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Concepting
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Material Handling Consultants, Inc. is a World Class industrial engineering firm which specializes in the planning, design, integration, and implementation systems for the manufacturing, transportation, and distribution industries. 

 

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What is "Concepting"

?

 

One of the most important services a consultant may provide is the ability to look at the whole problem, understand the desired results and then conceive an integrated, cost effective, and manageable solution by which management may accomplish their desired results.  

To be effective, the Consultant Company must be knowledgeable and conversant in current industry technology. They need to know what products are proven, reliable, and well supported. They need to understand the interface points and provide a solution that integrates all the components into a System.

Integrating equipment and technologies from different manufacturers, redefining the "PROCESS" (the way things are done), blending all the components together, adapting them to the planned facility and capabilities of the people who are to run and manage the operation is called "Concepting."  

“Concepting is the assemblage of mechanical, electrical, and software  components arranged to work within a confined space in order to perform a variety of functions designed to obtain a specific output in a reliable fashion.”

"Concepting is not wholly an art nor a science,

. . . but more of a combination of these two skills."

 

The "science" is in the application and selection of equipment and controls, which will perform within the design parameters of the system. They are based upon hard data and careful analysis of the data, facility, the capabilities of the available personnel, and the management style and long range objectives of the management team.

The "science" portion is comprised of the following:  

  • Material To Be Handled
  • Rates
  • Industry Standards
  • Operational Process
  • Environmental Conditions
  • Ability to Manage Technology

The "art" is comprised of the following: 

  • Vision
  • Creativity
  • Anticipation
  • Relevant Experience

 

A concept should not only be developed utilizing the physical constraints and limits of hardware and creative application, but also . . .

. . . the clients’ expectations . . .

The consultant should prepare a formal design objective which specifically identifies your long range goals and project objectives such as:  

  • Cost Reduction 
  • Performance
  • Facility Maximization
  • Process Improvement
  • Decentralization \ Centralization
  • Elimination of Problem Areas
  • Future Growth Demands
  • Expansion Plans
  • Project Budget

SUCCESS STORIES

The following three actual project examples represent how important an understanding of how the "art and science" of concepting work together to meet a design objective.

The Request for Quotation (RFQ) layouts and the actual systems that were purchased perform at least equally as well, but at a substantial reduction in project cost as well as ongoing operational costs.

PROJECT #1

An Order Selection System for a munitions manufacturer 

The system below as initially conceived

wpe3.jpg (53469 bytes)

 

The system below was purchased at a savings of $140,000

 

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Except for the visual differences between the two systems, the was no reduction of throughput.  The cost associated with the second system was substantially less do to the simple fact that far less equipment was required to accomplish the same task. 

PROJECT #2

An ASRS, AGV, Binding and Palletizing system for mail-order catalog publisher

The system below as initially conceived

 wpe6.jpg (65693 bytes)

 

The system below was purchased at a savings of $3,300,000 

 

wpe7.jpg (55489 bytes)

Again only the visual differences between the two systems are effected, the was absolutely no reduction of throughput.  The cost associated with the second system was substantially less due to the simple fact that far less equipment and far less sophisticated equipment was necessary to accomplish the same task at the same rates. 

PROJECT #3

An Hybrid Vehicle, Carousel, Unit Load and Tote Conveyor order selection system for a transportation industry manufacturer

The system below as initially conceived

wpe8.jpg (65352 bytes)

 

The system below was purchased at a savings of $3,500,000

 

wpe9.jpg (62148 bytes)

In this instance we demonstrate the expense involved in utilizing conveyor as a storage media.  The reconfigured system was far less expensive without loss of production.  The cost associated with the second system was substantially less due to the simple fact that less equipment was necessary to accomplish the reduced task at the same rates of throughput at substantially slower speeds.  High speed is the major cause of noise and equipment failure.  

Comments:

There was no loss of system throughput, capacity, or future flexibility in any of the above alternative approaches.

The reductions in the amount of equipment, controls, relative sophistication, and total project cost were a direct result of industry knowledge, concepting experience, and the ability to:

"Recognize The Minimum Requirement"

 

Copyright © 1996-2005 Material Handling Consultants, Inc. All rights reserved.
Revised: September 15, 2005