Getting Ahead of the Specs
Proven systems like independent cart technology (ICT) are a smart alternative to the throughput and physical limitations of existing mechanics. But you have to get ahead of the specs.
The typical process goes something like this: Purchasing or engineering is charged with buying a machine for X. They send out an RFQ for exactly that and OEMs quote the machine without too much deviation, or risk losing the sale.
Now, fast forward to after the job is won, machine is built and the executive team shows up for the factory acceptance test. The machine they see isn’t built for a more flexible future. It doesn’t offer one-button changeovers, different pack patterns or solve their greatest business challenges. With this audience, the added upfront costs for the right packaging equipment becomes secondary as they see an inevitable future of costly modifications and retrofits down the road.
Operations leadership needs to know how advances like ICT solve their business, not just production, challenges. That ICT is so much more than a typical linear transport system with a fancy infeed or way to vary pitch.
And, this process all starts before there’s a project on the table. Before the RFQ goes out. Before there’s a directive to buy for X, when everything from A through Z is still possible.