Material Handling Experts


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

Carts vs. Conveyors in Product Transport Operations

May 10, 2010

conveyors vs. carts for transport

When you are moving items such as cartons, bins, or components through a facility, several methods are available. Most of the time the choice is between non-powered carts & trucks or conveyors, whether power or gravity. (If you’re moving pallets, there are other methods and issues). Generally, conveyors deliver a less manual, safer operation with added efficiency across the board. Products are moved faster and fewer employees are required to accomplish the same tasks. Conveyors minimize fatigue and reduce potential manual lifting injuries. This improved handling has the potential to reduce worker compensation claims and expenses

But when do you make the leap from a manual, cart-driven system to a conveyor transport system?

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Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Docks & Shipping, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, ROI, Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

Seeing the light: how going energy efficient saves you money

April 19, 2010

Warehouse lighting system - high efficency

Implementing an energy-efficient lighting system can make your facility much brighter overall, and in particular, it can brighten those dark ‘canyons’ between rack rows.

It also saves you money on utility costs. In a large distribution center, the daily cost savings is significant, even before you factor in enhanced productivity due to an overall better working environment. But it gets better: Under the 2005 EPACT law, you can deduct the entire cost of a new lighting system, up to 60 cents a square foot if the system reduces lighting power density below he maximum allowable lighting power densities listed in ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2001, and if a few other requirements are met. This typically results in a much lower cost of ownership and a very quick return on investment.

Oh, and combined with other energy saving upgrades to your facility, that 60 cents could climb to $1.80 a square foot.

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Did Wood Pallets Cause the Tylenol Recall?

February 11, 2010

wood pallets

According to DC Velocity, the answer may be yes.

The maker of several over-the-counter drugs, including Tylenol, Motrin and Benadryl, announced a broad-based recall of these and other drugs after receiving complaints of an “unusual moldy, musty or mildew-like” odor. Johnson & Johnson received what the company described as a “small” number of complaints of issues including nausea, stomach pain, vomiting or diarrhea.

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Posted in Manufacturing, Material Handling, News, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Pallet Rack, Safety & Ergonomics, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »

The Best Manufacturing Plants in America: What They Have in Common

February 9, 2010

Industry Week ran a recent article on the best manufacturing operations in the U.S.

IW says that these operations have the following traits in common…

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Pallet Conveyor Application Guidelines

October 2, 2009

conveyor white paper logo

Many operations utilize pallet or slip-sheet to convey bulked material, whether in manufacturing, work in process, to convey from a palletizer, or in shipping areas. While some applications require these palletized items to only be carried the last few feet of their process, many rely solely on the pallets to carry their product throughout a facility. Today’s processes require a smarter and often unique footprint for these palletized items. However, historically these unique footprints have been difficult for the material handling, namely conveyors, to handle effectively.

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Designing workbenches for assembly, testing, packaging, or packing

September 24, 2009

technical workstation

It ought to be fairly simple, but specifying the right workbench for your application is something that deserves thought and pre-planning. Minor differences in the type of bench can provide critical benefits that add up to major productivity gains over time. Benches aren’t the simple, static equipment many believe. Here are some traits to consider

Application: A clear, flat surface is the basis for most workstations. The bigger question is this: how will it be used? Will you be packing orders? Repairing or assembling? Will it integrate with conveyors or assembly lines? Will you need access to certain supplies? Ergonomic considerations will play heavily into this part of the decision making process.

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Posted in Docks & Shipping, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing, Workbenches & Stations| No Comments »

Industrial Scissor Lift Tables: Mobile vs. Stationary

September 9, 2009

Mobile lift tables comparison to stationary lift tables

Mobile lift tables are increasing in popularity in many assembly and repair operations for a number of reasons, but using this flexible material handling device must be approached correctly, and with your eyes open. They provide more flexible use (move them where you want them) in everything from printing or assembly industries to pallet breakdowns in distribution. They’re great for flexible production lines or lean manufacturing lines or work cells where the ability to lift and move something is at a premium – in particular if you need to frequently reconfigure work areas.

Obviously, a lift table you can roll to where you need it is highly desirable, but what does that mobility cost you? And when should you choose stationary lift table over mobile?

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7 Steps to prevent workers’ compensation fraud

September 8, 2009

Duncan Prince of Material Handling Wholesaler has a short, informative piece you might appreciate on preventing workers’ compensation fraud.  In a system that costs business billions of dollars every year, there is ample opportunity — and motivation — for fraud.  Prince argues that many employers, but in particular smaller operations, take a hands-off approach to worker compensation. After all, they believe that it is just an insurance issue.

The problem: worker compensation fraud isn’t an insurance issue at all…

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Safety Tips for Utilizing Air Balancer, Rail and Jib Crane Systems

August 24, 2009

air balancer and rail system

If you utilize an air balancer in your operation, how can you know you’re safely handling loads? Balancers inherently create a safer, more ergonomic operation by removing manual lifting and positioning (even of heavy items) and replacing it with a near-float system, where heavy loads are lifted and positioned by the balancer – not by people.

Here are some tips from Ingersoll Rand to make your operation even safer…

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White Paper: Conveyor Systems Implementation Considerations

July 20, 2009

conveyor white paper logo

We’ve been posting a series of brief conveyor white papers. There are 5 now, with many others in development for future publication. You’ll always be able to download these PDF files from our site, and will be informed as there are new ones.  This paper, “Conveyor System Implementation Considerations” (PDF file; opens in a new window) focuses on implementation considerations.

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