Material Handling Experts


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

Getting the Load Right for your Pushback Rack

October 12, 2009

pushback rack applicaiton

Push back rack systems are excellent high density storage solutions — perhaps the most economical way to squeeze space out of a crowded warehouse.  All loads are stored and retrieved from the same aisle. This reduces the number of aisles needed in a facility, freeing up more space for storage. Aisles can take a great deal of space up in a typical warehouse, so by implementing a pushback pallet rack system, you essentially swap selectivity for space. Push back rack systems provide a Last-In-First-Out (LIFO) inventory rotation, so you have to be certain your load fits. If it does, congratulations — you’ve just saved a lot of space. But there are issues that can arise when pushback rack is inappropriately specified or utilized. Here are some of those…

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Posted in Docks & Shipping, Material Handling, Pallet Rack, Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

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 »

Managing an Effective Warehouse Operation

September 18, 2009

This is a plug for WERC’s upcoming seminar, “Achieving Warehouse Success: Your Comprehensive Guide to Managing an Effective Operation.” Warehousing requires expertise on 3 basic resources — space, equipment, and labor. Understanding how to integrate them for maximum effectiveness can transform any warehousing operation. The seminar is 3 days (October 14-16 in Long Beach, California). According to WERC, it will cover the following aspects of warehousing:

  • How to identify the precise problems that are most troublesome in your warehouse
  • Which operations require your attention and how to prioritize work demands
  • Why leadership and communication skills are important to managing people, boosting morale, and solving labor/management conflicts
  • How to lay out your warehouse for good space utilization, material handling compatibility, and optimum flow efficiency
  • Which equipment and technology best suit your operations for storage and handling as well as order picking and order selection

WERC’s site says that it is good for Newly appointed supervisors and managers of warehouse, stockroom, storeroom and distribution centers, Supervisors and managers with little or no formal training, Plant storeroom, inventory, and materials managers, Stores, receiving, and shipping supervisors, or others who are interested in understanding the warehouse. It’s $975 for members, and $1,100 for nonmembers. Check it out at the WERC site if you are interested.

Posted in Docks & Shipping, Material Handling, News, Supply Chain, Warehousing| 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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Recycling Internal Waste with Conveyors

August 20, 2009

trash conveyor system

Environmental awareness, sustainability, ‘green’ or carbon foot printing, no matter what term you use today, everyone and every facility is aware that their processes need improving.

Whether you are in pharmaceutical, beverage, food, automotive, distribution, manufacturing or thousands of other industries today, there has to be some way to track and/or reuse what is not used within your daily operations. Many progressive industries are designing internal reclamation processes for utilization and recycling of goods they don’t need or are waste.

This white paper (PDF, opens a new window) explains various methods for removing refuse from your facility in a more organized, more controlled manner by utilizing conveyors.

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Conveyor Sustainability

July 27, 2009

the green warehouseSustainability and economic considerations get along so well that you might as well call them best friends. Saving energy is one step in the process, but that’s not the end of it. For instance, Hytrol’s E24 and E24EZ conveyor lines are a good example. Aside from providing a much-needed alternative to conventional 24-volt conveyor rollers, these conveyors have immediate and significant sustainability advantages.

How green does conveyor get?

In the case of E24, we’re talking about energy savings as high as 60%.  But then we get into raw materials savings: An E24 conveyor lasts about 6 times as long as a conventional roller at 125,000 hours life expectancy (24/7 runtime). That’s less steel and power used to manufacture it. E24EZ conveyors have a built-in that allows the conveyors to enter an energy-saving “sleep mode” for the ultimate in quiet, efficient, sustainable powered roller conveyor. Because the conveyor can use only one motor for all widths, it’s excellent for reducing needs for specialized, energy-consuming motors. With 3 moving parts, there are many fewer opportunities for parts failure, and the inefficiency that comes with it.

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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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