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2012 WERC Conference & Automation
The recent Modex show and trade press coverage tells us that automation is THE topic in the warehouse these days. The WERC conference in May will offer more than seven sessions on this hot topic. From case study presentations to Q&A time with suppliers to roundtable discussions to actual demonstrations, you'll be able to find out everything you want to know about automation and how it can fit into your future strategy. Check out the entire program at and save with the EARLY-BIRD fee.

WERCouncil events
  • Feb. 22, Portland WERCouncil Columbia Facility Tour, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • Feb. 23, Northern California WERCouncil Cromer Equipment Presentation, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Feb. 24, Toronto WERCouncil Canadian Tire Facility Tour, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
  • Feb. 28, Baltimore/Washington DC WERCouncil Random House DC Tour, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

  • WEBCAST SERIES (six sessions): Using Metrics to Achieve Results — third session today
    Anaheim 2010

    The Numina Group
    Cornerstone Automation Systems
    Global forces shaping material handling, logistics
    Material Flows    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Tom Andel writes, "The first MODEX is history. If you were in Atlanta to walk this material handling and logistics show as I did, you probably feel like you completed a marathon. Your aches are a testament to how diverse the material handling industry is. There was a lot of ground to cover—floor-wise and technology-wise. Exhibits ranged from the smallest components that usually go unseen to the sexiest, most sophisticated automated systems that scream 'look at me!' But if you judge a show like this solely by what you see, you do it, and yourself, a disservice." More

    Mica to discuss highway bill at NASSTRAC conference
    Material Handling & Logistics    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Congressman John Mica, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has been invited to discuss his proposed highway bill, the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act, and other advocacy issues having an impact on transportation, at this year's NASSTRAC logistics conference and expo, slated for April 29 through May 2 at the Buena Vista Palace in Orlando, Fla. More

    Solutions to driver shortage elusive
    DC Velocity    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Yeah, yeah — we've heard this song before. It hasn't been all that long since the Chicken Littles of the industry were running in circles, squawking about impending doom — specifically, a looming shortage of warehouse workers. With a bit of training and improved wage structures (i.e., above minimum but less than website developers), that problem seemed to solve itself. To be sure, demand remains high in logistics hot spots, and workforce development is a high priority in those locales. More

    What Does it Take to Increase Performance?

    It takes more than speed and precision. It takes LEGACY Supply Chain Services, instilling leadership at every level of the supply chain and creating a new culture that drives greater performance. For more information or to speak with us about your supply chain, visit or call 603.792.2205.

    Walking: Good exercise for personal fitness, bad for distribution center productivity
    Supply Chain Digest    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    The challenge for DCs, especially those with little or no automation, is maintaining an efficient operation given a fragmented narrow-cast market that drives SKU proliferation and increased inventory levels. As a consequence, the typical 20/80 curve (where 20 percent of SKUs represents 80 percent of sales) may be gradually degrading to 20/65, or worse. This means that the concentration of high volume SKUs is reducing while mid to slow movers are expanding resulting in longer put-away and pick paths. Assuming overall unit sales volume remains mostly unchanged, DC productivity takes a hit. More

    Tom Andel: Safety hidden in plain sight at MODEX show
    Material Flows    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    You know you're getting old when you lose target-market status to your doctor. Commercials aimed at us mature types now conclude with "Ask your doctor to prescribe 'Creak No More.'" There was a little of that going on at the MODEX material handling and logistics show in Atlanta. Some of the exhibitors whose traditional markets are equipment OEMs and system integrators are now trying to catch those customers' attention by impressing THEIR customers: the end users. More

    The 10 myths of labor management systems
    Supply Chain Digest    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Labor Management Systems is one of our favorite supply chain related applications. Why? Because of its consistent ROI, and very favorable "pain to gain" ratio. What is a Labor Management System? The heart may be the software that reports on the performance of individual associates against discrete standards or goal times for tasks in the DC, but most providers will say that a complete solution requires several other elements in addition to the software tool itself. Those other elements include the following. More

    Are successful people nice?
    Harvard Busines Review    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Since Daniel Goleman's "Emotional Intelligence," we've recognized the importance of tuning into social and emotional factors in the workplace. But many popular depictions of the workplace don't show any evidence of that sensitivity. Mad Men, Wall Street, and others impress that in business, only the strong survive. But emotional intelligence implies that successful leaders should be nice. And while being nice may have social benefits, does it pay? More

    KNAPP - "Making Complexity Simple!"

