Rochester Drug Cooperative (RDC), Rochester, NY is the nation’s fastest growing healthcare distributor. The privately held wholesaler is owned and directed by pharmacist-entrepreneurs who supply pharmaceutical drugs and OTC items to independent pharmacies in New York and Pennsylvania. Founded in 1905, RDC has combined the attributes of a powerful purchasing group with technology-driven distribution. RDC is ranked as the 8th largest wholesaler in the U.S. and currently services over 900 retail pharmacies, long-term care pharmacies, and home health care stores in the Northeast.
RDC’s core business is full-line distribution. In the Fall of 2012, management brought in a warehousing and logistics systems specialist who redesigned the warehouse/shipping floor layout to improve the fulfillment process. The transformation included improvements for more efficient order picking and optimal product handling. One area specifically addressed by the German integrator Schaeffer, who coordinated the redesign, was securing the tote bins used for order fulfillment and shipping.
Schaeffer chose Mosca TRP-5 bundlers to replace expensive, time consuming safety seals to secure totes. Prior to installing two high-speed, automatic strapping machines, line workers at RDC manually threaded safety seals through the tote box lids so pharmacy receivers could see immediately if any tampering had occurred prior to delivery. Although effective for their purpose, besides being time consuming, the seals were safety issues when broken tabs littered the floor and posed a slip hazard.
The TRP-5 utilized here is a standard bundler with several tabletop, press and backstop options for conveyor line applications. The system will easily handle tubs, cartons and bundles. For RDC, Schaeffer chose a belt-driven conveyor top and traffic light warning system with an acoustic malfunction signal to alert machine operators of need for a strap coil change, system malfunction or backup. The system is capable of applying 30 straps per minute on average; or 40 straps per minute with the high speed option – a far cry from the ten to twenty seconds required to manually attach a security tab. In fact, RDC Project Manager Gary Ritzmann claims that since the Mosca bundlers were installed, they have “saved three man-hours on the main packaging line and one hour on the controlled substances line per shift.” According to Ritzmann, the company takes orders during the day and order pickers were packing totes from 5:00 p.m. to as late as 2:00 a.m. Eliminating four man-hours per shift was a significant improvement for scheduling and reducing overtime. According to Ritzmann, “The strapping machines have not only saved us man hours applying tote clips, but the shipping people no longer worry about sore fingers from snapping the clips in place and having to sweep up the floor after the shift is over.”
RDC uses 9mm clear polypropylene (PP) strapping and applies one inexpensive strap to the middle of each tote. The system automatically initiates the strapping cycle via electronic photo-eyes; and strapping placement is controlled by the easy-to-use IFM operator panel. According to Jim Giambrone, director of warehouse operations, they typically strap 250 – 300 totes/hour and during peak seasons, up to 400 totes/hour on their main line. Giambrone stated, “We are extremely pleased with their operation, replenishing strap is quick and easy and there is very little in the way of maintenance.”
Schaeffer chose Mosca’s bundlers for RDC as they were familiar with the manufacturer and their reputation for reliability and lowest total cost of ownership. The TRP-5 bundlers can be easily incorporated into most production lines and are capable of upstream/downstream integration with a material handling system. The TRP-5’s feature a bottom-mounted all electric strapping head available with either a Mosca Standard 3 Heat Seal or Sonixs proprietary ultrasonic sealer technology.
EAM-Mosca Corporation provides high-performance strapping system solutions to a variety of industries, including pharmaceutical, warehousing, corrugated, food, graphic arts, mailing, fulfillment, logistics, wood, and other industrial or consumer goods. The company combines innovative equipment with strapping materials manufactured to maximize machine performance, and customer support programs that help customers meet their performance and productivity goals. EAM-Mosca is headquartered in Hazle Township, Pennsylvania, USA, and was founded in 1982. Manufacturing facilities are located in Hazle Township and Ontario, Canada. Sales and service offices are located throughout North America, along with distributors and contract service providers in Central and South America, and sales/services offices in Monterrey, Mexico.
To learn more about any of EAM-Mosca’s other productivity enhancing strapping systems, please call us at 800-456-3420, or email us at email@example.com. You can also connect with EAM-Mosca on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/EAMMoscaCorp), Twitter (www.twitter.com/EAMMoscaCorp) or LinkedIn via the company’s website, www.eammosca.com.