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

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

stacker unloading a truck
Forklifts are ubiquitous in warehousing and other industrial operations, but aren’t necessary in many other applications, such as small assembly shops, retailers, auto dealerships, and others that require materials movement but do not need a forklift, with its maintenance costs, safety issues, driver requirements and its footprint in a smaller facility. What methods can you use instead?
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Posted in Docks & Shipping, 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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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 »

How to Measure and Improve Industrial Storage Space Efficiency

August 18, 2014

Warehouse racks in a layout

All too often, companies struggle because the size of their warehouse is considered in the planning stage, but not the efficient use of that space.

A facility is purchased or leased with the desired set of characteristics, and then work begins. There are significant opportunities in many operations to size up the business mix, order trends, product slotting, and facility layout in a way that helps improve everything from storage density to pick rates to error rates to labor costs. But first we must know the total storage potential of the facility, and work backwards from there.

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

Guard Rail: When, Where and What

August 15, 2014

Forklift stopped by guardrail

Choosing guard rail can be confusing unless you understand clearly what kinds of conditions you are protecting against and what assets you are protecting. Whether it be fall protection for workers or asset protection from industrial vehicle usage, there is a guard rail that fits that need.

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Posted in Manufacturing, Material Handling, Pallet Rack, Product Ideas, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing| No Comments »