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Goods-to-Picker Methods and Alternatives

October 29, 2015

as rs system

The long path from person to product

In a distribution or warehousing operation, the most common working concept is “person-to-goods” order picking, which simply means that order pickers move to storage locations, often pushing or pulling carts and reading orders off the paper. These pickers spend significant amounts of time walking between storage, and are then expected to decipher an order picking sheet. These operations spend lots of money and time and resources on those steps. Picking paths and storage locations evolve as inventory profiles change — and not always for the better.

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Posted in Order Picking & Fulfillment|

How to Properly Evaluate Your Warehouse Management System (WMS)

October 15, 2015

warehouse-management-system

What Does a Warehouse Management System Do?

A medium-sized chain of convenience stores once asked me to take a look at their Warehouse Management System (WMS) to see if it was time for an upgrade. After documenting all the functions it performed, we discovered that none of them could be described as serving warehouse activities. The system had lots of good purchasing functions—but offered nothing to support the actual warehouse.

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Posted in Automation, Labor & Efficiency|

Wide Span Bulk Shelving Offers More Capacity

October 13, 2015

Wide Span Bulk Shelving

There are all kinds of shelving options for typical loads, but what do you do with the really heavy, dense, or bulky items that just won’t work on conventional shelving, but that aren’t loaded on a pallet rack? Or things that aren’t big enough to store on pallet racks, but don’t fit into standard shelving? That’s where wide span bulk shelving comes into play. It’s similar to pallet rack, but built for hand-loaded case or piece storage.

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Posted in Storage, Organization & Workstations|

The Future of Robotics: An Interview with FANUC America

October 8, 2015

Fanuc Robotics Family

More and more companies are adding various forms of robotics to their operations as they seek to improve productivity, enhance worker safety, and keep labor costs down. We recently spoke with Wes Garrett, Packaging Account Manager at FANUC America about robotics in the material handling industry. He provided some great information regarding cost of ownership, indicators robotics may benefit an operation, and trends in new technologies.

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Posted in Automation, Labor & Efficiency|

Guard Rail: Steel vs. Flexible Poly

October 7, 2015

forklift impact on guard railing in a warehouse

These collisions have done some damage

In both cases, the guard rail has deformed. That’s good (kind of), because both guardrails have done their jobs and protected the people, equipment or facility structures behind them. On the other hand, you can see that the rail systems have been damaged. Let’s see how they match up in form, function and lifetime cost. Typically when you have a forklift barrier, it will eventually be impacted, and those impacts can be direct or indirect, fast or slow, serious or cosmetic. When the impact is direct, fast and damaging, what are the critical differences in rigid and flexible rail systems?

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Posted in Safety & Ergonomics|

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