Material Handling Experts


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

Curtains and Dividers Help Retain Climate, Protect Products

July 18, 2014

When I was a kid, on rainy days my friends and I used  kitchen chairs, old blankets and lots of clothespins and built our own special space for imaginary adventures. Our rag-tag shelter was temporary, but gave us the sensation of being in our own little world. Frequently, in manufacturing and warehousing facilities, work zones and independent departments need separation from the larger whole for either safety or autonomy purposes, and there are products out there that answer those needs. Products like curtain walls, acoustic walls, thermal barriers and welding screens. Read the rest of this entry »

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You Must Control Access to Your Facility

July 2, 2014

Driver's Cage

Above: a driver security cage, which allows entry into a dock area door, but restricts access within the facility

It’s difficult enough to handle the people who are supposed to be in your plant every day, much less visitors. Even those you invite.

The problem has two components: safety and security. From a safety standpoint, you have no idea how an untrained guest might behave. That guest may not know which machines are dangerous. He may not know to use your specified pedestrian walkways, wear steel toe boots, or stay clear of running conveyors. He doesn’t have your safety training. From a security standpoint, guests can be problematic from a number of angles. A plant visitor who has access to storage areas has access to inventory. With even the cheapest of phones now having good cameras and video built in, a guest may photograph something you don’t want made public. That guest could also damage something, accidentally or otherwise. There are lots of wrinkles.

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A Mirror’s a Mirror and a Sensor’s a Sensor, Right?

June 27, 2014
safety mirror group
sensor group
sensor mirror group

Every facility has its own  devices, equipment, and programs to promote safety. There are signs, strobes, beeps, mirrors, bright colors, vests, id tags, and more. When it comes to seeing a hazard approaching, or being able to see what’s around the corner, it can be hard to determine which technology works best. That’s why I decided to take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of two widely used technologies and one fairly new one. Let’s see what can be gained with each, it’s best application, and what you might miss.

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The PickerPal Pick Module Safety Arm System

June 20, 2014

When the fork truck operator is ready to load or unload a pallet with a forklift, he does not need to rely on another worker to handle it. They can position the skid without the assistance of any personal. Often, the gates remain open because of the empty skid, which negates the safety gate completely, causing the safety hazard your trying to correct.

Contact us for information about this safety innovation.

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The Need for Emergency Egress

June 11, 2014

dark stairwell with photoluminescent markings

Sometimes, good can come from great tragedy. Take for instance, the changes in emergency egress signage and marking standards since the 9/11 attacks. During the great devastation of that event lessons where learned about emergency egress – painful lessons. People could not find their way out of dark towers when the lights and emergency generators went offline. A better way had to be designed. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Wonder of Robotic Palletizing

June 6, 2014

Robotic Palletizing

I recently attended an ESOP event at a specialty paints and stains company. During the tour of their plant, I got to see a robotic palletizing system in operation. I was impressed. Standing about 6 to 8 feet away from the action, I watched as it placed 5-gallon cans of paint in rows of 3 stacked 3 high. Each row was offset from the previous one, so that optimum pallet space was used. As the robot picked up cans off the conveyor belt using a vacuum end effector, it placed them precisely on the pallet. Then, it slightly dropped down and “bumped” them to make sure they seated onto the row below. That action made me chuckle as I considered what a profoundly human act that was – a little hip action to make sure the cans seated correctly.

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5 Forklift Safety Articles for National Forklift Safety Day

June 5, 2014

National forklift safety day

The Industrial Truck Association has designated June 10 as National Forklift Safety Day which will “serve as a focal point for manufacturers to highlight the safe use of forklifts and importance of operator training,” according to the ITA website.  Given the issues every operation deals with due to forklift safety, an event like this, that serves as a way to increase awareness for improved safety practices, is an excellent idea.

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5 Common Mistakes People Make with Pallet Racks

June 5, 2014

Pallet rack system

When it comes to warehouse storage, pallet racks provide an optimal, easy-to-maintain solution. They’re the most common way of storing pallet loads in the world, and they’re used in the vast majority of warehouses, manufacturing facilities, commercial operations, and even retail stores. Whether you’re dealing with selective, pushback, drive-in, or other types of racks, the issues are frequently similar.

Safe pallet rack operation involves understanding how to properly use racks; an otherwise safe rack can become dangerous and expensive if used incorrectly. Here are 5 common mistakes people make with pallet racks—and what you can do to ensure you don’t make any of them in your warehouse.

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Forklift Safety: New Seegrid White Paper on Forklift-Free Environments

May 29, 2014

robotic forklift in industrial distribution facility

Our friends at Seegrid just released a new white paper, “Forklift-Free: Driving Safety and Profitability” which we’re honored to have contributed a quote to this year. Per white paper, “Safety is driving momentum for forklift-free environments.” Statistics reveal numerous accidents occur every year, providing reason for greater acceptance of forklift-free environments.

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Prevent Forklifts from Cutting Corners

April 24, 2014

forklift aisle with striping

forklift aisle with guardrail corners

It’s always dangerous when forklifts and people inhabit the same work areas.

You’ve probably heard the statistics when it comes to the forklift and its safety, but one of the most disturbing is the injury rate compared to incident rate. Forklifts cause just 1% of industrial accidents, but are responsible for a staggering 10% of all injuries in the space. So what can you do to help keep people and industrial traffic separated?

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