Material Handling Experts


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

Protecting Overhead Dock Doors from Forklift Impacts

November 4, 2009

Dock door with overhead door protection system

Walk around any warehouse, manufacturing facility, or commercial storage operation of any size, you’ll almost always find two things — forklifts and dock doors. If that building has been in place for any substantial length of time, you’ll also find dinged, dented, ruined or replaced dock door guides, pallet rack frames, building columns, etc. It just happens that way. While many operations take steps to use guard rails or bollards to shield their critical machinery, dock doors can be left out.

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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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Getting the Load Right for your Pushback Rack

October 12, 2009

pushback rack applicaiton

Push back rack systems are excellent high density storage solutions — perhaps the most economical way to squeeze space out of a crowded warehouse.  All loads are stored and retrieved from the same aisle. This reduces the number of aisles needed in a facility, freeing up more space for storage. Aisles can take a great deal of space up in a typical warehouse, so by implementing a pushback pallet rack system, you essentially swap selectivity for space. Push back rack systems provide a Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) inventory rotation, so you have to be certain your load fits. If it does, congratulations — you’ve just saved a lot of space. But there are issues that can arise when pushback rack is inappropriately specified or utilized. Here are some of those…

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Posted in Docks & Shipping, Material Handling, Pallet Rack, Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

Designing workbenches for assembly, testing, packaging, or packing

September 24, 2009

technical workstation

It ought to be fairly simple, but specifying the right workbench for your application is something that deserves thought and pre-planning. Minor differences in the type of bench can provide critical benefits that add up to major productivity gains over time. Benches aren’t the simple, static equipment many believe. Here are some traits to consider

Application: A clear, flat surface is the basis for most workstations. The bigger question is this: how will it be used? Will you be packing orders? Repairing or assembling? Will it integrate with conveyors or assembly lines? Will you need access to certain supplies? Ergonomic considerations will play heavily into this part of the decision making process.

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Posted in Docks & Shipping, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing, Workbenches & Stations| No Comments »

Managing an Effective Warehouse Operation

September 18, 2009

This is a plug for WERC’s upcoming seminar, “Achieving Warehouse Success: Your Comprehensive Guide to Managing an Effective Operation.” Warehousing requires expertise on 3 basic resources — space, equipment, and labor. Understanding how to integrate them for maximum effectiveness can transform any warehousing operation. The seminar is 3 days (October 14-16 in Long Beach, California). According to WERC, it will cover the following aspects of warehousing:

  • How to identify the precise problems that are most troublesome in your warehouse
  • Which operations require your attention and how to prioritize work demands
  • Why leadership and communication skills are important to managing people, boosting morale, and solving labor/management conflicts
  • How to lay out your warehouse for good space utilization, material handling compatibility, and optimum flow efficiency
  • Which equipment and technology best suit your operations for storage and handling as well as order picking and order selection

WERC’s site says that it is good for Newly appointed supervisors and managers of warehouse, stockroom, storeroom and distribution centers, Supervisors and managers with little or no formal training, Plant storeroom, inventory, and materials managers, Stores, receiving, and shipping supervisors, or others who are interested in understanding the warehouse. It’s $975 for members, and $1,100 for nonmembers. Check it out at the WERC site if you are interested.

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7 Steps to prevent workers’ compensation fraud

September 8, 2009

Duncan Prince of Material Handling Wholesaler has a short, informative piece you might appreciate on preventing workers’ compensation fraud.  In a system that costs business billions of dollars every year, there is ample opportunity — and motivation — for fraud.  Prince argues that many employers, but in particular smaller operations, take a hands-off approach to worker compensation. After all, they believe that it is just an insurance issue.

The problem: worker compensation fraud isn’t an insurance issue at all…

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Recycling Internal Waste with Conveyors

August 20, 2009

trash conveyor system

Environmental awareness, sustainability, ‘green’ or carbon foot printing, no matter what term you use today, everyone and every facility is aware that their processes need improving.

Whether you are in pharmaceutical, beverage, food, automotive, distribution, manufacturing or thousands of other industries today, there has to be some way to track and/or reuse what is not used within your daily operations. Many progressive industries are designing internal reclamation processes for utilization and recycling of goods they don’t need or are waste.

This white paper (PDF, opens a new window) explains various methods for removing refuse from your facility in a more organized, more controlled manner by utilizing conveyors.

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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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What is Material Handling?

July 20, 2009

In my mind, material handling can be boiled down to this statement Cisco-Eagle developed years ago:

“Material Handling is a set of solutions for the movement, storage, retrieval, control and protection of materials and products throughout their manufacture, distribution, consumption and disposal. We enable clients to get the right amount of the right material to the right place at the right time in the right sequence in the right position in the right condition for the right cost in a safe manner.”

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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 »