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

Hytrol to hold the line on conveyor costs until June 30 despite escalating, unpredictable steel costs

May 22, 2008

conveyor system

Steel prices and fuel prices are headed nowhere but up in the coming months.

Price increases and surcharges have become commonplace, driven by increased steel costs and skyrocketing fuel prices. We look around and see manufacturers issuing price increases, steel surcharges and fees on a weekly basis. It’s industry-wide and it’s being driven by international demand and also some commodities market issues. We have seen manufacturers decline to provide a price – orders are priced at shipment. This is reminiscent of the 1970’s, and it’s welcome by absolutely nobody who runs an industrial facility or deals in material handling equipment.

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Comparing Pallet Rack Guards: Flexible Netting vs. Wire Mesh Panels

May 19, 2008

pallet rack wire mesh guardingUnguarded rack is flat-out dangerous if orders are being picked in the lower bays, or there is consistent foot traffic below. Safety managers know this, insurance companies know it, and if you have rack in your facility, you should know it too. Look, we have all probably seen pallets break. We’ve seen drivers make mistakes when loading & unloading. We’ve seen things fall off. If you’ve been in the business any length of time, you may have walked into your warehouse in the morning to find a case of something from the fourth level split open on the floor. It happens to everyone, and if you’re in the industry long enough, it’ll happen to you.

Stuff falls off of racks, and if we’re fortunate, none of the stuff hits someone. But you can also prevent that drop in the first place and maybe save the stored inventory as well. So if you buy into the fact that your racks should have some fall protection, then the question becomes: “what kind?”

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Seven ways E24 power rollers are better than Conventional Motorized Roller Conveyors

May 15, 2008

E24 powered conveyor rollerLast year, there was a big splash when Hytrol introduced its E24 powered roller conveyor system – and rightly so, it’s great stuff. (See the link above for video, datasheets, and more).

E24 is a brushless, gearless, low RPM, high torque motor that drives conveyor rollers reliably and efficiently. The external motor provides exceptional flexibility, superb heat dissipation, and a robustness that cannot be achieved with motors embedded in conveyor rollers. But what really makes E24 superior to the conventional motorized roller conveyor? Let’s explore…

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The top 10 OSHA violations for 2007

May 1, 2008

rack protected by steel guard railingFrom a total of 39,324 inspections last year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found 88,846 violations. For warehousers, distributors and manufacturers, the list is familiar.

  1. Scaffolding
  2. Fall protection
  3. Hazard communication
  4. Control of hazardous energy
  5. Respiratory protection
  6. Powered industrial trucks
  7. Electrical (wiring)
  8. Ladders
  9. Machine guarding
  10. Electrical (general requirements).

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Pallet rack specification drawings available

April 27, 2008

selective rack drawingWe’ve added a series of drawings from Steel King that detail out the critical dimensions for various kinds of pallet rack, ranging from selective to drive-in, to over-door pallet storage racks. It’s a small PDF file (just 368 KB) that shows front and side views of various rack types and the things needed to correctly specify them. It’s easy to print and has some other links to useful pallet rack information and web pages.

Check it out. If you’re working on a rack project, it’s one more tool you can put to fast use.

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What Type of Industrial Shelving Would Work Best for You?

April 10, 2008

 

selecting industrial shelving

While there are dozens and dozens of shelving manufacturers and even more variations of trade names for them, there are really just three basic kinds of industrial shelving manufactured and broadly used — Rivet-Type, Steel Clip, and Wire. Of course, there are more variations of these shelving types than you can imagine, but most shelving boils down to these kinds. You can also consider bulk rack as “shelving”, but we have found that heavy duty rivet shelving often fulfills the roles it has typically filled.

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Study: RFID improves inventory accuracy

March 19, 2008

RFID Center test conveyor loop

A quick note: Cisco-Eagle is a sponsor of the University of Arkansas RFID Research center. We’ve been involved with the center since its 2005 inception. I’ve visited the center a number of times, and have seen the innovative work that’s being done.

The center continues to excel with this study on the effect of RFID technology on inventory accuracy.

The study confirms that RFID can have a significant positive effect on retail inventory accuracy. For players like Wal-Mart, this means millions of dollars in savings. A preliminary analysis demonstrated that an automated, RFID-enabled inventory system improved accuracy by about 13% in test stores compared to control stores.

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Vertical lift manufacturer PFlow Industries recognizes Cisco-Eagle as top-3 distributor

March 13, 2008

Pflow Industries (pronounced “flow”, by the way) recently recognized Cisco-Eagle as a top distributor of its vertical reciprocating conveyor and other lift products. Pflow Southeast Regional Manager Chuck Cobb presented the awards to our Dallas and Houston offices. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cost of delivery – look out!

March 13, 2008

Last night I while watching the news on TV, I saw a story on the cost of diesel fuel. Where I live I understand that diesel fuel runs about 60-80 cents more per gallon than what I pay now for unleaded. The news story showed a trucker filling his tank, and the total bill came in around $600!

The story cited the rising cost of oil and increasing demand for diesel in other countries as contributing factors to the rising prices. I am sure that the current value of our dollar has also affected the price at the pump.

Those increasing fuel prices affect the delivery cost of capital equipment. Most freight companies add a fuel surcharge to the cost of delivery. As the price of fuel fluctuates, they adjust fuel surcharges accordingly. One freight company we work with adjusts their surcharges weekly. Read the rest of this entry »

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Basics: Rivet Shelving and Heavy-Capacity Applications

February 28, 2008

Riveteer Long Span ShelvingIt’s safe to say that there is shelving of some kind in almost every warehousing or other industrial operation, offices, and most commercial facilities. Even a sophisticated distribution center outfitted with AS/RS usually has fallback storage in the form of rack or shelving. For those applications that require a lot of heavy-duty shelving, though, issues of capacity come to the forefront.

A few years back, we had a customer who asked us to quote a good amount of rivet shelving (you might call it particle board, boltless, or by a brand like RiveTier or Penco’s Rivet Rite). It was a good sized project and that customer ended up buying it used from another company. He was happy with it right up until it collapsed and dumped hundreds of bins of aerospace components to the floor. The problem? He was storing something very heavy on either a shelf or on a post that couldn’t handle it. Once one of the shelves buckled, it set off a chain reaction that was kind of like dominoes and a whole lot of shelves went down. The components were similar looking, except for sizes, and it was pretty much a total loss.

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