Project Case Studies

Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

The Ohio State university Medical Center

Ohio   State   University   Medical Center (OSUMC) is comprised  of  ~ 1,000 inpatient beds in five hospitals,  clinics,  academic and research facilities. OSUMC utilized an overhead rail material handling system for a number of years, supporting 1,620,424 gross square feet in several facilities.

In 1997, The Schachinger Group (TSG) performed detailed  studies that  projected needs  for  the transport of more than 2,300  carts daily. The cost  of upgrades and then operating and maintaining   the existing overhead  rail cart  system  proved  greater than  any  possible  overall cost savings. Hence OSUMC initiated an in‐depth study of alternatives.

The  Schachinger  Group,  Inc.  (TSG)  was retained to study and to lead the OSUMC Team’s efforts in ascertaining the most appropriate and efficient materials handling strategies.

Study Objectives.

Study objectives were to analyze current and foreseeable future materials handling requirements, to   identify   options,   and   to  determine  the  best course of action.   Four system    alternatives    were considered, including  fully  manual movement and a manually driven tow system. A new automated guided  vehicle  (AGV) system was determined to be the best alternative, saving over $65  million  dollars over a 25 year period, when compared   with all of the other  alternatives studied. This was later verified in an independent study commissioned in 2002.


TSG provided detailed materials handling and transportation  studies  and  analysis, updated functional and operational programs.  TSG facilitated the  reengineering   of  User  Department  processes and operations. TSG provided the detailed programming, design,  specifications,  bid,  AGVS Vendor selection, Construction Administration and implementation assistance services. The process also uncovered  the  need  and  then  the   development, design and construction of a new 16,000 sf Central Sterile Processing Department.

To make‐the‐building‐ready    for    the    new   ATS system installation, a phased $3.5 million effort impacting 50 different areas in the Hospital, was required.  Installation of the ATS was completed in 2004   with   the   following  major components: 46 Automated Robots; 8 different cart types; 9 dedicated elevators;  2 automated  cartwashers  and  various associated controls and devices.

Transporting carts and materials on the ATS Elevators reduced demand on existing patient and public elevators.   

As a result,  the  typical  response  time for  an elevator has decreased from ~4‐ ½ minutes to ~40 seconds. The ATS allows personnel to maximize the amount of time spent caring for patients, while providing a safer workplace.

The AGVS used 25,000 square feet less space than the manual system allowing that space to be used for other valuable functions.

Contact The Schachinger Group. (703) 608-2263
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