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Factors for Robotic Bag Palletizing Systems

March 2, 2017

Robotic palletizer bag effector

Above: SAS Automation standardized bag-gripper

Palletizing is a standard material handling application for industrial robots, and bag palletizing is one of the most typical applications. Why? Because bag palletizing is simpler and easier than case palletizing. If your operation requires bag stacking/pallet loading – and you want to improve speed, reduce mistakes, and create a more ergonomic system, here are the things you need to know.

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Posted in Automation, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Palletizers| No Comments »

How to Properly Operate a Forklift in Winter Conditions

February 10, 2017

A guest post by Tom Reddon of the National Forklift Exchange.
forklift in a snowy lot

Driving a forklift in the snow or ice seems intimidating. However, with modern innovation and improvements, outdoor operations have been revamped and revitalized, even in the most trying of circumstances. Whether it’s flurries or a full-scale blizzard, adhering to these practices will prevent the issues that pile up with each snowflake. The outdoors poses numerous challenges, but there are some practices forklift operators can use to drive safer in these conditions.

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

HAZWOPER – What, Who, Why, How and When

February 9, 2017

HAZWOPER Training Package
If your workers handle hazardous waste, you need to know about HAZWOPER (Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Reponse), what it is and why you need it.

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Tips for Tool Crib Security

February 2, 2017

tool crib security cage

In manufacturing, maintenance, and machine shop operations, tools, dies, and bits are among the most likely targets for pilferage. Tools fit the criteria for theft we discuss in our white paper, Reducing Warehouse & Dock Area Pilferage (PDF, 1.3MB, opens in a new tab): “items that are a combination of concealable, removable, available, valuable, or enjoyable are prime candidates for theft.” Items with a high perceived “value per ounce” are at risk. A $200 block that weighs 100 pounds is far less of a target than a $200 cutting tool.

Tools are in demand, easy to sell and expensive. Plus, many of the most expensive ones fit in a coat pocket, lunch box or tool box.

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Posted in Inventory Management, Lean, Manufacturing, Security| No Comments »

The Best 2017 Events for Warehousing, Manufacturing & Safety Professionals

January 26, 2017

trade show floor

It’s important for professionals to retain an edge by continuing our education, exposure to new ideas, new products, and technologies. Events and Tradeshows provide great avenues to stay sharp on the latest concepts. Below is a list of upcoming events you should consider as you kick 2017 off to a productive start.

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Posted in Manufacturing, News, Pack Expo, Safety & Ergonomics, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »

Digital OSHA Incident Reporting: Mandatory and Coming Soon

December 5, 2016

fall protection harness system in a warehouse

If you are a safety or EHS director, you probably knew this was coming: starting January 21, 2017 certain companies will be required to electronically submit their injury and illness data. This is data these companies should already be keeping, so the requirement isn’t so much about new record keeping as it is updated methodology.

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Posted in Manufacturing, News, ROI, Safety & Ergonomics, Third Party Logistics| No Comments »

10 Ways to Set up Warehouse Workers for Success

November 29, 2016

warehouse worker picking from a storage rack

Companies spend lots of time trying to understand the best ways to increase efficiency in their operations. How do I increase pick rates? Why do we spend more time on things that add no value than we should? Why do we make so many mistakes, and how do I stop it? Why is there so much waste in the system? How can this be better organized?

These are all good questions, and the answer to solving these problems usually lies in developing people to work their best.

In this day and age of increasing industrial productivity, tough global competition, and tight labor, integrating personnel development with best practices facility design, automation, processes and management is key to reducing labor costs, increasing margins, and becoming a more profitable operation. People thrive in good environments where they are set up to succeed. What can you do to build the right situation for your people?

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Posted in Manufacturing, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Supply Chain, Third Party Logistics, Warehousing| No Comments »

How to Create a Conveyor Maintenance Checklist

October 4, 2016

Hytrol conveyor system

The following is a guest post by Boyce Bonham, Chief Engineer at Hytrol. 

Staying on top of your conveyor maintenance is an integral part to the success of your operation. When left untended, equipment can become inefficient, unreliable, and a potential safety hazard.  To keep your alleviate the problems that come with poorly-maintained equipment, it’s important to create and follow a standardized maintenance checklist for each of the conveyor types in your operation, from gravity conveyors to powered conveyors.

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Posted in Conveyor, Manufacturing, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Warehousing| No Comments »

Ergonomics and Hand Tools

July 19, 2016

manufacturing activities
Ergonomics should be wired into the design of all the processes of a modern industrial operation. Whether that means designing conveyor workstations with ergonomics in mind, utilizing work benches and stations that are adjustable for “right height” operations, adding turntables to rotate product, finding ways to reduce order pickers’ bending and stretching, or designing storage areas so that bending and stretching are minimized, well-designed operations bake ergonomics into their work processes.

One of the common areas you can attack is hand tool use. In many operations, strong younger workers may not complain about using heavy, hand-held tools for 8+ hours a day, but that stress is taking its tolls.

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Posted in Lifts, Manufacturing, Safety & Ergonomics, Workbenches & Stations| No Comments »

Improving Customer Experience Through Manufacturing

June 16, 2016

manufacturing activities

Today’s consumers know what they want — and they want it fast.

The global online marketplace has placed infinite possibilities at customers’ fingertips and competition is stiff. This is no longer a consumer trend; B2B companies have to change how they approach customer experience. Buyers are not only looking for a superior product, they also want great customer service and an efficient sales process.

Hue Schlegel of Wildeck put the current trend in the most succinct way possible: “The customer is king, so you have to give them what they want.”

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Posted in Manufacturing, Material Handling, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »