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Factors for Industrial Facility Size & Layout

November 13, 2014

 

warehouse-space

Facility layout is a complex and sometimes maddening process. You are often limited by budget, space, time, or scheduling beyond your control. What factors should you consider when you allocate space, either in a new facility or a redesigned one?

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Posted in Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

Order Picking Error Rates: What’s Acceptable?

November 5, 2014

order picking at a conveyor line

It’s easy to say that you’re striving for 100% accurate pick rates, but how realistic is that goal? And should it be the actual number you shoot for? Mis-picked orders, any number of them, are expensive. Incorrect orders are expensive to re-pick. They’re expensive to return and restock. Shipping dollars are lost both directions. Most importantly, mistakes are expensive because they can cost you customers.

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Posted in Order Picking & Fulfillment, ROI| No Comments »

How Flow Rail Helps Reclaim Storage Space In Push-Back Rack

October 30, 2014

PushBack Rack

Push back rack operates through a system of carts that ride on rails in the pallet rack. Each set of rails has an incline through which gravity “pushes” all pallets toward the front of the rack. The carts fit atop one another when the bay is empty, and as pallets are placed on carts, previously loaded carts are “pushed back” by each added pallet, hence the name for this rack system. Push back rack is a last-in first-out system that reduces pick time because all pick faces are at the front of the pallet rack. While there are many benefits in using Push back rack, there are also some limitations.

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This article is part of a series of articles on Flow Rail. Click on a link below to view one of the other articles.
  1. How Flow Rail Systems Improve Drive-In Racks
  2. How Flow Rail Helps Reclaim Storage Space In Push-Back Rack
  3. High Density Pallet Storage Racks: Comparing Pushback, Drive-In, and Flow Rail

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Posted in Pallet Rack, Product Ideas, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

Questions to Ask: Carousel Picking Systems

October 28, 2014

horizontal carousels

Carousels are a high performance order picking technology option, but only if you match them to the right operational needs and applications. If you are considering a carousel system for your operation, it’s important to understand when these “goods to person” picking systems are appropriate, and where manual picking might still work better for you. The real issue is, can you make a carousel, or any automated solution, outperform a good manual system?

The answer is: not always. Let’s look at ways you can push your project in the right direction.

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Posted in Automation, Inventory Management, Order Picking & Fulfillment| No Comments »

How Flow Rail Systems Improve Drive-In Racks

October 17, 2014

drive in application converted with flow rail

Drive-in rack is one of the best high-density pallet storage methods available, but it’s always had some drawbacks:

  • Forklift damage within the lane is always a possibility as drivers must drive in, then back out inside the rack structure
  • Since there must be driving space, drive-in racks lack lateral braces, which make them somewhat more vulnerable to collapse if struck
  • Driving into and out of that rack structure also takes time
  • Drive-in racks allow you to store only one SKU per bay
  • Drive-in structures are typically 30 to 40% empty at any given time

Now there is a way to get the benefits of drive-in rack – dense storage through deep lanes – without the dangers inherent with driving into the rack space.

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This article is part of a series of articles on Flow Rail. Click on a link below to view one of the other articles.
  1. How Flow Rail Systems Improve Drive-In Racks
  2. How Flow Rail Helps Reclaim Storage Space In Push-Back Rack
  3. High Density Pallet Storage Racks: Comparing Pushback, Drive-In, and Flow Rail

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

Manufacturing Automation: What Is It? Where Is It Going?

October 15, 2014

Industrial Robotics

Industrial engineers have envisioned fully automated factories since at least the middle of the 20th century. But the real race to automate manufacturing can be said to have begun in the 1980s, when US car manufacturers came up with the vision of “lights-out” manufacturing. The idea was to beat their rivals by automating the factories to such an extent that the entire manufacturing process could be left to robots. To a great extent, it has remained only a vision so far. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Automation, Manufacturing, Robotics| 2 Comments »

Forklift Safety Steps to Take Before Every Shift

October 10, 2014

Forklift raising pallet load onto pallet rack
Fork lifts are the mules of the industry, and we expect them to just power up and run when we need them to, but there are some very important safety aspects that should be taken care of before every shift. Safety steps that lengthen the service life of the vehicle, assure the vehicle operates as it should, and helps make it more visible to others working in the same space with the forklift. Read the rest of this entry »

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Manufacturing News Roundup: Q3 2014

October 9, 2014

robotic palletizing system

As we wrote in June, the manufacturing sector continues to evolve this year, including technology, innovation, reshoring, labor shifts, and more. To highlight these important trends, research, and discussions, we’ve begun compiling a quarterly industry news roundup. During Q3, the manufacturing sector experienced continued advancements in technological innovations and steady growth in a variety of areas. The following is a collection of manufacturing reports and articles on various topics affecting the industry from Q3 2014: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Automation, Manufacturing, News, Robotics, Warehousing| 1 Comment »

Freight Claims: What to do, When to do it

October 6, 2014

Inspecting a shipment for damage

You placed your order and the freight truck just drove up to the dock. As you watch, workers unload the new equipment while the truck driver waits, clipboard in hand, for you to sign off on the delivery.

Stop. Don’t sign the bill of lading just yet.

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Posted in Docks & Shipping, Warehousing| 1 Comment »

Are We Automating Jobs Away?

October 3, 2014

A Variety of robots

In the last 200 years 70% of jobs done by American workers have been replaced by automation – and during the next century we will see another automation revolution that replaces 70% of American jobs, again.

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Posted in Automation, Lean, Material Handling, Robotics, Safety & Ergonomics| No Comments »