Pallet Machinery Group installed an M2L board stacker that is able to hold up to the customer demands while delivering financial and operational savings.
Date Posted: 5/1/2013
Problem: A pallet manufacturer wanted to implement more automation but could not find a board stacker that would meet its expectations.
Solution: Pallet Machinery Group installed an M2L board stacker that is able to hold up to the customer’s demands while delivering financial and operational savings.
Neopal, a manufacturer of wooden pallets and other industrial wood products in Houston, Texas. that supplies the Texas Gulf Coast region, had been looking for a board stacking option that would meet its needs for years.
“As part of our efforts to optimize productivity, expand the capacity of our operation and most importantly, gain the greatest value from the capabilities of the members of our team, we have attempted to mechanize the most basic, labor intensive and repetitive tasks in the process,” said Jeff Krug, president of Neopal.
“We had explored various board stacking technologies and equipment over the years, but most stacker products we experienced seemed compromised and never fully met our expectations.”
When they first saw Pallet Machinery Group’s (PMG) M2L stacker at the EXPO Richmond trade show eight to 10 years ago, Neopal’s staff had some reservations, feeling that it was unproven and not seeing how it would be any better than other stacking technology that they had already investigated.
“It wasn’t immediately clear to us how this product would be better, and the pricing seemed a bit high for what appeared to be a less sophisticated piece of machinery compared to some of the brands with larger installed bases and more established reputations,” Krug said. “Lacking some of the competition’s complexity, led us to expect that it should be less expensive.”
However, after studying the machine, they decided to try one out. Neopal was so happy with the results that it bought a second M2L just four months later. The following year it purchased a third M2L as well as two of PMG’s high speed TS stackers.
“It became clear in short order that what we had initially incorrectly viewed as a less sophisticated machine, was in fact much better engineered and reliable, and the results we achieved convinced us of the benefits,” Krug said.
The stackers have removed the most basic repetitive labor aspect of the process, and allowed Neopal to deploy roughly one person to other tasks for each stacker installed. This has allowed the pallet manufacturer to achieve a higher capacity with the same number of people while creating an opportunity to promote associates to higher level positions. This has benefited both the company and the individuals, according to Krug. The machines also integrated easily into Neopal’s facility, with no need for modifications, an unusual achievement for machinery at the facility.
“Neopal has a very advanced and unique manufacturing facility with over 90% of the equipment in our factory either designed exclusively for Neopal, or a modified and re-engineered version of an existing machine design,” Krug said. “The PMG stackers are among the very few components which did not need modifications to meet our performance expectations.”
It has been over three years since Neopal first bought a stacker from PMG, and the company now exclusively utilizes stackers from PMG and plans to add several more.
“Not only have the PMG stackers performed exceptionally well, but on the rare occasions we have encountered a difficult requirement, Greg Wine and his team have readily stepped up and worked diligently with us to devise a solution or tweak to optimize performance,” Krug said.
“Without question, the performance of these stackers has exceeded our expectations, and consistently delivered a very tangible and quantifiable financial and operational benefit. They have proven to be a solid investment in all respects, and will continue to play a key role in our success both today and as we further expand.”
Located in King Georg, Va., PMG is a supplier of labor-saving machinery and equipment for the pallet industry. The M2L and TS stackers are manufactured by AIT in Forest, Va.
For more information on Pallet Machinery Group and its board stacking technology, visit www.palletmachinery.com or call 540/644-9220.
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