January 7, 2015

Colorful solution keeps material handling equipment in the right place

Simple but effective tactic stops trailers from "going AWOL."

By DC Velocity Staff

In warehouses and manufacturing plants, it's not unusual for pallet jacks, trailers, and other pieces of material handling equipment—in short, anything with wheels—to go missing. It's also not unusual to find them (eventually) in another department or even another building.

But can you be sure that the parts trailer or pallet jack you recovered is really yours—especially if they all look the same?

Hamilton Caster solved that problem for one of its customers. The steer trailers Hamilton custom-builds for the client, which uses them in a manufacturing plant to transport raw materials and finished parts, used to regularly disappear. Most of the time, it turned out they'd been "poached" by another department. To keep the in-demand trailers where they belong, Hamilton came up with a simple but effective solution: paint the carts red, blue, green, or yellow—a different color for each department—so employees know where a trailer "lives." According to Hamilton, missing trailer reports have declined by 100 percent since the carts got their new look.

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