Friday, February 24, 2017
Weighing pallets in factories and warehouses is an essential process for ensuring out-going shipments aren't overloaded.
But with so many pallet weighing scales available, deciding the type of pallet scale you need, be it a platform scale, u-frame, drive thru, weigh beams or pallet truck scale, can be a tough call.
Choosing what you need depends on your use and your requirements. Consider your specification - and the questions below - carefully to help you decide.
Before purchasing, consider the following:
· What are you weighing? What does the capacity need to be?
· What environment will the scale be based in?
· Will a mobile aid the weighing process?
· Do you have any other requirements?
Then consider the options below, and choose the one which is most appropriate to you.
The Platform Scale
Platform scales offer the most flexibility - weight wise - for weighing heavy loads. They tend to have a much higher capacity and are built for heavy use in industrial environments. Compared to pallet truck scales they are also more accurate.
Their large bases are useful for weighing a range of items, but the heavy weighing platform is difficult to move - so we recommend it stays in a fixed location. An annual service contract is recommended to ensure the scale stays accurate.
The Pallet Truck Scale
Choosing a pallet truck scale can speed up your weighing processes. The video below took Marsden Group’s (leading weighing scales manufacturer) newest platform scale and pallet truck scale and raced them to show how long weighing a pallet took with each solution::
Pallet truck scales combine a scale with a pump truck - therefore cutting down from both items to a single unit saves on factory traffic. Waterproof pallet trucks and versions fitted with a printer are also available. Plus, you can use Marsden pallet truck scales as standard pallet trucks when you don’t need it for weighing.
However, pallet trucks require charging as they are powered by rechargeable battery.
An alternative mobile option is a set of weigh beams - like Marsden’s new PB-1200-I-400.
Many weigh beams, including this new scale, are accurate to 0.1kg - making them the most accurate option for weighing pallets - and an added bonus is they can be easily stored away when not in use.
The biggest advantage for choosing weigh beams is probably that they can be positioned the desired distance apart for weighing pallets of any size. The beams can be positioned in relation to the load being weighed, meaning you can use them to weigh other large items, such as dolavs.
Because you’re likely to be moving the weigh beams about regularly, rather than sitting them permanently in a set location, a service contract is strongly recommended to keep them accurate.
The U frame Scale
U frame scales, like the I-400-equipped UF-1200-I-400-NA are portable and fitted with handles and wheels - making it an easy-to-use equivalent to platform scales.
Like weigh beams, u frame pallet scales are perfect for limited space environments - because you can store them away when not in use. But unlike weigh beams, these are one fixed unit meaning they’re a little easier to move around your premises - and provide more stability when placing a load on the scale.
The Drive Thru Scale
Drive thru scales are fitted with ramps so that they are easier to load than platform scales, and you can roll a pallet truck onto the scale when weighing pallets. This is ideal if you don’t have a forklift truck, which is what you would need to add a pallet to a standard platform scale.
As with platform scales, you will need to ensure space is made for drive thru scales as they are best kept in one fixed location. The scale can be moved by forktruck - but care is needed when moving/repositioning in this way.
Tuesday, November 01, 2016
|Guest blogger Rachel Stires|
The warehouse of today is a far cry from its humble beginnings. What started as a way to prevent famine has now turned into a powerhouse that effects the entire supply chain.
The warehouse has evolved drastically during its history, but one change that has been vital to its growth is the automation of various processes. When I say automation, I mean the usage of computers and machines to make up for what humans cannot do.
Here’s how these processes have helped the warehouse, and what they mean for its future.
1. Better inventory management and control: Back in the day, inventory was kept track of with the use of the pen and paper. While anybody can be thorough and efficient, human error is still inevitable and can lead to misrepresentation of inventory. This can result in a lot of things, such as orders or stock being misrepresented. By automating this process with computers such as barcode scanners, wireless, and mobile computers, we have been able to avoid mistakes like this. Not only that, but utilizing technology helps increase the flow of inventory, as well as the fill rate.
2. Improved Productivity: People are great and while they get a lot done, computers help to improve productivity in all operations of the warehouse. Whether it’s inventory, where software can keep track of the flow of goods and the stock of the warehouse, or warehouse management, where software helps direct and support management and staff. In the past, we had to rely on people for all this, and it left room for human error and miscommunication. By incorporating technology, companies can ease the burden on their staff and improve satisfaction in the workplace. This also boosts employee motivation, which feeds directly back into productivity. By streamlining the system, you encourage employees to be a seamless part of it.
