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

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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Posted in Conveyor, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Warehousing| No Comments »

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 »

The Future of Robotics: An Interview with FANUC America

October 8, 2015

Fanuc Robotics Family
More and more companies are adding various forms of robotics to their operations as they seek to improve productivity, enhance worker safety, and keep labor costs down. We recently spoke with Wes Garrett, Packaging Account Manager at FANUC America about robotics in the material handling industry. He provided some great information regarding cost of ownership, indicators robotics may benefit an operation, and trends in new technologies.

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Posted in Automation, Manufacturing, Palletizers, Robotics, Warehousing| No Comments »

How Automation & Material Handling Extends the Careers of Skilled Workers

September 9, 2015

manufacturing workers

We published an article in the third quarter of the MHEDA Journal, Automation and Labor: Can’t They Get Along? The point of that article is that for American labor, robots aren’t currently reducing employment so much as changing it. Automated industries tend to be more profitable and less vulnerable to offshoring and other job-reducing factors.

Our friends at AutoQuip brought up another point—that automated systems and lifts can add valuable years to the working lives of high-skill, aging employees.

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Posted in Automation, Lifts, Manufacturing| No Comments »

Steel Guard Rails and Impact Ratings

September 3, 2015

Steel Guard Rails

Guardrails are used to separate people, structures, machinery and valuable assets from heavy forklifts weighing more than 10,000 pounds. The requirements for durability and impact resistance are demanding, yet many don’t understand what types of impacts their systems can endure, and under what circumstances. The issue is compounded by the fact that many manufacturers simply don’t provide impact ratings for their guard rails. Some companies fabricate and install home-made railing, which is likely to never have been rated at all.

What can you do to ensure your guard railing system can protect your employees and property the way it’s supposed to?

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

Register Today for the Texas Warehousing Resource Convention

July 16, 2015

warehouse system

A great way to spend a day for warehousing, distribution, manufacturing, safety and other industrial professionals.

It’s a quick, one-day conference, now on its 14th year, packed with education and networking opportunities. It’s an easy drive for anyone in North Texas. There will be more than 40 exhibitors (including Cisco-Eagle) in attendance to give you a chance to see the newest technologies and chat with industry leaders. (Big bonus: one of those exhibitors will be Cisco-Eagle!). Read the rest of this entry »

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