in cardboard. It used to be 90 percent.
We’re eliminating it month by month.”
Harris said the company is working
hard to convert its recycling to reducing
and reusing. “The end vision is that we
don’t want to recycle. We want to reduce
and reuse, then recycle,” he said. “So
by taking packaging out of the picture,
we don’t have to deal with it. We don’t
have to recycle the cardboard because
in this process, cardboard doesn’t ex-
ist anymore. We don’t have to deal with
Styrofoam inserts or metal straps.”
The reusable racking is used for all
of the kanban supplies and larger com-
ponents such as radiators, transmis-
sions, and exhausts.
“These after-treatment devices—
they’re part of the exhaust system—
used to come in big cardboard boxes.
Now they go into the returnable containers,” Pennington said.
Radiators are built and customized
on-site. Instead of having the radiator components come in on one giant
wooden pallet packed in cardboard and
Styrofoam inserts, they now come in returnable containers. They continuously
go back and forth to the radiator component suppliers (see Figure 6).
“The container system simplifies
assembly also, because it eliminates
workers having to manipulate them to
build them up and hook them to the
hoist,” Pennington said. “They’re set
up, ready to go in these carts, line set.
So they can pull them out, ready for
use. Now we can build them right here
in the rack.”
Freightliner builds pipe racks for the
exhaust components. They also used
to come stacked in cardboard boxes.
“Now we’ve got different types of pipe
racks for the different parts we build,”
Some pretty intense discussions
were involved in figuring out how to
reuse walk-in van chassis control supports. “We had several meetings. The
logistics of it was tough,” Harris said.
“We had to take into account that we
Color-coded receptacles placed at each workstation with a corresponding color chart simplified recycling and boosted daily participation because they became part of the standard
were introducing already used parts
back into the inventory system. We also
had to accurately track the inventory,
and make sure the customer would get
those back to us at regular intervals.
“We also had to do a cost-justifica-tion to show how we were offsetting
shipping costs. We were having to
spend tens of thousands of dollars a
year just on that one part we were using once and only getting scrap value
out of. Now that $50 can be reused,
on average, five to seven times,” Harris said.
“We had a couple, three different
tries before we got the school bus exhaust container system right,” he continued. “School bus exhausts are extremely long, so returnable racking for
them was different than anything else”
[see Figure 7], Harris said.
“We had to design some unique
racks to accommodate exhaust pipes.
And then they weren’t tuggable. So we
had to modify them in our maintenance
shops to allow us to use tugger trans-
port. That one wasn’t easy. But you
know, you learn,” Harris said.