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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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A Guide to Workstation Reach Zones

March 23, 2021

assembly line with integrated conveyors and workstations.

You should always analyze the economy of movement for repetitive tasks like assembly, packing, picking and repair. Imagine reaching to the same shelf, for the same carton, to pull the same part. How many times a shift does someone make that reach? How many working days a year? How many years? Shaving time and effort off a simple repetitive motion can shave time off your process and improve ergonomics over the years.

To do that, look at how many times–and places–your people reach for things on a daily basis.

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Putaway is Critical for Distribution Success

December 1, 2020

Putaway aisle in a distribution center, with flow storage and bulk storage accessibility.

Above: workers in a distribution center putaway aisle with flow and bulk storage accessibility. Picking aisles are left clear as the system is replenished. Photo credit: Unex Manufacturing.

Putaway, which is the methods and processes that occur between receiving inventory and that inventory resting in storage positions in a warehouse, may have more impact on the performance of order fulfillment or warehousing operation than most anything else.

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How Simulation Adds Value to Material Handling Systems Specification

November 3, 2020

screenshot from material handling automation program

As we’ve discussed automating anything as complex as a large scale material handling process has risks, but there are ways understand the outcome better in advance and reduce any risks. It’s always good to have more data, and simulation plays into that scenario by giving you a view of what key systems, technology and process will interact in your system, with your loads.

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Download Our Guide To Carton Flow

May 28, 2020

carton flow rack in facility
When conducting storage and picking operations the use of carton flow rack not only saves space and makes picking faster, but it also reduces wasted motion. People don’t need to walk as much between pick positions, so they spend more time doing productive work like picking and packing.

There are many options and configurations for carton flow, and to help you navigate those choices, we’ve published a guide to carton flow rack.

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How to Add Carton Flow to Pallet Racks

May 21, 2020

Carton flow tracks set into pallet rack in a distribution center
Above: flow storage installed on pallet rack beams in a distribution center

To increase warehouse productivity, reducing the time it takes for people to execute a task is always going to pay off. One way to do that is to concentrate on picking areas so that people are able to get what they need faster and more efficiently. A common gravity flow application is to mount shelves of flow storage on pallet rack so you can mix & match gravity flow and bulk pallet storage in the same structure for both existing and new rack systems.

Whether you’re adding flow storage to an existing rack system or building it from new, this guide should help you get started.

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First-In, First-Out Storage Considerations

May 5, 2020

pallet flow system in a distribution center

Above: a distribution center pallet flow application enforces FIFO picking protocol

In the age of eCommerce, fast shipping and obsolescence, first-in/first-out (FIFO) storage strategies are critical tools. Some products fit the mold (food, perishables, some electronics, medicines and many other retail goods), while other types of inventory are more about storage density and efficiency. The question is, what type of storage strategy works best for you? And what types of storage systems should you use?

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