Material Handling Experts


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

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 »

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 »

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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Pop Quiz: The Best Way to Help Prevent a Forklift Collision

September 18, 2014

dangeorous warehouse intersection

It would be nice if every aisle and intersection, every wall cut-away, every rack corner, were visible. But I’ve been in these places and seen the difficulty storage or manufacturing facilities endure when it comes to the delicate balance between work velocity, employee safety, and productivity. On the floor of a bustling facility, in those areas where lighting isn’t the best, where busy forklift drivers  are sweating to fill orders, you’re going to have odd intersections. No doubt about that. This is one such intersection in a real facility. Our traffic management and safety teams use it as an exercise. You have options to help reduce accidents at this intersection…what would you do?

request an audit of your facility

Posted in AisleCop, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing| No Comments »

What’s the Best Pallet Rack for Your Application?

September 15, 2014

Drive-in Pallet Rack

When approaching pallet rack choices, cost, storage density and construction elements all play a role in making a choice. While cost is always a prime concern, be mindful that cost is often tied to storage density. Cheaper pallet rack tends to not have as much storage density as more expensive rack. But before you consider cost, you must decide what applications you will use the pallet rack for.

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Posted in Inventory Management, Manufacturing, Pallet Rack, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

Moving Materials Efficiently without a Forklift

September 5, 2014
Lift'N Buddy

Powered Lift Hand Truck

Lifter Transporter

Lifter Transporter

Portable Stacker

Portable Stacker

Manual Stacker

Manual Stacker

Counterweight Stacker

Counterweight Stacker

Powered Stacker

Powered Stacker

Non-Straddling Stacker

Non-straddling Stacker

In facilities that ship mixed loads or do order fulfillment, materials may not always be palleted when moved or in full pallet loads, which makes forklift use less efficient and more troublesome than some often overlooked methods that work quite well.

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Posted in Docks & Shipping, Inventory Management, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Product Ideas, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing| No Comments »

Video Library: Carts, Trucks & Mobile Equipment for Safe, Reliable Product Transport

August 29, 2014

Mobile stock chaser vehicle

Preventing injury in the workplace isn’t just the right thing to do: It makes smart business sense, too. With 1,000,000 reported back injuries a year, accounting for one quarter of all workers’ compensation claims (according to U.S. Department of Labor statistics), it’s critical for employees to take the proper precautions when transporting materials in the warehouse or distribution center.

Our previous video blog in this series dealt with safety gates & rails to protect employees, inventory, and equipment. Today, we’ll explore the ways in which employees can ensure safety and productivity when transporting materials via carts, trucks & mobile equipment and industrial powered vehicles:

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

Additions to Improve Your Pallet Storage

August 22, 2014
Pallet Rack with Safety Netting
 Pallet Rack with Mesh Cages

Pallet Rack with Safety Netting

Pallet Rack with Wire Mesh Caging

People store all kinds of things on pallet rack – from truck engines to fine jewelry. How do you protect valuable goods from being accessed by unauthorized personnel? What about inventory toppling off the back of the rack into an aisle where workers are?

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Posted in Inventory Management, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Pallet Rack, Product Ideas, Safety & Ergonomics, Security, Warehousing| No Comments »