In Belgium, in the Antwerp Port area, in the shadow of surrounding heavy industries, 3M Specialty Materials is located. The Antwerp site produces mainly semi-finished product for other 3M production sites and raw materials for client companies. Thus the Advanced Materials Division produces adhesives for the production of surgical tapes, but also manufactures the coating that makes GORE-TEX clothing watertight.
Expensive product demands weight checks per 100 gram
Many specialist products are built from common materials that are treated with an advanced additive. Think of rubber that is adapted to resist extreme temperatures and pressures. Such additives are often quite costly, which turns a simple weight check into a demanding process: 1,000 liters of product in an IBC container is weighed in 100 gram increments. And in order to make the process as efficient as possible, 3M weighs mobile: on the material handling equipment that transports the IBC’s and boxes.
Stackers weigh boxes of product
At the end of a production line, 12kg packages slide off a roller conveyor. They are packed in large plastic crates, 50 packages in each crate. RWE120 Toyota stackers with reach mast not only stack the boxes for shipping, but also weigh them in order to verify that the delivery contains the correct amount of product. To this end the stackers are equipped with legal for trade iForks scales. The iForks display shows the exact weight of the crate on the forks.
The stackers also weigh rest materials that are by-products of the production process. These materials can be re-used in production and are weighed for stock management before they are transported back to the warehouse.
”With iForks on the Toyota stackers, we have improved mobility and execution speed in our weight checks. The process has become considerably more efficient.”
Geert van Eyken, supervisor advanced materials division