Automated Pallet Storage Offers Range of Operational Benefits

With all the trade media coverage of goods-to-person, shuttle-based case handling systems in e-commerce and parcel shipping order fulfillment applications recently, you might think that automated pallet storage with a unit load automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) is no longer a popular solution. That’s not the case with viastore’s customers, however. [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…]

It’s Not all about that Bass…It’s all about the Software

notaboutthatbass

While ‘All About that Bass’ was one of the biggest ear worms of last summer, when it comes to supply chain automation, there is a different new tune being sung.  It turns out that it isn’t all about that bass, but all about the Software.

This isn’t just a supply chain story either. Willy C. Smith, in a recent Harvard Business Review post, ‘Does Hardware Even Matter Anymore?‘, sums it up: “In more and more businesses, physical objects are no longer the primary basis for innovation and differentiation. They come second to innovations in computer code.”

[Read more…]

A three-year payback on an automation installation?

It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? That an automation installation could pay for itself in just 36 months—or sooner?

But it’s true. Depending on the level of automated system installed and the specific circumstances surrounding an operation’s current mode of operation, an investment in automated material handling systems and technologies could very well produce a three-year return on investment (ROI). [Read more…]

Seven Things to Consider when Installing Conveyor in your Cooler or Freezer

Life is full of so many things to ‘keep in mind’ or ‘remember to do’. When considering installing conveyor in a refrigerated or frozen environment, it’s no different. Beyond just selecting the right conveyor product solution for your needs, when considering automation for your cooler or freezer environment there are many special considerations you need to take into account in order to ensure optimal performance of your automated system.

[Read more…]