    KNAPP Logistics Automation provides automated warehouse solutions and warehouse logistics software. Innovative technology + Global experience + Superior solutions = Market advantage for our clients!! MORE

    Conveyor index up 34 percent from December 2010
    Modern Materials Handling    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    The Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association reported that its December 2011 Booked Orders Index was 213. Index in December is up 64 points or 43 percent from November 2011's Index of 149. The December 2011 Index represents an increase of 34 percent from the December 2010 Index of 159. More

    US economic activity continues to show signs of improvement
    @Risk    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    New orders for manufactured goods rose for the second consecutive month in December, the U.S. Department of Commerce reported. More

    Cut down to size: Push to raise truck size, weight limits falls victim to political realities
    DC Velocity    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    It had been portrayed as a quantum leap forward in helping shippers gain badly needed motor carrier capacity. Now, it's basically been consigned to the ash heap of Capitol Hill. In a shocking display of unity, the Association of American Railroads and the American Trucking Associations sent a joint letter to members of the House of Representatives asking lawmakers to oppose any attempts to reinstate language to increase the size and weight of vehicles operating on the nation's interstate highways when a multiyear transportation funding bill is debated on the House floor in coming days. More

    Understanding infrastructure requirements for hydrogen fuel cell fork trucks
    The Green Supply Chain    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Interest certainly seems to be growing in lift trucks in manufacturing and distribution that are powered by hydrogen fuel cell technology. Coca-Cola for example is running one bottling plant in Georgia entirely on fuel cell powered trucks, using some three dozen vehicles in all. At the MODEX 2012 trade show in Atlanta, Air Products announced it was just about the pass the 1,000-vehicle mark in terms of the number of lift trucks for which it is supplying hydrogen in the U.S. More
    Modular Print & Apply Labeling Automation
    In-line automation improves order flow in packing and shipping. Carton weight, dimensional measurement, vision validation, auto void fill, and auto-insertion or application of the packing sheet with print and apply labeling improves accuracy and eliminates the “bottle-neck” and manual labor in shipping.

    Click Numina Group to visit our website or call 630-343-2622 for more information.
    End-to-End Fulfillment Systems
    Cornerstone Automation Systems offers order picking systems and a full line of technologies to automate order fulfillment requirements, ranging from operator assisted to fully automatic fulfillment. CASI builds turnkey systems to optimize end-to-end fulfillment including receiving, putaway, picking, shipping, and sortation.
    Convert Pallet Rack into Carton Flow
    Span-Track carton flow track by UNEX ‘drops-in’ to any new or existing pallet rack structure. Convert static storage into dynamic order-picking modules. Span-Track’s full width roller provides more contact surface than any other carton flow to deliver superior flow with product always at the pick point. Request a free sample…

    RFID takes wing at composite aircraft components plant
    RFID Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    As the aerospace industry transitions from the use of metal to composite materials for its aircraft — in order to make planes lighter — component manufacturers must accommodate this change by working with composite materials that sometimes have short shelf lives and require both very hot and very cold conditions. The raw materials must be stored at freezing temperatures to prevent degradation, and must then be heated for curing after being molded into an aircraft wing or other component. Monitoring that process via RFID can be challenging because RFID tags typically are not rugged enough to withstand temperatures of 300 degrees Fahrenheit (149 degrees Celsius) during curing, or freezing temperatures during storage. More

    The changing role of global leaders
    Harvard Business Review    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    In November 2010, to big fanfare at Unilever's London headquarters, chief executive Paul Polman boldly articulated a new strategy. The company would double the size of its business, he said, by channeling its efforts toward achieving eight ambitious goals by 2020 — among them, doubling the proportion of Unilever's portfolio that meets the highest nutritional standards, and halving the water associated with the consumer use of its products. To most of us, this did not sound like typical corporate strategy, but Polman's reframing of what it means to succeed in business is not an isolated example. More

    Don't Miss ProMat 2013

    See and compare solutions for your manufacturing, logistics and supply chain operations and network with your peers at ProMat 2013. Discover equipment and systems solutions and learn about the latest supply chain innovations and leading trends. Explore 700 exhibits and choose from a variety of educational sessions.

    Developer: Biodegradable packaging material 'perishes' within 6 months
    Sustainable Packaging    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Israeli researchers are developing a biodegradable packaging material that automatically "perishes" within 180 days, providing a "green" solution for the food and drink industry. More

    Fine wine for your supply chain
    The 21st Century Supply Chain    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    Ray Karaffa writes, "There used to be a commercial (with Orson Welles for Paul Masson wines) on television back in the 1970s advertising that they would 'sell no wine before its time.' This implied that they wouldn't release any wine until it reached full maturity and perfection. I thought this would be a good analogy for the concept of time phased release of supply orders to the supply chain. Shouldn't we want to release orders only when they reach full maturity and perfection?" More

    RFID on lookout for wildfires in China
    RFID Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    In the Qingyuan Forest, located in southern China's Guangdong Province, a wireless ZigBee-based sensor system — with nodes installed on poles and mounted on treetops — can detect environmental changes in the air and alert park officials in the event of a wildfire. The solution is a pilot of the Early Stage Wildfire Detection and Prediction Wireless Sensor Network system, provided by Insight Robotics Ltd., a Hong Kong startup company founded by researchers at the University of Hong Kong. More

    Don't allow a beetles reunion in your supply chain
    Material Flows    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
    There aren't many things more tenacious than an Asian longhorned beetle — except for the little piece of boilerplate copy newspaper writers have latched onto to explain how these beetles got into southern Ohio and are now feasting on suburban trees. This little line of type has taken on a life of its own since it started appearing in stories 12 years ago and carried some truth. Most recently it appeared in a story that ran in the Columbus Dispatch. Here it is: "The beetles hitch rides to the U.S. inside wooden pallets and crates shipped from Asia." More
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