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Information on the products and techniques to better store, handle, and move products in your facility.

Cool your warehouse with solar powered “big” ceiling fans

June 24, 2010

solar powered HVLS fan

It’s that season – facilities across the country are facing mounting utility bills, workers drenched in sweat, and ferocious heat. Typically, an HVLS fan is one of the best solutions to these issues, but MacroAir has gone one better by producing these massive air movement ceiling fans in a solar configuration. This innovation does a couple of things. First, it cools your facility during the day, using the same method other HVLS fans use. But beyond that, it’s a very green product, one that reduces your energy costs and carbon footprint. Currently, these fans come in solar-only configurations. They won’t run when the sun is down, and they do not have battery backup systems. However, there is an option being designed to allow you to tie them to building power for night time or non-seasonal applications.

More information here…

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Posted in Docks & Shipping, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Safety & Ergonomics, Sustainability, Warehousing| No Comments »

Forklift Safety: Don’t Blame the Driver

June 24, 2010

hurtling forklift in a warehouse

Environmental factors are often ignored

One percent of factory accidents involve forklift trucks, but the forklift accidents produce ten percent of the physical injuries. That’s an astonishing ratio, but not all that surprising given the nature of forklifts and the way they are utilized. Forklifts are dense, heavy-mass vehicles. When they collide with something – or someone – the results are devastating, even at low speeds.

Some leading types of lift truck accidents are:

  • Workers struck by forklifts
  • Loads are dropped onto employees
  • Driver catches his body between the forklift and other objects
  • The forklift is driven off the loading dock

Kind of a terrifying list, don’t you think?

Most forklift accidents are blamed on operator error, but that is just partially true – and something of a cop-out. Rough estimates say that a quarter of forklift accidents could be avoided by addressing environmental concerns. When you eliminate those, it helps you understand better when a driver is truly ineffective, or just hamstrung by the way your warehouse is set up. In other words, before you point the finger at the driver, take a look at your operation…

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Posted in AisleCop, Docks & Shipping, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Pallet Rack, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing| No Comments »

Lean Logistics Summit Kicks Off in June

June 2, 2010

The Lean Logistics Summit kicks of on June 22 in Cincinnati. The Summit will gather the world’s leading authorities on the subject of lean logistics. Authors, researchers, and company representatives actually on their own lean logistics journey will share their insights. Learn from them and learn from your peers as you network with like-minded professionals. Sessions of interest to warehousing and distribution professionals might include “A Case Study in Lean Distribution,” by Sarah Giffin, Sr. Operations Improvement Manager of CEVA Logistics on 6/22. Also, check out “Implementing Lean Inside the Logistics Facility” later that day. The summit costs $995, but use the code “leannation” for a 25% discount.

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Posted in Automation, Material Handling, News, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »

It is the Veteran…

May 28, 2010

Memorial Day

This has very little to do with warehousing, storage, or material handling – the normal stuff you’d see on this blog. It has everything to do with the debt we owe our veterans as the long weekend approaches.  This certainly isn’t original on our part, but it’s about the most apt thing I can think of to say. If you served, or have family who have served, thanks. We owe you everything.

It is the  VETERAN,  not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is  the VETERAN, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN,  not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is  the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

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Section 179 Enhanced Limits Extended for 2010 tax year

May 25, 2010

This is great news for small business. How great?

All businesses that purchase or finance less than $800,000 in business equipment should qualify for the Section 179 Deduction. To qualify for the Section 179 Deduction, the equipment purchased must be placed into service between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010. The list of qualifying equipment includes machines purchased for business use, vehicles, computers, and property attached to your building that isn’t part of the structure (essentially, most material handling equipment). For more information, check out the Section 179 website – it has lists of qualifying companies and an online calculator that helps you figure out your position. As always, see a tax professional to ensure your company and purchase qualify.

Please Note – The HIRE Act does not extend the 50% bonus depreciation that was available in the 2009 tax year.  We’ll let you know if there is movement toward extending that credit.

