Orbis Introduces a Solution for Combustible Wooden Pallets

Wooden pallets may be inexpensive, durable and practical, but they are also flammable. Storing wooden pallets at your warehouse or manufacturing facility could be an invitation for disaster, as was illustrated by a series of destructive pallet fires recently: In December 2012, about 3,000 wooden pallets caught fire at a wood recycling plant in North … Read more

Reduce Accidents in the Workplace with Safety Equipment

One of the keys to creating an efficient and productive workplace is by controlling the flow of traffic. City streets and public highways are regulated by traffic laws, stop lights, stop signs, speed limit signs and other safety equipment in order to maintain order and minimize accidents. That same type of control can be applied to your workplace.

safety equpimentWhile there may not be a flow of cars and trucks across your warehouse or work yard floor, other vehicles such as forklifts, golf carts, power jacks and even manual pallet jacks pose a potential collision of crushing danger if not properly supervised and managed. One of the best ways to get your employees to follow the pathways you determine is to use traffic control equipment.

Slow Down Traffic, Increase Safety

For example, something as simple as traffic cones could be used to indicate areas where power equipment should not be used, such as places with narrow passage ways or delicate inventory. Chain barricades can be used to designate areas where employees are allowed to walk so that they won’t be in danger of being run over by equipment operators.

Even speed bumps can be installed to create slow zones or to prevent operators from going to fast. Speed bumps are now available in a variety of heights and materials — including some that are made from 100% recycled plastics — so that you can help protect the environment while promoting workplace safety.

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Superlift Material Handling Offers 30,000 Pallet Truck

Company SuperLift of Ontario, Canada is offering a new pallet truck weighing in at 30,000 pounds, referencing a super heavy duty pallet truck. Superlift Material Handling is a manufacturer of custom lift equipment. With this expansion of their pallet truck product line and will be able to accept orders of up to 30,000 lbs capacity. … Read more

Clean Energy Fuels BMW’s Forklift Fleet

With Plug Power’s recent expansion with BMW Manufacturing Co., has brought its clean energy fleet to 275 units. Thus, making it the largest fleet in North America. BMW Manufacturing Co. has a firm commitment to being economically friendly, as well as improving and incorporating modern technology in its production processes. In 2003, BMW equipped more … Read more

Mobile Robots Make Warehouse Ops Cheaper and More Efficient

mobile robots for warehousesMobile robots have been used in manufacturing for decades, but thanks to their shrinking costs and the needs for businesses to increase efficiencies and lower expenses, they are starting to appear more frequently in warehouse and distribution applications.

Corey Ryan, medical account manager for KUKA Robotics, based in Shelby Township, Michigan, said that in recent years robots have been showing up in more and more businesses, not just manufacturing.

“We increased interest in mobile robotics across all industries,” Ryan told the website Robotics Online. “The ability of one mobile robot to service several locations and perform a greatly expanded  range of task offers a great appeal for specialized applications.”

Giant Eagle Uses Robots to Cut Warehouse Costs

One success story is Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle, a leading supermarket chain that operates in four Eastern states. The company currently is using pallet-handling mobile robots in its 440,000-square-foot food  distribution center outside of Pittsburgh. Four double pallet robots, which resemble driver-less forklift truck, handle much of the facility’s putaway operations. Another four mobile robots are being used at a Giant Eagle distribution center in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Inspecting Your Pallets Saves Money

One of the biggest overhead costs in any material handling operation should not be pallets. This is the easiest type of cost to keep track of and the easiest to control. Here are a few pointers to help cut costs associated with pallets and damage to palletized materials. QC Your Pallets Check your pallets often … Read more

Telescopic Handlers and Boom Attachments for Forkifts

Telescopic Handlers and Forklift Boom Attachments
Telescopic Handler

A telescopic handler is sort of a hybrid between a forklift and a crane. Its versatile telescopic arm can extend forwards and upwards from the vehicle and the end can be fitted with various attachments, including a bucket, pallet forks, a muck grab or a lift table. This sort of vehicle is used widely in industry and agriculture.

It’s commonly fitted with pallet forks to move loads to and from areas not accessible by forklifts. For example, a telescopic handler can be used to remove pallets from a trailer and place them on rooftops or other high places. It is often used instead of a crane, which is not always practical or cost-efficient.

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A Little Planning Can Improve Warehouse Racking Efficiency

warehouse rackingIf you are considering installing new shelving in your warehouse or replacing existing shelving to make it more practical, taking the time to consider the long-term implications of your warehouse racking system can increase efficiency and reduce long-term costs.

The first thing to consider is your storage density. Deep-lane storage opportunities — such as double-deep, drive-in, drive-though, pallet-flow and push-back racks — can make your warehouse more versatile and profitable. Obviously, if you need continual access to every pallet in our facility at all times, deep-lane storage is not the best option. But if you don’t require 100% selectivity, it usually will pay off in the long run.


Before making a storage density decision, you need to consider whether your warehouse is Last-In First-Out (LIFO), or First-In First-Out (FIFO). FIFO operations do better with pallet flow racks while LIFO lends itself to deep-lane storage. If you use buried loads in a LIFO operation, you could be unnecessarily increasing your material handling labor cost.

Another thing to consider is your picking profile. Are your typical orders primarily picking pallets, cases or pieces? Do you pick from bulk to replenish a forward pick zone? How you configure your warehouse racking will be a function of your most common picking profiles. While most setups are not 100% efficient, by building your flow to your most common picking profiles, you can optimize your efficiency the greatest number of times.

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Pallet Management

We often take pallets for granted, but we shouldn’t. Pallets make it easy to move heavy loads of materials safely and efficiently. Yet they are a relatively new technology in materials handling. While loads of products have been moved on pallets since the development of the lift truck in the 1920s and ’30s, it wasn’t … Read more

Forklift Safety in Public Places

Is it legal to operate a forklift on a public road or highway? The answer is “No”. Because a forklift is used for material handling, it is considered a “special purpose” vehicle. As a result, it cannot be driven legally under its own power on public roads or in public parking lots. Forklift safety should always … Read more