Archive for May, 2016

May 05, 2016

Using Robots to Work in Your Industrial Shelves

One of the best ways to increase the efficiency in your warehouse is to automate as much as possible within your industrial shelves. This does several things for your warehouse:

  • It eliminates the chances of human error in processing an order
  • It allows you to focus your team’s skills on more complex tasks
  • It speeds up your warehouse processes

Not only are there efficiency benefits, but there are monetary benefits as well. With automation, you’ll be able to invest once and depend on that machine to continue doing that task until you stop it (with the right maintenance and occasional repairs, of course). That lowers the amount of money you are paying human labor for menial tasks and use that talent elsewhere. The money saved is a direct increase to your bottom line.

Warehouses are always looking for new and better ways to automate and many are using robotics more and more within the warehouse walls. That’s the case for DHL. They are currently testing the idea of pairing their picking team members with robot carts. The carts following the pickers through the industrial shelves as they gather items for the order, putting them into the cart. When the order is complete, the robot cart heads out to the packing area while another cart joins the picker to start the next order.

So what are the advantages to using a robot cart?

  • It’s faster. Instead of wasting human effort in transporting items to the packing area, they can focus on picking the next order while their cart travels across to the packing area.
  • It’s safer for products. Employees aren’t trying to balance items in their hands while picking the next item, avoiding human error when it comes to handling products and reducing loss from damage.
  • It’s safer for employees. Less handling of items and not moving heavy carts themselves helps reduce the instance of injury and accidents on the warehouse floor. In turn, this can help a warehouse’s bottom line by reducing the used of sick time and worker’s compensation claims.

Are robot carts something you’d like to use in your warehouse? They aren’t an item currently available in the DAK Equipment & Engineering catalog, but it may be only a few years before they make an appearance.

Robot carts aren’t the only way to automate moving products off of your industrial shelves, though. You are likely already using these kind of improvements in your warehouse without realizing it; after all, even the use of computers in our warehouse is a form of automation. They track our inventory, alert us to reorder status, and even help automate the process of scheduling our teams. There are other automation ideas you can put in place without making the jump to robotics, too, including light-up item location for picking or even just installing conveyor belts to move product around.

Whatever you choose to do for your warehouse, DAK Equipment & Engineering is here to help. Contact our team to talk about how we can help automate your warehouse today!

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May 03, 2016

3 Jobs For Your Pallet Racks

Warehouses are filled with pallet racks for a good reason: they work. Pallet racks provide warehouse with a means of storing a large amount of inventory until it’s needed to fulfill orders. Smart warehouses invest in their pallet racks to ensure they have a system that’s reliable, durable, and right-sized to the needs of their warehouse. Pallet racks work hard in a warehouse environment by doing three main jobs:

  1. Keeping inventory organized. It might seem like splitting hairs to worry about how organized your warehouse is, but truthfully it has a huge impact on every facet of your operation. A well-organized, tidy warehouse is able to fulfill orders faster, avoid injuries and accidents, and avoid loss issues. Your pallet racks should help you keep everything in place where you need it.
  2. Keeping inventory safe. Pallet racks are a great way to protect inventory from damage from accidents and human error. Racks are made from steel so they are sturdy and often raised to keep the product out of the general traffic where it can be damaged.
  3. Keeping inventory accessible. Pallet racks aren’t any good if they don’t allow your team to pull the items that they need quickly and easily. So while pallet racks are great for organization and safety, they still need to give teams quick access to the items they are holding on their shelves. The better the access, the faster your team can process orders and get them out the door to your customers.

Without pallet racks, warehouses would be forced to keep their inventory stacked on the floor; and indeed, some warehouses still do this instead of investing in pallet racks. So what issues are they facing without pallet racks? It certainly can’t be very organized, especially if they are dealing with a significant number of SKUs. It’s also unsafe for inventory to remain on the floor, and even more dangerous for workers who run the risk of tipping over stacks, running into products, and damage themselves and the warehouse inventory. And finally, it’s a wreck for accessibility. What happens if the product your customer ordered is at the bottom of a pile? Suddenly, fulfilling that order is going to take much, much longer than it should take.

Thankfully, most warehouses are happily using pallet racks to keep their inventory organized, safe and accessible. What many of them aren’t doing, however, is using those pallet racks efficiently. Many simply fill up their pallet racking system without a second thought. Smart warehouses are paying attention to issues like load limits, group together common items, and rotating inventory on their pallet racks to ensure maximum efficiency for seasonal items.

DAK Equipment & Engineering can help with all of your pallet rack needs! Whether you need to install pallet racks for the first time, upgrade your existing system, or determine how to use your pallet racks more efficiently, we can help. Get in touch with our team and talk to one of our project managers or a member of our sales team. They’ll get you set up with the products and services that you need to ensure the best warehouse set up possible!

 

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May 02, 2016

The Versatility of Conveyor Systems

One of the most versatile material handling solutions in the warehouse environment are conveyor systems. There is a reason this material handling method has been around for so long! Conveyor belts have been in use since 1905 when they were first used in the coal mining industry. Henry Ford saw their potential and put them to use in his automobile factory. At their most basic, conveyor are built to move objects from one space to another, but how they do that can be minutely tailored to your warehouse’s needs. That’s why today you’ll find conveyor systems used in warehouse in almost every industry imaginable, from automotive to jewelry to aerospace and beyond. You’ll even see conveyor systems moving people through large buildings like airports and shopping malls. So how diverse are they?

  • Conveyor systems can be as long or short as you need them. You can have a short conveyor belt running between two aisles in your warehouse or have one running hundreds of feet along your production facility.
  • They can handle objects of virtually any use. Conveyor systems can be set up to move large automobiles or they can be configured to handle tiny, delicate electronics.
  • Conveyor systems can move objects in any direction. Whether you need to move items up, down, or side to side, conveyors can handle it all.

If you are struggling to develop an efficient system to move product through your warehouse, call and talk to a DAK Equipment & Engineering representative. They’ll help you configure a conveyor system that’s right for your space, your needs, and your budget!

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