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Material Handling Tips & Info


January 2007 Material Handling Tips & Information Newsletter

The Best of 2006 Edition


JANUARY: What you need to know when it's time to expand, renovate, or refurbish your facility

If you're not sure when to expand your facility, there are telltale signs that you should be on the lookout for. These include overcrowding, revenue loss due to inability to execute business, and the inability to take on new loads and SKU's. Once you've decided that your current space is inadequate, what's next? ...


FEBRUARY: Tips for Conveyor Energy Savings

In these days of energy-saving consciousness, conveyors are sometimes overlooked as energy-savers. Some people simply view conveyors as a necessary evil in manufacturing and warehousing. “We can’t operate without them, so we must pay the costs for using them.” Actually, conveyors are energy efficient compared to their alternatives. They transport goods at a constant rate, usually using the shortest, straight-line paths. All things considered, substantial energy savings can be had with a well-designed conveyor system. And you can enhance yours to be even more efficient...


MARCH: How to specify scissor lifts

Scissor lifts are productivity enhancers that also reduce injuries and worker fatigue. Specifying them is a matter of understanding your load, application, and situation. You'll need to have a know these factors: The nature of your load - what you're lifting; is it stable on a level surface? Will it fit on a standard platform? What does the load consist of? What are the weights of its various components? What is its center of gravity? This article details these and other factors you need to know before specifying a scissor lift...


APRIL: Column Flow Racks presents vertical columns of cartons to order pickers, allowing more pick faces in the same area

Column flow racking is an innovation designed specifically to present vertical columns of cartons to pickers. It works well for light cartons where flow storage and order picking are desired. You can stack cartons in each lane, allowing for more pick faces in the same space. This differs from single pick per lane conventional gravity flow...


MAY: 15 Ways Material Handling Can Make Your Operation Safer - a free download

A well designed operation with efficient material handling is inherently safer. It helps you reduce risks without increasing your workload. Material handling isn’t the only answer, but it’s more important than you think. Soundly designed storage and continuous flow of parts, product, and assemblies not only puts things where you need them when you need them—it is safer than disorganized (and dangerous) clutter. Intelligent material handling reduces clutter, costly injuries, fuels productivity and slashes costs. We've designed a free PDF report discussing safety based material handling...


JUNE: Compensation for distribution, manufacturing, and industrial professionals

In 2003, we utilized online salary guides such as www.salary.com to provide some insight into what people in the supply chain business earn. While these aren't totally accurate numbers (they are median salaries), you'll find information on a variety of positions and what they typically earn. The survey includes multiple levels of positions in manufacturing and distribution from executive to engineers to operational personnel. Here's an update, 3 years later...


JULY: The Logic of Facility Layout

Understanding the logical movement of people, materials and product traveling between the front door and the shipping dock is the primary challenge when developing an efficient plant layout. The ultimate goal is to optimize the workflow of people and product now and into the future. Good plant layouts always develop from the general to the specific, never the other way around...


AUGUST: Three years of Material Handling Tips & Info - the best-of, 2003-2006

This issue provided 36 links to the most popular and best articles this newsletter has published since its 2003 debut.


SEPTEMBER: Ergonomics 101 for Plant Expansion

"Around 60 percent of factory payroll and indirect labor is involved with materials handling". A plant redesign involving layout and equipment locations can redouble productivity by streamlining employees' jobs and enlivening their attitudes. Materials handling, the physical requirements for adding equipment and growth projections, are vital components for successful facility expansion.


OCTOBER: University researchers at Arkansas, Auburn create more efficient and productive distribution center design models

"Our results suggest that for unit-load warehouses, radically new designs could lead to faster retrieval rates and significantly reduced costs for operating distribution centers..."