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Social Distancing in Manufacturing

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, manufacturers find themselves in a unique environment and are working hard to adapt quickly. For many, production must continue as you develop essential goods in this time of crisis. To keep facilities online and personnel safe, many of our clients are sending in requests for help modifying work cells and changing how they present materials in order to facilitate social distancing throughout their operations.

Social distancing is forcing us (for a time at least) to implement some practices that are opposite from principles we know as “lean”. A lean operation typically moves every person and process as closely together as possible to facilitate efficient material flow. Social distancing, however, requires separating operators by a minimum of six feet.

So, how can manufacturers cope with these new practices in a way that’s agile and cost-effective?

Here at Geolean USA, we believe this current situation demonstrates the true value of our modular systems. You may not want to continue this separation state after virus concerns dissipate, but it is a necessary change to make now. Modular systems can help you implement required changes quickly by using a system that’s simple to break down and reconfigure once the virus starts to loosen its grip.

Modular work cells that include floating racking, modular workstations, and even adaptable material delivery methods can help your facility implement social distancing while keeping essential production going. Flexibility is the key, both in this new socially distanced environment and as work slowly returns to normal. Here are a few reasons why modular systems are the best option for these rapidly changing times:

Why Choose Modular Systems To Support Social Distancing in Manufacturing?

Modular systems allow manufacturers to quickly support social distancing today, with the flexibility you need for tomorrow as the situation continues to change. A few of the key reasons that modular systems are your best option to support social distancing in manufacturing include:

  • Low Cost — Modular systems are a low-cost solution, which means you can get the materials you need to support your facility, without exceeding your budget.
  • Immediate Installation — Modular systems are easily installed, right now. They often take hours, rather than days to install, and materials can be shipped to you on-demand.
  • Simplicity — With modular systems like the tube-and-joint system, you have the option to build a new workstation using basic tools you already have on-site. This ensures you can get back up and running with social distancing measures in place, as soon as possible.
  • Durability — Modular systems like the tube-and-joint system are designed for manufacturing environments. They have been around for decades and can support the heavy-duty work done on the facility floor.
  • Flexibility — Social distancing in manufacturing is a temporary situation, and need solutions that suit that need. A modular system can be reconfigured, broken down if necessary, and installed in a completely different application as your needs change. This makes it a flexible solution that easily adapts to the specific, present conditions in your facility.

A Few Actionable Solutions to Implement Social Distancing in Your Manufacturing Facility

Modular solutions like tube-and-joint systems are flexible, cost-effective, and provide immediate support. But what are some of the best ways to implement modular solutions in your facility to facilitate social distancing?

Flow Racks
Flow racks on casters can provide a material handling solution for facilities implementing social distancing. Flow racks deliver material to operators with minimal human interaction, and wheels ensure that racks can be moved easily by just one operator. And, utilizing a series of single lane flow racks rather than multi-lane racks may allow for more simple line balancing as needs change.

Modular Cart Delivery
Modular cart delivery provides another way to get material from one part of your facility to another with minimal human handling. By using standard cart bases with modular top hats, you are able to repurpose carts quickly and with minimal cost as your material delivery requirements change. Fewer touches and carts that can easily be repurposed are just good practice for manufacturers in any environment!

Flexible Workstations
Now more than ever, modular work cells are important to keep operators at a safe distance from others, and to ensure they’re able to work as efficiently as possible in new configurations. This is a practice that has been popular for manufacturers with seasonally changing production requirements as well. Modular workstations can be manipulated for social distancing today, ensuring the correct amount of space between operators, then easily repurposed and reconfigured for tomorrow when your needs change.

The Need-to-Knows of Geolean Modular Systems

Geolean USA is here to support the needs of manufacturers at this time. Modifying facilities for social distancing is a significant shift, but it can be done quickly and with minimal cost using the right materials. Here’s what you need to know about Geolean’s modular systems to determine if our solutions are the best fit for you.

Fully Compatible Materials
Geolean materials are compatible with industry-standard tube-and-joint systems. Whether you have existing modular solutions, or you’re hoping to add on to something new in the future, know that our materials are compatible with the materials you are comfortable with.

Immediate Availability
We have a large stock of products available for immediate shipment, ensuring you can get to work right away. There is a lot of uncertainty right now, but we have the materials to fulfill your order and support an immediate impact on your operations.

Extensive Library of Modular Solutions
As lean manufacturing experts, we’ve been designing and developing modular solutions for years. We have an extensive library of modular solutions we can call on to ensure we provide the configurations best suited to your facility, right now. If you are new to this type of system, or simply don’t have the manpower available to support making the needed change, let our assembly team deliver a turn-key solution you can implement right away.

Highest Level of Flexibility
Geolean places a priority on delivering the right solution for the right time. All of our products provide the highest level of flexibility, ensuring that the investment you make in modular systems for social distancing now, is one you’ll be able to continue benefiting from, even as needs change. Our systems can be reconfigured, broken down and stored, or repurposed for a totally different application, depending on your specific needs.

Live Design Capabilities
Coming together in-person to solve problems is at the heart of our culture. But until it is safe to meet in person, please know that Geolean does offer full access to our support teams via Live Design. Our virtual tools help clients through the development process, ensuring you get the solutions you need in the fastest turnaround possible.

If your manufacturing facility needs to implement social distancing, we’re here to help. Our library of solutions, our Live Design team, our large stock of tube-and-joint materials, and our assembly teams are available to you. Contact your Geolean Sales Representative to set up a call or web meeting and get started today.

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