Tank Head Fabricator Saves on Production Time and Costs with Yellow Jacket Stretch Wrap Machine
Baker Tankhead (Fort Worth, TX) faced production and labor time and cost issues during the shipping process for its tank heads. The original method of steel banding was replaced with hand wrapping, but it caused lost production and required extra labor. Three employees were needed to wrap one pallet; one remained on the forklift while two others passed the stretch wrap around the load. The company learned of Yellow Jacket's orbital stretch wrap technology and purchased a stretch wrap machine, realizing production and labor savings.
About the Company
Baker Tankhead was founded in 1977 and offers a variety of products, including hot pressed and bumped and spun tank heads, cones and shells, for a variety of industries. The company uses raw material from either mills or service centers and cuts large discs for the tank heads. The flat blank is taken and in the bumping and spinning process the dish radius is put to the head (bumping) and then the knuckle and straight flange is spun onto the head (spinning). In the hot pressed process the flat disc is put into the furnace heated to above 1700° and in a single stroke, with punch and draw ring, the head is fabricated. “From heated flat blank to finished hot pressed head, it takes around one minute,” says John Asfar, Technology Manager of Baker Tankhead.
“A tank head is just the end of any type of shell vessel,” explains Asfar. “Picture a railroad tanker car going down a track, each end of that tanker car is a tank head.” The majority of the tank heads fabricated at Baker Tankhead will be used in industrial tank applications such as propane tanks, pellet vessels, air compressor tanks or tanks for liquid nitrogen. The company fabricates tank heads from 8 5/8” diameters to 16’ diameters with carbon steel, stainless steel and aluminum being the main materials used, though others are available. Baker Tankhead can serve the entire United States from its central location in Fort Worth.
Lost Production Time and Labor Costs
Baker Tankhead previously shipped its tank heads by using steel banding to hold the heads onto wooden pallets. This method was a tedious process and many times the steel bands would destroy the pallets. The steel banding was sharp and if under-tensioned could pop back when cut, which was an opportunity for injury. Equipment failure and lack of supplies were also issues with the banding process.
The company then tried stretch wrap, which was an improvement, but it required extra manpower to get the loads wrapped. “There’s a guy on the forklift manipulating the pallet and then there’s a guy on each side of the pallet and they throw the stretch wrap over and under and around and around,” says Asfar. Needing a better way to stretch wrap, Asfar contacted Yellow Jacket after seeing an advertisement for the company in a magazine.
Yellow Jacket Orbital Stretch Wrap Technology
Baker Tankhead purchased a Yellow Jacket stretch wrap machine after visiting a nearby company and watching its Yellow Jacket machine work. “I took the owner and the general manager and the three of us went down there and once we saw the machine work they were sold,” Asfar comments. Yellow Jacket orbital stretch wrap technology locks standard, odd-shaped, long and other load types securely to the pallet, right on the forks of the forklift. This method protects loads against damage, dust and wind.
The Yellow Jacket machine has helped Baker Tankhead securely wrap more tank heads, helping to increase production. The two extra employees previously needed to help stretch wrap can now be used in the grind prep or make ready for the heads, preparing more each day for shipping. In turn, the company has also realized labor savings since the Yellow Jacket requires only one employee to wrap a load. “You’re able to get more heads ready for shipping per day because it’s done faster since you don’t have three people you’re pulling out of the make ready department to palletize this one product, you’re down to one person,” explains Asfar. “So you’ve got three people working on three items instead of three people working on one.”
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