Innovative solution needed to relocate, scrap or reutilize over 3,900 plant equipment assets
The Rudolph Libbe Group’s Site Management team was awarded the one million-square-foot retrofit of a major Toledo automotive manufacturing facility to accommodate production of a new model vehicle. In addition to the retrofit construction, an innovative solution was needed to relocate, scrap or reutilize over 3,900 equipment assets which included 389 robot risers, 919 robots plus controllers and thousands of other items to be reused such as guarding, cable tray, cables, etc.
Not only was the value of a lost or misplaced asset a driver for this solution, but missing equipment could also disrupt or delay the manufacturing process for weeks or months.
As the equipment installation contractor for the project, RLG was challenged to create a system for documenting, managing and tracking each asset for items as large as robots and as small as operator push buttons.
RLG investigated multiple options and determined that barcode scanning proved the most cost-effective, efficient and in keeping with 5S best practices and world class manufacturing standards. RLG’s project team and its Information Technology department established a procedure for tagging and scanning all assets to quickly track their locations. Sequential installation tactics allowed installation of reutilized and new assets simultaneously.
The system relied on the manufacturer’s asset numbers and identification labels currently used on some equipment. Where a current asset number was missing, tags and unique IDs were created. This included idle rollers, push buttons, robot risers, light screens, etc., which still needed to be reused and included in the final matrix. RLG assigned a crew and project engineer to tag and track all reutilized assets.
Every piece of equipment was pre-tagged with its current location, temporary staging area and final destination. The team scanned each piece of equipment as it was removed and salvaged and identified where it was temporarily staged.
Once installed, it was marked “installed.” Primary and secondary staging areas were identified with requirements to maintain production and construction routes for incoming and outgoing equipment; for example, lift gate cells remained in production during installation.
The system lets the manufacturer export data from the software for status reporting and tracking asset locations at any time. Excel exports showed which assets arrived at their final destinations and which arrived at their staging areas. The system was installed and all assets were tagged and uploaded in less than a month. The first two weeks involved securing a vendor, purchasing equipment and software; internal IT and third party equipment set up as well as on-site training.
During the last two weeks, the team tagged, scanned and populated all data, working around production on off-shifts.