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Vacuum Grippers and Lightweight Palletizers

August 18, 2022

Vacuum palletizer for a cobot system

One of the most exciting things about today’s automation is that it’s becoming increasingly specialized; like eating from a buffet, you can choose what you want. That’s the idea behind cobot palletizers that zero in on a specific target: lighter weight, end-of-line carton palletizing that used to take high six figures and months of implementation time. The critical part of any palletizing project, of course, is the end effector.

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When is an ASRS System a Good Fit?

November 18, 2021

Muratec unit load pallet handling ASRS system in action.

Automated storage and retrieval systems are becoming more commonly deployed in today’s modern distribution, manufacturing and warehousing facilities because they make more sense than ever in an age of escalating demand and declining labor availability. Is space tight? What are the error rates throughout fulfillment? What kind of space issues do you see moving forward? What are the safety and ergonomic concerns?

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Posted in Automation, ROI, Order Picking & Fulfillment, E-Commerce| No Comments »

A Guide to Shoe Sorter Applications

October 5, 2021

shoe sorter conveyor system in a distribution center

Conveyor systems with shoe sorters are the go-to method for carton or parcel handling divert applications, but aren’t limited to just those types of loads. Shoe sorters are gentle with the product, fast and reliable with lower maintenance than other sortation options. What are the best applications for shoe sorter conveyors?

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Posted in Conveyor, Automation, Cross Docking, E-Commerce| No Comments »

Small Order – Big Problem

August 20, 2019

e-commerce warehouse

E-commerce sales continue to account for the majority of the retail sales, but it is not getting any easier on the distribution/fulfillment center operations managers. There continues to be an increase in the number of SKUs and orders with one to three lines. In addition, with growing supply chain lead-time concerns, impacted by Tariff changes, inventory levels are rising! This makes the job even harder for operations managers.

The 2019 Holidays are fast approaching and this only means more on-line order volumes and marketing pushes with even more new SKUs. Not to mention ‘Cyber Monday’ and other key seasonal dates spiking volumes considerably. Add to this the continuing retail trend for multi-channel fulfillment, such as allowing customers to order an item online or inside a store, and having it delivered from the distribution center to the store for the customer to pick-up.

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Posted in Warehousing, Material Handling, E-Commerce| No Comments »

E-Commerce Propels 2019 Distribution Center Metrics Study

August 6, 2019

distribution center dock area

The annual DC Velocity/WERC (Warehousing Education and Research Council) DC Metrics Survey is out for 2019. This research is conducted every year and offers us insight into what measurements are most critical according to DC managers. As we know, the only constant is change, and this year showcases how e-commerce pushed accuracy and capacity to the forefront of DC managers’ minds.

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Carousels & Ecommerce: Feel It Coming Back Again

May 8, 2019

Vertical Carousels
Once an afterthought in the warehouse, vertical carousels are being reborn in the omnichannel age as a fulfillment finish line product. Retailers are eyeing carousels to help them aid in customer retrieval of picked orders shipped to a retail location, which is giving the carousel a “moment” as a new last-mile darling. Whether located in the back of the store for employees to use, or at the front for customers to pick up themselves, vertical carousels are showing to be a good fit for this new age of sales. But don’t sleep on their value in industrial settings or distribution channels.

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Order Fulfillment is the First Line of a Great Customer Experience

January 15, 2019

order fulfillment operation using a hand scanner

Your most important customer satisfaction function is probably your warehouse and order fulfillment operations. Order fulfillment impacts the things customers care about most:

  • Did I get the right product?
  • Did I get it on time?
  • Did I get the right quantity?
  • Was my shipment damaged?

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Posted in Order Picking & Fulfillment, E-Commerce, Warehousing, Docks & Shipping| No Comments »

Ways to Increase Order Picking Speed

December 4, 2018

order picking shelves in a warehouse
Years ago, direct-to-customer fulfillment was a niche business, dominated by catalog companies. Most distribution was mostly retail-oriented, with pallets of items shipping to store locations rather than to millions of front porches. Sometimes, retail brands would allow customers to order at stores and have their purchases shipped directly to their homes, but it wasn’t nearly as common. Today, speed from placement to shipment has become critical. Let’s dive into some ways you can improve this crucial warehouse metric.

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Posted in Conveyor, Order Picking & Fulfillment, E-Commerce| No Comments »

How to Convey Poly Bags & Envelopes

October 18, 2018

poly bag package

The shift from traditional retail to ecommerce is accelerating, and with that growth there are both challenges and opportunities for order fulfillment operations. Companies that spent decades perfecting retail distribution (large, bulk orders to a network of stores) are shifting toward direct-to-consumer shipments that are orders of magnitude more difficult to manage.

Among other things, this means that ecommerce companies must focus on optimal packaging. At Modex 2018, an industry expert panel including Hytrol’s Boyce Bonham discussed these issues.

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Posted in Conveyor, Automation, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, E-Commerce| No Comments »

Dealing with Warehouse Labor Shortages

July 26, 2018

warehouse workers with cartons

If you run a distribution center, factory or warehouse, it’s not news to you that labor is in tight supply. Demands is up, and workers — particularly skilled, motivated, productive ones — have more options than ever. E-commerce has transformed the business, with constantly-escalating demand for pickers, packers, assembly workers, drivers and warehouse labor. With national unemployment rates below 4%, many other industries are competing with you for the same labor pool. What can you do to cope with these issues?

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Posted in E-Commerce, Warehousing, Supply Chain, ROI, Order Picking & Fulfillment| No Comments »

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