Rimports Gains Efficiency, Reduces Work in Progress with Intralox Side Drive Technology
The Intralox Side Drive cooling towers run 24/5 in our Provo facility without issue. They’re reliable, easy to use, and have made our manufacturing floor both quieter and safer.Scott Leek, Rimports Chief Engineer
For Rimports, a Utah-based supplier of scented wax products, cooling is a critical step in the manufacturing process. The wax cubes it produces need time and space to cool down before packaging. But what should have been an easy, hands-off conditioning period had become a frustrating, laborious bottleneck in the process.
As the filled containers of wax came off the line, staff members moved them onto trays which were loaded onto bakery cooling racks. These racks were then wheeled around the production floor to make space so the loading operation could keep running. Once the product cooled, the trays were removed from the racks and the containers brought to boxing stations.
Such a large amount of work in progress (WIP) on the floor required several employees for each of the plant’s seven production lines. Rimports needed a solution that would provide space to store the product as it cools, eliminate non-value-added employee tasks, and increase efficiency without decreasing line throughput.
Intralox and an OEM created a pair of spiral cooling towers using Series 2700 Side Drive belting that made effective use of the facility’s vertical space. This side-driven belt makes it possible to build spirals without a center drum and allows for flexible system configuration.
The cooling towers worked so well that Rimports has since installed three additional pairs with two more on order (for a total of 12 spiral systems). The plant’s production floor is now quieter, less cluttered, poses fewer safety risks, and operates more efficiently. Also, with the massive reduction in WIP, the number of workers needed per line has been cut nearly in half.