How Serta Simmons improved productivity at Its Vaughan plant


Recently, managers at the Vaughan (Ontario) plant, where around 100 people work, contacted Flexpipe to replace their old metal carts used to move mattress toppers.

The challenge

 This too heavy cart with inadequate wheels was a real source of problem for the team in addition to being a danger to their safety.
This too heavy cart with inadequate wheels was a real source of problem for the team in addition to being a danger to their safety.

The carts were very heavy and difficult to maneuver, causing many worries for the workers. In fact, they often had to work in tandem to push them. In addition, the carts were too wide. They circulated poorly in the small corridors and were hard to store at the end of a day’s work. The wheels of the carts also had the annoying habit of jamming. Employees had to clean them several times a week to remove the stuck debris. Add to this that the carts were not really ergonomic. On more than one occasion, employees have injured their ankles by hitting the end of the carts.

The solution

An inexpensive solution for a large iteration of the same model makes the transformation easier.
An inexpensive solution for a large iteration of the same model makes the transformation easier.

We suggested that plant managers replace their old carts with models custom-designed by Flexpipe. Since Flexpipe products are fully modular, we were easily able to create narrower carts, but perfectly adapted to the size of the mattress toppers. To give our carts a modern appearance, we used white tubes, black connectors, and wheels. White also goes well with the factory-produced mattress toppers!

This design accommodates a greater weight load
This design accommodates a greater weight load

We also installed a second tube near the wheels to increase the strength of our carts. This enables workers to stack multiple mattresses on a cart without worrying about damage. In addition, the slightly curved handles prevent workers from bumping their ankles on the bottom of the carts. Each of the handles has been placed at an optimal height to prevent back pain and other workplace injuries.

The strength of the cart was increased by adding a second tube near the wheels.
The strength of the cart was increased by adding a second tube near the wheels.

The results

Shortly after our involvement, factory officials noted several significant gains. They first noticed an increase in the workforce’s productivity. The Flexpipe carts have reduced the number of workers required to operate them by 50%.

After developing and testing a prototype, Serta Simmons went on to place a large order of similar trucks to make his big change in handling system.
After developing and testing a prototype, Serta Simmons went on to place a large order of similar trucks to make his big change in the handling system.

Employees don’t need to push the carts as frequently, so they’re able to perform other tasks in the plant. In addition, the Flexpipe carts can accommodate an additional mattress topper, resulting in an increase in the production speed of the factory. In other words, more mattress toppers are processed in less time. Another important improvement: Flexpipe carts are safer for personnel.

The number of workplace accidents has greatly decreased since the arrival of our products. In summary, employees and managers were very satisfied with their experience with Flexpipe. The plant’s spring division, convinced of the potential of our products, even placed an order for 40 additional units. This company now has nearly 200 Flexpipe carts. We’re proud to have helped Serta Simmons become more efficient!

 

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Simon Lejour - Project Manager - Ontario & Western Canada

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