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25 Informative Manufacturing & Industrial Profiles to Follow on Twitter

March 6, 2014

Twitter Logo2014 is shaping up to be a year of transition for the manufacturing sector, with issues in talent development, an aging work force, the re-shoring of manufacturing in some sectors, and the forward moment of automation taking center stage.

Where can you go for the latest in industrial manufacturing news, trends, research, events, and discussions? Social media is one solution. With roughly one billion registered users, Twitter can be an invaluable resource for discovering what distributors, suppliers, publications, consultants, journalists, bloggers, and industry experts are discussing.

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The Case for a “Supersized” Receiving Area

March 3, 2014

Dock door in a receiving area

Receiving is an often-overlooked but critical component to warehouse workflow. Receiving  mistakes can flow through every other aspect of your operation.

If you can’t quickly and accurately break down landed shipments and send them to effective putaway, you can sabotage every other aspect of the operation. It has a direct impact on inventory accuracy (and security – in fact receiving is an area of particular vulnerability), throughput, and accurate fulfillment. Too little receiving space tends to become a root cause for many errors and throughput headaches.

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Posted in Docks & Shipping, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

Quick Guide to Order Picking Methods & Productivity

February 12, 2014

Order picking from rack

When you are working on an order picking strategy, knowing the metrics for picking rates may be helpful. Labor productivity is the key to any warehousing or order picking operation, since labor tends to be the largest single cost factor in these operations. It’s critical to understand production rates for processes that absorb labor hours, energy, money, and time.

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AisleCop® a Finalist for MHI 2014 Innovation Awards

February 7, 2014

AisleCop Forklift Safety System

The Material Handling Industry of America (MHI) has named Cisco-Eagle’s AisleCop® Automated Forklift Safety System a finalist for the 2014 Innovation Award, Best New Innovation Category. Judging, and the final awards, happens at Modex 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Manufacturing: Attacking the Skills Gap

February 3, 2014

CNC manufacturing cutting operation with bridge crane

In its 2011 “Skills Gap in Manufacturing” report, the Manufacturing Institute laid out the situation: as American manufacturing continues to expand, a lack of critical skills in the workforce is becoming an increasingly common limitation. In many places, we see classified ad pages full of jobs for skilled positions like CNC machinists, high-volume assembly technicians, welders, or electricians. With a reported 600,000 unfilled jobs in the manufacturing sector, it’s something that has to be addressed.

Certainly, lower-cost foreign labor is still a drain, but there is little manufacturers can do about that. What can manufacturers do?

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Posted in Manufacturing, Palletizers, Robotics| No Comments »

2014 Educational Opportunities for Manufacturing & Distribution Professionals

January 15, 2014

Are you interested in networking, education, and exposure to new ideas for this year? There are a number of excellent shows available, and more coming. These events always tend to offer a bit of self promotion, but a lot of solid information. In particular if you’re undertaking a major expansion or project in the next year or two, it’s always a good idea to take some time to learn, grow, and expand your horizons.

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Mid-America Industrial Park – a Great Video

January 10, 2014

We have multiple customers at the Mid-America Industrial Park, in Pryor Oklahoma. They’ve produced an excellent video on their facilities, locations, and other advantages. Check it out!

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10 Insights on 2014 Manufacturing Trends

January 6, 2014

manufacturing facility

We recently came across a great discussion in the LinkedIn Manufacturing Leadership Community asking for feedback on important manufacturing issues affecting manufacturers and the economy in 2014. Excellent points were raised on technological innovation, skilled worker shortages, and broader human resources and training issues.

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Another Reminder: The Importance of Lockout/Tagout

December 19, 2013

Conveyor order picking

We talk safety a lot,  mainly because the environment we work in, and the customers we work with use equipment like forklifts and conveyors in areas where interaction with people is unavoidable. We believe the first responsibility we have to our customers, and the first responsibility our customers have to themselves, is safety. Many of the wonderful benefits of material handling equipment comes with the risk of injury. It’s powerful machinery, and people must pick from it, walk near, it or otherwise interact with it. 

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Lean Manufacturing Practices of the Future

December 16, 2013

Lean manufacturing line for a rooftop air conditioner maker

You want your company to be a leader in your field. You want to provide the best product to your customers at the best price, and cut needless costs, transactions, touches, and clutter that inhibit productivity. The term “lean production system” was coined in 1988, and manufacturers have been honing their operations to conform to lean principles ever since.

It starts with making sure every part of your organization is doing its job well; and is armed by process to execute its mission.

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