Taking over a system upgrade to get a client back on track and operational

A fulfillment center needed to upgrade its obsolete system which was no longer operational. E Tech Group traveled on-site and overcame a multitude of challenges to get the client operational in their allotted timeframe.

A Down System Causing Delays and Disrupting Daily Operations: 

An order fulfillment and warehousing client was facing significant challenges with an antiquated system that was no longer operational causing them to fall behind schedule.  

In an effort to bring it back online, they had previously engaged another vendor who had been working on the system for months without success. The client urgently required the system to become operational before further delays occurred keeping them from meeting deadlines and impacting profitability. Consequently, they sought our assistance to expedite the commissioning process. 

Limited Information and a Tight Timeline Leave No Margin for Error: 

Attempting to pick up where another integrator left off isn’t the easiest, especially when any number of unknown variables can rear their head as they did here.  If not for the adaptability of our team with their diverse skillset, they may not have been able to address and overcome those challenges.   

  1. Limited Information and Timeframe: We were provided with only one week to study the system, and the information available was limited, including the system’s description of operations and system rate. 
  2. Lack of Equipment Design Information: No information regarding equipment design was presented, which made it challenging to understand the system’s components. 
  3. Limited Documentation: We were given some sample codes with minimal documentation, which made it difficult to understand and modify the existing codebase. 
  4. Complex System Components: The system consisted of merges and a Print and Apply unit, adding complexity to the commissioning process. 
  5. Absence of a System Checklist: There was no existing system checklist to guide the commissioning process. 

A Hands-On Approach Was Critical in Project Execution: 

Given the tight project timeline and the client’s immediate need, the engineering team decided to go on-site and commence development work directly at the location. This hands-on approach allowed us to overcome various challenges that could have manifested as delays: 

  • Addressing System Inconsistencies:  
    • Mechanical systems were found to be designed differently at different locations, requiring additional coding.  
    • The team needed to use the existing template, necessitating on-the-fly learning and adaptation.  
    • Inaccurate electrical wiring and layouts posed challenges that the team successfully addressed and resolved. 
  • Identifying Mechanical Inaccuracies:  
    • Correcting the placement of guard rails at scan points to ensure safety and functionality. 
    • Addressing issues related to non-uniform product conveyance within the system. 
  • Collaboration with Scanner Technicians: The team worked closely with scanner technicians, as the work they had performed previously was suboptimal. Multiple interactions were needed to resolve issues and ensure proper scanner functionality. 
  • Interconnections: Establishing interconnections with the upstream and downstream conveyors to ensure seamless material flow within the system. 
  • Checklist development: Due to the absence of an existing system checklist, the team created their own tailored checklist. This served as a fundamental tool in guiding their efforts during the system startup. It allowed them to break down the complex system into smaller, manageable sub-systems, ensuring a structured and efficient approach to the project. 

Adapt, Overcome, and Leave the Client With An Operational System: 

Through the teams on-site, expedited learning and development efforts, they successfully addressed the project challenges and got the system up and running within the given timeframe. This achievement was a testament to the team’s adaptability, problem-solving skills, and commitment to meeting the client’s urgent needs. 

The client’s system is now and remains operational, meeting their immediate requirements and helping them avoid further delays. This project showcases E Tech Group’s ability to navigate complex and challenging scenarios to deliver results effectively and efficiently.