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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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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ESOP news roundup

June 10, 2009

Cisco-Eagle is employee owned, managed and operated. We believe that this gives us advantages over just about any company that we compete against – you deal with an owner with a real stake in the company every time you call us, every time you have your conveyor serviced, every time we install equipment, send an invoice, or design a material handling system. It’s a way of doing business that has permeated our company culture and helps us to be more accountable, more service oriented and more involved with our customers.

Darrell Griffin named Cisco-Eagle’s 2009 ESOP Employee Owner of the Year. Griffin is Cisco-Eagle’s Systems & Design Manager and has been with us since 1995. Darrell has been involved as a member of our ESOP Advisory Committee, and as an active participant in many employee activities. The award recognizes one employee every year for going above and beyond what is expected to promote our ownership culture and personal accountability. Last year, the award was won by our Training Manager, Anne Miller.

ESOp squares at Cisco-EagleAlso, Cisco-Eagle won the ESOP Association’s award for Special Events and Promotions – One Outstanding Event. We ran a game show on Employee Ownership day, our own version of “ESOP Squares.” Since we are a material handling company, we naturally put our “celebrities” in a frame of pallet rack to run our game, which was held at our Dallas warehouse and broadcast to all other locations following a company wide brunch.

Fashioned after the Hollywood Squares TV show,  our Senior Leadership team and our Selling Shareholders manned the rack as the “celebrities” to fill in the squares.

Cisco-Eagle has 8 office locations, which were split up into 4 different regions to play the game. Each region decided on a team of three that would be the contestants. They worked together to pick squares and “agree” or “disagree” with the ESOP celebrities.  The game was played out in three rounds with a lot of humorous moments intertwined with the ESOP information. In the end, our South Texas team was victorious and took home the illustrious ESOP Squares trophy, as well as scoring an ice cream party.

Cisco-Eagle was the Runner-up for External ESOP Advertising – Print Advertising. Many examples of our print advertising can be found at our literature downloads area.

The AACE awards are presented annually. More information can be found here.

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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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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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Metal Lockers: Quick Ship vs. Production

April 12, 2009

Penco Vanguard LockersWe’ve offered quick ship metal lockers from Penco for years. They ship fast, they’re easy to order, but sizes, color, and other options are limited. You can order them today and you’ll get them fast. They’re used all over the place – schools, warehouse locker rooms, industrial and commercial facilities. People like them for easy, inexpensive secure personal storage. But now, we’re offering Built to Order Vanguard Lockers priced by the frame on our site. This gives you a ton of options and flexibility.

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How can you slash DC labor costs? With product slotting

March 24, 2009

The North Texas WERC (Warehouse Education and Resource Council) is presenting a Dinner & Educational seminar on the topic of product slotting. According to WERC, Product Slotting may be the most cost-effective improvement opportunity in today’s distribution center. Slotting is assigning an item into the right storage fixture type and placing it into a location that results in the most efficient use of space, equipment and labor resources. To get the product into the right location many factors can be analyzed including product velocity and order commonality. At the same time, the optimum location must satisfy special storage and handling requirements, such as weight and contamination issues. The optimization of product slotting can be complicated without the aid of an advanced slotting program. There are a few on the market, and WERC has invited Optricity to demonstrate how their slotting program  solves this complex opportunity to slash your DC labor costs.

The Dinner presentation is Tuesday, May 12, 2009 at 4:30. It costs $40, and includes dinner and networking sessions. For more information, visit the WERC North Texas events page.

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