Archive for the ‘Industrial Storage Equipment’ Category

Warehouse Management Software for Optimizing & Streamlining Production

Optimize Your Warehouse Storage with Warehouse Management Software

warehouse-management-softwareAutomated storage systems have been designed to meet the storage needs of a wide variety of operations. When combined with warehouse management software (WMS), streamlining production in your warehouse becomes even easier, more efficient, and can save you thousands of dollars per year on storage and ergonomics.

Streamlining Production Levels with WMS Integration

In order to ensure optimized production levels most effectively, measures must be taken to properly integrate your WMS into new or existing software. Ideally, you will be able to integrate with little downtime and more cost-effectively than traditional, software-less warehouse management. Warehouse management software not only reduces time spent managing your warehouse, but it also reduces human error and provides automatic configuration for tasks such as inventory management and tracking, batch picking, shipping labeling, receiving, material handling, storing materials in the least amount of space possible, and more.

Factors to consider before WMS integration

Before choosing a WMS system for your warehouse, you should first consider whether you want a specific best-of-brand package to integrate into your existing system or to implement a new overall system. WMS-ERP integrated systems are recommended since the software can integrate seamlessly with other existing system activities and processes. An integrated system also helps avoid the difficulties and costs associated with implementing standalone warehouse management software into an existing system.

Benefits of Warehouse management software integration

There are many benefits of integrating warehouse management software into ERP to optimize production levels that goes beyond ease of integration, including:optimize-production-levels

  • Improved supply chain visibility
  • Unified data structures and consistent user interfaces that help greatly reduce the amount of time spent training employees
  • Improved automated functionality that allows employees to maximize productive time
  • Gradual transition to WMS for traditional warehouse systems
  • Incremental shutdown capabilities to protect data
  • Automated inventory tracking and monitoring
  • Integrated technology and software for AS/RS storage systems

Contact Us About Warehouse Management Software

Navigating the many different types of warehouse management software can be intimidating. Southwest Solutions Group® provides design, consultation, and implementation services to a wide variety of business sectors, including retail, manufacturing, industrial, and warehouse operations. Whether you’re looking to update or replace your current WMS system or manage additional warehouses, SSG can help you find the right software depending on your specific needs and get you on your way to enhancing your production levels and increase your ROI. For more information or to speak with a warehouse management specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.


How to Apply LEAN Practices in Your Warehousing Facility

Apply LEAN Practices in Your Warehousing FacilityLEAN practices are all about reducing waste; however in the past, LEAN practices typically only applied to the production and manufacturing of standardized products. Warehousing and distribution, on the other hand, are service industries that are very far from standardized because the customer is able to choose from thousands of items. With this view, how can the same LEAN practices used in manufacturing apply to your warehousing facility?

8 Types of Waste Found in Warehousing & Distribution

When you look at the waste found in manufacturing, you will see similar types of waste in warehousing and distribution. According to the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW), “Since warehousing is nothing more than managing space and time, reducing waste starts with identifying the poor use of both.” In NAW’s book Lean Warehousing they describe 8 types of waste found in warehousing,

  1. Overproduction in manufacturing results in wasted materials. In warehousing, an excess of inventory has the same result.
  2. Waiting is a waste of time. This is as true in warehouse operations as it is in production.
  3. Unnecessary movement of cargo is a major source of waste in materials handling.
  4. Over processing is a waste in production – in warehousing it is over checking.
  5. Poor inventory control represents waste, particularly when stock-outs are frequent.
  6. Movement is a waste when it involves hunting for tools, or stored items that cannot be located.
  7. Defective parts waste production; in warehousing, errors result in waste.
  8. Unused employee creativity represents a waste of human resources.

Once you have identified the causes of waste in your facility, you can move forward and apply LEAN practices.

Equipment to Help Facilitate LEAN Practices for Warehousing

Goods-to-Person Storage and Retrieval Equipment for WarehousingManaging space, time, and inventory to reduce waste is a large task. That’s why investing in the right equipment solutions will help you facilitate LEAN practices. Depending on your particular needs, there are a variety of equipment solutions including,

  • Vertical lift modules (VLM): The vertical lift modules store small, medium, and large parts in the least amount of floor space possible.
  • Vertical Carousels: The vertical carousels maximize the storage of small parts in bins.
  • Horizontal carousels: The horizontal carousels increase picking efficiency by allowing for batch picking.

Each of these machines operates on the goods-to-person principle: delivering stored items directly to the user. This eliminates the time workers spend searching for items. In addition, the VLM and vertical carousels have an ergonomically positioned work counter that helps to reduce injuries related to bending, twisting, and reaching for stored items.

