Archive for October, 2019

October 25, 2019

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, over 268,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2019. And besides skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women. Even though these statistics are daunting, there is hope for new technology and advances in medicine that can help women win their battle with cancer. There are also a variety of charities and organizations that hope to increase awareness and provide support for those who have breast cancer.

Founded by Betty Ford and her daughter in 1985, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) started as a week-long televised event and has been raising awareness for the disease since. Every October, major breast cancer charities strive to raise funds for research into the cause of breast cancer, prevention, diagnoses, treatment, and cure of cancer. Throughout the month, the organization’s mission is to provide support for those struggling with cancer and to educate women on the importance of self-exams and regular mammograms.

At DAK Equipment, we proudly support Susan B Komen and the Bright Pink organization and also want to help raise awareness about the importance of breast cancer prevention. Even though the products and services we provide are far removed from breast cancer research, we want to do what we can to help women who are fighting an incredibly hard battle. If you would like to join us and help in the fight against cancer, here are the links to our favorite organizations, as well as a few others, and a brief history of the organization.

Susan G Komen

Susan Goodman Komen was born in 1943 and was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was just 33 years old. After Susan’s death in 1980, just three years after her diagnosis, her younger sister, Nancy, promised to help women understand the disease and their treatment options. Nancy founded the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in 1982. Since the foundation’s creation, it has raised more than $800 million in breast cancer research.

Bright Pink

The Bright Pink organization started in 2007 by Lindsay Avner. Lindsay’s great-grandmother and grandmother died of breast cancer, and her mother fought both breast cancer and ovarian cancer. She decided to undergo genetic testing and it was determined that she carried a mutation on the gene BRCA1. With this family history and genetic testing, it indicated that she had up to an 87% risk of developing breast cancer and a 54% chance of developing ovarian cancer. Lindsay decided to undergo a risk-reducing double mastectomy, the youngest woman at the time to do so. Bright Pink strives to create a welcoming and inclusive community for women who choose to take proactive measures against breast cancer.

National Breast Cancer Foundation

Founded by Janelle Hail in 1991, the National Breast Cancer Foundation seeks to help educate women around the world on the importance of early detection. Janelle was 34 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1980, a time when patients knew little about the disease and their treatment options. In high school Janelle was taught about performing self exams, so when a lump would not go away on its own, she went to her doctor. She had a mastectomy and is still passionately supporting women and raising awareness for the importance of early detection.

Living Beyond Breast Cancer

Founded in 1991 by Marisa C. Weiss, MD, a radiation oncologist, Marisa wanted to further support her patients who had recently completed treatment for breast cancer. She held a conference where women could gather to gain information as well as create a supportive community with each other. Since then, the organization holds several conferences to provide support and to help empower women who have struggled with cancer.

What Every Woman Should Know About Breast Cancer

The team at DAK Equipment not only want to help support these charitable organizations, but also to provide information and support for women.

Self Exams Are More Than Just Lumps

It’s recommended that women start performing self breast exams in their 20s. Self breast exams should be done to not only check for lumps in the breast tissue, but also so that women can become familiar with their body. When performing an exam, feel for lumps, but also for an increased density or heaviness of the breast, a change in shape, tenderness or pain, or a change in skin texture. If a change persists, schedule an appointment with your doctor or for a mammogram.

It’s Not Just Family History

Even though family medical history does play a part in whether or not a woman develops breast cancer, more than 80% of women develop the disease and do not have a close relative with breast cancer. There are a variety of other factors that can increase the risk of developing cancer.

The Risk Factors of Breast Cancer

Along with family history, there are a few risk factors that women should be aware of, some that can be controlled, and some that cannot.

  • Weight: Being overweight can increase the risk.
  • Diet & exercise: A balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, avoiding trans fats, and getting in regular exercise can reduce the risk.
  • Alcohol: Some studies have shown that the risk of breast cancer increases with higher levels of alcohol consumption.
  • Smoking: There is a slightly higher risk of cancer for women who smoke.
  • Race: There is a slightly higher risk for caucasian women.
  • Age: The risk increases as women get older, or between the ages of 30 and 60.

Doctors recommend that women begin getting regular mammograms at the age of 40. However, for women who are not at a high risk and who perform regular self exams, a mammogram may not be necessary until the age of 50. If you have any questions, talk to your doctor or reach out to one of the above organizations.

DAK Equipment is proud to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month by bringing attention to these organizations and by providing information to help women understand their risks. We strive to be more than just a company who offers warehouse equipment, but to also help and support our community and the women in it. Contact us today if you have any questions.

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October 10, 2019

History of the Forklift

DAK Equipment & Engineering is the top warehouse design and layout consulting firm in the nation. We’ve leveraged our experience in order to bring you the best warehouse solutions to whatever you are struggling with, be it implementing automation systems or figuring out how to maximize your warehouse space. When you partner with DAK Equipment & Engineering, you’ll gain the strategy and the tools you’ll need to take your warehouse to the next level.

In our desire to build better warehouses of the future, we need to focus on what we’ve learned in the past. In our last blog post, we looked at the history of the pallet and discuss our K3 Werks Selective Pallet Racking systems, where we help you maximize your warehouse space through our Double Deep Pallet Racking system and our Cantilever Racking system. Furthermore, we can customize a warehouse mezzanine system in order to utilize the space above your head to its fullest potential. Today, we’ll take a look at another key invention that transformed the functionality and the efficiency of warehouses almost as much as the pallet: the forklift. Contact us today to get started!

