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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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Safety in the Workplace: Key Insights from Modex 2014

April 17, 2014

Forklift in a warehouse

Supply chain expo Modex, held every other year in Atlanta, GA, offers attendees access to the latest manufacturing and supply chain technologies.  More than 800 exhibitors from industry, commerce, and government displayed their supply chain solutions on the 180,000 square foot show floor.

During the show, Cisco-Eagle demonstrated our automated forklift safety system, AisleCop®, a Best New Innovation Finalist for the MHI Innovation Award.  When possible, we snuck away from our booth to tour the floor and connect with some of the industry’s leading innovators.

One of the key trends we’re seeing organizations emphasize this year is safety.  To get a sense of how manufacturers are handling safety, we posed the following question:

“What are some of the key trends/ways you are seeing organizations shape safety in the workplace this year?”

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Configuring a Forklift Warning Light

March 11, 2014

Forklift warning light distance

When it comes to pedestrian safety in warehouses, the problem can be plain old attention span

People who aren’t paying attention are at the most risk, particularly those who walk near and around forklifts. People don’t pay attention because they’re busy, worried about deadlines. Or they’re absorbed in their smart phone, or in a conversation with someone. The reasons vary, but when forklifts are involved, the results can be deadly.

Most experts agree that the key is training for both the pedestrians and forklift drivers, and that’s correct. Others will also point out the need to enhance that training with various facility and equipment upgrades. That’s why many companies have installed forklift warning lights, often called “blue lights”, that project a disc of light that precedes the forklift as it moves. Since the forklift is typically the most dangerous piece of equipment in any facility that uses it, these types of low-cost enhancements are sensible and easy.

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AisleCop® a Finalist for MHI 2014 Innovation Awards

February 7, 2014

AisleCop Forklift Safety System

The Material Handling Industry of America (MHI) has named Cisco-Eagle’s AisleCop® Automated Forklift Safety System a finalist for the 2014 Innovation Award, Best New Innovation Category. Judging, and the final awards, happens at Modex 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Another Reminder: The Importance of Lockout/Tagout

December 19, 2013

Conveyor order picking

We talk safety a lot,  mainly because the environment we work in, and the customers we work with use equipment like forklifts and conveyors in areas where interaction with people is unavoidable. We believe the first responsibility we have to our customers, and the first responsibility our customers have to themselves, is safety. Many of the wonderful benefits of material handling equipment comes with the risk of injury. It’s powerful machinery, and people must pick from it, walk near, it or otherwise interact with it. 

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The Top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of Conveyor Safety

November 18, 2013

Conveyor System

When it comes to conveyor operation, safety should always be a top concern. With more than 50 workplace fatalities a year where conveyors are the primary source of injury and workplace accidents accounting for nearly 25% of all workers’ compensation claims, you must pay attention to industry standard safety practices (see below).

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