Even though it dates back from the 1970s, most everyone knows what company owns this tag line: “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” There is a reason why FedEx boasts a 99 percent accuracy rate on its shipping services and flavors its brand with that message. The company is just that punctual.
FedEx, which projected in late 2014 that it would be spending $1.2 billion on more than 70 major expansion projects in the U.S. for FedEx Ground according to the company’s website, engaged Low Voltage Solutions to support part of that growth. LVS was selected to install camera systems in four new locations: Tacoma, Wash.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Houston; and Boulder, Colo. Each installation required a team of two LVS technicians. Washington and Texas were larger projects, requiring about two weeks of work with the remaining two locations requiring about a week.
The project consisted of roughly 35 cameras at each site, with a little less at the Tennessee and Colorado locations. FedEx is using the camera system to monitor conveyor systems moving packages from one point to another. FedEx facility managers are then able to identify the source of a problem – and a solution – quickly. The cameras have built-in technology for remote viewing as well. Boxes of different sizes pose challenges as they travel the conveyor with small, narrow boxes posing the greatest challenge.
At the end of the project, LVS sat with FedEx employees for several hours and viewed all the views to make sure that the cameras captured exactly what was needed. LVS made adjustments as necessary. “Our work is done only when we know it’s 100 percent good to go,” said Don Ryan, LVS’ project manager overseeing the work from the company office in Crest Hill, Ill. FedEx then did a final sign-off on the views.
“We were selected because of our relationship. They liked what they saw and are asking us to do more FedEx projects around the country,” he added. This, in part, is due to LVS’ quality of work, professionalism and speed in completing the project. LVS did the work in phases, pulling wire early so they could avoid working around the conveyors in the new buildings. A couple months later, LVS led the final termination and installation.
The biggest challenge of doing out-of- state work was access to parts. Fortunately, LVS jumped hurdles by maintaining a good relationship with offices of suppliers located in regional offices. “The customer sent out a couple emails complimenting our work,” adds Ryan. “And it’s always nice to be asked back to do more. We look forward to working with them.”