Many of our clients don’t even think about casters until there has been a problem. In one instance, Case New Holland (CNH) in Grand Island Nebraska was more proactive and decided to begin an initiative to improve all aspects of its production line, specifically in the areas of efficiency and ergonomics.
We partnered with CNH to help them achieve their goals in many areas of their large facility. Like with all of our clients, they had unique challenges.
Caster Problems for Case New Holland
In particular, CNH uses a lot of metal, and one of the most important parts of the production line is their laser cutting machines, where thousands of pieces of metal are processed each month. After the metal is cut within the laser cutting machine, the metal must be transferred on a cart with casters to an adjacent area, normally not too far away from the laser cutting machine. The total weight of the metal coming off of the laser cutting machines plus the weight of these carts normally runs up to around 2,500 pounds.
Before CNH began working with Caster Connection to improve working conditions and productivity, they were encountering some major problems with their laser cutting workflow. The major problem lay with the casters that were on the carts they had been using. Because the distance traveled from the laser cutter to the destination where the metal would be bent is not very far, it wasn’t apparent how much the change to new casters would affect productivity and the comfort level of their employees.
The old casters were extremely difficult to use. They would constantly break because of a combination of heavy weight and some debris on the ground. Upon inspection, Eric Hassen (a regional solutions manager for Caster Connection), noted large chunks in the old wheels.
These chunks, but primarily the horrible quality of the old casters, made pushing and pulling the carts extremely difficult. That meant that the carts were dangerously difficult to get moving and to maneuver. This required the worker to jerk and push to get the caster moving and to maneuver the cart effectively.
Eric and Caster Connection has worked with the Ohio State University Spine Research Institute in a push/pull study, and he understands how microfractures in the spine happen without us feeling it. It is the accumulation of these microfractures that eventually builds up to cause chronic back pain and fatigue. Because of this, Eric knew he needed to recommend a highly efficient and ergonomically-sound caster. For this reason, he recommended the CC Nylex for their dozens of carts in the laser cutting section of CNH’s facility.
Caster Solutions for Case New Holland
Why did Eric recommend the CC Nylex caster wheel with the CC Peak rig? The ground was fairly clean, but there was the occasional bit of debris on the ground. This caused the old casters to brake and made maneuvering difficult. At the same time, the distance traveled with the carts was fairly small, and there was very little towing involved in the process. The CC Nylex is a very hard wheel, and because of this, it has incredible push/pull advantages. However, it has just enough give to be durable and versatile with debris, much more so than with the old wheels.
After the casters were attached. Jeremy, a laser operator at CNH, could not believe how well the casters changed their job. It was hard for him to grasp how bad the wheels were before. When asked his opinion if they could no longer use the CC Nylex, he stated that he would tell upper management, “To buy a forklift...because [they] can't push the carts with the old wheels.” His department ran push/pull testing and found incredible results from old to new casters. In fact, his department became an example for other CNH facilities in improved ergonomics.
So, after installing the CC Nylex onto dozens of carts in the laser cutting section, CNH prevented injury and microfractures, maintained healthy and happy workers, increased efficiency and the bottom line, and served as an example for other facilities and departments within CNH.
If you’d like to improve areas of your operations that you might not realize are putting your employees and bottom line at risk, click here so we can change that.