Material Handling Experts


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

Hytrol Conveyor now ships with Higher-Efficiency, EPAct-compliant Motors

October 13, 2008

190nsp_small2.jpgIn July, Hytrol Conveyor Company started shipping conveyors with EPAct efficiency motors. The company ships conveyors standard with the motors, at no extra charge. This is a significant upgrade. Besides the savings from EPAct compliance, these motors are invertor-duty from 15hz to 6hz. It also carries a two-year warranty, an extra year compared to the previous, standard duty motors. Generally, the mandated efficiency levels of EPAct motors fall somewhere between the present efficiencies of Baldor’s standard motors and Baldor’s Super-E®premium efficient motors.

The energy savings component varies by motor, hours in usage, loads, and other factors. If you are interested in details, contact us for assistance.

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Intermingling new & existing pallet rack parts

October 3, 2008

pallet rack beam and upright connectionWhen you are running an operation with lots of racking, it isn’t uncommon to have to replace an occasional upright or beam, or to add new bays onto an existing row. Sometimes you cannot avoid it, as the rack was purchased years ago, by someone else, from a source you can’t even locate. It might be that you bought used rack and need to fill some gaps in, or it may be perfectly good, 15-year old rack that just needs some expansion or damaged components replaced.

This is done all the time, and although it isn’t an optimum situation for rack stability and safety, you can minimize the issues by following the following guidelines:

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Straight Conveyor Transfers: An Illustrated Application Guide

September 24, 2008

Straight conveyor transfer, roller to belt

This guide provides some quick tips to avoid snags, box tumbling, & hang-up’s when you’re transferring from one conveyor to another. Transfers are used to move a package from one conveyor to another, often in a longer line. Straight transfers are the most common type, used to connect individual conveyors in a longer line. Typically, these conveyors can be utilized in straight transfer applications:

Check it out: A guide to conveyor transfers

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

September 23, 2008


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 »

More pallet rack safety tips

September 9, 2008

rack-aisle.jpgJust some tips we’ve picked up along the way when it comes to keeping pallet racks safe:

  • The majority of pallet rack structural failures result from just three sources – know them, and most of the rest takes care of itself. Those include (1) impacts from a lift truck collision; (2) Misuse and overloading (3) Lack of comprehension that racks can be dangerous, and the lack of a safety oriented mindset. Really, the focus is on #3 gets you to #1 and #2. Operations with a safety mindset will also understand that impacts are deadly, and they know how to safely load their racks.
  • Check out “When Racks Collide” for more information on protecting your racks.
  • Know how your rack will be used when you spec it. “The two main rack safety points are the proper initial design of the structure so it doesn’t collapse, and proper training of personnel to ensure a clear understanding of the structure’s operational characteristics,” said Rack Manufacturer’s Institute (RMI) President John Nosfinger in a 2008 Modern Materials Handling article. If you inherited the pallet rack in your operation from someone else, find out the details of the rack system and its design. File that so that anyone can access it, and enforce your capacity ratings so that your racks will not be overloaded or mis-loaded.

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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 »

Wire Pallet Rack Decking Capacities – What you Need to Know

August 17, 2008

pallet rack wire decking

Craig Chamberlain has an article over at the MHEDA Edge website that you need to read if you use pallet rack wire decking.

Here’s the money quote:

“Decking can, and often does, directly bear the total weight of the application’s load and transfers that load to the beams of the pallet rack. Regardless of the weight-bearing capacity of the rack’s beams, an improperly overrated deck can and will jeopardize the load-bearing capacity of the entire system and result in a failure.”

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Incline conveyor application tips

August 7, 2008

Incline conveyor to mezzanine

Anyone who has dealt with material flow onto or off of a mezzanine, up onto a ceiling-mounted conveyor line, or between levels in a building understands just how useful – and how vital – incline conveyors can be. To help you think about how you might implement inclines into your operation, we’ve published the Hytrol guide to incline conveyors.

It’s illustrated and it’s a quick read. Tips include how to set the degree of incline, how to determine box tumbling, and a bit more. We also have some inclined conveyor video available.

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Palletizer Perspectives: Is Palletizing Suitable for My Operation?

August 4, 2008

Palletizer - palletized cans

With the growing popularity of automating the palletizing function, we arranged an interview with vonGAL, a leading manufacturer who has the largest installed base of palletizers in the country. Bobby Edmond is vonGAL’s Director of Applications, and has been in the business for 25 years. He has seen applications in a wide range of industries, and in companies large and small. I asked him if he would take time to share his thoughts, and answer a few questions of interest to those that might be considering palletizing for the first time.

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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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The Forest for the Trees – Does Your Operation Need a Review?

July 23, 2008


order fulfillment operation

Warehousing is tough. Manufacturing is tough. Order fulfillment is tougher; the longer the operation runs the more difficult it can get.

You deal with constant disruptions , and the system you carefully designed a few years ago may not be working as well today, after changes in your business climate, personnel changes, SKU alterations, new lines, changing storage requirements, corporate policy changes, or issues with key suppliers or customers. These things happen, and at some point, all or most of them will occur in every operation. If a series of small changes have added up to big headaches, what can you do?

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