GE Healthcare: Self-driving vehicles are the centerpiece of ROC

GE Healthcare implemented self-driving vehicles to deliver repair parts and equipment in its new facility.

By ·

GE Healthcare Repair Operations Center

Oak Creak, Wisc.


Size: 280,000 square feet, expanding to 330,000

Products: Repair of medical devices

Throughput: 2,000 repairs per week

Employees: 150

Shifts per Day/ Days per Week: 1 shift per day, 5 days per week


Ats repair operations center, or ROC, in Wisconsin, self-driving vehicles are the centerpiece of an automated Kanban, delivering repair parts and equipment through the facility.
(See Layout below)

Receiving

Medical devices and repair parts arrive at the receiving dock (1) and are scanned in a receiving processing area (2). GE Healthcare’s management system determines whether the received item is needed at one of the repair cells (3), can go into flow racks in the receiving area (4) or into a raw materials or components storage area (5).

Retrieval and replenishment

The self-navigating vehicles are directed by a software system that is connected to individual repair cells (3). When a technician is ready for a task, he logs onto a Web page on his computer. From there, the technician can choose whether he needs a piece of equipment to repair (4); has finished a repair that needs to go to packaging (6) and shipping (7); or needs to replenish a bin of raw materials used for repairs (5).

Raw materials

To maintain a lean operation, only two bins of repair parts and raw materials are maintained in racks at the repair cells (3). When one bin is empty, a technician loads it onto one of the self-driving vehicles, which delivers it to a stock room (5). There, an associate scans the bin and fills it with the required materials. The full bin is delivered to the appropriate repair cell (3), where a technician places it into a storage location.

Parts for repair

When a technician signals that he is ready for a part to repair, the self-driving vehicle travels to a flow rack location in receiving (4). An associate loads a part onto an appliance that holds the part in place during travel. The vehicle then delivers it to the appropriate repair cell (3).

Repaired parts

Once a machine is ready for packing (6), a technician loads the repaired part onto an appliance on the self-driving vehicle. At the assembly station, a technician loads a repaired part into the appliance. The vehicle automatically transfers the appliance onto a conveyor in the packing area (6). In packing, an associate scans the item and uses the on-demand packaging system to create the right box for shipping. Once a shipping label is printed and applied, the part is staged by parcel carrier (7) according to the shipping requirements. Larger parts—some can weigh as much as 400 pounds—are handled in a separate packaging area, where they are loaded by crane into a shipping container.

Systems Suppliers

Self-navigating Vehicle:
Lift Trucks:
Bar Code Scanning:
Packaging System:


About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.


Article Topics

All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Finding the Right Fit for New Technologies and Automation in your Warehouse/DC
In this white paper, Canon Solutions explores the challenges companies face when automating, explain why there’s no need to rip-and-replace existing systems
Download Today!
From the July 2019 Logistics Management Magazine
While trade tensions with China have already disrupted many U.S. supply chains, analysts suggest that a recalibration of shipping and sourcing destinations is long overdue. Emerging markets might finally live up to their potential and keep globalization on track.
2019 State of Logistics: Third-party logistics (3PL) providers
2019 State of Logistics: Air cargo
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Leveraging 3PLs for Future Shipper Gains
In this webcast, Evan Armstrong, president of Armstrong & Associates offers logistics and supply chain managers the industry’s most comprehensive overview of the state of domestic and global third-party logistics arena.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
State of Logistics in 2019: What’s next?
Tight capacity, high rates, rapid e-commerce growth and a booming economy fueled an 11.45% rise in...
Got labor? How supply chain companies are recruiting talent during a labor crunch
How are companies faring in the race to recruit and train high-level supply chain talent in a market...

35th Annual Salary Survey: Compensation matters more than ever
While job satisfaction remains the primary reason for today’s logistics managers to stay with one...
2019 Rate Outlook: Pressure Builds
In 2019, the world economy will enter a third straight year of broad-based growth, but many...
best fantasy thriller books

цена подсолнуха

купить рено меган