Material Handling Experts


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

Hytrol to hold the line on conveyor costs until June 30 despite escalating, unpredictable steel costs

May 22, 2008

conveyor system

Steel prices and fuel prices are headed nowhere but up in the coming months.

Price increases and surcharges have become commonplace, driven by increased steel costs and skyrocketing fuel prices. We look around and see manufacturers issuing price increases, steel surcharges and fees on a weekly basis. It’s industry-wide and it’s being driven by international demand and also some commodities market issues. We have seen manufacturers decline to provide a price – orders are priced at shipment. This is reminiscent of the 1970’s, and it’s welcome by absolutely nobody who runs an industrial facility or deals in material handling equipment.

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Comparing Pallet Rack Guards: Flexible Netting vs. Wire Mesh Panels

May 19, 2008

pallet rack wire mesh guardingUnguarded rack is flat-out dangerous if orders are being picked in the lower bays, or there is consistent foot traffic below. Safety managers know this, insurance companies know it, and if you have rack in your facility, you should know it too. Look, we have all probably seen pallets break. We’ve seen drivers make mistakes when loading & unloading. We’ve seen things fall off. If you’ve been in the business any length of time, you may have walked into your warehouse in the morning to find a case of something from the fourth level split open on the floor. It happens to everyone, and if you’re in the industry long enough, it’ll happen to you.

Stuff falls off of racks, and if we’re fortunate, none of the stuff hits someone. But you can also prevent that drop in the first place and maybe save the stored inventory as well. So if you buy into the fact that your racks should have some fall protection, then the question becomes: “what kind?”

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Seven ways E24 power rollers are better than Conventional Motorized Roller Conveyors

May 15, 2008

E24 powered conveyor rollerLast year, there was a big splash when Hytrol introduced its E24 powered roller conveyor system – and rightly so, it’s great stuff. (See the link above for video, datasheets, and more).

E24 is a brushless, gearless, low RPM, high torque motor that drives conveyor rollers reliably and efficiently. The external motor provides exceptional flexibility, superb heat dissipation, and a robustness that cannot be achieved with motors embedded in conveyor rollers. But what really makes E24 superior to the conventional motorized roller conveyor? Let’s explore…

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The top 10 OSHA violations for 2007

May 1, 2008

rack protected by steel guard railingFrom a total of 39,324 inspections last year, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found 88,846 violations. For warehousers, distributors and manufacturers, the list is familiar.

  1. Scaffolding
  2. Fall protection
  3. Hazard communication
  4. Control of hazardous energy
  5. Respiratory protection
  6. Powered industrial trucks
  7. Electrical (wiring)
  8. Ladders
  9. Machine guarding
  10. Electrical (general requirements).

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Pallet rack specification drawings available

April 27, 2008

selective rack drawingWe’ve added a series of drawings from Steel King that detail out the critical dimensions for various kinds of pallet rack, ranging from selective to drive-in, to over-door pallet storage racks. It’s a small PDF file (just 368 KB) that shows front and side views of various rack types and the things needed to correctly specify them. It’s easy to print and has some other links to useful pallet rack information and web pages.

Check it out. If you’re working on a rack project, it’s one more tool you can put to fast use.

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“If you don’t maintain physical security in the real world, any and all safeguards you erect in the virtual world may be meaningless.”

April 20, 2008

Does this man belong in your datacenter?That’s a compelling line from Ed Tittel’s article at

For Datacenter, server, and other sensitive information technology, it seems as if the security focus has sometimes missed the actual servers themselves. As Tittel says in the piece, “…just about any Windows NT, 2000 or XP laptop, booting this software (NT Locksmith) from a floppy permits a knowledgeable Windows person to take over the machine and reset the administrator password in 5-10 minutes.”

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What Type of Industrial Shelving Would Work Best for You?

April 10, 2008


selecting industrial shelving

While there are dozens and dozens of shelving manufacturers and even more variations of trade names for them, there are really just three basic kinds of industrial shelving manufactured and broadly used — Rivet-Type, Steel Clip, and Wire. Of course, there are more variations of these shelving types than you can imagine, but most shelving boils down to these kinds. You can also consider bulk rack as “shelving”, but we have found that heavy duty rivet shelving often fulfills the roles it has typically filled.

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Cisco-Eagle wins AACE Award for Printed Materials

April 4, 2008

ESOP logoCisco-Eagle has been selected by the ESOP Association as the nationwide winner of the 2008 award for Printed Materials (250 or fewer employees). The AACE (Annual Awards for Communications Excellence) Awards are sponsored each year by the Association to recognize the outstanding communications and educational programs of its members. The award will be presented in May 2008 in Washington, DC at the Association’s Annual Conference.

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2008 Cisco-Eagle catalogs now available

March 27, 2008

Cisco-Eagle full line material handling catalog

We recently published the 2008 Cisco-Eagle full-line catalog. It’s 132 pages of equipment, specs, and information about our product and services offerings. You can request one from any Cisco-Eagle sales associate, or contact us directly for one through the website. If you want to download it for instant availability, click here. It’s a large file at 10MB compressed, so it has been broken up into smaller sections – pick the one you want and instantly get it. Of course, more information is always available on this website, but for printing and easy portability, the catalog may be just the thing for you.

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Study: RFID improves inventory accuracy

March 19, 2008

RFID Center test conveyor loop

A quick note: Cisco-Eagle is a sponsor of the University of Arkansas RFID Research center. We’ve been involved with the center since its 2005 inception. I’ve visited the center a number of times, and have seen the innovative work that’s being done.

The center continues to excel with this study on the effect of RFID technology on inventory accuracy.

The study confirms that RFID can have a significant positive effect on retail inventory accuracy. For players like Wal-Mart, this means millions of dollars in savings. A preliminary analysis demonstrated that an automated, RFID-enabled inventory system improved accuracy by about 13% in test stores compared to control stores.

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