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Case Studies - General Manufacturing

HomeFreight and LTL

Case Study #2: Defender IM3 Rolls Out Safety at Steel Coating Plant

No Room or Errors

Beginning as a joint venture between Dofasco and Stelco in 1965 this current steel coater is the largest in Canada. Formed to meet the worlds growing demand for pre painted steel, the company has grown to 175 employees and two multi shift operating lines offering well over 1000 colors which paint over 200,000 tons of steel annually. With pre painted steel becoming a growing part of steel production and productivity becoming maximized in the plant this finishing company wanted to ensure that the employees respected safety policies with respect to the operation of lift trucks. Product pathways for this company involve a combination of mobile cranes, lift tables and lift truck carry and with the considerable weight of the product finished and unfinished there simply is no margin for error.

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Best in Class Safety

Operating a fleet of 8 lift trucks between 6,000lb and 12,000lbs, participating in various stages of the finishing process the strategy for vehicle management was simple. Different trucks do different jobs. Therefore only people trained for specific jobs should be able to operate specific trucks. In addition, with the varying capacity of the trucks it is just as important for the right lift truck to be performing the right job that reflects its capacity. In addition, with tight operating lines and vehicle pathways that extend into different rooms for product carry, careless driving can result in lift truck damage, product damage, and even worse potential injury. Looking for proactive methods of ensuring that safe vehicle operation is firmly respected in the plant this company wanted to start each shift with a safety check that went beyond paper and subsequently folder. Currently with paper it clearly demonstrated that the information was not being reviewed based on the volume and requirement to pass along to a manager for a weekly review. Relegated as a process of ministry compliance it did not get proper attention and was difficult for managers to address real issues.

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Defender Connects Operators and Managers

Introducing the Defender IM3 into the operation was really a simple process. The system installed in less than two hours for the on-board units and the Base Station communication hub required no technical installation. The Base Station connected to the network with the assignment of a static IP address and a SMTP mail server assigned by the IT group and input by management themselves. Ready to go live, the system starts with only certified operators being able to access the right vehicle, controlling who is able to operate what truck not only secured the asset but makes sure the right truck is being used for the right job. The Defender IM3 also provides pre-shift safety checks on all shifts the system is put to work in, both 8 hour swing and 12 hour continental. The system when powered on also provides accident and impact detection that provides notifications on a multitude of data channels which include, real time email event notification, USB back up, FTP to a network folder and LAN web page for instant visibility.All selected events such as impacts and failed safeties can be received on a smart phone and other data channels with identification data. This means no surprises and vehicle visibility is in real-time which keeps management current. The system also provides the ability to create sortable reports fort analysis purposes and forward planning.

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