Wildeck Receives “Most Valuable Supplier” Award

Commitment to business excellence earns MVS Award from MHEDA.

Waukesha, WI – Material handling equipment and safety products manufacturer, Wildeck, Inc., has earned the prestigious MVS (Most Valuable Supplier) Award for 2018.  The MVS Award is granted by the industry’s trade association, MHEDA (Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association).  According to MHEDA, this prestigious award recognizes companies who have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to their dealer network, their employees and their community.

To qualify for the MVS Award, Wildeck was required to meet a series of criteria in a number of areas important to its distributor companies.  In addition to confirming an on-going commitment to safety, MVS Award winners must also demonstrate an overall commitment to business excellence by documenting programs in the following areas:

  • Industry Advocacy
  • Distributor Advocacy
  • Business Networking
  • Continuing Education
  • Business Best Practices

“It is with great pride that Wildeck has received MHEDA’s 2018 Most Valuable Supplier Award,” stated Wildeck President, Greg Larson. “We are grateful to work with our dedicated dealer partners, systems integrators, and end-users throughout the country. The employee owners of Wildeck truly deserve this honor as they are committed to helping our customers’ projects run smoothly every day.”

“MHEDA members represent the best of our industry; and those who earn the MVS Award have documented that excellence and commitment to their dealers, community, employees and the material handling industry,” said Scott Lee, MHEDA’s 2017 Chairman of the Board and President of Schaumburg, IL based Conveyor Solutions, Inc. “MHEDA is very proud of our MVS Award winners.”

The Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) is the only national trade association dedicated solely to improving the proficiency of the independent material handling distributor.  MHEDA represents nearly 650 companies in the material handling equipment business.  Located in suburban Chicago, the association provides services to companies seeking to improve their business through education, networking, benchmarking and best practices.  For more information, visit www.mheda.org.

Wildeck, Inc. – based in Waukesha, WI – is a member of MHEDA (Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association), MHI (Material Handling Industry Association), the FMA (Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International), and the NAEC (National Association of Elevator Contractors).  The company is the largest manufacturer of safety guarding products, structural steel mezzanine platforms, manual and automated vertical lifts (VRCs), and rideable material lifts (RMLs) in North America.  A complete line of industrial rolling ladders, custom-designed work platforms and other high access products are also available.  Wildeck products improve supply chain productivity and provide additional capacity, efficiency and safety in manufacturing plants, warehouses, distribution centers, and many other facilities.  They are sold through a dedicated and experienced network of customer-service-oriented dealers and systems integrators nationwide.

Wildeck, Inc. is a subsidiary of Holden Industries, a 100% Employee-Owned Company.  Please visit www.wildeck.com.

Crown Equipment Helps Northgate Markets Achieve Lowest Injury Rate in 11 Years

NEW BREMEN, Ohio – Northgate Markets, a chain of supermarkets in Southern California, is reaping the results of its recently fortified safety and compliance efforts at its distribution center in Anaheim. Working with Crown Equipment, one of the world’s largest material handling companies, the family-owned and -operated business has achieved its lowest injury rate in 11 years and reached full compliance with forklift operator pre-shift inspection requirements.

Looking to improve inspection documentation and impact avoidance, Northgate Markets implemented Crown’s InfoLink® wireless operator and fleet management system to monitor and manage every motorized vehicle in its fleet. This includes more than 100 Crown forklifts and non-Crown equipment. From setting impact thresholds for each forklift to electronically filing vehicle inspection data and impact reports, InfoLink has helped Northgate Markets improve operator compliance, productivity and safety. In fact, since implementation, the company has seen declining workplace injury rates for the past three years.

“With Crown’s InfoLink, I get pre-trip inspection reports on every piece of equipment that every individual gets on every day, period,” said Keith McCarron, director of distribution, Northgate Markets. “In every operation I’ve ever been in, it’s really difficult to fill out a piece of paper and turn it in every day at the beginning and end of a shift. Now I get 100 percent return. No matter what, I know that piece of equipment is being operated safely.”

