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Life’s just a carousel

Life’s just a carousel
Data Image has invested in a 5.3m wide High Roller Carousel from CMYUK and placed an order for a second 3.2m system. The Leicester-based wide-format print specialist had been looking for a suitable storage system for its roll material for some time and was delighted to find that CMYUK offered exactly what it required.

Data Image’s Managing Director Robert Farfort explained: “We have always had great racking to keep cheaper sheet materials, in pristine condition. We had nice little vertical racks for smaller rolls such as vinyl but when it came to 3.2m and 5m rolls, storage had become somewhat challenging. We had modified some of the delivery pallets to hold 3.2m rolls in a rack, which still needed manual loading and unloading, but most of the time our large rolls of textiles – the most valuable materials that we use – were stacked on the floor.”

Due to the way its textile rolls were being stored, the business was finding that it had to lose a metre in length across 3.2 or 5m widths on virtually every roll purchased due to damage or dirt.

Robert Farfort continued: “This amounts to something like £30, £40 or £50 worth of material from each roll that can’t be used. To the operator, it doesn’t seem like a lot, as they’ve only wound-along a metre but that’s along a five-metre wide roll and, as we try to be mindful of our green credentials, this amount of waste was simply unacceptable.”

Data Image follows lean manufacturing processes to build in efficiency but its materials storage was falling foul of this practice. Not only was moving large rolls of material a two-person job, the required roll always seemed to be at the bottom of a stacked pile and valuable time was wasted when trying to retrieve it. With the installation of the five-mtre High Roller Carousel all issues regarding material wastage, damage and inefficiencies have been irradicated.

The CMYUK High Roller Carousel offers an ergonomic and practical solution. It doesn’t take up expensive floor space but cleverly optimises the vertical space of a production facility. It can be customised to fit the exact dimensions required and actively increases overall productivity.

In addition it also significantly increases the storage capacity of a business, ensuring that all roll materials are retained in perfect condition close at hand and are ready for instant access and usage. The system will also improve inventory processes, making stock control more efficient, and thus optimising material usage and reducing waste.

By utilising the vertical area of a building, customers can regain valuable space from inefficient storage, which may have impeded the installation of additional equipment, further impacting productivity. In comparison with traditional shelving and racking, the High Roller’s footprint is minimal.

“It’s incredible,” enthused Robert. “It’s really compact. It goes up rather than out effectively using all that wasted space and is ideal for these big rolls. It’s bizarre, because I don’t think many businesses regard equipment like this as adding any value or increasing their bottom line. To them, it’s not like buying a printer where there’s a direct correlation between the equipment and return on investment, but once you do the analysis, the benefits and cost savings are right there.”

The 5.3m wide Carousel at Data Image is 6.5m high, and can hold up to 40 rolls. A control panel allows for a simple manual up/down press button or automatic selection of a specified roll that is delivered to the operator/picker height at linear speeds of between four and six-metres per minute. However, rather than the optional trolleys, the business has designed its own automated hydraulic loading/unloading system, which means the rolls require a minimum of manual handling. The Carousel has been installed between the company’s 3.2m and 5m wide digital printers, so the rolls can be directly loaded onto each machine as quickly and efficiently as possible.

In addition to improved efficiencies, the system has really sharpened up the look and feel of the company’s Leicester-based production facility.

“It encourages our staff to take pride in what they’re doing,” said Robert, adding: “We’re proud of our operation and we like to show customers around. The Carousel has really tidied things up and looks very impressive. It actually creates a great talking point. We’ve ordered a second 3.2m wide system because we hold quite a lot of free issue materials for a few clients. With materials now stored on the Carousel, they can see how much care we’re taking of their products – it’s brilliant!”

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