3. Fully Automated Warehouses: In the future, we will see warehouses where almost every process can be automated, and in many ways the future has already arrived. Robots have become an integral part of major warehouses like those run by Amazon. They assist workers in picking items from inventory, and have helped make the process more efficient. In the future, these robots could assist or take over for humans in tasks that are too labor intensive or menial. This could help enhance productivity, but many people are worried that it will lead to job loss. The future of the job market depends on the development of these robots.
There’s still a long road ahead for total warehouse automation, but the changes and advancements made so far have optimized processes and made it a lot easier on workers, management, and their customers. The future holds many opportunities to further streamline warehouses, but it’s still amazing to look back at all that has been achieved in the past years and just how far we have come with technology.
Rachel Stires is a media relations specialist for Versatile Mobile. In her free time she enjoys writing and keeping up with various industries, including logistics and aviation.”
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
For an industry that is transformed by the everyday behaviour of consumers, supply chain should not only respond to socio-economic growth, but help to facilitate it. In this digital age, supply chain systems are of much greater importance to the consumer.
A movement towards online shopping, coupled with improved social connectivity and technology has led to a culture of instant demand and satisfaction. In order to understand exactly how the industry is being changed by this, it is necessary to acknowledge the impact of the consumer.
The Online Shopper
The significant shift from an in-store demand to online shopping is having an incredible impact on the supply chain process for retailers. This completely new type of shopper desires a seamless experience from the basket to their doorstep.
They have a broad knowledge of the market and a heightened interest in the supply chain. It is a consumer that expects to know where the product is coming from, how it is made and the amount left in stock. Above all, they want to know these things now.
Retailers must operate under the weight of this expectation, where one error in stocktake or product quality could cost them a customer for life. In a world where consumers can purchase anything they want, from whichever company they choose, it is up to supply chain professionals to help position brands to deliver an unrivalled experience.
Perhaps the largest impact on supply chain from Gen Y is a sense of instant demand and satisfaction. If Jack wants a new couch for his apartment, he could search and buy one during his lunch break. With orders placed in a matter of minutes, and all through an app on his phone, Jack could kit out his entire residence in an afternoon.
These products are then expected to arrive in a timely manner, by which I mean a short number of days. It is this increasing standard that continues to shape the supply chain industry into one that is faster, more agile and able to overcome problems.
The delivery of goods and services is a prime example of this. Companies compete with shipping that is cheap and quick, if not free. Consumers also demand the ability to track the process of the products until the final moment of delivery. This has forced businesses to pay careful attention to their supply chain system. If even a minor delay occurs, it has to be dealt with swiftly, before the consumer cancels their order and buys from the competition.
Social media channels are often described as a double edged sword, and not without good reason. When used correctly, they can propel a business onto the world stage almost overnight. But with more than 1.7 billion people across the globe connecting online, even the smallest error in judgement could spell disaster.
These platforms offer a unique opportunity for supply chain professionals to access real-time feedback. A single click onto the company Facebook page could reveal a lost customer order, complaint about the purchasing experience or glowing recommendation, laid out for the world to see.
This has transformed the supply chain industry completely, where a more transparent system means that companies can predict demand, gain insight into consumer trends and ultimately use social media to establish a more efficient process. As more consumers take to the internet to share, discuss and interact with the brands they buy from, monitoring supply chain interactions and identifying innovations have never been easier.
Helen Sabell works for the College for Adult Learning, she is passionate about adult and lifelong learning. She has designed, developed and authored many workplace leadership and training programs, both in Australia and overseas. Helen also works with a select group of organisations consulting in People Management & Development, Education and Change.
Tuesday, March 08, 2016
By: Morgan Mandriota, TeamOne Logistics
Employee turnover rates in the trucking industry are high due to the job’s long hours, stressful conditions, and lack of properly executed driver staffing . As an employer looking to hire new drivers, there are certain skills you should require that will both help your company thrive and ensure that you have a team of workers on which you can rely.