Northgate Markets material handling fleet varies from forklifts working in the elements outdoors to reach trucks working on smooth floors indoors. According to McCarron, the ability to adjust InfoLink’s impact thresholds to meet these various applications has been crucial to minimizing impacts while also modifying operator behavior.

“The ability to set each individual piece of equipment at a different impact threshold is key,” said McCarron. “Now operators are more aware of that threshold and hitting a rack or bumping a pallet. Prior to InfoLink, they wouldn’t have given it a thought. We’ve had a steady decrease in injuries and Crown’s operator and fleet management system is a part of that program.”

For more details of how Northgate Markets and Crown work together, visit the Customer Results section of the Crown website.

New Warehouse Design Book Offers Insights on Pallet Racking , MHE Selection and More

How to Configure and Equip Your Warehouse: Pallet racking, industrial shelving, MHE and more are covered in a practical warehouse design “due diligence primer.”

Warehouse design practical tips offered in new bookWhen two recently retired MHE professionals connected at a social function a few years ago, little did they realize that their enduring passion for the industry would quickly catapult them into a year-long project.  Soon-to-be authors Keith MacDonald and John Binns believed they had a lot to offer emerging and current generations of warehousing professionals. Their discussion turned to the need for a self-help book about warehouse material handling systems and layouts.*

Ongoing changes and new equipment capabilities had transpired over the course of their careers and continued to be added.  These have important implications for warehouse design. For instance, rack spacing has progressed from “wide” aisles to narrow aisles and then to very narrow aisles. The tremendous increase in storage height is another example as is the awareness of the effects of building column spacing.

Authors Look to Fill a Void in Warehouse Design Information

MacDonald and Binns reasoned that warehousing professionals not involved with deciding storage and handling methods on a day-to-day basis could not be expected to be aware of all the choices available or have the know-how for the needed decisions. Warehouse decision makers are often too busy in operating their existing warehouses to keep up to date on new possibilities. While large multinational companies often have warehouse design expertise, they recognized that for many independent warehouses, there is a serious knowledge gap.

A review of available books on the warehousing topic by the authors confirmed their belief that industry professionals needed better information about warehouse design, including configuration and equipment selection. They found existing titles to be strongly skewed toward efficiently operating the facility. And although operational efficiency is critical, it is much more difficult to achieve in the absence of first understanding how to select and dimension the storage and retrieval systems which will best position the warehouse for success. Without such attention to warehouse design in the early stages, the chances of achieving the expected operating results are greatly reduced.

Further, they also recognized that the ability to select correct equipment was, in itself, not sufficient for a trouble-free installation and operation.  The hands-on learning of pitfalls and dimensioning of various types of equipment and aisle widths, which are combined to form a system, is a must. The fact that the two had been involved with many different types of equipment supplied by a large variety of manufacturers allowed them to bring this broad perspective to the discussion.

They decided that the book would have to be easy for all to follow and become a communications tool as complexity increased.  Most importantly the project manager would have to feel comfortable in using it and have others use it; to be literally “all on the same page” in their understandings of any situation. This must include the progression from “what systems to use” through “how best to use them” and on through “how to combine all the different systems and methods into an efficient layout”.

The Selection Process

To attain these difficult goals it was decided to use a modular approach, which works well for warehouse layouts. Most layouts are just a combination of square or rectangular areas called zones; with each zone being a stand-alone segment of the warehouse.

Therefore, the selection process should be to first determine the type of storage and activity required for a zone and then select the equipment and aisle width to suit. The needed area is then easily determined and each zone becomes a moveable warehouse segment. It’s length and width can be easily reconfigured to fit as many complete warehouse configurations (combinations and placements of zones) as required.

The first step is to consider the different types of goods to be stored, their physical sizes and weights and the type of activity they will require for storage and retrieval. These will be fit into different types of zones.

Types of zone activity will usually fall into one or more of these categories:

  • Pallet-In……Pallet-Out
  • Pallet-In……Pallet-Out / Cases-Out / Pieces-Out
  • Cases-In…..Cases-Out / Pieces-Out
  • Pieces-In….Pieces-Out

In order to progress from the types and needed activities of stored products to a completed layout, the authors recommend a six-step process. For enhanced clarity of the explanations, comments, and cautions, many full-page drawings were considered essential.

For each zone the selection process might then become:

1) Consider and select the preferred storage equipment.

2) Consider and select the preferred handling and order selection equipment.

3) Decide on the preferred storage aisle width. This may not be the narrowest possible. There are many considerations in deciding aisle widths.

4) Combine the storage and handling equipment with the chosen aisle. This is the basic system for a zone.

5) Then comes the very important check of all dimensions to ensure that there will not be any surprise problems. Regardless of warehouse size, the planning is based on a game of inches or fractions of an inch.  A rack bay which is ½” longer than expected can make a row of racks unacceptably long, perhaps messing up the width of access aisles or in-floor wire-guidance.  Every equipment and aisle combination should be checked by an experienced person. Quite often ”The Devil is in the  Details”.

The chances of misfits increase when a number of suppliers are involved and close attention from the project manager becomes very important.

6)  When the selections have been finalized and checked for compatibility each zone can then be inserted where wanted in the overall plan. It is here that the number and width of access aisles (“main aisles”, “cross aisles”) can be determined and the locations of building columns checked. Some suggested “fixes” are shown for instances where the columns become a problem.

The authors believe the manual achieves to a large extent the goals they set in regard to illuminating the process of warehouse configuration and equipment selection. Kirkus Reviews calls How to Configure and Equip Your Warehouse “An informative operational due-diligence primer.”

How to Configure and Equip Your Warehouse is available from a number of major book suppliers with a “look inside” on their websites.  In Canada go to friesenpress.com. Also, check it out at Amazon.com and on Google Play.

 

* For the purposes of this manual a “System” or “Storage and Handling System” is used to include any combinations of storage and handling equipment, along with the methods and aisle widths used to store and retrieve products. A warehouse may have any number of these different systems which, through a step-by-step method, are inserted into the total warehouse layout.

Swisslog Secures Order For The First PowerStore System Deployment In South East Asia From Coca-Cola Malaysia

As part of Coca-Cola Malaysia’s investment of RM500 (US$117)  million to expand the size and production capacity of its current plant at Bandar Enstek, the company has commissioned Swisslog for a flexible, robotic, data-driven automated warehouse that will drive the future of intralogistics for Coca-Cola in Malaysia. This makes it the first PowerStore System deployment in South East Asia.

Coca-Cola’s plant in Bandar Enstek serves as the halal production hub for the Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei markets. The plant at Enstek will help the company achieve it’s objective of increasing density in an existing warehouse and consolidate operations in Singapore and Brunei.

Futureproof Technologies

PowerStore from Swisslog is part of the intralogistics automation provider’s technology offerings that meet the requirements of Industry 4.0. It is integrated into Swisslog’s SynQ software platform, an advanced warehouse management system. SynQ intelligently connects and synchronizes automation equipment, robotics, people and processes.

The PowerStore system not only increases storage space, throughput and productivity in Coca-Cola’s highbay warehouse, it also reduces energy reliance compared to traditional AS/RS crane-based systems. The scope of the project also includes an Electric Monorail System (EMS) to transfer the pallets between the production lines and the PowerStore highbay warehouse, providing better scalability and accessibility.

‘I am very excited that we constantly strive to bring the best technology into Malaysia to continue to enhance our environmentally friendly, world-class Halal manufacturing facility,’ said Mr. Gareth McGeown, Chief Executive Officer, CocaCola Bottlers Malaysia/Singapore/Brunei.

