Material Handling Experts

888-877-3861

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

The top 10 OSHA violations for 2007

May 1, 2008

rack protected by steel guard railingFrom a total of 39,324 inspections last year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found 88,846 violations. For warehousers, distributors and manufacturers, the list is familiar.

  1. Scaffolding
  2. Fall protection
  3. Hazard communication
  4. Control of hazardous energy
  5. Respiratory protection
  6. Powered industrial trucks
  7. Electrical (wiring)
  8. Ladders
  9. Machine guarding
  10. Electrical (general requirements).

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Conveyor, Manufacturing, Material Handling, News, Pallet Rack, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing| No Comments »

Pallet rack specification drawings available

April 27, 2008

selective rack drawingWe’ve added a series of drawings from Steel King that detail out the critical dimensions for various kinds of pallet rack, ranging from selective to drive-in, to over-door pallet storage racks. It’s a small PDF file (just 368 KB) that shows front and side views of various rack types and the things needed to correctly specify them. It’s easy to print and has some other links to useful pallet rack information and web pages.

Check it out. If you’re working on a rack project, it’s one more tool you can put to fast use.

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Material Handling, Pallet Rack, Warehousing| No Comments »

What Type of Industrial Shelving Would Work Best for You?

April 10, 2008

 

selecting industrial shelving

While there are dozens and dozens of shelving manufacturers and even more variations of trade names for them, there are really just three basic kinds of industrial shelving manufactured and broadly used — Rivet-Type, Steel Clip, and Wire. Of course, there are more variations of these shelving types than you can imagine, but most shelving boils down to these kinds. You can also consider bulk rack as “shelving”, but we have found that heavy duty rivet shelving often fulfills the roles it has typically filled.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Industrial Shelving, Material Handling, Warehousing| No Comments »

2008 Cisco-Eagle catalogs now available

March 27, 2008

Cisco-Eagle full line material handling catalog

We recently published the 2008 Cisco-Eagle full-line catalog. It’s 132 pages of equipment, specs, and information about our product and services offerings. You can request one from any Cisco-Eagle sales associate, or contact us directly for one through the website. If you want to download it for instant availability, click here. It’s a large file at 10MB compressed, so it has been broken up into smaller sections – pick the one you want and instantly get it. Of course, more information is always available on this website, but for printing and easy portability, the catalog may be just the thing for you.

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Material Handling, News| No Comments »

Study: RFID improves inventory accuracy

March 19, 2008

RFID Center test conveyor loop

A quick note: Cisco-Eagle is a sponsor of the University of Arkansas RFID Research center. We’ve been involved with the center since its 2005 inception. I’ve visited the center a number of times, and have seen the innovative work that’s being done.

The center continues to excel with this study on the effect of RFID technology on inventory accuracy.

The study confirms that RFID can have a significant positive effect on retail inventory accuracy. For players like Wal-Mart, this means millions of dollars in savings. A preliminary analysis demonstrated that an automated, RFID-enabled inventory system improved accuracy by about 13% in test stores compared to control stores.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Material Handling, News, RFID, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »

Cross Docking: A retailer improves supply chain

March 14, 2008

This is the fourth in a series of briefs on cross docking

A recent project for a large retailer in the Southwest provided a good example of how an element of cross-docking might be deployed to reduce the footprint of distribution space required, reduce order fulfillment touchpoints, and shorten the logical pathway for fulfilling orders.

Incoming shipments are anticipated through the use of advanced shipping notices (ASN’s). Stretch-wrapped pallet loads arrive via truck throughout the day. They arrive at doors designated for cross-docking. These doors were selected based upon proximity to the material handling system which takes advantage of the facility layout. Pallets are unloaded by fork truck, the stretch wrap removed, and cases manually inducted into one of several conveyor staging lanes. Each lane represents a “wave” of orders which will be processed either that day, or a specific day later in the week. When a wave is released, it moves downstream, and the individual cases are sorted to a specific shipping lane whose products are destined for a particular store. Other products from static storage positions and non-conveyables destined for the same store are consolidated at this point. Read the rest of this entry »


This article is part of a series of articles on Cross Docking. Click on a link below to view one of the other articles.
  1. Cross Docking: Is it Right For Me?
  2. Am I Wasting Time: is Cross-Docking a Viable Consideration for my Company?
  3. Cross Docking: What are the facility layout considerations?
  4. Cross Docking: A retailer improves supply chain

Tags: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Cross Docking, Material Handling, Supply Chain| No Comments »

Vertical lift manufacturer PFlow Industries recognizes Cisco-Eagle as top-3 distributor

March 13, 2008

Pflow Industries (pronounced “flow”, by the way) recently recognized Cisco-Eagle as a top distributor of its vertical reciprocating conveyor and other lift products. Pflow Southeast Regional Manager Chuck Cobb presented the awards to our Dallas and Houston offices. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Automation, Lifts, Material Handling, News, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing| No Comments »

Cost of delivery – look out!

March 13, 2008

Last night I while watching the news on TV, I saw a story on the cost of diesel fuel. Where I live I understand that diesel fuel runs about 60-80 cents more per gallon than what I pay now for unleaded. The news story showed a trucker filling his tank, and the total bill came in around $600!

The story cited the rising cost of oil and increasing demand for diesel in other countries as contributing factors to the rising prices. I am sure that the current value of our dollar has also affected the price at the pump.

Those increasing fuel prices affect the delivery cost of capital equipment. Most freight companies add a fuel surcharge to the cost of delivery. As the price of fuel fluctuates, they adjust fuel surcharges accordingly. One freight company we work with adjusts their surcharges weekly. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , ,
Posted in Material Handling, Warehousing| No Comments »

Basics: Rivet Shelving and Heavy-Capacity Applications

February 28, 2008

Riveteer Long Span ShelvingIt’s safe to say that there is shelving of some kind in almost every warehousing or other industrial operation, offices, and most commercial facilities. Even a sophisticated distribution center outfitted with AS/RS usually has fallback storage in the form of rack or shelving. For those applications that require a lot of heavy-duty shelving, though, issues of capacity come to the forefront.

A few years back, we had a customer who asked us to quote a good amount of rivet shelving (you might call it particle board, boltless, or by a brand like RiveTier or Penco’s Rivet Rite). It was a good sized project and that customer ended up buying it used from another company. He was happy with it right up until it collapsed and dumped hundreds of bins of aerospace components to the floor. The problem? He was storing something very heavy on either a shelf or on a post that couldn’t handle it. Once one of the shelves buckled, it set off a chain reaction that was kind of like dominoes and a whole lot of shelves went down. The components were similar looking, except for sizes, and it was pretty much a total loss.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Industrial Shelving, Material Handling, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing| No Comments »

Steel shortages are coming; here’s how to avoid being impacted

February 22, 2008

Are you ready for 2004 all over again? the roller coaster ride of rising steel prices and surcharges may be on its way back.

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, steel prices are rising amid tightened supplies and robust overseas demand. For industrial and warehousing operators (and for material handling companies like us) the implications are obvious: prices are going to increase and they are going to be volatile in 2008. According to the Journal, “The worst-case scenario could be a repeat of 2004, when manufacturers of many products, from automobiles to washing machines, faced severe steel shortages and record-high prices.” The price of hot-rolled steel has increased about 6% in the past two weeks. There is about a 3-month supply of steel remaining, and shortages are predicted.

The takeaway: if you’re considering a large capital project like a conveyor or rack system that utilizes lots of steel, the time to pull the trigger is probably now, not later, to avoid a large hit on escalating steel prices.

Tags: , ,
Posted in Manufacturing, Material Handling, News, Warehousing| No Comments »