visual identification of inventory levels to maintain continuous material flow.
The performance of the dunnage cart/rack from Creform is achieved by its capability to be economically and easily tailored for virtually any application.
First, the Creform System itself allows for flexible frame construction, with sizes (height, width, depth) and configurations being determined by factoring optimal load capacities, inventory flow rates and maneuvering/floor space availability into the design criteria.
This design is enhanced by the system's ease of construction, where the plastic-coated pipe sections can be cut to required plan lengths with a manual or powered pipe cutter, band saw or chop saw.
For assembly, the system utilizes either metal joints that tighten or clamp onto pipe sections via a threaded fastener, or plastic joints that are 'welded' to the pipes with a Creform-formulated adhesive.
One of the benefits of using metal joints in the construction of Creform structures is the ease in which designs may be altered and frame components reused if part needs, process steps or component designs change in the future.
Since each set of carts/racks is custom designed and built, and with Creform's selection of hardware accessories, the units can incorporate numerous features to help maximise handling and operational performance.
For example, Creform offers a wide range of castors for easy manual transport and maneuvering, plus hitch components that allow units to be trailered throughout plants by tugger-style vehicles.
Additional accessories available for use include various flat channel rails, skatewheel and roller style conveyor sections, hinges and latches, label holders and displays, clamps, and an array of mount pipe mounts, connectors, hooks and hangers, locks and cushioning springs.
Doors can be used to assure product retention or, with locks, to secure valuable components.
Because Creform also offers pipe sections, joints and many accessories with ESD protective capabilities, the option exists for producing carts/racks for applications involving the safe handling of electronics, circuit boards and other static-sensitive items.
In conjunction with the multiple design options for the framework provided by the Creform System, the second performance advantage of these carts/racks is found in the range of material and configuration choices for the dunnage compartments, liners and partitions.
Depending upon the application needs for strength and levels of protection, the dunnage may be constructed from fabric and foam for its cushioning affect, or plastics for durability and cleaning, or from coated or uncoated corrugated materials.
The dunnage design can also allow for ergonomic loading and offloading from either side of the unit, and efficient workpiece placement/retrieval that can make these operations more productive and reduce chances of strains and injury to handlers and assembly technicians.
To assist in error-proofing operations, Creform, represented by ICA , provides pipe and tube sections in a wide variety of colors that can be used to help visually distinguish parts for different models, lot sequences, line association or for indicating left side/right side part profiles.
In addition to the compartmented dunnage carts/racks, the Creform System can also be used to construct carts and racks that incorporate custom dunnage supports, brackets and hold-downs.
Other representative examples of material handling structures possible include single angle and dual angle flow racks; a 'hybrid' flow/storage rack with easy, tool-less shelf height adjustment; simple part presentation stands; push carts and trailers; roller conveyors; hinged shelf carts; tilting racks and tables; height adjustable work tables and workstations along with the portable tool cribs and locking storage units.
The Creform System can also be used to implement economical and easy-to-install Automated Guided Vehicle systems for efficient automated material delivery units.