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Post-Modex Report: What’s the Buzz in Manufacturing Technology?

May 12, 2014

crane used in manufacturing

This year, technology innovation is propelling the manufacturing industry to unprecedented levels. Emerging technologies, in combination with advancements in automation, distribution, and talent development, are likely to produce major changes in the way many things are made in the years to come.

So what’s hot in manufacturing technology? We addressed this question (and many more) during the supply chain expo Modex, where we interviewed leading manufacturers about key trends shaping the industry in 2014. The following is a recap of some of the responses we heard from industry experts (in addition to our own thoughts on technologies to watch throughout the latter half of the year): Read the rest of this entry »

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Avoid These Common Warehouse Layout Mistakes

May 10, 2014

warehouse layout

It’s not easy to understand when facility layout is causing significant problems for an operation.

Everything in a warehouse or distribution facility can be affected by the way the warehouse is planned and laid out. You may be suffering from over-forecasted demand for product and under-forecasted need for square footage. Executives may not fully understand what it takes to receive, store, and ship orders. What are some of the more common problems when it comes to facility layout?

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2014 Manufacturing Trends: Cisco-Eagle Interviews with Leading Manufacturers

May 5, 2014

As we’ve written about previously, Cisco-Eagle took part in last month’s supply chain expo Modex, held in Atlanta, GA.  When we weren’t demonstrating our automated forklift safety system and talking to customers, we snuck away from our booth to connect with some of the industry’s leading innovators.

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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 »

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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Posted in Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing| No Comments »

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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Automation for Everyone: Cisco-Eagle Q&A with Seegrid

April 14, 2014

Last month, Cisco-Eagle traveled to Atlanta, GA to take part in the supply chain expo, Modex.  We were there every day of the show, demonstrating innovations in forklift and industrial safety as well as focusing on other material handling innovations. It was a great opportunity for us to take in the innovations, see customers, and learn about new ways to solve problems.

Amanda MerrellWhen time allowed (it was a jam-packed 4 days!) we toured the floor to discover the latest manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain solutions from the industry’s leading innovators.  We’re grateful we had the opportunity to sit down with Amanda Merrell, Marketing Director for one of our partner companies, Seegrid, a manufacturer of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) for the material handling industry. 

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Posted in Automation, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Robotics| No Comments »

Cisco-Eagle’s 2013-2014 Employee-Owner of the Year is Tammy Barnes

April 7, 2014

Tammy Barnes and Darein Gandall

Above: Tammy Barnes, Employee-Owner of the Year, and Cisco-Eagle President Darein Gandall.

Tammy Barnes has been named our 2013-2014 Employee-Owner of the Year.

The annual award is presented by the company’s ESOP Advisory Committee. It recognizes an employee-owner who has gone beyond what is expected to promote and support the ownership culture at Cisco-Eagle. This award
is distinct because it is awarded directly by a committee of  employees rather than senior management.

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Warehousing Key Performance Indicators

April 5, 2014

order picking cartons at a distribution center

Key performance indicators – KPI’s – are frequently used in general business to evaluate the success of everything from a specific department to an entire enterprise. They focus on strengths and weaknesses. Many warehousing KPI’s tend to be focused on external performance, such as on-time shipments that directly impact customers. This is a good measure, but the need to go deeper and measure the factors that drive those success rates is critical. What are some KPI’s for warehousing operations?

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Posted in Order Picking & Fulfillment, ROI, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »

WCS vs. WMS: Complementary Warehouse Software

March 16, 2014

sortation system

A warehouse control system (WCS) directs “real-time” activities within warehouses and distribution centers. They act as a traffic regulator for warehousing activities, with the mission of running material handling systems (and in some instances, the activities of workers). A good WCS system provides a broad, yet consistent interface for material handling systems like conveyors, carousels, palletizers, sorters, etc. On the other hand, a warehouse management system (WMS) is more focused on broader activities, people, and processes, such as shipments and orders. WMS usually doesn’t reach downstream into the automated equipment itself. A WMS is more about controlling human interactions to fulfill or receive product.

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