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ESOP news roundup

June 10, 2009

Cisco-Eagle is employee owned, managed and operated. We believe that this gives us advantages over just about any company that we compete against – you deal with an owner with a real stake in the company every time you call us, every time you have your conveyor serviced, every time we install equipment, send an invoice, or design a material handling system. It’s a way of doing business that has permeated our company culture and helps us to be more accountable, more service oriented and more involved with our customers.

Darrell Griffin named Cisco-Eagle’s 2009 ESOP Employee Owner of the Year. Griffin is Cisco-Eagle’s Systems & Design Manager and has been with us since 1995. Darrell has been involved as a member of our ESOP Advisory Committee, and as an active participant in many employee activities. The award recognizes one employee every year for going above and beyond what is expected to promote our ownership culture and personal accountability. Last year, the award was won by our Training Manager, Anne Miller.

ESOp squares at Cisco-EagleAlso, Cisco-Eagle won the ESOP Association’s award for Special Events and Promotions – One Outstanding Event. We ran a game show on Employee Ownership day, our own version of “ESOP Squares.” Since we are a material handling company, we naturally put our “celebrities” in a frame of pallet rack to run our game, which was held at our Dallas warehouse and broadcast to all other locations following a company wide brunch.

Fashioned after the Hollywood Squares TV show,  our Senior Leadership team and our Selling Shareholders manned the rack as the “celebrities” to fill in the squares.

Cisco-Eagle has 8 office locations, which were split up into 4 different regions to play the game. Each region decided on a team of three that would be the contestants. They worked together to pick squares and “agree” or “disagree” with the ESOP celebrities.  The game was played out in three rounds with a lot of humorous moments intertwined with the ESOP information. In the end, our South Texas team was victorious and took home the illustrious ESOP Squares trophy, as well as scoring an ice cream party.

Cisco-Eagle was the Runner-up for External ESOP Advertising – Print Advertising. Many examples of our print advertising can be found at our literature downloads area.

The AACE awards are presented annually. More information can be found here.

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Online conveyor calculators added to the Cisco-Eagle website

June 9, 2009

Cisco-Eagle online conveyor calculators 

As part of our goal to provide you with more information and tools about the products we offer, we have added four new online conveyor calculators to the website. These calculators will help you to find the right conveyor for the job.

Let’s take a look at each calculator, and what they can do for you.

  • Incline Calculator. This calculator will provide you with dimensions for an incline conveyor. You can answer questions such as “Will an incline conveyor fit in the space I have?”, or “Given a specific angle of incline, how long will the conveyor need to be?” With incline conveyors there are four basic dimensions and the incline angle to consider. If you know three of the dimensions or the angle, the calculator will provide the missing dimensions or angle.
  • Box Tumbling Calculator. The taller the carton, container, or box you wish to move on an incline, the more prone it is to tumble. If you enter the dimensions of the product, the calculator will provide the maximum angle of incline before it will tumble back down the conveyor.
  • Skewed Roller Calculator. If you need to align a package to the right or left side of the conveyor one method is to skew the rollers by moving one end of the rollers over by one notch in the frame. This calculator will tell you the length the package will need to travel across skewed rollers to move the package the required distance to one side.
  • Minimum Curve Width Calculator. As a package is being conveyed through a curve it can become jammed between guardrails if the curve is not wide enough. This calculator will help you find the minimum width required to move that package through the curve without jamming.

There is still more to consider in the proper design of conveyor, and these calculators address some of the issues. Contact us if you need more assistance with a complete design for your requirement.

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Saving Space: Shelves vs. Modular Drawers vs. Flow Racking vs. Vertical Carousels

June 3, 2009

Vertical carousels and space savings

This is a good visual comparison of how much space is utilized by various storage methods. The vertical carousel provides the same amount of storage space as several rows of shelving or modular drawer storage. In this particular instance, the carousel saves over 1,400 square feet of floor space when compared to shelving. Of course, you know the cost differences are significant, but there are other factors in making a decision about these types of storage equipment.

