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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Warehouse Automation Risks to Avoid

October 15, 2020

illustration of conveyor and robotic systems integration
Automation can work wonders. It reduces costs, increases throughput, curbs errors and increases safety. The costs of automation are declining while the effectiveness of computer, vision and scanning systems are improving. Automation helps you reduce repetitive actions — the kind that adds no value. The common perception is that automated facilities are dark, free of people and full of robots, but the reality is that automation comes in many forms, ranging from picking systems like pick-to-light to automated conveyors to goods-to-person systems and much more.

For all these benefits, you want to understand the potential problems with any automation project in advance so you can avoid them as you move forward.

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What Is The Cisco-Eagle Difference?

September 10, 2020


You have plenty of options when searching for an organization to help you build, expand or enhance your facility. These options all have roughly the same products and services. Often, you can buy the same exact equipment and brands from a number of sources. When that’s the case, why would you choose Cisco-Eagle over the alternatives?

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Pallet Shuttles vs. Dynamic Racks

August 6, 2020

pallet shuttle moving in a deep rack bay
For high-volume pallet storage and retrieval operations, dynamic rack systems like pushback, drive-in or pallet flow allow maximum storage in a given area, but each have their limitations. In some instances, a pallet shuttle system may suit the needs of many operations. The costs and limitations are different for each storage method, as shown below.

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How to Conduct a Warehouse Audit

March 3, 2020

warehouse being audited by a manager
Warehouse managers are always interested in ways to optimize and measure their success. Usually these discussions revolve around measuring outcomes–pick rates, errors, ship rates, damage, etc. In any walk of life, it’s good to take some time to reflect on the overall state of your work, and that’s what a warehouse audit should do.

Let’s dive into some things you should measure and how you should get started.

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Shine A Light – How LEDs Can Illuminate Your Operations

January 21, 2020

LED facility

Worker safety extends to all facets of a facility, from the forklift/pedestrian interactions to ergonomic that reduce fatigue and even the reporting software options needed to keep efficient track of incidents and near-misses. One area that sometimes is overlooked is actually that which you might want to look up and discover…..your lights. Traditional lighting generates a darkened environment that can reduce visibility, efficiency and morale.

In recent years, many smart companies turned to LED lighting to improve all of those factors and more.

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How to Calculate Automation ROI

October 10, 2019

robotic palletizer system in action
Return-on-investment is critical to automation projects, but justification isn’t straightforward. If you’re trying to convince management to make capital improvements to your operation, a smart, accurate and succinct ROI summary can work wonders. Let’s dive into some methods you can use to understand what to do — and what you can’t quantify.
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Storage Wars: Buying Pallet Rack In The Age Of Tariffs

September 26, 2019

Pallet Rack

The only constant is change in today’s global economy. Many companies and operations are waiting with bated breath to see which way the prevailing tariff winds will blow. Warehouses are especially on edge about all of this, considering how international supply chains and manufacturing has become. One area of concern coming up is that of pallet racks. In the past, a facility could take the chance on a lower-cost imported with the understanding that although the quality isn’t the same, costs may be lower. Now, with tariffs looming, what should you look for in thinking of replacing foreign rack?

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How to Increase Conveyor Longevity

September 3, 2019

Conveyor system in an assembly application
Conveyors–as we’ve discussed–have two major costs:

  1. The cost of conveyor hardware, which should include installation.
  2. The cost of operations, which should include maintenance, repair and energy consumption.

When you invest in capital equipment, you should be as focused on operational costs as purchase price. Part of that is extending the life of your conveyor system. How can you make sure you get the most out of your conveyors?

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So Last Year – Reasons for Replacing Old Conveyors

July 16, 2019


Conveyor systems are usually built for durability and an extended working life. With consideration for certain factors like the type of product and usage rates, conveyors can run for years and generate excellent return-on-investment. However, ROI diminishes and the conveyor starts costing more money than it’s worth if it’s extended too long.  Systems can be the lifeblood of warehouse operations, so relying on an old one can begin to cost more than replacing it.

There are signs to look for when you suspect your system is affecting your overall efficiency and bottom line.

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