Other posts by John Clark

Here are some other posts from John Clark.

New Automated Warehouse Helps Santa Keep Christmas Promises

'The North Pole'

viastore, a leading material handling automation systems and software company, announced that it has completed the installation of an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS), at a super-secret location inside Santa Claus’ Village at the North Pole. Santa Claus is the world’s largest international distributor of Christmas gifts to children of all ages, delivering an estimated 1,829,256,297 presents annually during a 24-hour period on the night of December 24. [Read more…]

Three Benefits of Warehouse Automation Duplication for Multi-Site Operations

Although it’s not often that “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to implementing warehouse automation in different facilities, installing the same brand and configuration of material handling automation equipment can deliver benefits to multi-site operations.

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Phoenix Contact’s Indianapolis distribution facility was automated by an AS/RS and Warehouse Management Systems (WMS) from viastore.

Take manufacturer Phoenix Contact—a maker of industrial electrical and electronic technology products that power, protect, connect and automate systems and equipment—for example. As a global entity, the company has three regional supply chain hubs located in Germany, China and the U.S. When it came time to better support business growth in both North and South America, the company decided to automate its Middletown, Pennsylvania manufacturing and distribution facility and chose to mirror its automation installation already in place in Blomberg, Germany. [Read more…]

When testing conveyor gets too realistic

The WalkTesting on conveyor system installations doesn’t always have to a boring, uneventful affair. At viastore, we take testing a system to make sure its operational very seriously, but we still like to have a little fun.

[Read more…]

Back to the Future Day…for Automation

BttFHappy Back to the Future Day. If you don’t know what this means, is was on this day 30 years ago in the ‘Back to the Future’ movie trilogy, where Marty and Doc Brown traveled 30 years into the future to…today. While they saw what the future looked like around Hill Valley, they didn’t happen to visit a distribution center. [Read more…]

The Role of Automation in the Roadmap for Material Handling and Logistics

roadmapIn the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics, a report compiling what more than 100 industry thought leaders had to say about the future of material handling and logistics between now and 2025, several topics were discussed. Among them,10 major trends in the economy, technology and society that will shape the future of the industry were outlined. They include:

  • The growth of e-commerce
  • Relentless competition
  • Mass personalization
  • Urbanization
  • Mobile and wearable computing
  • Robotics and automation
  • Sensors and the Internet of Things
  • Big Data and predictive analytics
  • The changing workforce
  • Sustainability

[Read more…]

Take Time to Relax…So You Can Get More Done

national-relaxation-day-august-15

Getting work and stuff done is how America rolls. I think we get more stuff done through sure will power than lots of others. But are we doing it the right way? Is ‘burning the midnight oil’ every day the best thing to be productive? Maybe not.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to get work done. But if there was a way to get more done, by actually doing less, wouldn’t that be cool?

[Read more…]

What Warehouse Execution Can Do for Your Supply Chain

Over the years, as new software tools came out that would automate your distribution environment, each touted that they would optimize their respective space. The problem is that while the solution DID optimize it’s ‘world’ (i.e. the warehouse operation), it would sub-optimize the areas that worked with the warehouse (i.e. transportation or TMS). Each of these solutions created ‘islands’ of automation throughout a company’s supply chain.

Another issue for these disparate systems is that they operated on a batch mentality, meaning that orders and work were planned in advance, and then the work was done. If something changed during the course of the work, the plan (the batch) was not adjusted for re-optimization of work.

In today’s new world of Omni-Channel distribution, this can’t continue. The solution for true overall facility optimization, is the Warehouse Execution System (WES).

[Read more…]

The Value of Being an Integration Partner

When you’re shopping for an investment, you’re shopping for value. Paying for what you might perceive to be a ‘middleman’ is not something you want to do. That’s why the concept of viastore being an Integration Partner (IP) for a company like Hytrol can come across as confusing…until you know all the details.

viastore supplies automation solutions that often include product that we don’t manufacture. When it comes to the conveyor portion of a solution, depending on the requirements, size and scope of the solution, we might utilize a combination of our equipment and also conveyor solutions from our partner Hytrol.

[Read more…]

Just How Old is Old? What the age of your Material Handling Automation Means

oldJust what does ‘Old’ mean?

As a recent post from Tompkins International said, “Many material handling systems used today are beginning to show their age. What were once considered brand new systems are now deteriorating and fighting to stay current.”

Unlike a favorite saying of mine that ‘you can’t help but grow old, but you can always be immature’, an aging automation system can cause problems for your operation. When downtime becomes a matter of not ‘if’, but ‘when’, an older automated system can easily become the weak link in your supply chain.

There are some tell-tale signs that you should modernize your automated system.

Just how old is YOUR system? [Read more…]

New Research on Who Should Design, Implement Your Next Material Handling System

When it comes to the design and implementation of a material handling system, the warehouse and distribution center (DC) operators have four primary choices:

  • In-house engineering
  • System original equipment manufacturer (OEM)
  • Consulting firm
  • Third-party systems integrator

This past spring, Modern Materials Handling partnered with viastore systems to delve deeper into how organizations evaluate and select material handling system providers and solutions. Among other areas of investigation, the final report—“Material Handling System Choices: Priorities, Approaches and Selection Processes of Decision-Makers” —takes an extensive look at the system design and implementation decisions made by respondents’ organizations. [Read more…]