Archive for March, 2017

March 21, 2017

Get to Know Your Warehouse Equipment: Industrial Conveyor Systems (Part 1)

How much do you know about your warehouse equipment? Part of running an efficient warehouse is knowing as much as possible about your equipment and making sure you have the most efficient options for your business. In this series, we’ll be helping you get to know more about your warehouse equipment and the various types of equipment that are available.

First up, let’s take a look at industrial conveyor systems! These are one of the first automation upgrades that many smaller warehouses make and with good reason. They are an excellent, affordable way to move product more quickly from one area of your warehouse to another, making your operation much more efficient. But not all industrial conveyor systems are made alike! There are a number of different conveyor options available to your warehouse. Get to know them all and you’ll be able to decide which one offers you the most benefit for the least amount of cost.

Types of Industrial Conveyors

Chute conveyors

These are typically used to move materials between two different floors. Many chute conveyors look less like a traditional conveyor and more like a slide you’d see in the playground. The benefit of a chute conveyor is that they are extremely affordable and help you move product from one floor to another (or from a mezzanine to the dock) much faster than if you’d be using an elevator. The only downside is that they are a one-way conveyor.

Roller conveyors

Roller conveyors are some of the most common industrial conveyor systems found in the warehouse environment. They can be powered or unpowered and are effective ways of moving materials over short distances. The only issue with roller conveyors is that you’ll need to make sure the products that you are moving across them are big enough not to fall into the gaps between the rollers and that it has a hard surface that can be rolled on the conveyor.

Gravity roller conveyors

These are roller conveyors that are unpowered and move the product with gravity. The conveyor is placed on a slope and products roll down the rollers to their final destination. This can be a great conveyor system for moving products from packing to shipping areas, depending on your typical weight and package size.

Powered roller conveyors

These are roller conveyors that use a motor and electricity to move products along the conveying path. They are great for sorting and can be used to move items up a slight incline.

Flat belt conveyors

This is another very common conveyor type. Flat belt conveyors are like the kind that you often see in a grocery store that moves your produce and groceries along to the clerk to ring you up. In fact, these actually¬†are flat belt conveyors; it’s just a bigger version that you see in a warehouse. These are good for smaller materials and can accommodate a variety of sizes, so if you have a diverse SKU set, it can be extremely helpful. Flat belt conveyors can move lighter materials both up and down an incline, another useful feature. Depending on the size, it can be a larger investment due to the fact it’s a powered system.

What Conveyor System is Right for You?

This is just the beginning! We’ll go over more conveyor types in our next blog so you can see more of the possibilities that are out there for your warehouse. You don’t have to wait, though! If you are ready to find the right conveyor system for your warehouse, get in touch with one of our project managers today. We’ll help you find the right conveyor system based on your needs, material types, and budget and get you everything you need to get it set up and running in your warehouse.

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March 19, 2017

Our Warehouse Consultants Were Nationwide in 2016!

Our warehouse consultants started their work in 1995 in the Chicago area when DAK Equipment & Engineering opened its doors. Over 20 years later, we’re still doing plenty of work here in Chicago where our office is still based, but that’s not all that we’re doing. In fact, in 2016 (21 years after we opened our doors), we did work in 39 states and one Canadian province! We’re proud that we’ve expanded our reach beyond Chicago and are able to work with so many great businesses all across the United States. It’s amazing to work with companies that are eager to find the best solutions for their warehouse and develop new methods and strategies that are setting the standard when it comes to great warehouses in the United States.

What That Means for Your Business

This means that no matter where you are located, your business can benefit from our warehouse consultants! We have sales engineers and project managers (we’re currently hiring, too) that manage territories all across the United States. That means you can speak to a DAK warehouse consultant who is familiar with your area and the unique needs of your warehouse. That helps us tailor our services to your specific needs, finding the warehouse equipment and services you need to make your warehouse run more efficiently and at a lower cost. Here are some of the services we offer you could be benefitting from in your warehouse:

  • Warehouse Strategic Planning
  • Intralogistics Design Services
  • Project Management
  • Racking Inspection Services
  • Warehouse Optimization Services

Along with those services, we can help you find the equipment that you need, too:

  • Selective Pallet Racking
  • Wire Decking
  • Cantilever Racking
  • Industrial Conveyor Systems
  • Warehouse Mezzanine Systems
  • Warehouse Storage Solutions
  • and so much more

Whatever it is that you need, we’ll make sure you get the right products at the right price.

