A Materials Handling Project
: To Minimise the Cost and Complexity of the Handling Systems at the Cable Products Division of Standard Telephones and Networks, Newport

  • N. J. Perry

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This project arose due to the need for rationalisation and a medium to long term strategy for materials handling at Standard Telephones and Cables, (S.T.C.) Cable Products Division, Newport. The project was initiated through a teaching company programme set up by The Polytechnic of Wales and S.T.C. The objective was to minimise the cost and complexity of the handling systems by means of individually cost effective sub-projects, tackled with flexibility and the overall strategy maintained throughout.

    The first phase of the project was to prepare a data base of materials handling statistics gathered from departmental records, and where possible from the Company's four year business plan. All departments were analysed, encompassing raw materials, work in progress, finished goods and scrap clearance.

    The second phase of the project was the rationalisation of internal transport, which consisted mainly of fork lift trucks. Various alternative methods of handling and storage were analysed, including pneumatic, floor and overhead conveying: cranes; automated storage and retrieval systems; and automated guided vehicles. However, the fork lift truck was found to be the most flexible and effective medium term solution under S.T.C.'s present circumstances with pending business and consequent method changes. The fork lift truck analyses determined the number and capacity mix, (by means of analytical and simulation techniques) methods of acquisition, choice of supplier, mode of operation and financial analysis (discounted cash flow) over the planned period.

    The recommendations were:-
    - A four year rental contract with full contract maintenance included.
    - The current feet of 42 trucks to be reduced to 27, inclusive of 12 new trucks rented from Lansing Bagnall. 11 of these to be electric, with 1 diesel for outdoors at a total net cost of approximately £200,000.
    - Gradual replacement of the older trucks, 3 each year, to update the total fleet by the end of the planned period: costing approximately £90,000 per annum.

    Further work necessary to minimise costs and progress the aim of producing a fully integrated handling system, is discussed in the conclusions.
    Date of Award1985
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Polytechnic of Wales

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