Materials Handling Articles

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Long loads, narrow aisles, easy access

September 12, 2006 | By Eric Lundin

Since starting with just one warehouse in 1989, J G Kelly Supplies has grown along with Ireland's booming construction industry. Limiting factors such as the warehouse's doorway width, narrow aisles, and 90-degree turns meant the company had to rely on manual labor to handle the long, cumbersome items in its inventory. A standard forklift was out of the question. The company eventually purchased a multidirectional side-loading lift truck from Combilift for moving inventory in this challenging environment.

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Baled out

July 11, 2006

With growth coming fast and future expansions likely, this Tier 1 auto supplier replaced its capacity-limited scrap baling system with an autoloading conveyor system to maximize ROI and productivity.

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Mission: Spectacular scrap handling operations

July 11, 2006 | By Kate Bachman

Stampers, precariously squeezed by tight margins, high material costs, and increasing pressure to be leaner, have issued a request: we want our scrap handling operations to be faster, trouble-free, and more productive. Fortunately, the latest generation of scrap handling equipment makes that mission possible. New machinery, trending toward a greater use of invisible forces and high-tech gadgetry befitting a spy thriller, is equipped with sensors, edge-guide systems, automation, and magnetic forces, equipment manufacturers say. In addition, significant improvements have been made to the scrap handling equipment itself to save space, minimize jams, and to keep it moving.

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West coast wrapper

July 11, 2006

Maching tool builder Haas Automation Inc. needed a new approach to minimize labor costs in its internal packaging and shipping operation. The company found its answer with the Yellow Jacket orbital stretch wrap technology.

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Don't get stuck

February 7, 2006 | By Mike Wilks

Magnetic soft-belt conveyors can feed presses and transport parts from one workstation to another or from production to inspection, storage, or packaging operations. If you work with ferrous metal coils or sheets, a magnetic system may help improve plant efficiency, safety and reduce costs.

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Scrap the belt conveyors

December 13, 2005 | By Dan Davis

The traditional belt conveyors used to remove scrap from the stamping operations at American Trim's facility on Baxter Street in Lima, Ohio, just couldn't stand up to the gritty shop environment. The company found a successful alternative with a belt-less material movement solution from GSW Press Automation.

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Fast-forward fabricating

December 13, 2005

A new laser cutter, a new panel bender, and two older punching and shearing combination machines, connected to a new automatedstorage-and-retieval system have helped an Indianapolis job shop stay on top of emergnecy orders that normally come its way.

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Anchor's a way down the road to improvement

March 8, 2005 | By Dan Davis

A Fort Worth, Texas-based fabricator found that it was spending thousands in moving material from one building to the next for various operations. The company embarked on several expansion projects and invested in new equipment to help remedy the situation.

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Handling appliance steel

November 20, 2003 | By Jim Russell

Savvy stampers are purchasing new equipment or modifying and retrofitting existing equipment to include prefinished materials features. By paying close attention to equipment, tension practices, material processing methods, and material handling, stampers can participate in the market for surface-sensitive materials.

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The importance of storage planning

October 23, 2003 | By Joe Harnest

Material and equipment storage can be a major concern for fabricators. Therefore, it is important to establish the purpose of a storage system and understand clearly what it needs to accomplish.

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Roll out the shelving

August 28, 2003 | By Don Dykstra

Just as office managers look for the most efficient way to store files, shop managers must look for efficient ways to store heavy, expensive dies. Many offices have file cabinets with an index system for locating files quickly. The shop equivalent for storing and retrieving dies may be air-powered rollout shelf units.

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Lifting the load

April 10, 2003 | By Jenifer Sopko

Manufacturers face relentless challenges in their efforts to meet changing demand. In their materials handling operation, these challenges include moving materials in tight spaces, providing just-in-time (JIT) delivery to production areas, and ensuring that lift trucks are available when and where they are needed. Maintaining production efficiency requires sturdy, dependable lift trucks that are maneuverable, easy to operate, and easy to maintain.

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Instant Lube: The basics of automatic lubricating systems for overhead conveyors

January 16, 2003 | By Mel Burke

Less than half of the overhead conveyors stampers use have automatic lubrication systems.

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Signal equipment house

Metamorphosis: Topeka fabricator automates to emerge

October 10, 2002 | By Mike Dorcey

A contract manufacturer of railroad and telecommunication signal house enclosures had long relied on job shops to supply the sheet metal parts, which it then assembled. But the president, Patti jon Christensen, wanted to bring all the manufacturing under her own roof so she could build the company's future on parts that met her company's quality standards and timely deliveries. The company installed a flexible manufacturing system (FMS) from Finn-Power in March 2000 and has achieved its goals, to the point that it plans to add a second FMS.

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Power-and-free conveyors provide critical path through the manufacturing course

February 14, 2002 | By Mel Burke

This article describes how power-and-free conveyors are used in manufacturing. It outlines new themes in conveyor design, systems design, control systems, and simulation software.

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