PHILADELPHIA—COVID-19 has elevated the need for cleaning supplies, and many suppliers are running out of stock or engaging in price-gauging practices. In times of national emergency and disaster, Monarch Brands has traditionally ramped up production and logistics without raising prices. Recently deployed automation features and a split shift workforce ensures that Monarch Brands continues to meet demand while mitigating exposure to COVID-19.
All wholesale microfiber and rags get automatically weighed and wrapped before being carried to the dock by “Fred,” an automated pallet train that moves along a magnetic track. Fred handles 7,500 pounds loaded on his back while pulling five pallet dollies. Fred exaliminates the bottleneck created when workers wait on forklift drivers to transport pallets. Furthermore, Monarch Brands has reduced the number of forklift operators moving from production areas to the docks.
The addition of an automatic wiper box-line dubbed “Annie” has quadrupled wiper output. Bales of bulk rags enter a hopper, where through a system of teeth and conveyor belts, the material separates. All bulk rags pass through a pneumatic metal detector, which removes all metal and hard detritus before rags get boxed and sealed according to an order. Annie takes the heavy-lifting load off the shoulders of workers who get retrained on lighter-load tasks.
Monarch Brands’ warehouse is working in shifts to meet production goals while also mitigating the spread of COVID-19 throughout the entire staff.
“Safety is incredibly important to us,” says Hal Kanefsky, President, Monarch Brands. “The safety of our workers and the safety of our customers. We’ve been at this a while, selling wholesale rags for over 70 years, and bulk microfiber mops and cloths for over a decade. We never stop adding innovations to the warehouse to optimize production in the safest manner possible.”