As industries go, it's hard to imagine one more demanding or more fast paced than the automotive industry. With just-in-time delivery and many point-of-use docks, numerous challenges exist all over the plant. To begin with, keeping the assembly line up is a priority. To coin a phrase—failure is not an option. The overall goal is to rely on best practices established by the Automotive Industry Action Group* as well as specifying the highest quality loading dock equipment possible.
In order to do this, special consideration must be given to key areas of concern. Keeping personnel and equipment safe from drop-off is certainly one of them. Consider, too, the industry’s focus on maximizing truck capacity. And keeping the great out doors out of the plant is key in environmental control. Let’s take a closer look at these topics.
Protect the drop-off:
Because the pace is so fast, safety is a central focus. At some automotive manufacturers there are no closed-door policies. So, keeping forklift operators from going off the edge of the loading dock is a central concern. A fast paced environment also requires world-class equipment to keep trucks safely locked to the dock reducing risk and liability. An effective system at the loading dock helps prevent product damage of J.I.T. parts and components needed on the assembly line at the exact time the vehicle is arriving at a particular point where it’s needed.
Maximize the trailer capacity:
A prime initiative of the automotive industry is maximum utilization of the various methods used to transport product. Considerable effort is expended to maximize the cube of over the road trailers. That means a specific dock design can be required to address this type of trailer cube utilization, in particular the dock leveler, dock shelter and vehicle restraint need special consideration.
Industrial high speed doors are another way to control the environment in an automotive plant where high volumes of cars are produced in short periods of time. The high opening speeds of the FasTrax door allows for ground-line off loading of vehicles and accelerates the logistics process.
A maxed out trailer requires a specific shelter design that will not interfere with the loading and unloading of product but still gives an effective seal at the dock when a truck is present. Keeping contaminants and environmental factors out of the plant can be achieved with the proper dock seal or shelter products. Industrial high speed doors are another way to control the environment in an automotive plant where high volumes of cars are produced in short periods of time. The high opening speeds of the FasTrax door allows for ground-line off loading of vehicles and accelerates the logistics process.
Listed below are product solutions from Rite-Hite that help keep the automotive industry, safe, energy efficient and productive.*European equivalent for Automotive Industry Action Group is the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).