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Plant safety success at Winchester wins an ARPM Innovation Award!

Safety is our #1 priority – and we are always excited to highlight successful safety projects across our organization. With this in mind, we are proud to announce an award win from Hamilton Kent that showcases our safety-first culture!

In early February, the Association of Rubber Products Manufacturers (ARPM) awarded Hamilton Kent’s Winchester, Tennessee facility with an ARPM Innovation Award in the Smart Manufacturing Solutions category. Recognizing their outstanding successes in improving plant safety through the automation of their pallet loading process, the award win was also featured in an article and on the front page of 2024’s first quarterly edition of Inside Rubber, the ARPM’s official publication.

The ARPM Innovation awards are presented to organizations which implement automated manufacturing solutions that result in decreased operating costs, improved worker safety, increased productivity and efficiency, improved product quality and more.

“For 15 years, we had a boxed final product that came off a gravity-fed conveyor at the end of the line,” said Andrew Morris, Plant Engineer – explaining their previous pallet loading process in the Inside Rubber interview. “Our team members would pick up the boxes and stack them on a pallet.”

As described by Andrew, the new, automated system “pushes the production line boxes through a tape machine, where a conveyor with automated traffic control takes over. When a box reaches the end of the line, an arm picks the box up with suction and loads it on the pallet.”

The automatization was performed on one of Winchester’s busiest production lines, and by automating this process the Winchester team have greatly reduced the potential for injuries from heavy lifting and repetitive strain! Furthermore, employees are very pleased to offload this arduous task onto their new automated technology!

Congratulations to Hamilton Kent Winchester on this well-deserved award win and front-page feature. This project provides an excellent case study of how a safety-first mindset can have a powerful positive impact on employees and the business as a whole.

For more information on the award and to read the full Inside Rubber article, click here.

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