Material Handling Experts


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

A Guide to Forklift Aisle Widths

May 31, 2013

Forklift aisle widths are typically set when pallet racking is installed. In many cases, such as narrow aisle projects, these spaces are critically important. Typically, warehouse managers don’t attempt to lay out these types of storage facilities. But for reach truck, selective rack applications, these aisle sizes are often “eye balled”, or given a 12′ width no matter what type of forklift is using the aisles. If you are laying out a facility, what criteria should you use for rack aisle width?

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

Merging Warehouse Operations: The Pitfalls

May 28, 2013

merging an industrial operation is difficult

Merging two formerly separate industrial operations can be more difficult, expensive, and time consuming than creating an entirely new plant. After all, even in the best of scenarios, it’s almost always easier to start with a blank slate. But in these days of consolidations and cost cutting, this can happen to almost any company.  Planning and open communications is the key in general, but there are specific issues you should be aware of.

What are some pitfalls, and how can you avoid them?

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Posted in Inventory Management, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »

What Causes Pallet Rack Collapses?

May 15, 2013

Pallet Rack System

We have all seen the spectacular (sometimes humorous), but often horrifying videos of rack collapses. They’re all over YouTube. But what really happens to cause these dangerous incidents?

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

Video: Forklift Approach Warning Light in Action

April 29, 2013

Forklift approach warning lights are an economical way to help alert people on foot to the approach of a forklift, AGV, or other industrial vehicle. In this case, we are able to show you how visible these lights can be in a setting where an order picking vehicle is traveling through a rack aisle, and where someone’s perspective might not allow them to see the approaching danger. The light is very visible, up to fifteen feet preceding the lift.

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Posted in Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing| No Comments »

Video: Seegrid Automated Industrial Truck

April 26, 2013

This video displays a Seegrid automated industrial truck, at our recent Open House and Automation Exhibit. The Seegrid truck navigated a large warehouse, interacting frequently with attendees to demonstrate its route learning and safety features. “I trust it more than many forklift drivers I’ve been around,” said one attendee. (Seegrid trucks have a 100% safety record, so that trust is well-founded).

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

How to Reduce Wasted “Walking” Time in Distribution Operations

April 7, 2013

warehouse worker walking in an industrial plant

There isn’t much value in a worker walking across a facility; value is realized at work areas, not in transit between them. In many operations, order pickers can walk as many as 12 miles a day. This level of walking makes workers tired and more prone to error, injuries, and declines in productivity. While some degree of walking is unavoidable, much of this is simply commuting time to retrieve supplies, or inefficient design that makes the job harder and less efficient than it should be.

How can you reduce time walking, and increase the time people spend getting things done?

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A Guide to Pallet Rack Wire Decking Finishes

April 3, 2013

wire decking for pallet rack

There’s a lot of confusion about the different finishes that can be applied to a pallet rack wire deck. Various manufacturers offer different finishes, and you may have need of more than one of them for different types of storage applications. Nashville Wire, our rack decking supplier, has sent us this super-basic primer on the common finish options.

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Don’t Climb that Pallet Rack!

March 18, 2013

To save time, people  sometimes climb pallet racks to pick orders or do other things. This should never happen. While  it’s faster to climb than it is to bring a rolling stair ladder or a forklift in to do it right, it’s dangerous and counterproductive. Do it long enough and there will be injuries.

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Posted in Order Picking & Fulfillment, Pallet Rack, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing| No Comments »

Alternatives to New Facility Construction

March 14, 2013

New facility planning

There is nothing inexpensive about a new facility.

The cost of real estate (or lease costs), new equipment, people, regulatory compliance, and potential downtime add up very quickly, even for a relatively small operation. But reconfiguring your current operation has its own challenges. You have to deal with operating in a construction/renovation environment, the potential that the redesign won’t serve your needs through future growth, new equipment, and more. It’s a difficult choice.

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Posted in Inventory Management, Mezzanines, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

Bridging the Gap Between Warehouse and Office

February 13, 2013

The Gap Between Warehouse and Office

The warehouse. The office.

Sometimes it’s as if one doesn’t exist to the other. As one customer told us, “it’s like we have two companies here, and one doesn’t know what the other is up to.”

But when you’re trying to improve your operation, or even to operate well, it’s impossible to separate the two functions. Decisions can be made in one area that can impact the other severely, so communication and cooperation are vital. Too bad it doesn’t always work that way. How can you improve it?

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Posted in Docks & Shipping, Order Picking & Fulfillment, ROI, Warehousing| No Comments »