Gravity skate wheel conveyoris probably the most economical conveyor option around for quick, portable movement of lightweight boxes, totes, or trays. You see it used in shipping & receiving areas, in assembly operations, or as a transitional piece between workstations and powered conveyor lines. You can even slap casters on it for a conveyor that can be rolled in & out of use areas. We even plug it into gravity flow racks to create heavier-duty, FIFO flow storage.
For such a simple piece of conveying equipment — in fact the simplest — errors can and do crop up when it’s ordered incorrectly.
This video is a short few minutes, and features vertical reciprocating conveyors implemented by Cisco-Eagle at defense contractor Electric Boat, Inc. The company manufactures submarines at its Groton, CT facility.
The Material Handling Industry of America recently announced that the RMI (Rack Manufacturers Institute) has certified several manufacturers of wire rack decking “R-Mark” compliant, meaning that these companies have conformed to the Institute’s testing and utilization standards. The industry developed the latest and most comprehensive consensus documents ANSI MH16.1 – 2008 – Specification for the Design, Testing and Utilization of Industrial Steel Storage Racks and MH26.2 – 2007 – Specification for the Design, Testing and Utilization of Welded Wire Rack Decking. Members of RMI voluntarily choose to conform to ANSI MH16.1 – 2008 and MH26.2 – 2007 and any successor document(s).
Designing your conveyors and workstations to work together gives you significant safety and efficiency advantages. Using conveyors is a good way to reduce the risks of musculoskeletal injury in tasks or procedures that involve manual handling because conveyors reduce the need for repetitive lifting and carrying, but implementing conveyor into workstations requires some basic understanding of how to prevent stress. As a bonus, well-implemented conveyor workstations also boost productivity.
It isn’t news that the U.S. has been in a recession for most of the last year. It also isn’t news that you can utilize certain equipment and process improvements to upgrade at lower costs, and even return your investment more quickly in an environment like this one. Here are some ideas.
Column flow racking is an innovation designed to present vertical columns of cartons to pickers. It works well for light cartons where flow storage and order picking are desired. You can stack cartons in each lane, allowing for more pick faces in the same space.
Although this system isn’t right for every application, it can provide a large number of pick faces for many types of case-picked product in the same space as regular flow racking.
Cisco-Eagle has created an informative article you should check out if you are thinking of installing a mezzanine in your facility. When implementing an Industrial Equipment Platform (mezzanine) be sure that you are not putting too much stress or weight on the floor of the building. Too much weight will cause the floor to crack – or worse. This article tells you how to calculate the correct load capacity and column spacing for any new structural mezzanine project. Floor capacity depends on the thickness of the concrete, but that’s not the end of the story. It also matters how much the soil underneath the slab will compress.
If you’re in the North Texas area or can easily make the trip, I highly recommend that you attend the North Texas Warehousing Education and Resource Council “Celebration and Education” seminar on December 10, 2008 in Dallas at the Marriott DFW Airport North. It’s an excellent day of networking, education and fun. Cisco-Eagle’s Donald Prater is presenting at this session, on the topic “Cargill Excel Beef Case Study – Taking Order Fulfillment to the Next Level.” Donald has implemented multiple facilities for Excel over the years and has keen insights on how to best improve the operations at these kinds of fast-paced, complex operations that you can apply to an operation of almost any kind.
A few months ago, we posted a Guide to Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors (you might find it useful if you’re looking at any application that moves a load up and down at least one level integrated with a shaft, mezzanine or other are). That guide includes the following questions, which you should be able to answer as you move ahead with your project.
You know the pareto concept – 80% of the productivity can come from 20% of the operation. That also applies to floor space in many warehouses and industrial operations.
One easy way to save space in your warehouse is to look for big, open spaces in your rack system. If you have pallet racks but not all of your inventory goes into full pallets, one quick way to save space is to use that rack space for higher productivity activities. Could you move each-pick or case-pick operations off of floor pallets or static shelving into flow storage embedded in your racks?