We sell loads of shelving all over the country, and one of the persistent issues is the cost of shipping. In particular, that’s an issue for industrial rivet shelving, which is the most economical type of shelving with the highest capacity. It is easily the most popular industrial shelf type going. For many customers, shipping an all inclusive shelving system is the easiest, most convenient thing — we do it all the time.
Cliff Holste at Supply Chain Digest (opens in a new window) has a good piece on ways to improve picking productivity.
Distribution centers will benefit from emerging automated case picking technologies, but those don’t fit for every operation, at every level. They’re also expensive upgrades, so your ROI has to be considered as well.
Tags: distribution center, order fulfillment, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Warehouse Management, warehousing
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Talk about your ounce of prevention pound of cure scenario…
This forklift accident illustrates the importance of properly protecting the ends of pallet rack rows. The driver didn’t have much room to accelerate, but didn’t need much velocity to hit the rack hard enough to compromise the upright and start a domino effect that destroyed hundreds of thousands of dollars of alcohol (this was a Russian company, but forklift damage knows no national boundaries) and endangered warehouse employees. Utilizing bollards, steel guard rails, or upright rack frame post protectors might have prevented it.
It may also stress the importance of specifying sufficiently collision-resistant racks, such as heavy duty high-strength structural racks or totally-enclosed tubular uprights. Rack is often seen as a “stack it high” commodity, but in situations like that video, the value of correct specification and safety measures are underlined. If you have damaged uprights or unprotected rack columns, watch the video. And then get it fixed.
Walk around any warehouse, manufacturing facility, or commercial storage operation of any size, you’ll almost always find two things — forklifts and dock doors. If that building has been in place for any substantial length of time, you’ll also find dinged, dented, ruined or replaced dock door guides, pallet rack frames, building columns, etc. It just happens that way. While many operations take steps to use guard rails or bollards to shield their critical machinery, dock doors can be left out.
We just finished adding 3 new Conveyor White Papers, including helpful information on Critical Product and Load Orientation, a Picking, Packing and Loading Application Matrix, and Sortation System Controls Comparisons table. All of these documents are PDF files, and all of them open in new windows. They’re all single-page, designed for quick downloading and reading. We will be adding more of these as they’re produced, so check back often.
Tags: belt conveyor, conveyor systems, conveyors, Material Handling, order fulfillment, Order Picking & Fulfillment, roller conveyor, sortation conveying
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Push back rack systems are excellent high density storage solutions — perhaps the most economical way to squeeze space out of a crowded warehouse. All loads are stored and retrieved from the same aisle. This reduces the number of aisles needed in a facility, freeing up more space for storage. Aisles can take a great deal of space up in a typical warehouse, so by implementing a pushback pallet rack system, you essentially swap selectivity for space. Push back rack systems provide a Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) inventory rotation, so you have to be certain your load fits. If it does, congratulations — you’ve just saved a lot of space. But there are issues that can arise when pushback rack is inappropriately specified or utilized. Here are some of those…
Tags: distribution centers, industrial safety, Material Handling, Pallet Rack, pushback rack, storage density, user manuals, warehousing
Posted in Docks & Shipping, Material Handling, Pallet Rack, Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »
Many operations utilize pallet or slip-sheet to convey bulked material, whether in manufacturing, work in process, to convey from a palletizer, or in shipping areas. While some applications require these palletized items to only be carried the last few feet of their process, many rely solely on the pallets to carry their product throughout a facility. Today’s processes require a smarter and often unique footprint for these palletized items. However, historically these unique footprints have been difficult for the material handling, namely conveyors, to handle effectively.
It ought to be fairly simple, but specifying the right workbench for your application is something that deserves thought and pre-planning. Minor differences in the type of bench can provide critical benefits that add up to major productivity gains over time. Benches aren’t the simple, static equipment many believe. Here are some traits to consider
Application: A clear, flat surface is the basis for most workstations. The bigger question is this: how will it be used? Will you be packing orders? Repairing or assembling? Will it integrate with conveyors or assembly lines? Will you need access to certain supplies? Ergonomic considerations will play heavily into this part of the decision making process.
Tags: ergonomics, warehousing, work bench, workbenches, workstations
Posted in Docks & Shipping, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing, Workbenches & Stations| No Comments »
This is a plug for WERC’s upcoming seminar, “Achieving Warehouse Success: Your Comprehensive Guide to Managing an Effective Operation.” Warehousing requires expertise on 3 basic resources — space, equipment, and labor. Understanding how to integrate them for maximum effectiveness can transform any warehousing operation. The seminar is 3 days (October 14-16 in Long Beach, California). According to WERC, it will cover the following aspects of warehousing:
- How to identify the precise problems that are most troublesome in your warehouse
- Which operations require your attention and how to prioritize work demands
- Why leadership and communication skills are important to managing people, boosting morale, and solving labor/management conflicts
- How to lay out your warehouse for good space utilization, material handling compatibility, and optimum flow efficiency
- Which equipment and technology best suit your operations for storage and handling as well as order picking and order selection
WERC’s site says that it is good for Newly appointed supervisors and managers of warehouse, stockroom, storeroom and distribution centers, Supervisors and managers with little or no formal training, Plant storeroom, inventory, and materials managers, Stores, receiving, and shipping supervisors, or others who are interested in understanding the warehouse. It’s $975 for members, and $1,100 for nonmembers. Check it out at the WERC site if you are interested.
Mobile lift tables are increasing in popularity in many assembly and repair operations for a number of reasons, but using this flexible material handling device must be approached correctly, and with your eyes open. They provide more flexible use (move them where you want them) in everything from printing or assembly industries to pallet breakdowns in distribution. They’re great for flexible production lines or lean manufacturing lines or work cells where the ability to lift and move something is at a premium – in particular if you need to frequently reconfigure work areas.
Obviously, a lift table you can roll to where you need it is highly desirable, but what does that mobility cost you? And when should you choose stationary lift table over mobile?