An automated extending conveyor – code name Narimi, Korean for unloader – is among the latest technology explored by DSC Logistics in a series of TES (Technology, Engineering, Systems & Solutions) pilot projects. The two-month Narimi pilot, conducted in a large Illinois logistics center, provided favorable ROI and positive response from the customer involved.
In the operation, the conveyor is articulated in and out of a truck or container. An individual in the truck unloads product to the conveyor, which then transports the product from the truck to an area where it can be sorted and multiple pallets can be built more efficiently.
“The conveyor technology drives potential for higher quality,” said Richard Heintz, Supply Chain Leader II, who leads the Illinois logistics center team. “Used consistently in lumping-heavy operations, it can lead to gains in ergonomics and accuracy. The conveyor can be raised or lowered so the operator can remain in position to use core power while unloading. The machine creates a better situation for humans.”
When piloting innovative technology, the goal is to further improve productivity and create value for the customer, and DSC’s TES engineers worked closely with Operations to assess results. The piloting of the conveyor technology was also a collaborative effort to match the capabilities of operator and machine.
Because of the power sources required to operate the extended conveyor technology, DSC sees an opportunity to offer the technology at greenfield sites, in operations where a high percentage of product has to be lumped.
The pilot projects are an important commitment for the DSC team, ensuring confidence in new technology offered to customers. “Because of the time and effort we put into our pilots, our customers can count on our recommendations,” said Kevin Walsh, Senior Manager, TES.
DSC and CJ Logistics have joined together to advance integrated global supply chain innovation, and will be piloting several TES applications across various DSC locations and customer networks over the next two years. The pilots include various applications of artificial intelligence (AI), automation and advanced material handling equipment (MHE) such as guided vehicles, tuggers, conveyor systems and robotic systems.