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Posted in Automation, Industrial Shelving, Material Handling, Pallet Rack, Space Saving, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »

Staged Shipments at Risk for Pilferage

May 25, 2009

Warehouse dock theft

The everyday stuff that hits many shipping docks may not be as organized, or to such a scale, but any operation that stores, ships or receives valuable items is at risk of being hit – or is already being hit to some degree.  In the above case, an organized group of thieves working at a shipping dock would simply wait until after a supervisor finished checking outbound shipments and add more to them. Since the shipments sat on the docks for 90 minutes, it gave the pilferers plenty of time to work on this. They would place extra cases onto staged pallets and those would ship out on trucks driven by colluding drivers. The next day, the drivers would sell the extra product for cash and split the proceeds with their warehouse accomplices.

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What’s the Most Useless Space in your Warehouse?

May 20, 2009

space wasted above dock doorsNext time you’re standing there wondering where you’re going to put an inbound shipment while your dock is stacked with empty pallets, look at those doors (or at the void above them)  —  the copious space between the top of the doors and the ceiling is unused. Multiply each door by that amount of space, and in many operations, we’re talking serious amounts of unused square footage.

The easy solution: find a use for it with over-dock-door storage. You can’t really rack heavy stuff up there without some significant structure. The best thing to consider is empty pallets, which take up a ton of room and are relatively lightweight. And usually, they’re all over the floor and always in your way. Empty pallets clutter up the shipping & receiving docks or can take up positions in your racks that would be better suited to full pallets of finished goods or incoming shipments.

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Posted in Docks & Shipping, Material Handling, Pallet Rack, Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

1,149,120 Hytrol Model TA Belt Conveyor Combinations

May 13, 2009

Model TA belt conveyor

Over the last few months, we have been tweaking the conveyors offered on our website to offer a variety of options in a usable, easy-to-understand format. What we came up with is an online configuration system that allows great flexibility in changing the conveyor the way you want to change it.

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Limiting Access to your Dock & Warehouse Areas

May 12, 2009

man trap driver security cage

Leaving a dock door open all day is an invitation to have someone stroll your aisles, check out your inventory, and perhaps take something. Most busy operations, particularly in good weather situations, leave those doors open. Often, the crew is busy with actual work; they don’t have the time to monitor visitors, delivery drivers, service providers, and every other person who strolls in.

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Steel (and Material Handling) Prices might be on the Move

May 12, 2009

Steel millAlthough most metal markets are still depressed from their all time highs of the last few years, it’s quite likely that steel pricing is going to increase in the near term. What’s that mean? It means that pricing for steel goods like warehouse racks, conveyors, shelving, mezzanines, and other material handling equipment will be on the rise.

“We are clearly going to see higher prices for May,” said Marty Forman, president of Forman Metal Co.  in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Things aren’t going to explode, by any means, but the scuttlebutt is that steel prices are going up $15 to $20 a ton.”

The takeaway? Prices are as low as they will be for the near future right now.

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The Plight of the Warehouse Manager

May 6, 2009

warehouse manager - distribution center management

With the advent of widespread e-commerce fulfillment, just-in-time principles, lean management, supply chain collaboration, globalization, the need for ever-faster response, and constant pressure to reduce expenses through headcount and shift reductions, today’s warehouse manager is being asked to do more than ever before.

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Workbench supply placement should be constantly evaluated

May 4, 2009

Packing operation with conveyor lines

There isn’t enough room at your average industrial workstation. In fact, many order pickers, packers, shippers, and other professionals might tell you that you could have a 10′ long workbench, and they’d still be squeezed for space. In a busy operation, it’s a constant battle between availability of materials and space for doing the actual work. So what’s the solution? A larger workbench top? According to Packmaterials.com (registration required, but a pretty useful resource from Dehnco – we have reprinted the entire piece here, with permission), if there is not enough workstation storage area a bigger table won’t help – and may hurt.

The tabletop surface should not be considered storage space in the first place. So that leaves the unanswered question: how do you get more storage space for needed materials?

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Posted in Conveyor, Material Handling, Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Warehousing, Workbenches & Stations| No Comments »