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Modex Interview Series: Hytrol’s Perspective on Today’s Manufacturing Industry

May 25, 2016

shipping dock area

“The Greatest Supply Chain Show on Earth” – that was the slogan for Modex 2016 – and this year’s event at Atlanta, Georgia did not disappoint. During the busy four-day conference, we were fortunate to get a few minutes with Boyce Bonham, Director of Integrated Systems and Controls at Hytrol, a leader in the design and manufacturing of advanced conveyor systems.

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Modex Interview Series: SixAxis’ Perspective on Today’s Manufacturing Industry

May 18, 2016

Modex Show Floor

Modex is more than an opportunity for the material handling industry to convene in Atlanta, GA, network with peers, and exhibit products and solutions. Heralded at “the Greatest Supply Chain Show on Earth,” Modex offers manufacturers and distributors access to cutting-edge innovations, allowing them to position themselves and their organizations to take full advantage of the next wave of technology to hit the industry.

Estimated at 25,000 attendees, Modex 2016 was a great event. We took the chance to speak with some of the exhibitors. Here’s what SixAxis President Rob Honeycutt told us about the future of automation in manufacturing and distribution.

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Modex Interview Series: UNEX

May 10, 2016

Modex 2016 Show Floor, Atlanta Georgia

At Modex 2016 in Atlanta, we had the opportunity to sit down with Brian Neuwirth, President of UNEX, for a wide-ranging discussion on the state of manufacturing. He shared his insights on key issues facing the industry from improving customer experience to addressing the skills gap.

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Case Study: American Greetings Reduces Maintenance, Noise Levels

May 3, 2016

Conveyor system in Arkansas

American Greetings, the largest greeting card company in the world, with a mission that includes the desire to make the world “a more thoughtful and caring place,” had an issue with its aging conveyor system. The company creates a variety of greeting cards and other products in its massive Osceola, Arkansas facility (which has more than 10 miles of conveyors and occupies a space around the size of 57 football fields).

The plant runs 24 hours, so finding a way to upgrade without reducing production was a challenge.

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Industrial Workstations: The Key to Improved Productivity in the Warehouse

April 19, 2016

Modern packaging and shipping work bench station

Providing employees with a comfortable, ergonomic, and efficient workspace is a necessity in any picking, packing, assembly, inspection, quality control, manifesting or other industrial operations. A proper industrial workstation, tailored to the task and employee, goes a long way toward creating a healthier and more productive workspace and environment.

There are dozens of options for workstations, ranging from a simple bench to a more elaborate set up designed with the job in mind. Let’s take a look a few industrial workstations and their unique benefits.

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Posted in Manufacturing, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Product Ideas, Workbenches & Stations| No Comments »

Comfort and Productivity: It’s Worth It

March 15, 2016

Workers at Packaging Station

I recently attended a product training class on high volume low speed fans, and a statistic was thrown out to the audience that really got me thinking. A NASA study, Compendium of Human Responses to the Aerospace Environment*, showed that worker productivity falls significantly for every degree over an optimum temperature of about 72 degrees. If the temperature hits 85 degrees in the workplace, productivity drops by 18% and accuracy a walloping 40%.

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3 Ways Conveyors Boost Flexibility

February 2, 2016

overhead, multi-tier conveyor system
From throughput requirements to building expansions, you want to be ready for your company’s future. Sometimes these changes take place over longer periods of time, and sometimes they’re lightning-fast—your products and throughput can change from season to season based on shifting customer demands, market conditions, explosive growth, and other factors outside your control.

Sometimes conveyors are incorrectly called inflexible since they are often installed on a floor level, but their benefits can ultimately create greater versatility by optimizing an operation and creating more efficient material flow. Let’s look at 3 ways conveyors increase operational flexibility: Read the rest of this entry »

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5 Key Warehouse Performance Metrics for an Effective Operation

January 28, 2016

warehouse operations
Performance metrics are a universal way to measure a warehouse operation’s overall effectiveness, quality, and productivity. In today’s fast-paced and competitive environment, setting benchmarks and goals for a company is essential, but it’s not enough to set lofty goals for the coming year in terms of revenue, profits, or production. In the warehouse, success is the sum of all its parts. To reach overall production, quality, safety, or service goals, an examination of each step is essential. Through this evaluation process of different performance metrics, managers can find actionable information and begin prioritizing problems within a warehousing or distribution operation.

We’ve previously discussed how key performance indicators (KPIs) demonstrate the value of warehouse functions. Now, let’s take a dive deeper into five specific performance metrics to consider implementing in the modern warehouse. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Lean, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, ROI, Warehousing| No Comments »

10 Expert Insights on 2016 Manufacturing Trends

January 12, 2016

millennials-manufacturing

As noted in one Citrix report, 2016 is set to become a watershed year for manufacturing.
“The industry is showing signs of reinvention in areas including automation, 3d printing and data analysis, and the next five years looks to be pivotal in realizing this change,” says a Global Manufacturing article on the report findings.

With manufacturing at such a critical point in its long history, the ways in which industry leaders view the changing landscape will likely shape its future. Manufacturing in particular is positioned for domestic growth and, more than ever, industry leaders must guide their organizations strategically.

To get a sense of how experts are approaching the year ahead (and how this year’s trends compare to previous years), we connected with our vendor partners and other industry leading organizations.

The following is a look at 10 expert opinions on 2016 trends: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Automation, Manufacturing, ROI, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing| 1 Comment »

How Conveyors Improve Lean Operations

November 12, 2015

lean-manufacturing

In Lean Manufacturing, less is more.

A Lean operation’s ultimate goal is to eliminate waste in a system, which it achieves by creating flexibility and disposing of overproduction. Lean environments sometimes shy away from using powered conveyors in their operations, but when correctly applied, automation propels Lean Manufacturing goals—not hinders them. It’s the “secret sauce” of excellent lean manufacturing and warehousing operations.

In a true Lean environment, the customer is paramount. In other words, you need to consider what the customer wants to pay for at every point in your production. The automated solutions of today can help your Lean Manufacturing operation in three significant ways. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Lean, Manufacturing, Warehousing| 2 Comments »