What is a forklift?

The forklift is a machine that is designed to lift and move heavy items from one place to another. The forklift has two prongs in front that resemble a fork (hence the name) and they move up and down, similar to a fork.

THE HISTORY OF THE FORKLIFT

Before the invention of the forklift, if humans wanted to move anything, it was usually by hand. Simple machines such as hoists, chains, and wenches were all that were available, which could basically only move items up and down. If you wanted to move items, you’d have to use an elementary conveyor line that still required human force and was extremely labor intensive.

In the late 1800s, humans began to think that there had to be a better way to lift things rather than with your back all the time. If some machine could be invented that had a platform with wheels, life would be great. When the advent of cars and trucks began to take hold, the idea of adding a platform to a truck was tried.

When World War I began, the need for such heavy lifting began to be accelerated. Here, platforms began to be able to be lifted and lowered. Lift trucks were invented as well and forks were added, and by 1920, the forklift truck that could lift loads off the ground and above the level of the truck was invented. Hydraulics and electronics soon began to be added, making the forklift easier to use and more powerful as well.

Forklifts skittered along, being seen as useful, yet at the same time inefficient with no new major innovations. Some warehouses embraced them; some didn’t. In 1923, an electric truck that could lift forks and the load up was considered to be the first true forklift and allowed items to be stored higher. However, at this point, pallets became the problem as they were usually either too small or too big to pick up. When standardization of pallets slowly began to take place in the 1930s and throughout the 1940s, the standardization of the forklift design began to take place as well. DAK Equipment & Engineering recognizes that it’s really hard to not have a forklift without pallets and vice versa. You really can’t get much done with just one.

Again, it was a world war, World War II, that spurned the forklift to the forefront of necessity and transformed the warehouse to what it is today. The demand to move large amounts of goods and services easily took center stage, and the modern forklift and its counterpart and partner in crime, the pallets, were born.

INNOVATIONS IN FORKLIFTS TECHNOLOGY

As you can imagine, the beginnings of forklifts were much like the Wild West — anything went. However, safety prevailed and cages were added and backrest for driver safety. The forklift is now better balanced to prevent tip overs. DAK Equipment & Engineering notes that the infamous beeping technology was added to warn others when a forklift was in operation.

Batteries were one of the first innovations in forklift; however, the shelflife of batteries were improved due to the constant use of forklifts in some industries and warehouses. Gasoline is a fuel source as well for the forklift, but increasingly, manufacturers are using electric technology in conjunction with batteries. There is no carbon emissions with battery-operated forklifts, which is great not only for workers who don’t have to worry about breathing in gas fumes, but also for reducing companies’ carbon footprint.

Computer technology has found its way into forklifts as well. Many of these systems are linked to the warehouse’s central inventory control system, making it easy for forklift operators to scan barcodes or read RFID chips. This is just one implementation that DAK Equipment & Engineering helps companies to implement in their warehouse design and logistics. This forklift innovation has made inventory much easier to manage and has allowed for real time data updates as to what is and what is not in a particular warehouse at any given moment. Fewer pallets are lost or misplaced in warehouses as well.

THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE

As our cell phones and tablets have shrunk, so have our machines with the goal or getting the same use but taking up less space, such as the Mini Cooper car. Forklifts themselves have followed this trend with smaller body designs. This enables them to turn with less space needed, and less space is needed between aisles, effectively increasing the size of your warehouse storage space just by decreasing the size of forklifts. This innovation has allowed for more pallet storage, which is more goods stored, which translates to higher profits — another great forklift innovation that is pushing warehouse technology into the future.

With more ergonomic seats and arrangements of the driving controls, forklift operators can sit for longer periods of time comfortably and without tiring. Forklifts can now be ordered customized to the hilt, much like cars and trucks, so warehouse operators can get exactly what they want and need out of a forklift.

SAFETY FIRST

Safety continues to improve with forklifts as well. Have beeping forklift machines is great, but what if your warehouse is playing music, or your employees have headphones on while they do their jobs? Talking on the phone or even just staring at the ground, lost in thought are common ways that people and forklifts collide in warehouses. Now, there are blue lights that shine out in front of forklifts to warn people that a forklift is coming.

HOW DAK EQUIPMENT & ENGINEERING CAN HELP YOUR WAREHOUSE MOVE INTO THE FUTURE

As a warehouse business, you have to be constantly innovating if you are to keep up with your competitors. You have to be better than them and one step ahead in this cut-throat world dominated by the internet, social media, and strong platforms.

DAK Equipment & Engineering has taken warehouse logistics and design services to the next level. When you partner with us, we’ll first do a warehouse needs analysis and assessment, focusing on your operations, we collect performance information to create a baseline in order to develop a strategic plan to take your warehouse where it wants to be in the future. Our mission is to not only maximize the areas that are glaring examples of inefficiencies, such as lacking a mezzanine floor, but also to take the areas that are operating “good enough” and turn those into exemplary operations.

DAK Equipment & Engineering also offers space planning services, where we analyze your warehouse workflow and implement a warehouse layout optimization plan in order to use every single square foot to its ultimate potential, even corners. Our K3 Werks custom pallet racking system can take your warehouse to new heights.

In essence, DAK Equipment & Engineering has years of experience in warehouse design and layout consulting services to help your warehouse meet the needs of the future. Contact us today to get started!

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