Protective screens: an idea that’s being replicated
Special solutions are required for processes in operational environments where maintaining distancing is difficult. Christophe Barbey, Deputy Head of Maintenance West and Team Leader at the Eclépens letter center, has come up with one such solution for consignment preparation. His idea to install protective screens on the preliminary sorting machine is now also being implemented at the Härkingen letter center and at the Geneva, Cadenazzo, Kriens and Gossau Logistics Center Letter Processing (LCLP) plants.
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The CFC in action
The yellow letter boxes distributed throughout Switzerland enjoy being fed with postcards and letters. They swallow up all consignments that fit through the slot: familiar standard formats, but also thick and large-format mail items as well as A and B Mail items. After emptying the letter boxes, we transport the consignments to the nearest letter center or LCLP. Before they can be sorted for delivery, the jumble of items has to be turned into some semblance of order. This takes place in consignment preparation using the Culler Facer Canceller, or CFC for short. The CFC sorts consignments up to a size of 335 mm x 245 mm and up to a thickness of 8 mm, and can handle around 25,000 consignments per hour at full capacity. It eliminates anything that will not fit, for example because it’s too thick or too heavy. The eliminated items are then sorted manually. The CFC ensures the consignments are all facing the same way based on the franking. It then checks them, sorts them into A and B Mail items and finally stamps the consignments. Once this procedure has been completed, they then arrive at the issuing departments sorted in stacking compartments according to formats and speed and are ready for the next sorting stages, whether automated or manual.
Full capacity thanks to protective screens
The CFC obviously also needs human intervention. Employees working on the belt conveyors feed it with the consignments, empty the stacking compartments with the letters at the issuing departments or clean the machinery on a daily basis. The problem is that only one person can stand at the belt conveyor due to the required distancing and the machine is running at reduced capacity. Christophe Barbey, Deputy Head of Maintenance West and Team Leader at the Eclépens letter center, came up with the solution of plexiglass protective screens between opposite workplaces. Occupational Health and Safety obtained confirmation from the Federal Office of Public Health and SUVA that the protective screens meet the guidelines. After a successful resilience test, the protective screens will also be installed over the next few days at the Eclépens letter center as well as on the CFC at the Härkingen letter center and at the Geneva, Cadenazzo, Kriens and Gossau LCLPs.
Working safely with colleagues
The CFC staff are delighted with the plexiglass screens and are grateful to their colleague Christophe Barbey. They can now work in pairs on the belt conveyor of the preliminary sorting machine again and are protected against any droplets coming from the opposite workplace. The CFC is also working at full capacity as it was before Covid-19.