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

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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What’s the Right Warehouse Rack System for Your Operation?

March 8, 2016

Forklift in front of rack and shelving warehouse system

A warehouse rack system is a humble part of any storage operation that can quietly make or break its success. While that may sound dramatic, it’s a fact that in a warehouse or distribution center a rack system is at the core of operations. It’s involved in several stages of operations and it follows that it should be carefully considered.

The good news is warehouse racking systems are available in many different configurations. Most can be customized to suit your warehouse’s specific space and business needs, fill the cube and operate in most any way you’d like. Whether you are storing pallets, beverage loads, heavy components, furniture, food, cartons or any other load, rack systems can be designed to fit your application.

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Posted in Inventory Management, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Pallet Rack, Warehousing| No Comments »

Essentials of Safe Chemical Storage

February 25, 2016

Hazardous Chemical Representation
Often we think of hazardous chemicals storage in light of EPA and other regulatory requirements – what will I get cited for if I don’t comply? Forget citations – isn’t the real reason the safety of your workers and your facility? Let’s discuss safety measures that don’t require a large effort, but may help prevent significant issues.

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How to Reduce Your Storage Footprint with Spiral Conveyors

February 9, 2016

spiral conveyor system

In any warehouse or distribution facility, there are two critical—and usually very limited—commodities: time and space.

Warehouses and DC’s are limited by these two constraints – you basically have your square footage, your people, and 24 hours in a day—or less, if you aren’t running three shifts. These constraints drive us to refine processes and optimize performance. Let’s discuss a type of equipment that can save time and slash the need for space: spiral conveyors.

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Posted in Conveyor, Material Handling, Mezzanines, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

How WCS Controls & Synchronizes Automated Equipment & Systems

February 4, 2016

Automated Conveyor System
When you deploy automated equipment and systems like conveyor sortation, picking, packing, and order consolidation, you may think that getting the equipment to do its basic job is the goal. That optimal production and worker performance had been gained. There’s a digital element that you may not have considered, though – a warehouse control system.
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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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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 »

Safety and Cranes: What You Need to Know

January 26, 2016

gantry crane system
The jib, gantry and bridge cranes used in material handling applications are typically smaller, lower capacity, and used with a much wider array of end effectors — magnetic connections, manipulators, bundlers and other specialized end effectors along with the standard hook mounts — than construction cranes, but many of the same safety and application issues are shared by both types of crane systems. Read the rest of this entry »

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Structural vs. Roll-Form Pallet Racks: a Comparison

November 16, 2015

structural rack application

Structural vs. roll form racks: which fits your application and operation best?

Roll-form selective rack is the standard for many industrial storage operations. It’s the go-to rack due to its teardrop assembly, ease-of-use, and strength. Because it doesn’t require bolts or other hardware (aside from a snap-on safety clip) to attach beams to uprights, it’s a popular option for selective industrial pallet storage operations. But there is another option: structural rack with bolt-on beam/frame connections, higher capacities and rigidity.

Why would you use structural racks rather than roll-form racking?

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A Guide to Stacking Bulk Materials

November 10, 2015


When you have bulk materials to store and handle, when is it best to stack them on the floor, and when do you need to move it to storage equipment like heavier racks? How can you safely and effectively stack these materials on the ground? OSHA offers some guidelines on the question from a safety perspective. When you do opt for either floor stacking or rack storage, what are some safeguards you should take?

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