Modern Materials Handling Names viastore’s Installation at Grob Winner of 2016 Productivity Achievement Award

MMH_1015coverModern Materials Handling magazine’s Productivity Achievement Award for Manufacturing has been awarded to Grob-Werke GmbH & Co. KG’s new logistics center in Mindelheim, Germany. The family-owned maker of machines and assembly systems for manufacturing operations worked with viastore to design, supply and install a high-density automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) with goods-to-person picking to streamline packaging of kitted materials. The kits are then used to replenish assembly stations in Grob’s adjacent manufacturing plant. The facility was featured on the October 2015 cover in an article entitled, “Grob: Getting the goods to the person.”

The finalists were judged by a panel of three highly-respected supply chain experts: John Hill, director at St. Onge Co., a supply chain strategy and logistics consulting firm; James A. Tompkins, chairman and CEO of Tompkins International, a supply chain consulting and implementation firm; and Jeff Woroniecki, chief operating officer at MHI. [Read more…]

Key Operational Evaluation Points for a Smooth SAP EWM or WM Deployment

Kommissionierplatz_Automatisches_Kleinteilelager_AKL_order_picking_workstation_Miniload_System_Trumpf_4_NRWhen the decision has been made to deploy either SAP Supply Chain Execution (SCE) Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) or SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Warehouse Management (WM) in your conventional and/or automated warehouses, the success (or failure) of that implementation can rest solely on the amount of advance preparation time spent.

Not only is it important to carefully evaluate potential integration providers, it’s also critical to thoroughly analyze a variety of internal factors to ensure the smoothest—and fastest—implementation possible. [Read more…]

Boost Efficiency, Throughput with Blended Manual and Automated Handling Solutions: Get Details in Free MODEX 2016 ASG Seminar

It’s a myth that automating your warehouse is an “all-in” commitment. In reality, some of the most cost-effective installations blend both manual and automated material handling solutions to achieve scalable efficiency and throughput in a variety of processes, including picking, packing, shipping, assembly and component handling.

modex125x125It’s a topic to be covered in more detail—twice!—during MODEX 2016 (April 4-7 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta), as part of show-sponsor MHI’s Automation Solutions Group (ASG)‘s FREE on-floor seminar, “Latest and Greatest Advances in Automated Handling.” The session will initially be held on Tuesday, April 5 from 11:15 a.m. to noon in Theater B. It repeats for a second time on Thursday, April 7 from noon to 12:45 p.m. in Theater A. (viastore is one of 40 different industry leading companies representing the automation software, hardware and services that support a fully integrated supply chain who participate in the ASG. The group’s members routinely collaborate on solutions worldwide, and in every major manufacturing, warehousing and distribution sector.) [Read more…]

Experienced Integrators Help Get the Most Out of Your SAP EWM or WM Implementation

Packplatz_Automatisches_Kleinteilelager_Trumpf_1_NR

More and more operations are choosing to implement SAP Supply Chain Execution (SCE) Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) or SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Warehouse Management (WM) in their conventional and/or automated warehouses. Depending on the application and the selected SAP solution, however, there may be some limitations within the software.

These confines occur when the pre-configured SAP modules do not match the dialogs required by your current (or future) processes. Primarily, they fall into the realms of:

  • User interfaces that aren’t as streamlined as they could be, or
  • Optimizations needed to meet specialized process flows.

So how can an operation ensure that the chosen SAP EWM or WM solution is implemented in such a way that minimizes disruption to a current workflow? By partnering with an intralogistics solutions supplier who has extensive expertise in configuring deployments that match an operation’s needs, while leveraging industry-specific best practices.

[Read more…]

Evaluating AS/RS Total Cost of Ownership Versus Other Technologies: Learn How at FREE Industry Group Seminar at MODEX 2016

modex125x125When it comes to an investment in pallet, tote and tray automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), justifying the costs to the chief financial officer (CFO) is critical. That’s why, if you’re in the market for one of these installations—and you’re at MODEX 2016 (April 4-7 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta)—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 member companies that participates in the group, whose mission is to educate, promote, develop and grow the use of AS/RS in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution). [Read more…]

6 Key Motor Driven Roller Conveyor Features That Make Setup and Configuration Easy, Flexible

Picture17When it comes to moving products through a facility, sometimes you just need a little more.

When it comes to automated conveyor—while lineshaft, chain and belt driven motor conveyors have historically been the mainstay solutions—over the last several years 24-volt DC motor driven roller (MDR) has been gaining ground.

[Read more…]

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…]

viastore 2016 Survey on Material Handling System Choices-compare yourself to others

Everybody wants to know how they stack up. Are you as fast as the other guy? Do you work harder than a coworker? (Of course the answer to both is ‘yes’.) When it comes to material handling, and comparing what your company is doing compared to others and knowing how your company stacks up to the rest of the industry is important as well.

For the 2nd year in a row, viastore is compiling annual information on the key issues facing industry executives today. This anonymous survey allows you to compare your company and how you go about making the decisions you make in regards to material handling automation compared to others.

For example, in last year’s survey, we found that 88% of respondents said they wanted their supply chain project to deliver within budget, the leading reason (and no real big surprise there). Click on the infographic to see what the other top-ranking responses were. What WAS interesting was that when it came to who was best-suited to design a material handling system, 63% of respondents felt it should be an outside resource. To see the complete results from last year, you can download the 2015 survey results whitepaper.

What will the numbers be like this year? We won’t know unless you participate. We value your opinion and hope you’ll take just a few minutes to participate in this annual survey. [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…]

Take an Incremental Approach to Automation Installation, Investment

Warehouse automation. The term calls to mind expensive, complex, high-speed, highly mechanized equipment operating in the dark, with nary a human in sight. Yet—if reading this blog achieves nothing else—let your takeaway be that there are actually four levels of automation (generally speaking), and that only a handful of facilities in the U.S. house installations of that highest level. The rest have invested in a more affordable degree of automation that delivers process improvements in key areas to enhance productivity.

automation scaleAutomating your warehouse breaks down into the following four levels of increasing sophistication and investment: [Read more…]