Eppendorf Cryotech Limited
Area – Essex
Number of employees – 72
Application – 1 x Lean-Lift
Special features – Additional Modules: Access code management, Item pool management, Free space management
Size of machine – 6.5 metres
Reason for investment – Storage of small parts for product assembly
Main benefit – An increased speed on transactions, with up to 100 transactions processed per hour.
Eppendorf is a life-science company that develops and sells instruments, consumables, and services for liquid, sample and cell handling in laboratories worldwide.
Founded in Hamburg, Germany in 1945, the company now has more than 3,000 employees worldwide and has subsidiaries in 26 countries. This Lean-Lift application was implemented in Essex, UK to store parts associated with their Ultra Low Temperature Freezers.
As a company, Eppendorf is a leader in creating new technology for the medical and pharmaceutical sectors, however, they identified there were inefficiencies in their UK production line.
The biggest issue was keeping up with demand; they needed to improve their transaction rate per hour but didn’t want to compromise space in their facility, or the performance accuracy of their workers.
Second to this was the importance of organising and securing their imported items. Because the freezer assembly line uses small parts, and large volumes of items were being processed each day, it was imperative that their solution would be able to accurately record the articles being stored and removed.
Fundamentally Eppendorf needed a solution that would not only aid staff performance, but also make sure their workers were operating in a safe and controlled environment.
After Eppendorf conducted research into a variety of solutions, they decided the benefits of the Hänel Lean-Lift were worth exploring further, particularly in terms of software.
Industore attended site to evaluate the company’s current pick process and provided insight into a variety of software modules that would help Eppendorf achieve their required transaction rate per hour.
These modules were implemented, initially onto one machine, however following the success of the first project, Eppendorf went on to order a second machine with the same software solutions.
– Eppendorf optimised its workforce and increased both speed and productivity of the assembly process.
– Flexible storage possibilities have allowed Eppendorf to store a range of items, varying in size and weight, in the same machine.
– Parts are now organised efficiently and therefore allow for a larger number of items to be stored.
– Improvements to staff safety – employees are no longer required to reach or bend to pick parts.
– The chosen software has given Eppendorf the ability to restrict access over their items, allowing control and traceability during the pick process.
– Aesthetically, the Lean-Lift has upgraded the facility at Eppendorf to a modern, automated environment.
Not only have we saved space and now have a secure place to store our parts, but we’ve also managed to improve speed on transactions and worker accuracy. We decided to invest in another Lean-Lift because the first worked so well for us. I’m looking forward to seeing how we can improve even further with our second.