Get Started With Our Warehouse Consultants Today

Are you ready to have a more organized, more efficient warehouse that’s less expensive to run? We’re ready to get to work. Get in touch with the project manager in charge of your area and talk to them about the issues that your warehouse is currently facing. Whether it’s high error rates, a sluggish pick line, or you are running out of storage space, we have the ideas and solutions that you need. Our team can work out of our Chicago office or come to your location to give you hands-on help. You’ll be amazed at the difference we can make in your business.

Where Are We Going This Year?

It’s been exciting to see where the last 20+ years have taken the DAK Equipment & Engineering team! We’re looking forward to seeing where the next 20 take us, too. Whether you join us as an employee or a client, we’re excited to do this journey with you. Give us a call or contact us through our website to reach out to a project manager in your area and they’ll get back with you as soon as possible. Our team will make sure you get the help and the service that you need.

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March 16, 2017

Pros and Cons of Cantilever Racking

Cantilever racking can be incredibly useful in the warehouse environment. The system uses arms or braces locked into uprights to create an incredibly versatile storage space. It’s one piece of warehouse equipment that many warehouses disregard when it could end up saving them space and helping them process orders more efficiently. It’s not for everyone, though, and should really only be used in specific circumstances. Let’s look at the pros and cons of cantilever racking in order to determine if it could be a smart addition to your warehouse.

The Pros of Cantilever Racking

  • Perfect for long, awkward inventory. If you have inventory that’s too long to fit on selective pallet racking, then cantilever racking is exactly what you need. It’s particular good for things like lumber, PVC or metal pipes.
  • It moves inventory off of the floor. This can free up your floor space for other inventory storage systems, particularly if you can mount your cantilever shelving higher on the wall for SKUs that you don’t need regular access to or can move with a forklift.
  • It keeps your inventory more organized. Cantilever shelving can be divided into customized spaces, giving you a more precise amount of storage for each SKU without sacrificing precious inventory space. Those customized shelves are ideal for keeping inventory separated, organized, and easy to access when it is needed.
  • It’s easy to install. Most warehouses have the manpower and tools required to install cantilever shelving themselves. This makes it a practical warehouse storage solution in terms of labor; it’s unlikely you’ll need to pay to have an expert install it for you.
  • It offers a lot of versatility. You can use cantilever racking systems to store a huge variety of items and it’s easy to move around to meet changing inventory needs.
  • It’s easy to use with other systems. Cantilever systems can be easily integrated into a warehouse that also uses selective pallet racking or other warehouse storage solutions.

The Cons of Cantilever Racking

  • Floor stacking is cheaper. Floor stacking doesn’t require you to make an investment in new warehouse equipment. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s free, though; taking up valuable floor space could be taking it away from a better, more profitable use.
  • It won’t work for your pallets. If you are storing pallets, this isn’t the warehouse storage solution you need. You’ll be better off using drive-in racking or selective pallet racking instead. You’ll want to use cantilever racking systems for long loads, such as lumber and pipes, as opposed to cartons and boxes.

Should You Install Cantilever Racking in Your Warehouse?

If you are currently floor stacking long, awkwardly-shaped inventory, then you should definitely consider installing a cantilever racking system in your warehouse. It can free up valuable floor space, keep your inventory more organized than floor stacking, and be relatively easy to install yourself. Still not sure that it’s the right solution for you? Talk to our team. We can help you determine if you should be using cantilever shelving based on your warehouse setup and inventory parameters. If it’s the right system for you, we’ll help you place an order for the cantilever system materials you need to get it set up in your warehouse. We can even have an installation team get it set up for you with minimal disturbance to your warehouse. If it’s not the right system, we’ll find one that is. Give us a call or contact us through our website to speak with one of our project managers. They’ll find a warehouse storage solution that you’ll love and works with your warehouse and your budget. Contact us today!

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