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

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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Warehouse Space Savings Tip: Consolidate from Shelf Bins into Modular Storage

February 14, 2009

modular drawer storage system

This is a series of posts we’ll be making about saving space in your facility. There are plenty of ways to better utilize space, and some of them might fit your circumstances while others certainly won’t. In today’s challenging business climate, it is particularly critical to use space wisely in your facility.

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Posted in Industrial Shelving, Material Handling, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

How to quadruple the number of cases presented to pickers in your flow rack system

December 26, 2008

case flow racking in a distribution centerColumn flow racking is an innovation designed to present vertical columns of cartons to pickers. It works well for light cartons where flow storage and order picking are desired. You can stack cartons in each lane, allowing for more pick faces in the same space.

Although this system isn’t right for every application, it can provide a large number of pick faces for many types of case-picked product in the same space as regular flow racking.

See Column Flow Racking for more details and photos.

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Can Your Floor Bear the Weight of a New Mezzanine?

December 13, 2008

Structural mezzanineCisco-Eagle has created an informative article you should check out if you are thinking of installing a mezzanine in your facility. When implementing an Industrial Equipment Platform (mezzanine) be sure that you are not putting too much stress or weight on the floor of the building. Too much weight will cause the floor to crack – or worse. This article tells you how to calculate the correct load capacity and column spacing for any new structural mezzanine project. Floor capacity depends on the thickness of the concrete, but that’s not the end of the story. It also matters how much the soil underneath the slab will compress.

Click “Calculating Mezzanine Floor Capacities” to get the whole story…

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Posted in Manufacturing, Material Handling, Mezzanines, Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »

When it Comes to Order Picking, Don’t Walk the Walk

November 3, 2008

picking & restocking from shelvesIn a recent Catalog Success magazine, the following facts were reaffirmed: Three areas – picking, packing and returns – take anywhere from 60% to 80% of labor costs in your typical distribution operation. 60% of the average pickers’ time is spent walking. Not picking, not packing, not checking for quality and accuracy – walking. This is an activity that cannot add value to your operation or to your customers, so you should strive to eliminate it whenever possible.

Not only does it waste time, it makes people tired, and tends to cause a loss in focus and can increase error rates.

Here are some ways to go about removing “walk time” from your operation…

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Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Industrial Shelving, Space Saving, Warehousing, Workbenches & Stations| No Comments »

Ten questions to ask when you’re considering a VRC (Vertical Reciprocating Conveyor) Lift

September 23, 2008

vrc_application.jpg

A few months ago, we posted a Guide to Vertical Reciprocating Conveyors (you might find it useful if you’re looking at any application that moves a load up and down at least one level integrated with a shaft, mezzanine or other are). That guide includes the following questions, which you should be able to answer as you move ahead with your project.

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Posted in Automation, Lifts, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Mezzanines, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

How to optimize picking productivity in a relatively small space

August 20, 2008

pallet racks with carton flow tracks

You know the pareto concept – 80% of the productivity can come from 20% of the operation. That also applies to floor space in many warehouses and industrial operations.

One easy way to save space in your warehouse is to look for big, open spaces in your rack system. If you have pallet racks but not all of your inventory goes into full pallets, one quick way to save space is to use that rack space for higher productivity activities. Could you move each-pick or case-pick operations off of floor pallets or static shelving into flow storage embedded in your racks?

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Posted in Industrial Shelving, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Pallet Rack, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

Upcoming warehousing & logistics seminars

July 29, 2008

Just a quick look at the continuing education opportunities that are available to you over the next few months. None of them are endorsed here, but we are passing along links for anyone who might find the topics of interest. It can be a very mixed bag, but there are times that just one point you carry out of an educational seminar can more than pay for the whole thing…

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Palletizers: ergonomics and justification issues

June 30, 2008

lifting from the “golden zone”As interest continues to grow in automated palletizing, let’s take a brief look at a few of the issues surrounding these applications.

Over the next couple of months, I’ll be providing a handful of blog postings relative to palletizers. We will begin with what is driving the growth in the use of these products, then a look at basic systems, cost estimates, what you can expect from a properly applied palletizer system, and then share specifics from a couple of actual implementations in distribution centers.If you are experienced in palletizer systems, you will likely be familiar with much of what is covered here. If you are new to palletizing, or considering your first system, hopefully this information will help you understand what the issues are and how you can navigate them.

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This article is part of a series of articles on Palletizers. Click on a link below to view one of the other articles.
  1. Palletizers: ergonomics and justification issues
  2. Palletizer Perspectives: Is Palletizing Suitable for My Operation?

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Posted in Automation, Material Handling, Palletizers, Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »

P.E. Seals and Calcs – what they are, and why you need them on mezzanine projects

June 19, 2008

structural mezzanineWhen you’re working on a mezzanine (or work platform) project, you may be provided P.E. seals and calculations. Here’s why you will get these elements…

What are P.E. Seals and Calcs?

  • Calculations are a hard copy document of the checks of the mezzanine structural components
  • Seals are a stamp placed on the calculations and drawings certifying that a state registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) has made or reviewed them

Who & Why might you need them?

  • To obtain building permits municipalities may require them
  • Required by municipality plan checkers to review for code compliance
  • The end user may require them to certify review of the structure
  • Some companies require them for their records

What is included?

  • 3 copies of the drawings and calculations (normal)
  • All with a P.E. seal for the state that the mezzanine will be installed

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