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It is the Veteran…

May 28, 2010

Memorial Day

This has very little to do with warehousing, storage, or material handling – the normal stuff you’d see on this blog. It has everything to do with the debt we owe our veterans as the long weekend approaches.  This certainly isn’t original on our part, but it’s about the most apt thing I can think of to say. If you served, or have family who have served, thanks. We owe you everything.

It is the  VETERAN,  not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is  the VETERAN, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the VETERAN,  not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is  the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the VETERAN, not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

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Section 179 Enhanced Limits Extended for 2010 tax year

May 25, 2010

This is great news for small business. How great?

All businesses that purchase or finance less than $800,000 in business equipment should qualify for the Section 179 Deduction. To qualify for the Section 179 Deduction, the equipment purchased must be placed into service between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010. The list of qualifying equipment includes machines purchased for business use, vehicles, computers, and property attached to your building that isn’t part of the structure (essentially, most material handling equipment). For more information, check out the Section 179 website – it has lists of qualifying companies and an online calculator that helps you figure out your position. As always, see a tax professional to ensure your company and purchase qualify.

Please Note – The HIRE Act does not extend the 50% bonus depreciation that was available in the 2009 tax year.  We’ll let you know if there is movement toward extending that credit.

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Button Control Vertical Carousels Application Guide & Videos

May 17, 2010

button controlled vertical carousels

(Videos after the jump)

Vertical Carousels have always been one of the most efficient ways to improve order picking productivity while saving floor space, but they have always been an expensive proposition. Automated carousel systems have their place, and can provide a high return on investment in the right application, but there are lower-volume applications, or specialized operations where a manually controlled vertical carousel may offer the productivity enhancing & space-saving advantages without the higher cost of automation. These carousels are good for operations where it is desirable to minimize forklifts &  ladders usage for a more ergonomic functionality.

So, when is the right time to use a manually controlled system?

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Posted in Automation, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, ROI, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

Cisco-Eagle Wins AACE Employee Ownership Awards

May 17, 2010

Employee-OwnedThe ESOP Association recently announced its 2010 Annual Awards for Communications Excellence (AACE) award winners, and Cisco-Eagle was among the companies honored. These awards recognize the outstanding communications and educational programs. The awards were presented at the Association’s 33rd Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Cisco-Eagle has been an ESOP (employee owned) company since 2000. Our awards include:

  • 1st Place: Category 5-B, External ESOP Advertising – Website
  • Runner Up: Category 3-A, Printed Materials, 250 or fewer employees

For more information on Cisco-Eagle’s employee ownership culture, see our ESOP area.

Read more about the AACE Awards.

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Material Handling for Manufacturing Operations – new brochure

May 11, 2010

industrial handling brochureFor decades, Cisco-Eagle has served the needs of heavy manufacturers, particularly those in the energy sector – oil, chemical, pipe and tubing, and other industrial based customers. With our operations in Texas and Oklahoma, that’s only natural. We have recently released a brochure outlining our capabilities, “Material Handling for Manufacturing Operations.” (PDF, opens a new window). This is a brief overview of our capabilities with the kind of handling equipment these companies require:

We can send you a copy if you want one – just call customer service for assistance. Also, check out Manufacturing Case Studies for some detailed stories of industrial applications we have executed.

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Posted in Conveyor, Lifts, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Safety & Ergonomics| No Comments »

Carts vs. Conveyors in Product Transport Operations

May 10, 2010

conveyors vs. carts for transport

When you are moving items such as cartons, bins, or components through a facility, several methods are available. Most of the time the choice is between non-powered carts & trucks or conveyors, whether power or gravity. (If you’re moving pallets, there are other methods and issues). Generally, conveyors deliver a less manual, safer operation with added efficiency across the board. Products are moved faster and fewer employees are required to accomplish the same tasks. Conveyors minimize fatigue and reduce potential manual lifting injuries. This improved handling has the potential to reduce worker compensation claims and expenses

But when do you make the leap from a manual, cart-driven system to a conveyor transport system?

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Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Docks & Shipping, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, ROI, Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

Extenda conveyor belt pusher is an excellent choice where space is minimal, but the load requires 90-degree sortation

April 21, 2010
90-degree sortation pusher

Hytrol PIB Extenda Pusher

The construction of the Extenda Pusher lends itself to both speed and strength. The robust cylinders – stabilized by tandem aluminum guides – provide the power, while the lightweight aluminum pusher face enhances the speed. With throughput rates of up to 50 cartons per minute, it is easy to see why Hytrol’s Extenda Pusher is the smartest choice for your system. Available in 4 stroke lengths, it mounts to units with overall conveyor widths of 18″, 24″, 30″, and 36″. Unique to this style pusher are proximity sensors for both extend and return signals, which allow you to adjust the stroke length. Its black composite guards are secure yet lightweight and simple to remove. Another standard feature is the emergency stop that when activated immediately empties air pressure stored within the pusher, ensuring safe operation. This space-saving design makes it a great choice for systems where mounting space is minimal, yet products require 90 degree sortation.

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Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Space Saving, Warehousing| No Comments »

Seeing the light: how going energy efficient saves you money

April 19, 2010

Warehouse lighting system - high efficency

Implementing an energy-efficient lighting system can make your facility much brighter overall, and in particular, it can brighten those dark ‘canyons’ between rack rows.

It also saves you money on utility costs. In a large distribution center, the daily cost savings is significant, even before you factor in enhanced productivity due to an overall better working environment. But it gets better: Under the 2005 EPACT law, you can deduct the entire cost of a new lighting system, up to 60 cents a square foot if the system reduces lighting power density below he maximum allowable lighting power densities listed in ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2001, and if a few other requirements are met. This typically results in a much lower cost of ownership and a very quick return on investment.

Oh, and combined with other energy saving upgrades to your facility, that 60 cents could climb to $1.80 a square foot.

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Posted in Docks & Shipping, Manufacturing, Material Handling, News, ROI, Sustainability, Warehousing| No Comments »

Podcast: 5 Easy Ways to Save $100,000 in Distribution Costs

April 9, 2010

Cost vs. Service

The folks at the Material Handling Institute of America have thrown all of last year’s ProMat sessions in Podcast/Webcast form onto their website, for free. This presentation is intriguing – who doesn’t want to save a hundred grand? It’s presented by Louis J. Cerny, Vice President of Sedlak, and lasts about 37 minutes; it’s easy to listen to in the background if you don’t feel the need to watch the slide presentation.

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How Much Difference do Fully-Enclosed Pallet Rack Frames Make?

April 5, 2010

How much difference can a fully enclosed pallet rack upright make? When it comes to the kind of significant injuries, product damage, and overall safety of a warehouse or commercial facility, the minor cost differences are insignificant compared to the potential savings if you prevent just one accident over the next decade. Imagine suffering an accident like this one.

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Posted in Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Pallet Rack, Safety & Ergonomics, Warehousing| No Comments »