An Upgraded Tire and Wheel Area Keeps Daimler Trucks Rolling
Intralox and Norte came up with an updated solution for the tire and wheel distribution line that helped us eliminate forklift traffic, making the plant much safer and helping us meet faster takt times in the future. The results of this massive project have more than met our expectations.Williams Macias
Daimler Trucks Manufacturing Engineer
Daimler Trucks wanted to modernize the tire and wheel distribution area at its Freightliner plant in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. Previously, tires were stored in racks in the reception area before being delivered to the line via forklift. This manual process was inefficient and labor intensive. Because the tires were up to 52 in (132.1 cm) in diameter and weighed up to 400 lb (181.4 kg) apiece, worker safety and ergonomics were major concerns. Meeting the plant’s takt time goal of 4.1 minutes per tire required a high amount of worker and forklift traffic.
To streamline operations in the area, Daimler needed to reduce traffic and manual labor while maintaining takt times and preparing for future growth. Working with equipment manufacturer Norte Integración, plant officials opted for a comprehensive solution that used several Intralox belts, including:
- Series 4500 Flat Top belt for reception and unloading
- Series 400 Roller Top belt for accumulation and destacking
- Series 4400 Transverse Roller Top belt for 90-degree transfers and tire turners
Compared to traditional roller conveyor systems, the Intralox solution offered lower ownership costs, greater reliability, and less mean time to repair. Daimler had previously installed Intralox belting in another part of the plant and was impressed with Intralox’s products, services, and support.
“The results of this massive project have more than met our expectations,” says Williams Macias, Daimler Trucks Manufacturing Engineer. The system was installed in December 2017. In the two years since, it has generated zero downtime and zero maintenance while allowing the Saltillo plant to continue achieving its takt time goals.
The new solution let Daimler alleviate four manual worker positions and save $120,000 in labor costs annually. Eliminating the ongoing costs of rack maintenance saved the plant an extra $4000 per year. And, by minimizing forklift traffic and physical demands, the plant improved worker safety and ergonomics while future-proofing the area for anticipated growth.
Beyond the Belt
Intralox worked closely with Daimler and Norte to ensure a smooth startup and minimal ongoing maintenance.
Intralox’s support included:
- Multiple in-person visits to understand conditions at the Saltillo plant
- Consulting with Norte on line layout optimization
- Conveyor designs and related training
- Maintenance training for Daimler personnel
- On-site installation supervision and post-install inspections and follow up