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Are AGVs Right for You?

March 17, 2022

driverless forklift AGV loading empty pallets.

AGVs–automated guided vehicles–are mainstream. You see them in increasingly diverse applications and functioning in areas of the supply chain that may have seemed impossible a few years ago. Especially as e-commerce continues to accelerate and consumers demand more and faster shipments, companies must innovate to meet demand. AGV technology is ready for real-world use and can provide the answer, but is it a good fit for you?

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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?

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

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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Posted in Automation, Conveyor, ROI, Warehousing| No Comments »

What Is The Cisco-Eagle Difference?

September 10, 2020

Warehouse

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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Posted in Material Handling, ROI, Warehousing| No Comments »

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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Posted in Automation, Pallet and Industrial Racks, ROI, Warehousing| No Comments »

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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Posted in Automation, Manufacturing, Robotics, ROI, Warehousing| No Comments »

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