Standing in Brad Dudley's mixed uniform/linen plant in Rapid City, SD, is a custom-built material handling system that epitomizes this company’s approach to moving textile goods through this facility. It’s an automated distribution system for mats created through a synergistic approach that’s empowering employees to do more with better equipment.
In the mat processing area of this 25,000 square-foot plant, employees place mats on rolling machines. Then they deposit them onto a machine that looks a little like a steamboat paddlewheel. The rotating wheel drops the mats onto a 60-foot long conveyor divided in two sections. Once a rolled mat drops onto the conveyor, it moves automatically to the left or right side of the system. Then it’s whisked to a designated area, where it drops into a cart that’s ready to roll onto a route truck once the bin is filled. “This is 50% of our volume and sales,” says Dudley of the mat rental side of his business, which has seen productivity gains using this distribution system.