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A conveyer belt system hangs from the ceiling inside one of the warehouses belonging to the Supply Management Unit, 2nd Supply Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 2, 2011. Though the system fell out of use nearly a decade ago, the tempo of today’s society of supply and demand prompted the unit’s leadership to have the conveyer restored. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado)

Photo by Pfc. Franklin Mercado

SMU updates decade old conveyer system

2 Feb 2011 | Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

Marines with Supply Management Unit, 2nd Supply Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, recently commenced the use of a conveyer system in their warehouses aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C.

The system, which spans the length of three football fields, was installed more than a decade ago and is the only one of its kind aboard Camp Lejeune.

The belt fell out of use because at the time repairs were needed, which were not cost-effective, and it wasn’t essential to the mission, however, the tempo of today’s society for supply and demand prompted the unit’s leadership to have the conveyer restored.

It simplifies a process of supply management, which consists of carousel, bin and bulk sections. Each section is distinguished largely by size of the packages. Marines with the section receive the container pertaining to their location and pack it. From there they label it and put it back on the belt for shipping.

Master Sgt. Irving Fletcher, storage operations chief for the SMU, was a key component to the resurrection of the system, and although the conveyer belt makes the Marines’ jobs much easier and efficient, he believes it will take time to implement the system, which costed upward of several thousand dollars to fix.

“Since it was built so long ago, the actual company who put it up went out of business,” said Fletcher. “We did a search and found someone who could actually work on the conveyer belt.”

The system was fully operational once a contractor installed an air compressor. Although an obvious time saver, it wasn’t an immediate hit.

“Like with anything new, they just need to get used to it,” said Fletcher. “Marines are definitely set in their ways, but now the system is implemented they just need time.”

Over the course of the system’s reintegration, the Marines have warmed to the idea of effectively utilizing it in daily operations. The increase in productivity and performance is obvious.

“We haven’t done any official studies, but we’ve seen the system save us several hours in manpower,” said Fletcher.

While improving the operational tempo, efficiency and morale of the Marines utilizing system, the use of the conveyer belt is being refined constantly in order to make it more efficient, and ensure it’s working to streamline the distribution process.


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