Other equipment designed to maximize the use of space in your warehouse includes,

  • Compact pallet racks: The compact pallet racks condense the floor space required for storage by 50% while maintaining accessibility.
  • Mezzanines: The mezzanines use vertical space to add another level of floor space to your warehouse.
  • Specialty vertical carousels: The specialty vertical carousels store items like rolls of textiles, tires, hanging garments, wire spools, and print cylinders.Contact Us for Help with LEAN Practices

Contact the Storage Experts at Southwest Solutions Group for Help

Applying LEAN practices and investing in the right equipment starts with first identifying the areas of your warehouse that are creating the most waste. Southwest Solutions Group’s material handling experts can help. We offer a variety of equipment solutions that will help your warehouse and distribution center become more efficient and sustainable. Contact us by phone at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message.


Use Vertical Pallet Shuttles to Reduce Work-Related Injuries

How Much Money is Your Business Spending on Work-Related Injuries?

The costs related to on-the-job injuries, productivity loss, and worker’s compensation have risen over $33 billion since 1992, reaching up to $250 billion in 2012. Just one glance at these statistics shows that worker safety needs to become a much bigger priority, especially in industries that deal with storing and handling heavy machinery.

Vertical Pallet Shuttles Automate Manual Storage & Retrieval ProcessesVertical Pallet Shuttles Video

Using vertical pallet shuttles to store and retrieve heavy machinery and other large loads – motors, valves, dies, etc – creates a safer work environment, which in turn, reduces on-the-job injuries and increases productivity. The vertical pallet shuttles handle heavy material automatically to minimize the amount of time employees spend manually transporting objects, which poses a risk both to themselves and to the product. In addition to improving worker and product safety, vertical pallet shuttles offer incredible space-savings by maximizing unused air space.

Why You Should Use Kardex Vertical Pallet Shuttles

Kardex Remstar provides shuttles, lifts, and pallet racks for storing heavy machinery and large products. For example, the Kardex Shuttle XP 1000 is a compact, automated vertical shuttle that provides increased efficiency while saving up to 80% of the floor space usually required with traditional storage shelving or racks.

The shuttle is even compatible with cranes, forklifts, and pallet trucks, allowing workers to move and store low to medium height heavy products in the pallet racks on the shuttle quickly and with ease. This eliminates much of the lifting, twisting, bending, and other repetitive motions that lead to injury or product damage. With automated vertical pallet shuttles, workers can spend more time on batch picking and processing and less time on heavy lifting and walking.

Where Can You Find Kardex Vertical Pallet Shuttles?

Southwest Solutions Group® provides design, installation, and consultation services for businesses that are looking to reduce work-related injuries with vertical pallet shuttles. To learn more or to speak with an industrial material handling systems specialist, call us at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message today.


We’ve Moved! San Antonio Office Has New Address

Southwest Solutions Group’s San Antonio Office Has Moved to a New LocationSouthwest Solutions Group New San Antonio Office

Our San Antonio office has moved to a bigger and better location. The new address is 15002 Tradesman San Antonio, TX 78249. But don’t worry because we will still be providing both new and existing clients with the same great service. In fact, with more space we hope to be even better than before – so come visit us!

Our knowledgeable representatives work with all types of commercial and industrial businesses including government, museum, healthcare, legal, education, manufacturing, and distribution facilities to maximize floor space, reduce operating costs, and increase productivity.

Equipment & Services Offered By Southwest Solutions Group in San Antonio

Are you curious what equipment and services we offer? Here is a quick rundown of what you can find from us!Modular Casework Design Services in San Antonio

  • High Density Storage Shelving: This compact storage option stores files and other items in about one-third the space as traditional file cabinets.
  • Modular Casework: Flexible casework cabinets are easy to reconfigure and relocate, saving replacement costs and our landfills.
  • Sliding File Cabinets: By attaching your existing file cabinets to bi-file or tri-file tracks, you have an inexpensive filing storage solution that lets you store more files in less space.
  • Compact Pallet Racks: These motorized pallet racks on tracks allow you to condense your warehouse storage area in half the floor space.
  • Vertical Lift Modules: With automated storage you maximize space, improve productivity and increase picking accuracy.Vertical Lifts Installed in San Antonio
  • Mezzanines: Freestanding and structural mezzanines extend your storage area vertically to create extra usable space.
  • Document Scanning: Create a paperless office by converting all your paper files to digital documents.
  • RFID File & Asset Tracking: Use RFID technology to track both files and assets so you never lose anything important again.

