Learn About the Latest Advancements in AS/RS Technologies During FREE Industry Group Seminar at MODEX 2016

modex125x125If you’re registered to attend MODEX 2016 (April 4-7 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta), then you’re probably hoping to learn more about the latest developments in material handling and warehouse automation solutions. If pallet, tote and tray automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) are on your radar specifically, then you won’t want to miss the FREE on-floor seminar presented by show-sponsor MHI’s AS/RS (Fixed Aisle) Industry Group (viastore is one of 21 different industry leading companies who participate in the group, whose mission is to educate, promote, develop and grow the use of AS/RS in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution).

The session—“AS/RS: 21st Century Latest Advancements and Total Cost/Cost Benefit of Ownership”—will be held on Monday, April 4, from 11:15 a.m. to noon in Theater F. [Read more…]

Debunking the Myths to Automation

eBookWarehouse automation is a tricky thing.

Many companies have thought about automating their warehouse, but didn’t look into what it could do for their operation because of any multitude of reasons. Some weren’t sure how they could ever justify such an “enormous” investment. Some claimed they heard of someone else’s installation that was an epic disaster. Others have thought that their inventory profiles and handling processes are just too variable to do it with anything other than manual labor.

If these excuses sound like you, you’ve been duped. Don’t let the naysayers, rumors or 3rd party stories you’ve heard about automating your warehouse scare you. [Read more…]

7 Ways to Avoid a “Box of Chocolates” Automation and/or Software Implementation Scenario

“My mama always said, ‘Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’” – Forrest Gump

Prevent unwelcome and unpleasant surprises in a new installation or upgrade that can cause setbacks in your schedule and budget.

Depending on your taste, it might be nice to discover a hunk of caramel hiding under that chocolate from the heart-shaped Valentine’s Day candy box—or not. But when it comes to an automation and/or software implementation in your warehouse or distribution center, the majority of surprises are unwelcome and unpleasant.

[Read more…]

Replacing Bits and Pieces of Warehouse Automation: Why Talking to a Specialist Could Save You in the Long Run

There’s an iconic TV commercial from the 1970s that illustrates the value of taking the time to do something right the first time (pay now), as opposed to later making significant repairs to correct mistakes (and pay MORE later). Don’t let this be your approach when it comes to “saving” money by replacing or adding the random piece of new or used equipment for your warehouse automation system. [Read more…]

It’s Not the Size of Your Warehouse Automation That Delivers ROI—It’s the Functionality

In a previous post, we talked about how applying a localized, incremental warehouse automation solution can resolve a specific bottleneck within an operation for better productivity with a low to moderate level of investment. The point of that post (and this one) is that a material handling automation installation doesn’t always have to be an enormous undertaking—in both size and budget—in order to deliver a solid return on investment (ROI). Rather, it’s the functionality and flexibility of the installed equipment that can deliver the biggest impact when automating your warehouse. [Read more…]

Thinking Warehouse Automation? It’s OK to Think Small First

Often, when thinking of warehouse automation, what comes to mind is a lights-out, fully-automated facility that accounts for every item in inventory and removes people from the operation. In reality, however, material handling automation can be applied incrementally, enhancing only the specific processes to maximize return on investment.

Automating your warehouse can actually be considered as having four levels of increasing complexity. At the lowest cost end of the spectrum are systems that improve conventional picking—such as warehouse management (WMS), radio-frequency (RF) or voice-directed picking systems—or mechanized solutions that automate the horizontal movement of products and reduce labor handling requirements (like conveyor, pick modules, stretch wrap applicators, label print-and-apply, and layer picking equipment). [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…]

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…]

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…]