Material Handling Experts


Material Handling Tips & Info

May 2010 Material Handling Tips & Information


Podcast: 5 Easy Ways to Save $100,000 in Distribution Costs

The folks at the Material Handling Institute of America have thrown all of last year’s ProMat sessions in Podcast/Webcast form onto their website. You can always slash costs, but this podcast attempts to do it in ways that do not compromise service.

This presentation is intriguing – who doesn’t want to save a hundred grand? It’s presented by Louis J. Cerny, Vice President of Sedlak, and lasts about 37 minutes. It is easy to listen to in the background if you don’t feel the need to watch the slide presentation. They also have a downloadable PDF on the site.

You Can Deduct the Entire Cost of Energy Efficient Lighting

If you listen to the above podcast, one of the recommended methods for money saving is to install an energy-efficient lighting system, which can make your facility much brighter overall, but also save some serious money.

In particular, it can illuminate those dark ‘canyons’ between rack rows. In a large facility, the daily energy cost savings is significant, even before you factor in enhanced productivity due to an improved working atmosphere.

Under the 2005 EPACT law, you can deduct the entire cost of a new lighting system, up to 60 cents a square foot if the system reduces lighting power density below the maximum allowable lighting power densities listed in ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2001, and if a few other requirements are met. This typically results in a much lower cost of ownership and a very quick return on investment.

Section 179 Tax Breaks for Capital Equipment Extended

All businesses that purchase or finance less than $800,000 in business equipment should qualify for the Section 179 Deduction. To qualify for the Section 179 Deduction, the equipment purchased must be placed into service between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010. The list of qualifying equipment includes machines purchased for business use, vehicles, computers, and property attached to your building that isn't part of the structure (essentially, most material handling equipment).

For more information, check out the government's website on Section 179 - it has lists of qualifying companies and an online calculator that helps you figure out your position. As always, see a tax professional.

Material Handling for Manufacturing

Cisco-Eagle serves the needs of heavy manufacturers, particularly those in the energy sector – oil, chemical, pipe and tubing, and other industrial based customers. With our operations in Texas and Oklahoma, that’s only natural.

We have recently released a brochure outlining our capabilities, “Material Handling for Manufacturing Operations.” (PDF - opens a new window). This is a brief overview of our capabilities with the kind of handling equipment these companies require, including pipe and tube conveyors, ultra-heavy-duty lifts, jib cranes, die and cantilever storage racking, vertical reciprocating conveyors, and more. If you want a printed copy, contact us.

Summertime and the Warehouse

The heat of summer hasn’t hit yet in most places, the time to implement facility changes that could help you control climate costs and provide a better atmosphere for your operations is now, not once the weather has changed. It’s not just a matter of air systems; smaller, incremental changes at entry points or near work areas can have a big impact on worker comfort and productivity. Theses changes can also save you money.

More air conditioning isn’t always the best solution – and it’s certainly not the most cost effective. Here are some other ways to alleviate the heat.

Carts vs. Conveyors in Product Transport Operations

When you are moving items such as cartons, bins, or components through a facility, several methods are available. Most of the time the choice is between carts & trucks or conveyors.

Conveyors are less manual, safer, and more efficient across the board. Products are moved faster and fewer employees are required to accomplish the same tasks. Conveyors minimize fatigue and reduce potential manual lifting injuries. This improved handling has the potential to reduce worker compensation claims and expenses. They also help you standardize operations. But when do you make the leap from a manual, cart-driven system to a conveyor transport system?

Manually Controlled Vertical Carousels: Would they Work for your Operation?

Manually controlled vertical carousels are much less expensive and less automated than conventional carousels, but offer identical space savings, product security, and organization. Just a simple push button control allows the order picker to access the correct carousel tray.

This helps to dramatically cut costs by eliminating automation software and WMS tie-in's. These carousels are CSA & UL listed, and come in a variety of heights and widths. With the motorized chain-driven system, parts come to the order pickers, saving walk time and reducing fatigue. Carousels are CSA and UL listed. Available in tray, wire/spool, tire handling, roll handling, print cylinder, and garment configurations. Are they right for you? This article provides some insight, plus video of various carousels.

Cisco-Eagle wins AACE Communications Awards

The ESOP Association recently announced its 2010 Annual Awards for Communications Excellence (AACE) award winners, and Cisco-Eagle was among the companies honored. These awards recognize the outstanding communications and educational programs. The awards were presented at the Association’s 33rd Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Cisco-Eagle has been an ESOP (employee owned) company since 2000. Our awards include:

  • First place: Category 5-B, External ESOP Advertising – Website
  • Runner Up: Category 3-A, Printed Materials, 250 or fewer employees