Material Handling Experts


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

What is Material Handling?

July 20, 2009

In my mind, material handling can be boiled down to this statement Cisco-Eagle developed years ago:

“Material Handling is a set of solutions for the movement, storage, retrieval, control and protection of materials and products throughout their manufacture, distribution, consumption and disposal. We enable clients to get the right amount of the right material to the right place at the right time in the right sequence in the right position in the right condition for the right cost in a safe manner.”

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10 steps to supply chain sustainability

July 17, 2009

green warehouse conveyor

The Material Handling Industry of America has posted a video that may be helpful if you are starting the process of “greening” your supply chain.

Baby steps are important, especially at the plant level. For instance, in a recent Cisco-Eagle white paper (PDF), we point out the value of energy efficient conveyor motors. A thousand feet of conveyor outfitted with energy efficient motors could cut enough energy costs over five years to pay for 90% of the cost of the equipment. Also, besides its money savings and “green” profile, you are also saving on heat, which means the equipment may require less maintenance, and endure less wear and tear. It’s a win-win.

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Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Manufacturing, Material Handling, News, Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Supply Chain, Sustainability, Warehousing| No Comments »

Conveyor Education: A Basic Maintenance Checklist

July 1, 2009

service and maintenance

We’re compiling a great deal of conveyor-related information, tips and articles into a series of downloadable conveyor white papers.  The first focuses on the basics of conveyor maintenance – what to do, when to do it, and how, in general terms. As the paper says, most conveyors ship with detailed maintenance manuals that will help your staff keep them running at top efficiency. The good news is that conveyors are very tough, reliable machinery. They require maintenance, but for the hours of service and stress put on them, they are remarkably reliable.

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CEMA releases unit handling conveyor application guidebook

June 18, 2009

CEMA application guide for unit handling conveyors

CEMA, (Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association) has released its Application Guide for Unit Handling Conveyors.  This is an in-depth guide for design details and application guidance of Unit Handling Conveyors (these conveyors typically mean pallet handling, but also can encompass cartons, totes, monorail, and manufactured items.  This application guide was collaborated by conveyor industry leaders. Order yours directly from CEMA for $250 plus ship/handling charges of $15.75 per single copy. CEMA may offer discounts of orders of 20+ books.

More on Unit Handling Conveyors:

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Online conveyor calculators added to the Cisco-Eagle website

June 9, 2009

Cisco-Eagle online conveyor calculators 

As part of our goal to provide you with more information and tools about the products we offer, we have added four new online conveyor calculators to the website. These calculators will help you to find the right conveyor for the job.

Let’s take a look at each calculator, and what they can do for you.

  • Incline Calculator. This calculator will provide you with dimensions for an incline conveyor. You can answer questions such as “Will an incline conveyor fit in the space I have?”, or “Given a specific angle of incline, how long will the conveyor need to be?” With incline conveyors there are four basic dimensions and the incline angle to consider. If you know three of the dimensions or the angle, the calculator will provide the missing dimensions or angle.
  • Box Tumbling Calculator. The taller the carton, container, or box you wish to move on an incline, the more prone it is to tumble. If you enter the dimensions of the product, the calculator will provide the maximum angle of incline before it will tumble back down the conveyor.
  • Skewed Roller Calculator. If you need to align a package to the right or left side of the conveyor one method is to skew the rollers by moving one end of the rollers over by one notch in the frame. This calculator will tell you the length the package will need to travel across skewed rollers to move the package the required distance to one side.
  • Minimum Curve Width Calculator. As a package is being conveyed through a curve it can become jammed between guardrails if the curve is not wide enough. This calculator will help you find the minimum width required to move that package through the curve without jamming.

There is still more to consider in the proper design of conveyor, and these calculators address some of the issues. Contact us if you need more assistance with a complete design for your requirement.

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Saving Space: Shelves vs. Modular Drawers vs. Flow Racking vs. Vertical Carousels

June 3, 2009

Vertical carousels and space savings

This is a good visual comparison of how much space is utilized by various storage methods. The vertical carousel provides the same amount of storage space as several rows of shelving or modular drawer storage. In this particular instance, the carousel saves over 1,400 square feet of floor space when compared to shelving. Of course, you know the cost differences are significant, but there are other factors in making a decision about these types of storage equipment.

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Posted in Automation, Industrial Shelving, Material Handling, Pallet Rack, Space Saving, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »

What’s the Most Useless Space in your Warehouse?

May 20, 2009

space wasted above dock doorsNext time you’re standing there wondering where you’re going to put an inbound shipment while your dock is stacked with empty pallets, look at those doors (or at the void above them)  —  the copious space between the top of the doors and the ceiling is unused. Multiply each door by that amount of space, and in many operations, we’re talking serious amounts of unused square footage.

The easy solution: find a use for it with over-dock-door storage. You can’t really rack heavy stuff up there without some significant structure. The best thing to consider is empty pallets, which take up a ton of room and are relatively lightweight. And usually, they’re all over the floor and always in your way. Empty pallets clutter up the shipping & receiving docks or can take up positions in your racks that would be better suited to full pallets of finished goods or incoming shipments.

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

1,149,120 Hytrol Model TA Belt Conveyor Combinations

May 13, 2009

Model TA belt conveyor

Over the last few months, we have been tweaking the conveyors offered on our website to offer a variety of options in a usable, easy-to-understand format. What we came up with is an online configuration system that allows great flexibility in changing the conveyor the way you want to change it.

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Steel (and Material Handling) Prices might be on the Move

May 12, 2009

Steel millAlthough most metal markets are still depressed from their all time highs of the last few years, it’s quite likely that steel pricing is going to increase in the near term. What’s that mean? It means that pricing for steel goods like warehouse racks, conveyors, shelving, mezzanines, and other material handling equipment will be on the rise.

“We are clearly going to see higher prices for May,” said Marty Forman, president of Forman Metal Co.  in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Things aren’t going to explode, by any means, but the scuttlebutt is that steel prices are going up $15 to $20 a ton.”

The takeaway? Prices are as low as they will be for the near future right now.

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The Plight of the Warehouse Manager

May 6, 2009

warehouse manager - distribution center management

With the advent of widespread e-commerce fulfillment, just-in-time principles, lean management, supply chain collaboration, globalization, the need for ever-faster response, and constant pressure to reduce expenses through headcount and shift reductions, today’s warehouse manager is being asked to do more than ever before.

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