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Synopsis 12b: Improvement in material transportation system for interplant transfers

The Assignment:
The rubberized nylon fabric used in modern automotive tyre manufacturing is called 'calendared fabric'. Ceat, since its inception up to time of this study, had the machines for calendaring only at Mumbai and the fabric was then transferred in ordinary trucks to its other manufacturing facilities.

The thickness of this calendared fabric is required to be maintained for quality reasons and as such Ceat was not allowing to stack the rolls of this fabric one above the other in the trucks resulting in partial (less than 50%) loading; and still, initial few layers from the rolls were needed to be discarded which was a wastage. This system was doubling the transportation cost and additionally incurring material cost stemming from the wastage.

Some attempts were made earlier to develop a trolley to reduce wastage but not to improve transportation efficiency and that too could not reach to its final implementation due to involved logistics.

Conclusions:
After initial attempts of improvising the trolley design, a conclusive step was taken to modify the truck design itself doubling its capacity (100% improvement) while satisfying the conflicting parameters of safety but not making the truck as dedicated one - so that it could be used for any other material transportation as well - still taking care of involved logistics and keeping it simple at the same time for the operating staff.

Management support plays a crucial role in such assignments which was forthcoming, due to which, not only that such system could be conceived but also could be immediately improvised further and was extended beyond the first truck that was developed on sample basis.

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