University of Twente Student Theses


Faster to the loading dock : the movement of pallets with paper

Berenpas, V. (2021) Faster to the loading dock : the movement of pallets with paper.

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Abstract:Solidus Solutions is a manufacturer and converter of recyclable board. This research will be conducted at their site in Bad Nieuweschans. At this location, recycled paper is transformed into new rolls and sheets of paper. The finished sheets are placed on pallets and transported to the warehouse across the street via an underground conveyer. From this warehouse they are transported to either internal or external clients of Solidus Solutions. The focus of this research will be on this warehouse. Customers order several pallets of sheets with the same specifications and a truck only travels to one customer. The main issues that the company brought forward are the high labour costs of the employees in the warehouse, the fork lift drivers, and the high order collection time. After making a problem cluster, it turned out that the core problems are: no logical floorplan and little standardisation of actions to collect orders. To be able to validate whether this research was successful, the two initial problems are chosen as key performance indicators. The values of these KPIs before and after the research is conducted will validate whether a solution is successful. The first step of the problem solving approach is to identify the current situation at the warehouse. When the orders enter the warehouse via the conveyer belt, a forklift driver takes the order to one of 25 storage areas. All of the 25 storage areas have different dimensions, so they have different capacities. Currently, the orders get assigned to a random location within the warehouse that has room for such an order. The pallets of papers can be stacked onto each other up to a maximum of three pallets. The orders are placed in storage until a truck comes to collect them. There is a system in place for transportation. If trucks are signed onto this system, the order will be transported to another location that is closer to the loading dock earlier, this location is the loading station. There is a total of four forklifts available for transporting the customer orders within the warehouse. The second step of the problem solving approach is to research warehouse improvement theories. A few theories are highlighted in this research. The first one is placing larger orders more to the front of the warehouse to decrease the order collection time, this one is also tested later. The second one is to install racks, this would increase the maximum stacking level to four and it most likely makes it easier to handle the pallets, this is also tested. Another solution is to create diagonal aisles through the warehouse, this will decrease the traveling time of forklifts, which is also tested. Yet another solution is to stack the pallets differently to create stability. The last solution is to install an AGV system. These last two possible solutions were not tested. The third step is to make a simulation of the current situation and to determine the current values of the KPIs labour hours and order collection time. A concept model is made for this basic simulation. It is also determined that of the two KPIs, labour hours is twice as important. The fourth step is testing the solutions. Most of the solutions mentioned earlier are built into the simulation and tested. Another solution is added: filling up the front of warehouse first. It is also tested what the effects on the waiting time of the customer orders is if small improvements are made to standard time parameters, such as: loading pallets onto a forklift. Lastly, the effect of arranging the forklifts differently on the waiting time is tested. When comparing the weighted outputs of the current situation with the weighted outputs of the solutions, it can be concluded that a floorplan with diagonal aisles and/or vertical racks should be introduced and that the front of the warehouse should be filled first. Another observation is that the waiting time can be reduced by arranging the forklifts differently in some situations and that the total waiting time decreases with 5% if some standard time measurement, such as the loading time of a forklift, goes down by 1s.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Programme:Industrial Engineering and Management BSc (56994)
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