Material Handling Experts


Material Handling Tips & Info

May 2009 Material Handling Tips & Information Newsletter

Conveyor Calculators on

We recently rolled out a series of website-based conveyor tools.

The calculators include: Incline calculator: Helps you determine the dimensions or angle of an incline conveyor. It has 5 different calculators and plenty of supporting information; Box tumbling calculator: Another incline tool, it helps you determine the maximum incline angle before your load will tumble; Skewed Roller Conveyor: Helps you determine the necessary length a package needs to travel on skewed rollers to move it to one side of the conveyor; Minimum Curve Width: Calculates the minimum width of a conveyor curve to ensure that a package will not jam as it turns on the curve.

We intend to release more of these tools in the future, and hope that you'll find them helpful. Of course, I'm always available to assist you on these issues.

The Plight of the Warehouse Manager

With the advent of widespread e-commerce fulfillment, just-in-time principles, lean management, supply chain collaboration, globalization, the need for ever-faster response, and constant pressure to reduce expenses through headcount and shift reductions, today’s warehouse manager is being asked to do more than ever before. How are warehouse managers coping?

Shelves vs. Modular Drawers vs. Flow Racking vs. Vertical Carousels - what works best for you?

When considering storage media for non-pallet loads - from simple shelving to automated carousels - you need to decide what matters most to you to make the right decision. Is it storage density? Labor cost reduction? Equipment cost? Versatility? Ease of picking? All of these storage methods offer advantages in balance, relative to each other. This article compares the relative advantages of each.

How to Limit Access to Your Warehouse (and your inventory)

Do you allow visitors to freely move through your warehouse or shipping/receiving areas? If your facility isn’t designed to control visitor traffic, outsiders can often have access to your stored inventory, or outgoing shipments. Everything along these routes is at risk. One way that is commonly used to control visitor access are "man trap" security cages that allow a visitor in the door, but contain him inside until he's admitted. You to control who gets in and who does not.

Besides security, this can also enhance safety in facilities with moving machinery where visitors should not be allowed to freely move about without permission or escort.

Darrell Griffin wins Cisco-Eagle ESOP Employee of the Year

Cisco-Eagle is employee owned, managed and operated. We believe that this gives us advantages over just about any company that we compete against - you deal with an owner with a real stake in the company every time you deal with Cisco-Eagle. Darrell Griffin was named Cisco-Eagle’s 2009 ESOP Employee Owner of the Year. Griffin is Cisco-Eagle’s Systems & Design Manager and has been with us since 1995.

Constantly Evaluate Workstation Supply Placement

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.

Don’t assume what was set up a year ago will be good today, in particular if volumes have changed, if SKU’s have been added, if the people involved have changed, etc. Watch the process; speak with your workers about what is and isn’t utilized frequently. If employees are re-doing the supply storage on their own, look at what they’ve changed and see if it’s practical enough to implement in all your stations.