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

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 »

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 »

Posted in Conveyor, ROI| No Comments »

Advantages of Modular Systems

September 22, 2014

Modular Workbench Systems

Ever try adding new equipment to a work space? Typically, the new stuff doesn’t fit nicely with the old stuff –  holes don’t line up, one is taller than the other, larger, or smaller. You end up frustrated, and waste a great deal of time and money trying to get new parts to work together with the old. That’s why modular is the way to go if you think you might be adding to a system at some point.

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Posted in Industrial Shelving, Material Handling, Product Ideas, Space Saving, Workbenches & Stations| No Comments »