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

More Conveyor White Papers Published

October 27, 2009

conveyor white papers

We just finished adding 3 new Conveyor White Papers, including helpful information on Critical Product and Load Orientation, a Picking, Packing and Loading Application Matrix, and Sortation System Controls Comparisons table. All of these documents are PDF files, and all of them open in new windows. They’re all single-page, designed for quick downloading and reading. We will be adding more of these as they’re produced, so check back often.

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Workbench supply placement should be constantly evaluated

May 4, 2009

Packing operation with conveyor lines

There isn’t enough room at your average industrial workstation. In fact, many order pickers, packers, shippers, and other professionals might tell you that you could have a 10′ long workbench, and they’d still be squeezed for space. In a busy operation, it’s a constant battle between availability of materials and space for doing the actual work. So what’s the solution? A larger workbench top? According to Packmaterials.com (registration required, but a pretty useful resource from Dehnco – we have reprinted the entire piece here, with permission), if there is not enough workstation storage area a bigger table won’t help – and may hurt.

The tabletop surface should not be considered storage space in the first place. So that leaves the unanswered question: how do you get more storage space for needed materials?

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Posted in Conveyor, Material Handling, Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Warehousing, Workbenches & Stations| No Comments »

Can Your Floor Bear the Weight of a New Mezzanine?

December 13, 2008

Structural mezzanineCisco-Eagle has created an informative article you should check out if you are thinking of installing a mezzanine in your facility. When implementing an Industrial Equipment Platform (mezzanine) be sure that you are not putting too much stress or weight on the floor of the building. Too much weight will cause the floor to crack – or worse. This article tells you how to calculate the correct load capacity and column spacing for any new structural mezzanine project. Floor capacity depends on the thickness of the concrete, but that’s not the end of the story. It also matters how much the soil underneath the slab will compress.

Click “Calculating Mezzanine Floor Capacities” to get the whole story…

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Posted in Manufacturing, Material Handling, Mezzanines, Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »

When it Comes to Order Picking, Don’t Walk the Walk

November 3, 2008

picking & restocking from shelvesIn a recent Catalog Success magazine, the following facts were reaffirmed: Three areas – picking, packing and returns – take anywhere from 60% to 80% of labor costs in your typical distribution operation. 60% of the average pickers’ time is spent walking. Not picking, not packing, not checking for quality and accuracy – walking. This is an activity that cannot add value to your operation or to your customers, so you should strive to eliminate it whenever possible.

Not only does it waste time, it makes people tired, and tends to cause a loss in focus and can increase error rates.

Here are some ways to go about removing “walk time” from your operation…

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Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Industrial Shelving, Space Saving, Warehousing, Workbenches & Stations| No Comments »

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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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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Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Cross Docking, Manufacturing, Material Handling, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »

Palletizers: ergonomics and justification issues

June 30, 2008

lifting from the “golden zone”As interest continues to grow in automated palletizing, let’s take a brief look at a few of the issues surrounding these applications.

Over the next couple of months, I’ll be providing a handful of blog postings relative to palletizers. We will begin with what is driving the growth in the use of these products, then a look at basic systems, cost estimates, what you can expect from a properly applied palletizer system, and then share specifics from a couple of actual implementations in distribution centers.If you are experienced in palletizer systems, you will likely be familiar with much of what is covered here. If you are new to palletizing, or considering your first system, hopefully this information will help you understand what the issues are and how you can navigate them.

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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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Posted in Automation, Material Handling, Palletizers, Safety & Ergonomics, Space Saving, Supply Chain, Warehousing| No Comments »

Comparing Gravity Flow Rack Types

June 15, 2008

picking totes from flow rackWalk into any order fulfillment operation, and you’re probably going to see gravity flow rack.

The reason is obvious–it’s one of the best ways to pick orders utilizing first-in, first-out principles. It used to be that there was one kind of the stuff, the plastic-wheel tracks, but these days the choices are more diverse than ever. For the most part, these flow rack types act the same; they decline toward the picker and boxes or totes or even larger components flow toward him. They’re restocked from the rear and picked from the front onto a takeaway conveyor line, a cart, workstation, or another step in the process.

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Cross Docking: A retailer improves supply chain

March 14, 2008

This is the fourth in a series of briefs on cross docking

A recent project for a large retailer in the Southwest provided a good example of how an element of cross-docking might be deployed to reduce the footprint of distribution space required, reduce order fulfillment touchpoints, and shorten the logical pathway for fulfilling orders.

Incoming shipments are anticipated through the use of advanced shipping notices (ASN’s). Stretch-wrapped pallet loads arrive via truck throughout the day. They arrive at doors designated for cross-docking. These doors were selected based upon proximity to the material handling system which takes advantage of the facility layout. Pallets are unloaded by fork truck, the stretch wrap removed, and cases manually inducted into one of several conveyor staging lanes. Each lane represents a “wave” of orders which will be processed either that day, or a specific day later in the week. When a wave is released, it moves downstream, and the individual cases are sorted to a specific shipping lane whose products are destined for a particular store. Other products from static storage positions and non-conveyables destined for the same store are consolidated at this point. Read the rest of this entry »


This article is part of a series of articles on Cross Docking. Click on a link below to view one of the other articles.
  1. Cross Docking: Is it Right For Me?
  2. Am I Wasting Time: is Cross-Docking a Viable Consideration for my Company?
  3. Cross Docking: What are the facility layout considerations?
  4. Cross Docking: A retailer improves supply chain

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Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Cross Docking, Material Handling, Supply Chain| No Comments »