PROBLEM: Manually unloading floor-loaded boxes at a national plumbing supply distribution center
was becoming inefficient. Typically, the inbound dock had 3 employees tasked with unloading 53’
trailers. Two workers were assigned to palletizing product inside the trailer while a third would remove
completed pallets with a forklift. On average, the process would take 5 hours to complete.
3 men x 5 hours = 15 man hours
SOLUTION: In an effort to increase productivity, the DC integrated a Destuff-IT; machine into their
inbound process. Destuff-IT; machines are ergonomic assists for manually unloading unpalletized
product and make material handling in the can safer for employees. By using the Destuff-IT,
combined with reconfiguring the dock layout, the DC realized the following significant reduction in the
total number of man hours required to unload a trailer.
With 4 workers tasked with unloading the trailer, one worker was positioned on the Destuff-IT;
operator platform. This worker controlled the unloading tempo. Because of optimal positioning to
the box wall, the worker was able to safely unload product onto the system’s articulating conveyor
and continuously move the machine further into the trailer until all product was removed. On the
dock, multiple pallets were positioned on either side of the powered roller conveyor. Two employees
worked together to remove product from the conveyor and fill pallets. Once a pallet was full, it was
shrink wrapped and removed via forklift by a fourth dock worker.
4 men x 2 hours = 8 man hours
By reconfiguring the dock and using the Destuff-IT, the DC saw an improvement in productivity of 7
man hours or 46%. As more trailers are received, this DC continues to receive a return on investment.