‘Swisslog was a partner of choice for multiple reasons. Having been in the SE Asian region for over two decades, Swisslog is a well-established provider and has successfully delivered a number of complex and innovative projects in the region. Their deep domain expertise and advancements in industrial robotics and intralogistics enable us to achieve greater operational efficiencies, increased storage capacity and seamless distribution, thereby helping us to deliver at the speed of business’ added McGeown. ‘When this project is completed, Coca-Cola Malaysia will become the regional hub and center of excellence for advanced, automated intralogistics.’

Building on a Long-term Relationship

According to Mr. Koh Seng Teck, Head of Southeast Asia for Swsisslog Warehouse & Distribution Solutions (WDS), ‘Swisslog has a long-standing relationship with Coca-Cola, having completed a number of successful implementations of several major automated and data-driven intralogistics systems in markets as diverse as China, Australia, New Zealand and Mexico. Our partnership is built on a strong foundation of trust and commitment. This project is another indicator of how we are redefining the future of intralogistics solutions and demonstrates the success of our growth strategy in the region. This is our first PowerStore deployment in the SEA region and is a matter of great pride and achievement.’

 

Swisslog designs, develops and delivers best-in-class automation solutions for forward-thinking hospitals, warehouses, and distribution centers. We offer integrated systems and services from a single source – from consulting to design, implementation and lifetime customer service. Behind the company’s success are 2 500 employees worldwide, supporting customers in more than 50 countries. Swisslog is part of the KUKA group, a leading global supplier of intelligent automation solutions. Visit www.kuka.com.

Warehousing and Automation News

STEPLogic 6 to offer more sophisticated reporting and app building functionality

DMLogic, LLC, experts in warehouse management systems (WMS) software and implementation, have announced the latest release of its software development platform. STEPLogic 6 will continue to offer customers the ability to easily configure, customize and enhance their existing WMS, and has now expanded its reporting and building structure while greatly enhancing the user experience including more intuitive search capabilities. STEPLogic facilitates the development of customer apps that are made easy by the utilities and automated tools built into the system.

STEPLogic 6’s new features include:

  • Chart Builder, a graphical information system which enables customers to create personalized representations of operations data for visibility to performance;
  • Multiple language support, where users can personalize and display multiple languages based on user profiles;
  • Reports Scheduler, which enables users to combine personalized reports with email to route reports to pertinent staff; and
  • Intuitive search capabilities allowing users to locate data within the database faster and easier.

The core of STEPLogic is the Process Builder and the Screen Builder. The new release of STEPLogic 6 includes a multitude of enhancements to the functionality of both to further extend their capabilities and improve the user experience.

“The release of STEPLogic 6 takes our dynamic user interface and offers users an even higher level of reporting and process building,” said Lynn Dermott, vice president, product development at DMLogic. “Giving the user an expanded process for performance visibility and reporting will allow for greater productivity and efficiency. And adding multiple language support will allow global companies to utilize the strength of STEPLogic’s customization capabilities across the supply chain, again increasing visibility and overall performance.”

STEPLogic’s powerful software development platform was utilized to develop two new standalone products released in early 2017 which will also be enhanced with this new version.

  • STEPLogic Trace is a comprehensive, federally-compliant serialization solution that supports end-to-end tracking within the distribution center. In compliance with the Drug Supply Chain Safety Act, the product meets requirements that manufacturers, distributors and retailers must be able to track, trace and report on the movement of prescription drugs and medical devices, throughout the supply chain.
  • STEPLogic Warehouse is a feature-rich WMS designed and priced to support small to medium businesses.  The first-of-its-kind, this app-based product enables users to fully customize their WMS by choosing core apps which can be modified or by building new apps quickly to meet business requirements. The complete suite of apps includes every step of traditional warehouse management system.

“With our enhanced user interface and graphic visualizer tool, the user has the ability to actually illustrate their new processes and easily capture messaging and reporting that will help reduce the time take to find inefficiencies in their warehouse,” said Robert Kennedy, vice president, business development, DMLogic. “The enhancements to STEPLogic 6 are further extending the level of sophistication and power of the core solution but also our entire STEPLogic product suite will benefit from enhanced reporting and process building.”