Material Handling & Packaging Solutions

Custom Plastic Totes for Tool Storage

        

The Boeing Company
Portland, Oregon
Auburn, Washington
 

Description of Customers Challenge:
Boeing is a leading aerospace company and manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft, as well as a designer and manufacturer of rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems. Their vast inventory of cutter tools used to manufacture their products, were stored in wooden trays, many purchased in the late 1970’s, some of which have had to be disposed of because of breakage or cracks found due to their age. They had two incidents in the past 6 months where the cutter trays had either snapped in two while being handled or had cracks through the tray. Boeing had also recently changed their storage requirements for the match ground sets and needed new trays that met these requirements.

Solutions Explored:
There were many various sizes of these trays so they could only be stacked on the same size tray when being placed in the shipping container to go to Auburn for coating. This made it difficult to utilize the whole container. Handling of these trays was difficult as there were only notches in the side of the trays that allowed for only your finger tips to be used when picking up the trays, making them not very ergonomically friendly. Boeing contacted DACO to research new tote alternatives that met their requirements.

Resolution & Benefits from Solution:
After researching what size and style tote would work best for Boeing, it was decided to go with one size tote and that the NSO1215-4 stackable plastic bin would be able to accommodate 95% of all the different match ground cutter sets. By going with one size bin, it would allow better utilization of space for cutters being sent to Auburn for coating. They are designed with ergonomic handles allowing for better gripping while lifting the cutters and stack and lock together securely for safe and stable storage or transport, meeting all of Boeings safety and ergonomic concerns. Because these plastic bins are a standard stock item for the manufacturer, the expense of costly dies was avoided. Boeing plans to start replacing all of the old unsafe trays with the NSO1215-4 plastic bin.
 


    

The Boeing Company
Portland, Oregon
Auburn, Washington


DESCRIPTION:
Boeing is a leading aerospace company and manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft, as well as a designer and manufacturer of rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems. Their matched ground cutter sets used to manufacture their products were stored in wooden boxes designed to hold the sets. The weight of the cutter sets was 66 lbs., nearly twice the allowable weight limit of 35 lbs. that Boeing requires for safe lifting. In addition, the wooden box did not have handles for aiding in the safe lifting of the box. This was exposing the Tool Grind, Crib Attendants, 85-120 Operators and Auburn Tool Services to the hazard of having to lift these heavy sets.

PROJECT DETAILS:
It was decided by Boeing to no longer require the matched ground cutter sets be stored together in one box. Since their current wooden boxes did not support one piece flow, it was necessary to source and purchase totes to place the single cutters in that supported one piece flow. Boeing worked with DACO to find a plastic bin that could be inlayed with foam to help stabilize the cutters and had ergonomic handles for easier and safer handling.

RESULTS:
It was decided that a footprint of 24” x 11” x 9” was the ideal size, but because an existing tote with those dimensions was not available, without incurring the cost of a new mold to manufacturer them, it was decided to take an existing plastic tote measuring 24” x 15” x 9” and cut and weld it to meet the necessary dimensions. The result was a 24” x 11” x 9” plastic bin with ergonomic handles and a foam insert that reduced the lifting weight from 66 lbs. to 34 lbs., bringing the single cutters into the safe lifting guidelines of Boeing.
 

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