Case Study: Custom Electric Tuggers Help the Food Industry

March 22, 2018
Electro Kinetic Technologies helps a Fortune 50 food company with their pallet transportation needs.

Electro Kinetic Technologies recently completed a custom project for major Fortune 50 food products manufacturer that began in September of 2014. Within the client’s Texas-based manufacturing process, steel pallets that are 12 ft long and 3 ft wide are essential. These pallets are connected together up to 37 in total that form a conveyor system for the final product. Each pallet weighs 220 lb. Over time, these pallets are in need of repair and must be removed for repair. Workers must pull the string of 37 pallets (8,000 lb. total weight), lifting the first pallet off and move it out of the building. Once repaired, they are moved back into the building, and loaded back onto the conveyor. The food products manufacturer came to us for a safety-conscious means of removing and transporting these lengthy and heavy pallets.


Evaluation of the Application
Given the multiple heavy loads needing transport across the facility, an ergonomic, efficient solution was required that not only allowed for the safe transport of the pallets, but also adequate storage and lifting of pallets on and off of the conveyor. Due to the complexity of the project, our engineers conducted a site visit, followed by a layout and analysis of the production area to ensure that pallets could be safely transported according to the needs of the production process. During the site visit, the engineering team noted temperature constraints due to food storage needs, and the size of the area where the new equipment would be in operation. With these on-sight measurements and environmental details, Electro Kinetic Technologies was able to conduct a thorough analysis of the production area to ensure that the newly designed solution could operate in the space without interfering with the structure of the building or food storage requirements.


Solution Description
The solution Electro Kinetic Technologies provided was comprised of three main components: 10 custom non-motorized carts that would be used to stow and move the pallets once removed from the conveyor, a Pony Express 1065 tugger to move the pallets out of and into the production area on the non-motorized carts, and a custom tugger with powered lift to disengage the pallets from the conveyor. Each piece of equipment is utilized in a systematized, strategic manner to maximize efficiency and safety in the production area.


Additionally, our team outlined a new, more efficient transport process for the client facilitated by the three types of equipment purchased. The custom tugger is moved into position under the pallet that is going to be removed. The operator then activates the lift on the tugger, which now cradles the pallet so that when the tugger is moved in reverse, the string of 38 pallets can be moved back. Once it is moved back, the operator then raises the pallet further to disengage it from the string of pallets. The operators then can remove the pallet and load it onto the non-motorized cart for later transfer out of the building for repair. From this point, the pallet can also be transported on the cart out of the room and then safely removed from the cart.


Through the use of these multiple motorized and non-motorized solutions, Electro Kinetic Technologies successfully designed a safe and effective transport strategy, and specific ergonomic equipment to suite the confines of the production environment. For additional information on custom solutions, site visits, and our engineering process, contact us and a team member will help answer your questions.