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

How to Reduce Your Storage Footprint with Spiral Conveyors

February 9, 2016

spiral conveyor system

In any warehouse or distribution facility, there are two critical—and usually very limited—commodities: time and space.

Warehouses and DC’s are limited by these two constraints – you basically have your square footage, your people, and 24 hours in a day—or less, if you aren’t running three shifts. These constraints drive us to refine processes and optimize performance. Let’s discuss a type of equipment that can save time and slash the need for space: spiral conveyors.

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

3 Ways Conveyors Boost Flexibility

February 2, 2016

overhead, multi-tier conveyor system
From throughput requirements to building expansions, you want to be ready for your company’s future. Sometimes these changes take place over longer periods of time, and sometimes they’re lightning-fast—your products and throughput can change from season to season based on shifting customer demands, market conditions, explosive growth, and other factors outside your control.

Sometimes conveyors are incorrectly called inflexible since they are often installed on a floor level, but their benefits can ultimately create greater versatility by optimizing an operation and creating more efficient material flow. Let’s look at 3 ways conveyors increase operational flexibility: Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Conveyor, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Warehousing| No Comments »

5 Key Warehouse Performance Metrics for an Effective Operation

January 28, 2016

warehouse operations
Performance metrics are a universal way to measure a warehouse operation’s overall effectiveness, quality, and productivity. In today’s fast-paced and competitive environment, setting benchmarks and goals for a company is essential, but it’s not enough to set lofty goals for the coming year in terms of revenue, profits, or production. In the warehouse, success is the sum of all its parts. To reach overall production, quality, safety, or service goals, an examination of each step is essential. Through this evaluation process of different performance metrics, managers can find actionable information and begin prioritizing problems within a warehousing or distribution operation.

We’ve previously discussed how key performance indicators (KPIs) demonstrate the value of warehouse functions. Now, let’s take a dive deeper into five specific performance metrics to consider implementing in the modern warehouse. Read the rest of this entry »

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

Safety and Cranes: What You Need to Know

January 26, 2016

gantry crane system
The jib, gantry and bridge cranes used in material handling applications are typically smaller, lower capacity, and used with a much wider array of end effectors — magnetic connections, manipulators, bundlers and other specialized end effectors along with the standard hook mounts — than construction cranes, but many of the same safety and application issues are shared by both types of crane systems. Read the rest of this entry »

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

Comparing Pallet Rack Frame Protectors

January 21, 2016

pallet rack loading
Pallet rack damage can be extremely costly and dangerous. Damaged racks are more likely to collapse or spill their loads, so avoiding that damage is critical.

Day after day, year after year, it’s inevitable that a busy forklift driver in a fast-paced operation will eventually hit a rack upright. I’ve been in many facilities and seen lots of damaged frames, ranging from paint scrapes to twisted steel. This might not cause an immediate collapse, although it can. It does set you up for trouble down the road when another truck impacts the same upright, the rack is overloaded or loaded incorrectly.

Any dented, gouged or twisted rack uprights should be replaced, but how can you avoid that damage in the first place? Let’s examine some common rack protector types and where they might fit for you.

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Posted in Pallet Rack, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing| No Comments »

7 Ways Industrial Housekeeping Boosts Productivity & Safety

January 14, 2016

WarehouseRacking

Most people work less effectively, are less comfortable, and have poorer attitudes in a messy environment. For industrial facility operators, housekeeping can sometimes lag behind with busy days where people hardly have time to look up, much less deal with the clutter and byproducts of meeting shipping deadlines or production demands.

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Posted in Lean, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing| No Comments »

10 Expert Insights on 2016 Manufacturing Trends

January 12, 2016

millennials-manufacturing

As noted in one Citrix report, 2016 is set to become a watershed year for manufacturing.
“The industry is showing signs of reinvention in areas including automation, 3d printing and data analysis, and the next five years looks to be pivotal in realizing this change,” says a Global Manufacturing article on the report findings.

With manufacturing at such a critical point in its long history, the ways in which industry leaders view the changing landscape will likely shape its future. Manufacturing in particular is positioned for domestic growth and, more than ever, industry leaders must guide their organizations strategically.

To get a sense of how experts are approaching the year ahead (and how this year’s trends compare to previous years), we connected with our vendor partners and other industry leading organizations.

The following is a look at 10 expert opinions on 2016 trends: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Automation, Manufacturing, ROI, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing| 1 Comment »

Cisco-Eagle’s 2015 Employee Ownership Poster

November 24, 2015

ESOP poster

Cisco-Eagle runs an annual contest to design an employee ownership poster. Amanda Miller, systems design engineer with Cisco Eagle’s Systems & Design group in Tulsa, Oklahoma, created this year’s winning image. Amanda says her submission was inspired by Mike Rowe’s Facebook post Take Ownership of Even the Dirty Jobs from July 10, 2015.

Amanda wanted her illustration to portray “that, just like the things we personally own, we should treat everything involving our company/job/work like it is ours  – because it is!.” Being an employee owner to Amanda means she realizes more so that she is “an important piece of the whole. Having a ‘stake in the outcome’ makes even the smallest of job tasks seem that much more meaningful.”

Observing teamwork between employees and teams, inspires Amanda.

Joel Pason, Cisco-Eagle’s Oklahoma Manager of Systems & Design observed that “the poster is a great reminder of what it means to be an employee owner. Simply reading the words, preceded by MY, is the perfect way to re-center one’s perspective as an employee owner.”  Pason remarked that Amanda’s “personal accountability, and focus on our company, makes her a great employee owner.”

Miller’s poster will be submitted to represent Cisco-Eagle in the ESOP Associations’ annual contest.

Posted in ESOP, News| No Comments »

Structural vs. Roll-Form Pallet Racks: a Comparison

November 16, 2015

structural rack application

Structural vs. roll form racks: which fits your application and operation best?

Roll-form selective rack is the standard for many industrial storage operations. It’s the go-to rack due to its teardrop assembly, ease-of-use, and strength. Because it doesn’t require bolts or other hardware (aside from a snap-on safety clip) to attach beams to uprights, it’s a popular option for selective industrial pallet storage operations. But there is another option: structural rack with bolt-on beam/frame connections, higher capacities and rigidity.

Why would you use structural racks rather than roll-form racking?

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Posted in Material Handling, Pallet Rack, Product Ideas, Warehousing| No Comments »

How Conveyors Improve Lean Operations

November 12, 2015

lean-manufacturing

In Lean Manufacturing, less is more.

A Lean operation’s ultimate goal is to eliminate waste in a system, which it achieves by creating flexibility and disposing of overproduction. Lean environments sometimes shy away from using powered conveyors in their operations, but when correctly applied, automation propels Lean Manufacturing goals—not hinders them. It’s the “secret sauce” of excellent lean manufacturing and warehousing operations.

In a true Lean environment, the customer is paramount. In other words, you need to consider what the customer wants to pay for at every point in your production. The automated solutions of today can help your Lean Manufacturing operation in three significant ways. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Lean, Manufacturing, Warehousing| 2 Comments »