Contact Us Today for Help in San Antonio

Southwest Solutions Group’s San Antonio office has been helping businesses with storage and filing solutions since 1969. Our products and services are available on the TXMAS Contracts, GSA Federal Contracts, SYSTEC Small Business GSA Contract, NJPA Purchasing Agreement, and numerous Healthcare Purchasing Contracts.

Stop by our new location at 15002 Tradesman San Antonio, TX 78249 or give us a call today (210) 558-6988 to discuss your storage and filing requirements!


Doing More with Less | Innovative LEAN Warehouse Storage Solutions (Part 3 of 3) TX | OK | LA | AR | KS | MO | MI | TN

Spacesaver ActivRAC Pallet Racks on Tracks for LEAN Warehouse Storage

Spacesaver Pallet Racks on Tracks for LEAN warehouse storageIn Part 1 (read here) of the series, we talked about four factors to consider when creating LEAN manufacturing and warehouse storage spaces:

1. Adaptability for Current and Future Needs

2. Functional Layout and Space Configuration

3. Safety and Comfort for Employees

4. Sustainable Technologies and Practices

In Part 2, (read here) we discussed how Kardex Remstar Vertical Lift Modules are a great equipment solution for creating LEAN small parts storage areas. Now, we are going to explain how Spacesaver® ActivRAC™ Pallet Racks on Tracks can help you meet your LEAN manufacturing warehouse storage goals and do more with less. (watch a video on how Pallet Racks on Tracks save floor space and increase storage capacity)

What are Spacesaver Pallet Racks on Tracks?

Mobilized Pallet Rack storage systems save floor spaceThe Spacesaver ActivRAC System is pallet racks that are mounted on specially designed carriage structures with wheels that roll back and forth on floor tracks; basically, they are racks on tracks. The rows of pallet racks reduce the amount of static access aisles by moving sideways along the floor tracks to create a movable or floating access aisle. With a push of a button or by remote control, up to 80’ long rows of pallet racks move to open access aisles when and where they are needed. Anything that can be moved by a lift truck or crane can be stored on Spacesaver Pallet Racks because there is virtually no size, bulk, shape, or weight design limits.

Spacesaver Mobile Pallet Racks Allow for Growth through Floor Space Savings

Spacesaver Pallet Racks on Tracks maximize your warehouse storage area by increasing your storage capacity in half the floor space. Typically, 60% of floor space is wasted on access aisles and only 40% is actually used for storage. With a Spacesaver Mobilized Rack System you can store the same amount of materials or more in 50% less floor space. You can use that extra space to consolidate storage from auxiliary warehouses, create more staging areas, add a new production line, add more offices, or add more pallet rack storage. Spacesaver Compact Pallet Racks efficiently use your warehouse storage space so that you don’t have to worry about costly off-site storage or an obsolete facility layout.

Spacesaver Pallet Racks on Tracks Create a Secure and Safe Work Environment

Compact Pallet Racks on Rails are sustaibale LEAN storage solutionsBecause the Spacesaver rack system rolls racks together to save space, security can be better controlled if needed.  Rows of racks can be locked together or the entire system can be locked to protect and secure parts from being accessed by unauthorized personnel. 

The Spacesaver Racks on Tracks System is extremely safe for employees to use because it is equipped with infrared safety lasers that run from end to end along the face of the pallet rack rows and side to side across the access aisles. The safety lasers will detect whether a person or object is in an open access aisle and display on the touchpad that the aisle is in use and prevent movement of the shelving till the person or object is gone.  Also, the floor tracks are flush with the concrete slab to prevent tripping hazards.

Sustainable Warehouse Storage and a Fast Return on Investment

Pallet racks on Tracks can store anythingThe Spacesaver ActivRAC Pallet Racks on Tracks are a great way to invest in sustainable technologies. Because they conserve so much floor space, you can reduce or eliminate new building construction costs, auxiliary warehouses, building expansions, and decrease operational costs like lighting, heat, air conditioning, and insurance.

The Compact Pallet Racks also provide a quick return on investment (ROI). Spacesaver Compact Mobile Rack owners can expect their ROI in as little as 24 months. The Spacesaver Pallet Racks on Tracks System’s three main qualities, easy access with 100% selectivity, efficient cube utilization, and a high ROI with quick payback, allow companies looking for sustainable LEAN storage systems to remain competitive.

LEAN Warehouse Storage Equipment Solutions

In this three part blog series, we told you about ways to improve your warehouse facility and provided you with equipment solutions that will help you make those improvements. If you want more information on LEAN manufacturing warehouse storage ideas, Kardex Remstar Vertical Lift Modules (VLM), or Spacesaver® ActivRAC™ Pallet Racks on Tracks, feel free to call us today at 1-800-803-1083 or email us for a free 30 minute phone consultation with one of our sales engineers.

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