Hatfield, PA, December 13, 2011 — Today’s Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS), Horizontal Carousels, Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs) and Vertical Carousels, are well engineered and very robust and offer service reliability that surpasses most production equipment.

A way to avoid downtime issues is through intelligent machine solutions and active management of the maintenance function, with the focus on a technique of preventative maintenance called anticipatory maintenance.

Hatfield, PA, December 13, 2011 — Today’s Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS), Horizontal Carousels, Vertical Lift Modules (VLMs) and Vertical Carousels, are well engineered and very robust and offer service reliability that surpasses most production equipment.

A way to avoid downtime issues is through intelligent machine solutions and active management of the maintenance function, with the focus on a technique of preventative maintenance called anticipatory maintenance.

Two factors influence reliability and availability, Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) and Mean Time to Repair (MTTR). MTBF is the predicted elapsed time between inherent failures of a system during operation. It is a number, usually stated in hours, calculated by a manufacturer’s design engineers and is available in equipment specifications. MTTR is the average time it takes to fix a failed system, not including lead time for parts.

MTBF influences both reliability and availability. MTTR affects availability. If MTBF can be extended and MTTR reduced, (keyword) organizations can lessen the impact of costs associated with equipment downtime.

There are two elements of the costs associated with equipment downtime. The first is the direct cost. That cost includes the cost of labor factored by the number of hours employees are idle waiting for the equipment to be repaired. This labor cost also includes the extra cost of scheduling an additional shift, if necessary, to make up for lost time. There is also the cost of parts and labor required to fix the system. Emergency repairs can often be double or triple the cost of routine service and parts replacement. The second cost element is consequential costs. Consequential costs are more difficult to calculate, but are, nonetheless, a major factor in equipment downtime. What are the cost consequences of not meeting customers’ delivery expectations? In a Just-in-Time operation, what is the cost of being the bottleneck in an otherwise efficient delivery operation? If you provide parts to your own organization, such as a MRO application, what is the consequence of not being able to provide repair and maintenance parts in a timely manner?

One approach to doing this is through a new program developed by Sapient Automation called Intelligent Machine Health Monitoring (IMHM). The IMHM program is designed to remotely monitor horizontal and vertical carousel and VLM systems in real time, allowing the customer service group to respond prior to failure.

The IMHM system remotely monitors critical maintenance thresholds, actual carousel usage, picks, run time, and energy consumption levels in order to detect variances and anomalies that could lead to failure or performance issues. The moment the IMHM system detects anything out of the ordinary, a message is sent to the local service technician and to the central service monitoring group for immediate response. Depending on the issue, the facility service coordinator is contacted and a plan on how to correct the issue is discussed and executed.

The IMHM program is free and takes less than three minutes of IT support for installation. It can be implemented on an existing horizontal or vertical carousel or VLM. Program protocol is formatted so that there are no firewall or security issues.

Application of this program allows preventative maintenance to be scheduled at optimal times in the work cycle, such as during slow periods or before anticipated peak operating times. The result is planned approach to maintenance that anticipates stoppages and virtually eliminates unscheduled system downtime, extending equipment longevity and improving ROI.

About Sapient Automation
Sapient Automation, a subsidiary of MDCI, is a leading provider of automated storage and retrieval systems that reduce leading organizations requirements for labor, floor space and inventory while dramatically increasing productivity and operational efficiencies with often a nine to 18 month Return on Investments (ROI). Industries served include: manufacturing, distribution, warehouses, healthcare, institutions, retail and wholesale organizations. The Sapient Automation technologies include the Viper Vertical Lift Module (VLM), Avenger Vertical Carousel, Hornet Horizontal Carousel, Shark Inventory Management Software, PickaMed Carousels and Spit Fire Pick Carts and pick to light systems.

For information about the Intelligent Machine Health Maintenance (IMHM) Remote Monitoring System call 888-451-9711 or visit the Sapient Automation web site at www.getsapient.com

Contact:
Ed Romaine
Sapient Automation
2398 North Penn Road
Hatfield, PA 19440
267-640-8172
eromaine@GetSapient.com
http://www.getsapient.com