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Posted in News, ROI| No Comments »

Button Control Vertical Carousels Application Guide & Videos

May 17, 2010

button controlled vertical carousels

(Videos after the jump)

Vertical Carousels have always been one of the most efficient ways to improve order picking productivity while saving floor space, but they have always been an expensive proposition. Automated carousel systems have their place, and can provide a high return on investment in the right application, but there are lower-volume applications, or specialized operations where a manually controlled vertical carousel may offer the productivity enhancing & space-saving advantages without the higher cost of automation. These carousels are good for operations where it is desirable to minimize forklifts &  ladders usage for a more ergonomic functionality.

So, when is the right time to use a manually controlled system?

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Posted in Automation, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, ROI, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

Cisco-Eagle Wins AACE Employee Ownership Awards

May 17, 2010

Employee-OwnedThe ESOP Association recently announced its 2010 Annual Awards for Communications Excellence (AACE) award winners, and Cisco-Eagle was among the companies honored. These awards recognize the outstanding communications and educational programs. The awards were presented at the Association’s 33rd Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Cisco-Eagle has been an ESOP (employee owned) company since 2000. Our awards include:

  • 1st Place: Category 5-B, External ESOP Advertising – Website
  • Runner Up: Category 3-A, Printed Materials, 250 or fewer employees

For more information on Cisco-Eagle’s employee ownership culture, see our ESOP area.

Read more about the AACE Awards.

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Posted in ESOP, News| No Comments »

Material Handling for Manufacturing Operations – new brochure

May 11, 2010

industrial handling brochureFor decades, Cisco-Eagle has served the needs of heavy manufacturers, particularly those in the energy sector – oil, chemical, pipe and tubing, and other industrial based customers. With our operations in Texas and Oklahoma, that’s only natural. We have recently released a brochure outlining our capabilities, “Material Handling for Manufacturing Operations.” (PDF, opens a new window). This is a brief overview of our capabilities with the kind of handling equipment these companies require:

We can send you a copy if you want one – just call customer service for assistance. Also, check out Manufacturing Case Studies for some detailed stories of industrial applications we have executed.

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Posted in Conveyor, Lifts, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Safety & Ergonomics| No Comments »

Carts vs. Conveyors in Product Transport Operations

May 10, 2010

conveyors vs. carts for transport

When you are moving items such as cartons, bins, or components through a facility, several methods are available. Most of the time the choice is between non-powered carts & trucks or conveyors, whether power or gravity. (If you’re moving pallets, there are other methods and issues). Generally, conveyors deliver a less manual, safer operation with added efficiency across the board. Products are moved faster and fewer employees are required to accomplish the same tasks. Conveyors minimize fatigue and reduce potential manual lifting injuries. This improved handling has the potential to reduce worker compensation claims and expenses

But when do you make the leap from a manual, cart-driven system to a conveyor transport system?

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Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Docks & Shipping, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, ROI, Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

Extenda conveyor belt pusher is an excellent choice where space is minimal, but the load requires 90-degree sortation

April 21, 2010
90-degree sortation pusher

Hytrol PIB Extenda Pusher

The construction of the Extenda Pusher lends itself to both speed and strength. The robust cylinders – stabilized by tandem aluminum guides – provide the power, while the lightweight aluminum pusher face enhances the speed. With throughput rates of up to 50 cartons per minute, it is easy to see why Hytrol’s Extenda Pusher is the smartest choice for your system. Available in 4 stroke lengths, it mounts to units with overall conveyor widths of 18″, 24″, 30″, and 36″. Unique to this style pusher are proximity sensors for both extend and return signals, which allow you to adjust the stroke length. Its black composite guards are secure yet lightweight and simple to remove. Another standard feature is the emergency stop that when activated immediately empties air pressure stored within the pusher, ensuring safe operation. This space-saving design makes it a great choice for systems where mounting space is minimal, yet products require 90 degree sortation.

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Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »