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

WERC Sets 2010 Annual Conference

January 26, 2010

WERC Conference logo

WERC (Warehousing Education and Research Council) has announced its 2010 Annual conference, geared for the needs of warehouse and distribution management. The conference is set for May 16-19, 2010. The WERC conference offers on a strong educational program for warehousing/distribution professionals from long-time to just-starting-out. Practitioners, subject matter experts, industry suppliers and academics freely share their experience and ideas. You’ll walk away with new insights on the best ways to optimize resources, maximize productivity and optimize performance. For more information or registration details, visit the official WERC site.

Posted in Automation, Docks & Shipping, Material Handling, News, Order Picking & Fulfillment, ROI, Safety & Ergonomics, Supply Chain, Sustainability| No Comments »

Horizontal Carousels: why top driven is better

January 6, 2010

top driven horizontal carousel

The age-old argument of top-versus bottom-driven horizontal carousels comes up all too frequently (at least among carousel people). You may think it doesn’t really matter that much but in fact, it makes all the difference in the world. Supporting something from underneath makes sense. After all, trains, cars and most rolling objects are bottom-supported. Yet, the best designed horizontal carousels in the world are top-supported units that outperform bottom-supported units in both speed and efficiency. How can that be?

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

Improve order picking processes without automation

November 20, 2009

Cliff Holste at Supply Chain Digest (opens in a new window) has a good piece on ways to improve picking productivity.

Distribution centers will benefit from emerging automated case picking technologies, but those don’t fit for every operation, at every level. They’re also expensive upgrades, so your ROI has to be considered as well.

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More Conveyor White Papers Published

October 27, 2009

conveyor white papers

We just finished adding 3 new Conveyor White Papers, including helpful information on Critical Product and Load Orientation, a Picking, Packing and Loading Application Matrix, and Sortation System Controls Comparisons table. All of these documents are PDF files, and all of them open in new windows. They’re all single-page, designed for quick downloading and reading. We will be adding more of these as they’re produced, so check back often.

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Conveyor Sustainability

July 27, 2009

the green warehouseSustainability and economic considerations get along so well that you might as well call them best friends. Saving energy is one step in the process, but that’s not the end of it. For instance, Hytrol’s E24 and E24EZ conveyor lines are a good example. Aside from providing a much-needed alternative to conventional 24-volt conveyor rollers, these conveyors have immediate and significant sustainability advantages.

How green does conveyor get?

In the case of E24, we’re talking about energy savings as high as 60%.  But then we get into raw materials savings: An E24 conveyor lasts about 6 times as long as a conventional roller at 125,000 hours life expectancy (24/7 runtime). That’s less steel and power used to manufacture it. E24EZ conveyors have a built-in that allows the conveyors to enter an energy-saving “sleep mode” for the ultimate in quiet, efficient, sustainable powered roller conveyor. Because the conveyor can use only one motor for all widths, it’s excellent for reducing needs for specialized, energy-consuming motors. With 3 moving parts, there are many fewer opportunities for parts failure, and the inefficiency that comes with it.

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White Paper: Conveyor Systems Implementation Considerations

July 20, 2009

conveyor white paper logo

We’ve been posting a series of brief conveyor white papers. There are 5 now, with many others in development for future publication. You’ll always be able to download these PDF files from our site, and will be informed as there are new ones.  This paper, “Conveyor System Implementation Considerations” (PDF file; opens in a new window) focuses on implementation considerations.

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10 steps to supply chain sustainability

July 17, 2009

green warehouse conveyor

The Material Handling Industry of America has posted a video that may be helpful if you are starting the process of “greening” your supply chain.

Baby steps are important, especially at the plant level. For instance, in a recent Cisco-Eagle white paper (PDF), we point out the value of energy efficient conveyor motors. A thousand feet of conveyor outfitted with energy efficient motors could cut enough energy costs over five years to pay for 90% of the cost of the equipment. Also, besides its money savings and “green” profile, you are also saving on heat, which means the equipment may require less maintenance, and endure less wear and tear. It’s a win-win.

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Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Manufacturing, Material Handling, News, Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Supply Chain, Sustainability, Warehousing| No Comments »

CEMA releases unit handling conveyor application guidebook

June 18, 2009

CEMA application guide for unit handling conveyors

CEMA, (Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association) has released its Application Guide for Unit Handling Conveyors.  This is an in-depth guide for design details and application guidance of Unit Handling Conveyors (these conveyors typically mean pallet handling, but also can encompass cartons, totes, monorail, and manufactured items.  This application guide was collaborated by conveyor industry leaders. Order yours directly from CEMA for $250 plus ship/handling charges of $15.75 per single copy. CEMA may offer discounts of orders of 20+ books.

More on Unit Handling Conveyors:

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Saving Space: Shelves vs. Modular Drawers vs. Flow Racking vs. Vertical Carousels

June 3, 2009

Vertical carousels and space savings

This is a good visual comparison of how much space is utilized by various storage methods. The vertical carousel provides the same amount of storage space as several rows of shelving or modular drawer storage. In this particular instance, the carousel saves over 1,400 square feet of floor space when compared to shelving. Of course, you know the cost differences are significant, but there are other factors in making a decision about these types of storage equipment.

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Posted in Automation, Industrial Shelving, Material Handling, Pallet Rack, Space Saving, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »

The Plight of the Warehouse Manager

May 6, 2009

warehouse manager - distribution center management

With the advent of widespread e-commerce fulfillment, just-in-time principles, lean management, supply chain collaboration, globalization, the need for ever-faster response, and constant pressure to reduce expenses through headcount and shift reductions, today’s warehouse manager is being asked to do more than ever before.

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