Prior to the EffiMat®, OFITE had 8 people pushing carts up and down the aisles as if they were in a grocery store, to pick sales orders and work orders. In some cases, people were waiting for an aisle to clear so they could get the parts needed. It was the same only in reverse for restocking the inventory every morning.
Instead of adding shifts or expanding the building, OFITE wanted to incorporate automation. The practical answer was to use the current space wisely, which meant going vertical.
One of the main thoughts were choosing a traditional Vertical Lift Module, but a VLM presents an entire row of parts, with the possibility of only one needed product. By presenting at least 5 needed parts at a time, OFITE saw how they could be more efficient and much more accurate. That is why they ultimately chose the EffiMat®.
Solving challenges often involves employees and their work processes. It is commonly known that people have a tendency of being resistant to change, which meant that convincing them also was a part of OFITE’s process. OFITE visisted other sights with similar solutions to show employees how efficient it could make them and how it could improve the working environment.