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Material Handling Tips & Info


December 2007 Material Handling Tips & Information Newsletter

The best of 2007: the most popular articles from this year...


JANUARY: Robroy Industries slashes costs, increases picking accuracy with WMS system

Robroy Industries wanted to slash costs, implement cycle counting, get better, faster information, improve order picking speed, control the pace of work, and ensure capacity to handle late-month order surges, all within standard WMS functionality. “By putting in an automated system, you become accurate,” said Robroy President and Chief Operating Officer David Marshall. “But you just get bad information faster if bad information is what you already have. An automated system won’t solve that problem. You have to solve a problem, then automate the solution.”


FEBRUARY: Seismic Considerations for Steel Storage Racks Located in Public Areas

The Building Seismic Safety Council (BSSC) has created an extensive report on seismic considerations for racking located in public areas (such as warehouse stores like Cosco, Sam's Club, or Home Depot). Given the proliferation of these stores, the associated risk to the public is greater. The traffic between rack aisles is greater than at a typical warehouse. During an earthquake, occupant safety in a big box store depends on the structural performance of the building and on the performance of storage racks (and their contents). Even for non-public use rack users, the report has some valuable information...


MARCH: 10 Ways to Optimize Conveyor Operations - a free download from Cisco-Eagle

PDF - opens a new window

Conveyors are the backbone of effective material handling systems. In this free downloadable document, you'll discover ways to enhance your conveyor operation from start to finish. From maintenance tips to problem-solving answers to testing advice, this quick-reading report is designed for conveyor users at any point in the life cycle of their operation. For more information, visit our website for the download. It's free and does not require registration. You will need Adobe Acrobat reader, or you can choose to read it on the website.


APRIL: Material Handling Product Guides

The Cisco-Eagle website has a nifty bunch of material handling guides available (and has had 'em for a long time). But they're now packaged into a single, easily-referenced page. If you need to size, configure or just research a piece of equipment, it's probably there. It is in the form of web page, PDF's, and even some video guides....


MAY: A guide to specifying vertical reciprocating conveyors

VRC's provide fast, efficient, convenient and safe access to/from mezzanines, balconies, basements, and between levels in multiple story buildings. They can be installed for through-floor, interior or exterior applications. But when do they fit for you? And what are the issues you'll need to understand before you specify one? We have a brief article plus the MHIA 40+ page spec guide available to help you understand when, where and how to use these powerful handling devices...


JUNE: Pick from carton flow, increase selectivity & storage density, and store pallets with gravity flow rack modules

A recent survey of order picking professionals and management revealed that one of the top carton flow system priorities for them was the ability to utilize pallet rack as the "host" rather than a specialized gravity flow rack.

This is partly because pallet racks that utilize carton flow tracks are an excellent way to mix slow and fast-moving items in the same storage footprint. With overhead pallet storage, bulk quantities are easily transferred to active operation later. Available in 3-shelf and 4-shelf units, with either 4-pallet or 8-pallet overhead storage. The stuff on our site is just a small sample of the varied range of sizes and configurations we can put together.


JULY: Raising the steaks: Cargill reduces labor costs by two-thirds, increases order accuracy to 99%+

Cargill recently revamped its Friona, Texas facility. In partnership with Retrotech, Cisco-Eagle helped implement a system that reduced labor by two-thirds and increased order accuracy to well north of 99 percent. The shipping area, which had been 24/7 because of the bottlenecks, now operates on two staggered shifts, five or six days a week. Workers are much happier and there is much less staff turnover. How did it happen? Read further...

VIDEO INCLUDED: Narrated video of various areas of the Cargill distribution operation


AUGUST: Make sure your pallet rack beams are being loaded correctly for safety, capacity

Pallet rack beam capacity ratings are based on "evenly distributed loads". This refers to the front-to-back direction as well as horizontally along the beam width. But what does that really mean? How can you be certain that the way you load your racks isn't reducing beam capacities? Here are some answers...


SEPTEMBER: Take advantage of every foot of your conveyor with dynamic zone allocation

A recent development in conveyor technology is dynamic zone allocation. Zero and minimum pressure accumulation systems have been around for years, but suffered from variable loads. If you have zones of, say, 24″ and some cartons that are 15″, the smaller cartons have to take up space as if they were the longest load on the system. Dynamic zone allocation adjusts the accumulation zone based on the size of the load...

VIDEO INCLUDED: Short video demonstrates the functional difference between static and dynamic allocation.


OCTOBER: When dealing with material handling projects, don't forget your building permits

Many people do not realize that when installing equipment such as pallet racks, mezzanines, shelving, in-plant offices, or many other pieces of common material handling and storage equipment that you may be required to obtain a building permit. If you ignore the building permit process it can cost you money in delays, fines, or even having to remove the equipment being installed until a permit is obtained...


NOVEMBER: E24™ powered roller conveyors reduce heat dissipation issues, extend roller life, and minimize system maintenance

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. We had the opportunity to debut it to the world at PackExpo West, and it has the potential to really make certain applications more efficient, less costly, longer-lasting, and to also reduce maintenance.

VIDEO INCLUDED: It's 3 minutes and really explains the advantages of E24.