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

What Pressures are Distribution Center Managers Facing in 2017?

March 21, 2017

fulfillment warehouse distribution center

In Logistics Management Magazine’s 2017 Warehouse/DC survey, there isn’t a lot that will surprise people on the front line of order fulfillment, storage, logistics and distribution management. As it has been for a while, e-commerce is driving the train, and its effects cascade into the rest of the business.  What are the major takeways?

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Posted in Automation, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Warehousing| No Comments »

10 Tips: Pick-to-Light Systems for Order Fulfillment

March 16, 2017

pick to light for order fulfillment

Light-directed picking is the heavyweight champion when it comes to productivity gains, order picking speed, increased accuracy, and ease of operator development.

Because it’s 100% hands free and requires no headpiece, it’s also highly flexible for many challenging fulfillment operations. We’ve compiled ten ways to analyze your operation to determine if these systems would be a fit for you. Obviously, more specific information will be needed, but this should get you started.

We spoke with Lightning Pick’s Dave Broadfoot about the best ways to ensure you are making a good pick to light decision.

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Factors for Robotic Bag Palletizing Systems

March 2, 2017

Robotic palletizer bag effector

Above: SAS Automation standardized bag-gripper

Palletizing is a standard material handling application for industrial robots, and bag palletizing is one of the most typical applications. Why? Because bag palletizing is simpler and easier than case palletizing. If your operation requires bag stacking/pallet loading – and you want to improve speed, reduce mistakes, and create a more ergonomic system, here are the things you need to know.

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Posted in Automation, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Palletizers| No Comments »

Planning the Future of Your Warehousing Operation: Don’t be Left Behind

January 24, 2017

a concept for mobile robotics

The landscape is constantly changing for warehousing, distribution and order fulfillment operations, but it’s rarely changed so quickly as the last half decade — and will likely change even more the next five years. The rapid growth of smart devices, database efficiency, and robotics guarantees that elite storage and order picking operations in 2025 will be different than those of today.

In fact, distribution centers and warehouse operations that want to thrive must change, adapt and think differently.

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Posted in Automation, Robotics, Third Party Logistics, Warehousing| No Comments »

For 3PLs, Flexibility is a Critical Business Goal

January 18, 2017

Automated distribution warehouse

3PL companies operate in an environment that demands rapid changes and requires continual evolution.

Client requirements can change in a week (or less). New business opportunities can spring up that were unanticipated a month before. From my days working for a 3PL, I know that the ability to swiftly change in order to satisfy both your customer’s increasing demands and those of an industry that never rests were a top priority. The problem? That’s easy to understand, but hard to do.

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Posted in Automation, Inventory Management, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Space Saving, Supply Chain, Third Party Logistics, Warehousing| No Comments »

In Tight Labor Markets, How Can Warehouses Thrive?

August 12, 2016

warehouse worker in a pallet rack aisle

Distribution is growing — booming, some would say — particularly in larger markets. This tend is being driven by many factors, including a sustained economic recovery and low unemployment rates. Also, e-commerce powers like Amazon are in the midst of one-day or same-day delivery guarantees that require larger, more capable distribution networks that can serve major markets faster and usually within close proximity. These factors help to create stress on labor shortages in these cities, as newer distribution facilities open and existing ones expand. Add to that, the ongoing woes with skilled labor and a generally aging labor force.

How can you cope with a tight labor market?

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Posted in Automation, Order Picking & Fulfillment, ROI, Third Party Logistics, Warehousing| No Comments »

Case Study: American Greetings Reduces Maintenance, Noise Levels

May 3, 2016

Conveyor system in Arkansas

American Greetings, the largest greeting card company in the world, with a mission that includes the desire to make the world “a more thoughtful and caring place,” had an issue with its aging conveyor system. The company creates a variety of greeting cards and other products in its massive Osceola, Arkansas facility (which has more than 10 miles of conveyors and occupies a space around the size of 57 football fields).

The plant runs 24 hours, so finding a way to upgrade without reducing production was a challenge.

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Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Manufacturing, News| 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 »

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 »

Goods-to-Picker Methods and Alternatives

October 29, 2015

as rs system

The long path from person to product

In a distribution or warehousing operation, the most common working concept is “person-to-goods” order picking, which simply means that order pickers move to storage locations, often pushing or pulling carts and reading orders off paper. These pickers spend significant amounts of time walking between storage, and are then expected to decipher an order picking sheet. These operations spend lots of money and time and resources on those steps. Picking paths and storage locations evolve as inventory profiles change — and not always for the better.

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