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

Upcoming Material Handling & Logistics Events

November 21, 2014

Trade Show Floor

We’ve compiled a list of upcoming materials handling, logistics, manufacturing, and other conferences you may want to attend in the coming months. Stay tuned – we’ll add more as they become available.

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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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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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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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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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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 »

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Pick Light vs. Voice-Directed vs. RF Picking Systems

October 1, 2014

light directed picking

These systems are at their best for open case picking systems. When you’re picking full pallets and cases, they’re less useful, although that depends on the situation. You can mix these systems in a single facility of pick pod area for maximum effect with inventory slotted to match the necessary profile. Each has a role, depending on what you’re picking, how your facility is set up, and the nature of your picking methodology. What might be best for a given situation?

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Conveyor Costs: The Information You’re Overlooking

September 30, 2014

conveyor and labeling system

A conveyor system is an investment that you don’t take lightly—you want the best equipment you can buy for your money. The most obvious cost of that equipment will be the dollar number on the initial invoice, but there’s more to consider when purchasing a conveyor. That’s why you should consider the Total Cost of Ownership for your system, and what you can do to decrease it in the long-term.

This article covers the Total Cost of Ownership—why it’s important, how to calculate it, and what you can do to improve it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pop Quiz: The Best Way to Help Prevent a Forklift Collision

September 18, 2014

dangeorous warehouse intersection

It would be nice if every aisle and intersection, every wall cut-away, every rack corner, were visible. But I’ve been in these places and seen the difficulty storage or manufacturing facilities endure when it comes to the delicate balance between work velocity, employee safety, and productivity. On the floor of a bustling facility, in those areas where lighting isn’t the best, where busy forklift drivers  are sweating to fill orders, you’re going to have odd intersections. No doubt about that. This is one such intersection in a real facility. Our traffic management and safety teams use it as an exercise. You have options to help reduce accidents at this intersection…what would you do?

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Lean Warehousing and Manufacturing Roundup

September 14, 2014

flow cell work station application

Lean manufacturing has been the rage for some time now, but the process isn’t as prevalent in the warehousing and distribution sector. This is unfortunate, because the principle of doing more with less speaks to the very core of warehousing. The reason to go lean in warehousing is to reduce reliance on warehousing. Here is a lean roundup of articles, blog posts, video, and more from around the web.

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