NAVAIR

Innovate for safety: Cart design eliminates risks, improves workspace

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. — Machinist Brenda Policy straps down a container of landing gear parts on specially designed dolly, which reduces safety risks for personnel working in the shop.

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. — Machinist Brenda Policy straps down a container of landing gear parts on specially designed dolly, which reduces safety risks for personnel working in the shop.

Jul 30, 2018

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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. — Mechanical Engineer Takayasu Watanabe, Task Manager Mike Hollingsworth and Machinist Blane Gillespie stand with a landing gear parts container dolly,  a project in which they worked together to engineer and manufacture for use in Machine Shop in Shop 93567.

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. — Mechanical Engineer Takayasu Watanabe, Task Manager Mike Hollingsworth and Machinist Blane Gillespie sta ...

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. — The remedy for one shop’s imminent safety and workspace concerns was the yield of deliberations of one Fleet Readiness Center East Shop Performance Team. 
Landing Gear Parts Container Dolly, engineered and manufactured by FRC East personnel, is just what Machine Shop 93567 artisans ordered to eliminate risks to employees and improve the production flow of things in the specific work environment.
According to Blane Gillespie, a couple of people had suffered injuries within in a 30-day span, because of product pallets that lined his shop’s floor. The matter was the impetus for him and coworkers to come up with a solution to improve the associated circumstances.
“It was urgent because it was a safety concern,” said Mike Hollingsworth Jr., production controller. “We had an actual reportable safety incident where someone fell; tripped over the pallet and was injured.”
Gillespie and Hollingsworth said the invitation to participate in a Pendaran Structured Problem-solving session was in perfect timing of when the incident occurred in 2017. The session challenged participants to submit real-world work issues that needed solutions. The men said their group decided to work toward a solution to address the problem.
The problem was that pallets loaded with containers filled with rotor head components and landing gear parts consumed lots of the shop’s floor space. The placement of the 4-by-3.5-foot pallets presented trip hazards, and the weight and placement of the transport containers presented additional risks of strain injuries to workers.
Blane said he came up with an idea of what was needed. He said it needed to be something someone would be able to move with ease and upon which things could be transported. The ideal solution also needed to take up less space to free up space on the floor.
After working through the problem-solving method, the team turned its idea over to Production Support Engineering to get the technical assistance required for bringing such a concept to fruition. 
Mechanical Engineer Takayasu Watanabe, who was an engineering intern at the time, accepted the task of designing and developing a prototype for testing, and ultimately manufacturing a feasible product. Watanabe said he engaged all the stakeholders to arrive at the final design.
“(Blane) told me the requirements for what it needed to carry and what it needed to do,” said Watanabe. “Of course it needed to be transportable, so I talked to the transportation guys … to get the forklift dimensions. 
“I also carried designs over from other carts and dollies that I’d seen. I combined some concepts from those to come up with this design,” he added, explaining that it was one of his first designs at FRC East.
The container dolly is constructed of aluminum, measures 42-by-27.5 inches, rolls on casters, and includes an upright handlebar for pushing and pulling, and slots for being transported by forklift. When items are transported heavy-duty, reusable straps are used to secure the dolly’s content.
“(Integrating the use of the dolly) we went from 4-by-3.5 foot to 3.5-by-2.5. We reduced the floor footprint size, considerably, and made it really friendly for production controllers and artisans to move,” said Hollingsworth. “Ergonomically it’s so much better. Even Transportation is happy with it; moving it with the forklifts. And the straps are much better than using rope.”
Gillespie and Hollingsworth credited the successful outcome to being able to complete it as a part of the the structured problem-solving method and Shop Performance Team construct, which afforded the group time to complete such a project.
“The reason that this did come about was specifically because of the SPT,” said Hollingsworth. “… for us going, regularly, being assigned to it, having to go, talking it out, doing the Pendaran thing and making it happen … If that hadn’t have happened this would’ve never happened. We were made to take the time; because daily, I’ve got no time to do anything extra. … That made us allocate the time to do this.”
There are currently 30 Landing Gear Parts Container dollies in use at FRC East. While the dolly’s design was based on the needs of Machine Shop 93567, the team is confident the design can be used for multiple purposes throughout fleet readiness center environments.

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