Material Handling Experts


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

What are the Latest Industrial Automation & Robotics Trends?

June 12, 2015

ProMat 2015

According to new research from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), manufacturers will significantly accelerate their use of industrial robots over the next decade. BCG data shows approximately 1.2 advanced robots are expected to be deployed across the U.S. by the year 2025, resulting in 25% of all manufacturing functions becoming fully automated. A USA Today article on the research findings notes that, within two years, the number of advanced robots in the U.S. will begin to grow by 10% a year. “Replacing employees with robots is projected to result in a manufacturing workforce that’s 22% — or a few million workers — smaller by 2025 than it otherwise would have been,” says USA Today.

So what does all of this mean for manufacturing and distribution?

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Introducing the AisleAlert Collision Warning System

June 11, 2015

This video illustrates the new AisleAlert intersection warning system, which is ideal for warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and other applications where visibility or heavy cross-traffic volumes may cause deadly collisions between forklifts, pedestrians and other industrial traffic. As traffic approaches the protected intersection, motion sensors detect the converging motion and trigger a bright LED light that flashes down onto the floor below the sensor at the center of the intersection. This positioning is unique–and remarkably visible.  Since the system utilizes reliable motion detection and intelligent controls, it activates only when traffic is detected in at least two directions moving toward the monitored area. Check it out if you are looking for an economical way increase safety in your facility.
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Posted in AisleCop, Docks & Shipping, Safety & Ergonomics, Video| No Comments »

15 Experts Weigh in on Manufacturing’s Shifting Workforce Demographics

June 4, 2015

Industrial workers

Manufacturing skills gap. Talent shortage. Shifting workforce demographics. What are the trends?

Call it what you will, but the fact remains that the U.S. manufacturing industry faces a pressing issue in the coming years if current worker retirement rates continue to accelerate and projections for industry expansion prove accurate. Research from the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte indicates there could be as many as 2 million unfilled manufacturing jobs by 2025, up from initial estimates of 600,000. As noted in a Huffington Post article on the research findings, retirement and rapid industry growth are the two driving factors contributing to the skills shortage.

To get a better sense of how the industry is addressing the challenges (and potential opportunities) associated with the increasing skills gap, we recently conferred with industry partners, leaders, and subject matter experts.

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Hytrol Introduces New DCEZD-62, DCEZD-63, and a New End Drive for DC-62 Drag Chain Conveyors

June 1, 2015

pallet conveyors

Our partners at Hytrol Conveyors have introduced a couple of new upgrades to drag chain conveyors.

First, they are rolling out two new models, the DCEZ the DCEZD-62 and DCEZD-63 heavy duty drag chain pallet conveyors. These are 2-and-3-strand drag chain conveyors ideal for medium duty zero-pressure accumulation. They utilize Hytrol’s EZLogic® Accumulation System and EZDrive decentralized drive system for non-reversing applications. They’re also manufacturing a new end drive for the DC-62 and DC-63, the two-and three-strand drag chain conveyors designed to handle pallets.

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

How RWM Casters is Adapting to a Changing Manufacturing World

May 28, 2015

ProMat 2015
While at ProMat 2015 we caught up with Mike Twitty at the RWM Casters booth to chat about new trends, changes, and  initiatives he’s seen in the industry. Here’s  what Mike had to say:

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Conveyor Maintenance Tips to Reduce Downtime, Missed Deadlines & Headaches

May 26, 2015

conveyor maintenance team

Your conveyors are the unsung hero of your facility, delivering product quickly and efficiently at the push of a button (or automatically in many cases) where it’s needed, when it’s needed. Most people don’t think about their conveyors and automated equipment much, but if it breaks down, you suddenly can’t think of much else. You simply can’t afford downtime when material handling equipment is delivering your core business.

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Climate Control Options for Industrial Operations

May 21, 2015

High-volume Low-speed Fan
Do areas of your facility require constant temperatures? Are your employees dealing with significant seasonal temperature variations? These situations all require special conditions – often conditions that are hard to control with people and equipment moving in and out all the time. Let’s examine some climate control options outside the world of HVAC equipment.

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Posted in Manufacturing, Product Ideas, Sustainability, Warehousing| No Comments »

How Warehouse Safety Technology is Changing Everything

May 19, 2015

order picking in a rack aisle

Scene: a typical, busy warehouse

A fulfillment center with row upon row of pallet racks. Eight dock doors occupy one wall of the building, some for receiving, some for shipping. Pick workers work in the rack aisles pushing carts and pallet jacks loaded with picked orders. Other pick workers have empty totes on carts for pulling orders. Fork trucks stock pallet rack and pull bulk stock for large orders. Dock doors are left open much of the time, even when there’s no trailer at the dock.

How many potential safety risks can you envision in this scenario? How do you prevent those from happening?

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What’s Next for Manufacturing Technology?

May 14, 2015

proMat 2015 photo

A record number of manufacturing and supply chain professionals gathered in Chicago at the end of March for ProMat 2015, the largest material handling and logistics trade expo in North America. According to an MHI press release, registration topped 37,000—an 8.8% increase in attendance over the 2013 show.

“ProMat 2015 was the largest in the event’s 30-year history,” said MHI CEO George Prest. “The energy level among visitors and exhibitors was at an all-time high.” So what were attendees buzzing about during the show? Manufacturing technology was one topic discussed at length during the four-day event.

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High-Speed Doors Enhance Productivity, Limit Contaminants, Reduce Energy Costs

May 12, 2015

High-Speed Vinyl Door

Somewhere in your facility, there may be a place where someone frequently shouts “shut the door!”

Perhaps you have operations that require maintaining temperatures within certain limits. There may also be areas heavy-traffic areas where a conventional overhead door’s slow lift and close rates cause delays, slower throughput and cause reduced productivity from waiting on a door to open.

These are situations where a high-speed door may solve a variety of problems. From limiting airborne debris, dust and contaminant infiltration to temperature regulation, high-speed doors pick up the pace in your facility even as they limit the amount of exposure to negative environmental influences. They open and close so quickly that forklifts and people hardly need wait on the door in order to pass through the doorway. Let’s take a few minutes to explore the types and key features of high-speed doors.
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Posted in Cross Docking, Docks & Shipping, Lean, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Product Ideas, Security, Warehousing| No Comments »