Modular conveyor system boosts automaker’s efficiency
30 July 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201915519
INNOVATION in the global automotive industry isn’t limited to obvious advancements such as novel powertrains, connectivity and autonomous driving. At automotive parts manufacturer ATTC Manufacturing, Inc. in Tell City, Indiana (US), an innovative new parts handling system is helping to drive process efficiency while reducing handling-related damage to the more than 10 million components ATTC makes each year.
ATTC, where 400 team members turn raw castings into high-quality brake rotors, brake drums, steering knuckles, rear carriers, engine bearing caps, drive shaft brackets and differential cases, is no stranger to forward momentum. The plant’s footprint has nearly doubled in size since 2002, mirroring the company’s growth as it added new machinery and production lines.
At the same time, ATTC’s loading and unloading of parts between various machining processes remained an intensely manual process. The company needed a material handling solution that would optimize efficiency while minimizing handling related damage to the parts it so carefully produces.
That’s where Stac Material Handling’s expertise came into play. Headquartered in Jasper, Indiana, Stac has customers in all 50 US states, Canada, Mexico and Panama. Listening closely to ATTC’s specific needs, Stac developed an accumulation conveyor solution with Interroll’s modular, zero pressure-accumulation roller conveyor system at its heart.
Interroll conveyor modules are driven by RollerDrive, which guarantees energy savings and operator safety due to low voltage drive technology. Besides improved efficiency and reduced handling damage, ATTC discovered a big bonus as a result of Stac’s innovation based on Interroll automated material handling technology: It has been able to redistribute its workforce to more value-added roles in the plant.
To fulfill ATTC’s vision of achieving greater part handling efficiency and reducing handling-related parts damage, Stac implemented a customized conveyor system centered on Interroll’s modular conveyor products.
"As a full-service material handling company, we always strive to provide a better response to our customers’ needs. To achieve this, we need strong, reliable partners, like Interroll. This important project at ATTC required real teamwork and with Interroll, we definitely had a great partner at our side," said Matt Werner, Vice President of Sales and Operations at Stac.
Once the concept proved successful in one process area, it was cascaded to other plant areas. Today, the solution makes an important contribution to ATTC’s successful production and delivery of more than 10 million high-quality automotive components per year - and frees up skilled staff to tackle more value-added tasks.