Cisco-Eagle Logo

How Material Handling and Automation Increases Labor Flexibility

September 13, 2022

heavy pipe handling at a manufacturing facility.

Manufacturing plants, warehouses and other industrial operations are all facing one central challenge today: labor shortages. There are other challenges in supply chains, material inputs and environmental situations, but everyone in every industry across the board is dealing with labor—or the lack of it. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Automation, Lifts, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment| No Comments »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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

The Ergonomics of Automation

June 2, 2022

Worker at a distribution center reaching over a conveyor to retrieve a package.

Above: distribution center worker stretches over a conveyor line to access a package. Automation can reduce or eliminate this type of stressful, repetitive motion. 

Companies tend to focus on the hard-dollar ROI when they evaluate automation—labor reduction, throughput improvements, error reduction and efficiency—but should also consider “soft” benefits like ergonomics, safety and flexibility. Ergonomics in particular should be considered a primary factor in an era of aging labor and tight supply.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Automation, Material Handling, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Safety & Ergonomics| No Comments »

The Anatomy of a Pick Module

April 12, 2022

Pick module with carton flow on two levels in an apparel distribution center.

Pick modules support a range of warehouse activities, but their primary role is to increase the speed and space efficiency of order fulfillment operations. Configured with racks (which are usually the support structure), conveyors, flow storage, shelves and modular storage, they let you design the storage, fulfillment and picking strategy that fits your needs. Some pick modules are simple — really, just a shelf-supported mezzanine. Others combine automation and WMS systems for full systems integration.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Automation, Mezzanines, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Organization| No Comments »

New Rules for Industrial Automation ROI

January 4, 2022

Automated guided vehicles can run independently to deliver picking and storage options to warehouse employees.
In October 2019, I wrote this article on ROI factors for automation projects. That was just over two years ago, but the world is–to understate the case–a different place now. We endured a relentless Covid-19 pandemic that still persists. The “great resignation” has accelerated. Ecommerce demand was already ascendant, but is on an even faster track. The labor pool got shallower and continues to contract. What should we consider when we look at these projects in 2022 and beyond?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Automation, Manufacturing, Order Picking & Fulfillment, ROI| No Comments »

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?

Read the rest of this entry »

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

Specifying High-Performance Parcel Handling Conveyor Solutions

September 2, 2021

parcel conveyor system in a warehouse fulfillment operation.

The pressure on companies of all types to continuously ship faster and more efficiently has grown, particularly in the age of increased e-commerce, an extremely tight labor market and Covid-19 restrictions. Increased demand also affects retail distribution as companies work to develop effective delivery channels outside traditional ship-to-store.

The core mission of these operations is parcel shipping–an old art with new twists.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Automation, Conveyor, Order Picking & Fulfillment| No Comments »

Ways to Pick Full Cases Faster, More Accurately and More Ergonomically

July 16, 2021

full case picking from carton flow rack

Case picking is common in most e-commerce, retail and wholesale distribution operations, so it’s important to understand the best ways to pick cartons from start to finish through a process. Most warehouse operations will need at least some case-picking capacity. Beverage and grocery distributors almost always need a large full case picking function. Since order picking commands a high percentage of distribution center labor costs, finding ways to make it more efficient is critical.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Order Picking & Fulfillment| No Comments »

Download Our Guide To Order Picking

May 13, 2021

order picker in search
When searching for the right order picking equipment to meet your facility’s methods and operations, the amount of variety available can be overwhelming. To help with this, Cisco-Eagle has created a new guide to order picking equipment and methods to help you find the picking sweet spot.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Order Picking & Fulfillment, Warehousing| No Comments »

How to Make Packing More Efficient

April 6, 2021

Automated packing area for an ecommerce distribution center, pick-to-totes operation.

Above: in this automated e-commerce distribution center, picks are packed into cartons from totes on the conveyor line. Because conveyors deliver the totes directly to workers, and the work is executed at ergonomic heights, the process is fast and efficient.

Order fulfillment is only as fast as its slowest function, and packing–often the last stop before shipping–can be a bottleneck. We’ve analyzed many operations that underestimated the needs of the packing department from the start, while others realized over time that new requirements, new SKUs and order volumes that were fine at go-live eventually bogged the packing function. It’s not unusual for picking processes to react faster and better to these conditions than the packing area.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Automation, Order Picking & Fulfillment, Third Party Logistics, Workbenches & Stations| No Comments »

Read our customer reviews