Material Handling Experts


Material Handling Tips & Info

January 2009 Material Handling Tips & Information Newsletter

This is the annual "Best of" edition, with the top stories from 2008.

We started the year with a popular series - Chris Doyle's Cross-Docking advice.

"Cross-Docking: Is it for you?" was the first. This series of briefs from Chris explores how and where it works, and a look at some best practice ideas that might be useful to those of you in the distribution business of all sizes.

In February, we continued the cross-docking series with Is cross-docking a viable consideration for my company?

 In March, we brought you with a breakdown of Industrial Shelving types, and how they might best fit various applications. There are many shelving manufacturers and even more variations of trade names, but there are really just 3 basic kinds manufactured and broadly used - Rivet-Type, Steel Clip, and Wire.

April brought us the next cross-docking article "Cross-Docking: What are the Facility Considerations?" If you started from scratch, many might simply build a cross dock facility with a much shallower depth than most warehouses. A depth of a hundred feet or so, with incoming product on one side that can be easily moved a short distance and loaded on the other side to an outbound truck. Most of us however, must deal with an existing facility, many times a large square box which is not generally the preferred layout.

We also published an excellent video on dynamic zone allocation.

In May, we compared methods for pallet rack fall protection. Unguarded pallet racks can be dangerous, particularly if there is order picking, restocking, or other significant personnel activities in the aisles below the bays.

We also continued the cross-docking series in May, with "How one retailer optimized its supply chain". This detailed 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 touch-points, and shorten the logical pathway for fulfilling orders.

July's newsletter had another good, safety related article:"How to minimize forklift impacts on pallet rack." Pallet racks & forklifts are common in industrial and warehousing facilities, but also present an ever-present danger of collisions and spills. Here's how to make the process safer.

Also, check out  P.E. Seals and Calcs - what they are, and why you need them on mezzanine projects

August brought us an excellent case study, "Simmons Pet Foods optimizes palletizing operations". Here's what Simmons did to reduce labor costs, increase safety, and ramp up productivity in its packaging and palletizing operation.

"Is a palletizer suitable for your operation?" also came out in August. Chris Doyle interviewed Bobby Edmond, vonGAL, palletizers Director of Applications. Edmond has been in the business for 25 years and has seen applications in a wide range of industries.

In September, we had a guide to straight conveyor transfers. 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. We also had more pallet rack safety tips.

We followed that in with A Guide to Incline Conveyors. Inclined belt Conveyor transports product between two different elevations. It's excellent to convey between a mezzanine and floor level, docks, overhead conveyor to floor, etc. This guide is designed to help you maximize incline conveyors in your operation.

In November, we had an article on how to Intermingle New & Existing Pallet Rack Parts.

In December, we had an informative piece on Mezzanines and Floor Capacities - How to Get it Right

Mezzanine specification starts on the ground floor - the concrete floor of your facility and the soil beneath it, to be more precise. 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. Cisco-Eagle's Systems & Design Manager of Implementation, Darrell Griffin has created an excellent set of guidelines on what to do, what to expect, and how to avoid any issues when you are dealing with structural mezzanine installations.