The Material Handling Blog

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3 Steps to Choosing Material Handling Technologies that Last

July 06, 2022
Technology advancements are being made all the time, whether it’s new gadgets or software. In fact, it seems as though any time you look at the latest tech news a newer version of a product you've just purchased has come out. The same challenge exists with material handling and supply chain automation. Whether it's upgrading a conveyor system, adding a goods to person or AS/RS (automated storage and retrieval system), or state-of-the-art robotic automation, there are several factors that one should consider when looking into a new technology.

Optimizing the Outbound Logistics Process

June 29, 2022
With the boom in the ecommerce market, companies will have to optimize outbound processes in order to keep up with the race and continue to meet customer expectations – correct orders with on time fulfilment. Let's look at how.

4 DC Design Focus Areas: Beyond Automated Warehouse Technology

June 22, 2022
Streamlining the complex processes of getting products from inbound receiving to outbound truck loading requires thoughtful orchestration of functions within the four walls of distribution and fulfillment centers that extends beyond selecting the right automated technology. Let’s take a look at five more areas that you’ll want to consider during the planning phase to unlock even more efficiency opportunities.

Small Scale Robotic Automation Drives a Big Impact for Gerrie Electric’s Distribution

June 15, 2022
“Our existing 26,000 square foot facility was just not enough.” Gerrie Electric turned to small scale automation to unlock warehouse footprint and productivity opportunities quickly and reliably. The result – error-free picking, a boost in throughput, a trajectory to achieve and beat a targeted 3-year ROI and room to accommodate their immediate growth for additional robots and ports to handle the increased demand. As the largest independent, electrical lighting and automation distributor in Ontario, Canada, Gerrie Electric serves customers ranging from car and steel OEMs, pharmaceuticals and individual contractors performing on-site electrical installations.

L'automatisation à petite échelle génère un grand impact pour la distribution de Gerrie Electric

June 15, 2022
« Notre installation existante de 26 000 pieds carrés n’était tout simplement plus suffisante ». Gerrie Electric s’est tourné vers l’automatisation à petite échelle pour lever les restrictions dues à la superficie d’entrepôt et permettre rapidement et de façon fiable des opportunités de productivité. Le résultat : un prélèvement exempt d’erreurs, une amélioration de la productivité, une trajectoire pour atteindre et surpasser un rendement du capital investi sur trois ans ciblé, et de l’espace pour accommoder la croissance immédiate pour des robots et des ports supplémentaires afin de traiter l’augmentation de la demande.

5 Common Mistakes in Distribution Center Operation Design

June 08, 2022
Before products can be sent on their way to individual doorsteps or stores, there are a lot of individual yet highly connected functions. All of these tasks are housed in a single DC (distribution center). As straightforward as it may seem to get products from inbound receiving docks to outbound shipping and truck loading, there are a few key considerations to avoid common mistakes in layout and design. Unlocking efficiency opportunities means thinking through safety considerations, the placement of functions and technologies in the warehouse, understanding of drawbacks or potential challenges, and evaluating what can and cannot or should not be automated. Let’s take a look at some of the common mistakes and considerations to avoid them.

Workplace Health: Ergonomics, Safety and Health Enhanced by Logistics Robots

May 25, 2022
Post originally published and provided courtesy of Scallog. In order to coordinate and absorb those retail flows as effectively as possible to meet demand, logistics engineers must become more efficient and productive, beyond trading off their resources as an adjustment variable. Automation, and specifically goods-to-person robotics, is a crucial element to ensure efficient logistics without compromising on the operator’s safety and well-being.

How to Navigate Significant Shifts When Upgrading Warehouse Software

May 18, 2022
Supply chains and warehouse operations are under a spotlight with many moving towards adding small- and large-scale automation solutions with software upgrades to match. Identifying and navigating those changes is not easy but the right warehouse software platform and integrator can help make the shift seamless.

OPEX®: Next Gen Automation Technology to Strengthen the Future of Warehouses

May 04, 2022
We talked to Khurshed B. Mirza, OPEX Warehouse Automation Director for the APAC region, for a deeper insight on the technology and future of DC automation development. OPEX is a warehouse automation leader in the US and is progressively rolling out these technologies to the EU and APAC regions. “There is no single point of failure in our equipment,” says Khurshed B. Mirza. “OPEX solutions have in-built redundancy that results in a significantly higher machine uptime than competitive solutions. OPEX solutions also consume significantly less electric energy when they run due to cutting edge environmental sustainability innovation.”

Is Pick to Light Right for You? Streamline Picking Processes with Easy, Visual Cues

April 27, 2022
Are you looking for a way to eliminate waste within your picking process? Are you struggling to achieve accuracy metrics? Does your operation suffer from constant turnover or accommodate seasonality? If any of these scenarios hit a little too close to home, a pick to light solution may be a good choice to optimize your operation! In this article, I will go over the functionality, advantages and operations best suited for this technology.

Outfitting Industrial Robots for Extreme Warehouse Environments

April 20, 2022
Hot, cold, corrosive – these environments, and more, inherently require a little extra care when it comes to planning labor and tasks. The same goes for introducing any automated technologies. After all, you need them to operate correctly and avoid any unnecessary damage. Often pulled in to support tasks that need to be reliably repeatable, industrial robotics are an excellent option to support safer work in unique environments. When looking at any robotics application, it’s crucial to consider the conditions under which the task is happening. Whether it’s palletizing, welding, paint, or part handling, the working environment – temperature, exposure, application, and materials – plays a key role in the way automation equipment is selected, outfitted, and designed. Let’s take a look at some of the most common challenging environments and what can be done if the environment is too harsh for most standard industrial robots.

Caja Robotics: Delivering Flexibility through ‘Plug n’ Play’ Robotic Warehouse Automation

April 06, 2022
In 2022, Bastian Solutions announced a working relationship with Caja Robotics to integrate robotic systems in the U.S., with a plan to leverage each other’s capabilities in the material handling space to serve a range of projects and customer sites. We talked to Ilan Cohen, the CEO and Board Chairman at Caja Robotics, for a deeper insight on the technology and future of DC automation development. Ilan is an external founder with a Ph.D. in AI (artificial intelligence) and an extensive career in automation and robotics.
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