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5 Ways to Avoid Costly Conveyor Breakdowns

December 17, 2010

:Power roller conveyor

Conveyors are exceptional in their productivity enhancement for manufacturing and distribution operations, but they need attention – and not just from your maintenance group. Everyone involved with them should be aware of the safety and performance issues involved. Here are five practices for happy conveying…

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Posted in Conveyor Optimization|

Pallet Rack Wire Decking: Calculating Gauges and Capacity

December 7, 2010

pallet rack wire decking

Wire gauge is a crucial element in wire pallet rack deck design and is also one of the first places manufacturers look to when needing to cut costs, meaning it’s one of the first places you should look when comparing decking for your pallet rack project. Lower cost is great, but only if you’re getting the capacity and durability you need.

Just because two decks are the same size in no way makes them the same deck. Here are the critical differences:

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Posted in Pallet & Warehouse Racks|

Why Warehouse Employees Ignore Safe Lifting Advice – and How to Help Them

December 5, 2010

lifting boxes and cartons correctly

The most common advice that ergonomics experts, OSHA, and other researchers provide to people in warehousing or other jobs that require manual lifting is that you should always bend your knees and lift that way, rather than bend at the waist to pick something up. Repetitive stress on the lower back is staggering: 20% of workplace injuries are related to lower back issues. Lifting right is essential to employee safety, and also to preventing Worker Compensation claims.

Even when you train employees to lift right – and we know that not everyone does – they frequently ignore the advice. Why?

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Posted in Safety & Ergonomics|

Saving Space in Rack Storage Areas

December 3, 2010

pallet rack system in a warehouse

Pallet rack storage is relatively inexpensive and extremely common. In many facilities, it also consumes the majority of square footage. When you can cut down on this space, significant gains can be made that allow you to use the square footage for other purposes. Here are some ideas for reducing your rack storage footprint while maintaining storage capacity.

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Posted in Pallet & Warehouse Racks|

How to Safely Store Gas Cylinders

October 26, 2010

cantilever rack in a lumber storage operation
One of the more dangerous items that you’ll find at virtually every facility is the humble gas cylinder. In warehouses or manufacturing operations, you’ll find LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) canisters that power gas forklifts. You’ll also find vertical cylinders for welders, cutting torches, or other equipment operations. Too often, you will find them standing against a wall or on the dock with no protection at all.

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Posted in Safety & Ergonomics|

Cantilever Racks and Lateral Deflection

October 21, 2010

cantilever rack in a lumber storage operation

Cantilever racks are the best way to store long, heavy loads. Whether the load is a single item or a bundle of them (like lumber, tubing, or pipes), as long as you understand the load, these racks are ideal storage. One key to correctly loading and specifying them is nailing the necessary lateral spacing vs. load weight so that you have enough arms beneath the load.

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Posted in Pallet & Warehouse Racks|

A Quick Guide to Reducing Warehouse Costs

September 29, 2010

warehouse distribution center

Over at the Operations & Fulfillment site, Curt Barry has written a brief, informative piece on reducing warehouse costs. In particular during a difficult economic climate, cost reduction is at the top of mind for distribution operations.

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Posted in Warehousing & Distribution|

Conveyor Systems: Total Cost of Ownership

September 28, 2010

conveyor and pick module

The amount on your purchase invoice isn’t the last time you’ll pay for that conveyor, but those ongoing costs of operations can be dramatically reduced by making good decisions at the point of purchase. If a conveyor is correctly specified and designed for future use, costs over time can be slashed.

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Posted in Conveyor Optimization|

Shipping Docks & Safety: Dealing with Blind Spots

August 17, 2010

"forklift

Shipping & receiving docks are a particularly dangerous area of most operations because so much activity takes place in a confined space. You have truck loading, unloading, staging, inspections, and much more. You have people like order pickers, drivers and guests potentially in the mix. In your average warehouse, the docks take up 20% of the square footage but host 80% of the activity. As you know, at times that activity can be fast-paced – even frenzied as full pallets are taken in, or loaded ones are being loaded into trailers. This is a time rife with possibilities for accidents. How can you prevent them?

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Posted in Docks & Shipping|

Forklift Safety: Don’t Blame the Driver

June 24, 2010

Forklift driver as seen from overhead in a warehouse. Forklift is in motion.

Most forklift accidents are blamed on operator error, but that is just partially true – and something of a cop-out. Rough estimates say that a quarter of forklift accidents could be avoided by addressing environmental concerns. When you eliminate those, it helps you understand better when a driver is truly ineffective, or just hamstrung by the way your warehouse is set up. In other words, before you point the finger at the driver, take a look at your operation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in Forklift - Pedestrian Safety|

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