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

Climate Control Options for Industrial Operations

May 21, 2015

High-volume Low-speed Fan
Do areas of your facility require constant temperatures? Are your employees dealing with significant seasonal temperature variations? These situations all require special conditions – often conditions that are hard to control with people and equipment moving in and out all the time. Let’s examine some climate control options outside the world of HVAC equipment.

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Posted in Manufacturing, Product Ideas, Sustainability, Warehousing| No Comments »

What’s Next for Manufacturing Technology?

May 14, 2015

proMat 2015 photo

A record number of manufacturing and supply chain professionals gathered in Chicago at the end of March for ProMat 2015, the largest material handling and logistics trade expo in North America. According to an MHI press release, registration topped 37,000—an 8.8% increase in attendance over the 2013 show.

“ProMat 2015 was the largest in the event’s 30-year history,” said MHI CEO George Prest. “The energy level among visitors and exhibitors was at an all-time high.” So what were attendees buzzing about during the show? Manufacturing technology was one topic discussed at length during the four-day event.

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High-Speed Doors Enhance Productivity, Limit Contaminants, Reduce Energy Costs

May 12, 2015

High-Speed Vinyl Door

Somewhere in your facility, there may be a place where someone frequently shouts “shut the door!”

Perhaps you have operations that require maintaining temperatures within certain limits. There may also be areas heavy-traffic areas where a conventional overhead door’s slow lift and close rates cause delays, slower throughput and cause reduced productivity from waiting on a door to open.

These are situations where a high-speed door may solve a variety of problems. From limiting airborne debris, dust and contaminant infiltration to temperature regulation, high-speed doors pick up the pace in your facility even as they limit the amount of exposure to negative environmental influences. They open and close so quickly that forklifts and people hardly need wait on the door in order to pass through the doorway. Let’s take a few minutes to explore the types and key features of high-speed doors.
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Posted in Cross Docking, Docks & Shipping, Lean, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Product Ideas, Security, Warehousing| No Comments »

Incentive Programs for Warehousing & Manufacturing

May 7, 2015

returns center picking operation

Incentive programs are surprisingly common for industrial operations, and they can produce significant savings, quality increases and improved employee satisfaction – if the program is built correctly. In manufacturing, assemblers are often incentivized for quality and speed. In warehousing, it can be reduced product damage, pick rates, error rates or any number of other categories. When companies build out these programs, there are opportunities to create great value. How are companies going about this?

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Separate Functions without Building Walls

May 5, 2015

Things get a little messy sometimes in most industrial facilities. Or a lot messy.

Areas where sprays and aerosols are used aren’t friendly to the rest of the operation, but they also need to exist in the same facility. Perhaps thermal zones are needed where there was once plenty of space. Welding stations may be in areas more highly populated with other workers. Amongst all these considerations is also the fluidity of your operations as the company grows and changes. Are permanent solutions (walls) the right answer?

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Air Balancers and Hoists: What’s the Difference?

February 5, 2015

Hoists and Balancers - The differences

Lifting systems vary widely in type, capacities and sizes. Each is created to meet job specific requirements of load capacity, cycle times, and lift range. Handling accuracy and smoothness are also considered. The two types of lifting systems addressed here are the air balancers and chain hoists.  They do essentially the same job: lifting an item into the air either from storage or a flat surface. So which might work for you?

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Posted in Lifts, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Product Ideas, Safety & Ergonomics| No Comments »

11 Expert Insights on 2015 Manufacturing Trends

January 20, 2015

Manufacturing operation with gantry cranes

It’s an exciting year in the world of manufacturing. With the Internet of Things (IoT) becoming increasingly pervasive and innovations and new technologies paving the way for more efficient, productive, and intelligent industrial operations, manufacturers have the opportunity to continue with the forward momentum the industry experienced in 2014.

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Manufacturing Automation: What Is It? Where Is It Going?

October 15, 2014

Industrial Robotics

Industrial engineers have envisioned fully automated factories since at least the middle of the 20th century. But the real race to automate manufacturing can be said to have begun in the 1980s, when US car manufacturers came up with the vision of “lights-out” manufacturing. The idea was to beat their rivals by automating the factories to such an extent that the entire manufacturing process could be left to robots. To a great extent, it has remained only a vision so far. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Automation, Manufacturing, Robotics| 1 Comment »

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 »

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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