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Options for Manufacturing Cost Reduction

June 23, 2015

Component assembly in a manufacturing operation

Waste might be the most critical measure for manufacturing operations – waste of labor, materials, time and money. Many companies are faced with nearly constant pressure to cut costs and increase efficiency, even as demand spikes. This means reducing costs without compromising quality or throughput. What are some things you can do to balance these needs?

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Climate Control Options for Industrial Operations

May 21, 2015

High-volume Low-speed Fan
Do areas of your facility require constant temperatures? Are your employees dealing with significant seasonal temperature variations? These situations all require special conditions – often conditions that are hard to control with people and equipment moving in and out all the time. Let’s examine some climate control options outside the world of HVAC equipment.

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Hytrol e24™ Rollers vs. Lineshaft and Conventional Motor Driven Rollers

April 21, 2015

Hytrol e24 conveyor sketch

Since Hytrol rolled out the e24™ 24-volt motor conveyor in 2008 at Pack Expo at the Cisco-Eagle booth, we have implemented many projects with the new technology. In fact, it has become 18% of power roller conveyor sales since then. Many manufacturers have copied the concept as well. Its advantages and cost savings are well documented, but this comparison takes it a step farther for several existing types of conveyors.

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5 Manufacturing Challenges (or are they Opportunities?)

May 1, 2014

Manufacturing at a pipe coating plant

U.S. manufacturing is at a crossroads. After decades of decline, there are signs of a renaissance, with the chance to re-shore more and more manufacturing capacity every year. Some of this is driven by the natural gas energy boom, and the cost of shipping product in vs. making it in America. You also see more companies returning capacity due to the fact that offshoring didn’t always live up to its cost cutting premise. Whatever the reason, American manufacturing now faces the reality of growth, with the challenges and opportunities that brings.

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Posted in Manufacturing, Robotics, Supply Chain, Sustainability| No Comments »

Factors for Distribution Center Sustainability

July 18, 2012

distribution center conveyor system

At Modex 2012, Hytrol Conveyor’s Boyce Bonham sat down with DCVelocity to discuss distribution center sustainability. We’ve linked the video below, which is worth a few moments of your time. How do initiatives to work greener, smarter, and better affect warehouses and distribution operations? Not surprisingly, these initiatives often save money, at least over the long term.

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Destratifying Air Layers: Cooler, Energy Saving Facilities

July 3, 2012

warehouse temperature stratification

Why air temperature gradients matter

Temperature gradients occur when air is not moving sufficiently to keep rising hot air mixed with descending cool air, creating warmer temperatures at the ceiling and cooler temperatures at the floor, with temperature variations equal to about .75 degrees per foot of rise. This means there could be six degrees difference from the floor to an 8′ ceiling. In a 40 ft ceiling room, temperatures can vary 30 degrees or more. At a glance this seems to be a good thing. The floor of your facility, where people have to operate is cooler than the air pressed against the ceiling.

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Posted in Manufacturing, Safety & Ergonomics, Sustainability, Warehousing| No Comments »

The 5S Approach to Workcells & Workstations

January 4, 2012

workstation with 5S implementation

Based on 5 Japanese words that begin with ‘S’, the 5S Philosophy hones in on effective work place organization and standardized work procedures. When correctly implemented, it reduces waste, increases efficiency, and overall work quality. You’ll also have a safer, more effective operation and employees who are more checked in than they were before. It simplifies work flow and helps you find inefficiency.  You may see things like empty flow racks, needless processes, over stocking, redundant operations,  looming maintenance problems, and more.

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Posted in Docks & Shipping, Industrial Shelving, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Supply Chain, Sustainability, Warehousing, Workbenches & Stations| No Comments »

Small Manufacturers’ Coalition: Keys to Success

October 26, 2011

Manufacturing - motors at an automotive plant

The American Small Manufacturers Coalition (ASMC) released their Next Generation Manufacturing Study in 2011, identifying key trends affecting the industry and steps U.S. manufacturers can take now to be successful in the next generation. Some of the findings are fairly predictable, while others may surprise you. In particular, you have to consider people at all levels. Are your key players likely to retire or take other positions over the next decade or so? How can you prevent that? What can you do to further develop them?

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Preventing Energy Leaks at the Dock Door

September 20, 2011

Loading dock door
Any operation with dock doors faces an uphill challenge when it comes to preserving the climate inside. In particular, air-conditioned and heated facilities must face the reality of losing large volumes of treated air when trailers must be loaded or unloaded. Managers will be asked to scrutinize every expense, and the loss of climate controlled air can be a significant expense.

So how can you minimize air and energy loss?

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Posted in Cross Docking, Docks & Shipping, Safety & Ergonomics, Sustainability, Warehousing| No Comments »

Use Propane in your Forklift? Tax Credits are Running Out

June 9, 2011

Forklift propane bottleA federal tax credit that could allow forklift users to recoup 50 cents of every gallon of propane purchased runs out August 1, 2011. If you run forklifts on propane, it’s nearly a no-brainer that your company should apply for this credit. To get in, you must have submitted your paperwork by the first of August. The credit is part of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Authorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010.  Propane is part of the alternative fuels classification, which also includes natural gas, bio-diesel, and ethanol.

After the deadline, the tax credit reverts to 30%. As always, see your tax professionals before undertaking any decisions based on this information.

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