Most people have heard of Roomba, the robot vacuum. Maybe you’ve heard of Spot, the robot that navigates terrain or Aibo, the robotic dog companion. Have you heard of Lucy? She is the EZ Street® Cold Mix bagging robot at Duval Asphalt and has significantly helped the team members since she was “hired” three years ago.
Duval Asphalt is a licensed EZ Street® producer and offers the product in loose mix by the ton or in 50-pound bags. The bagging operation requires two employees: one fills the hopper, then the bags with mix, the other stacks the bags on pallets. Due to the intense manual labor of stacking the bags, these employees would rotate between the responsibilities throughout the workday. To put it in perspective, a 50-pound bag of EZ Street® mix is equivalent to an Australian Shepard, five medium sized bowling balls or six gallons of water. Each pallet stacks fifty-six bags, and the team would fill about ten pallets each day. Lifting this weight for hours at a time over the course of a workday is strenuous on the body.
Lucy assumes the manual labor role now, eliminating the risk of back injuries for Duval Asphalt’s employees in this department. The employees drive the front loader to pick up the EZ Street® mix and load it in the hopper. They attach the bag to the dispensing system, then once Lucy has filled the pallets, they load the pallets in the shelves using a forklift. Lucy has helped make the operation more efficient (doubles productivity each day) while reducing injuries and health risks for the employees. See Lucy in action below and on Duval Asphalt’s You Tube Channel!