Here are the five skills to look out for when hiring a new truck driver:
1. Basic maintenance ability. While there are maintenance people who work to keep fleets in tip-top shape, many situations arise on the road that drivers must know how to handle on their own. Simple things like changing a flat tire, fuse, light bulb, and fluids are all necessary skills to have for the job. On that note, your potential driver needs to be able to at least perform a basic diagnostic of what is wrong in order to address and fix the problem in the first place!
2. People skills. That’s right, a truck driver must be a people person. Although they may be isolated in the cab of a truck for most of the day, they still have to deal with the people on both ends of their trip. Customers on the loading and receiving ends need to know that they can trust the person carrying their cargo. Additionally, a good driver always stays on the good side of his or her dispatchers because they may have control over route assignments.
3. Reliability and self-motivation. Getting to and from each location in a timely manner with all goods accounted for is one of the most crucial parts of the job. Drivers must be both reliable and self-motivated. Organizational skills also fall under this category, as a great trucker will be able to complete their paperwork and electronic logging, as well as arrange their schedules efficiently. They must be able to stay on top of their work and keep their knowledge and skill sets up-to-date in order to work to the best of their ability. After all, since they work without immediate supervision most of the time, it’s really up to them to make sure things go smoothly.
4. Alertness. This is important for any type of driver, business or recreational, but when looking for a truck driver, this is absolutely vital. Being defensive and aware of surroundings is key to remaining safe and arriving at destinations on time. There are many factors to consider, such as the condition of the truck, what’s going on with the road ahead, and what other drivers around them are doing. Staff must be alert to what standard conditions are in case anything is out of the ordinary. Whether it’s a strange smell or just the way the truck feels on the road, they should be able to recognize that there is a problem and be able to address it.
5. Proper qualifications. Of course, the basic requirement of the job includes having a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License). This test ensures that potential drivers know the rules and regulations necessary for properly carrying heavy cargo. However, this is just the minimum! An excellent driver goes above and beyond, keeping up to date with company and government regulations and holding a near-perfect driving record. There are available courses that truck drivers can take beyond those for the CDL that will provide them with technical training and other valuable industry information.
It goes without saying that these aren’t the only skills that a great truck driver should possess. However, as an employer, if you keep in mind these five basic characteristics during the hiring process, your company is sure to gain employees that set your company apart and provide a service standard that excels in the transportation field.
I take no compensation for posting this blog.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
With all of the recent supply chain disasters being reported in the press I thought it would be interesting to ask Chloe Demrovsky, the executive director of the Disaster Recovery Institute International about the state of the global supply chain.
1. We often hear about supply chain disasters, whether it’s in food or paints in toys. Is there a role for sensors and Internet of Things technologies to help prevent or limit such risks?
New technologies bring opportunity for improvement in the way we do things, but they also come with inherent risks. It is important that companies carefully assess the risks and analyze the value proposition before adopting them. It is important to balance the need to appear innovative by being an early adopter while asking the hard questions of whether or not this new technology will actually help your company deliver a better and safer product.
2. It’s important for the US to limit risk, since our supply chain is global and interconnected, but isn't this a global problem?
Yes, it is undoubtedly a global problem. In today’s interconnected world, rare is the production process or supply chain that exists within one nation’s borders. The supply chain for food supply is increasingly fragmented, so the effects of a contamination can spread rapidly and can be more difficult to track and contain. For this reason, consumer advocates may want to focus on a company-driven approach to enforcing safety standards above a government-mandated solution. Regulation has a critical role to play, but it is tougher to enact cross-border controls. Companies will make safety and responsibility a priority if their customers ask for it. We are seeing the effects of this already with the rise of social enterprise and corporate social responsibility that extends beyond charitable giving and into the core strategic planning of companies.
3. As a consumer I am seeing more and more manufacturers put bar codes and QR codes on projects so we can track and trace down to the farms. Will this become more commonplace in the next few years or will government need to mandate it?
Companies put measures like this in place because of one of two reasons: either because it is mandated by the government through regulation or because their customers ask for it. These new measures are the result of consumer advocacy and companies should try to get ahead of the trend. They will appear forward-thinking and transparent. Trust in food companies is at record low levels and studies indicate that the only way to combat it is through transparency measures that do not resemble marketing ploys, but rather provide access to comprehensive information so that consumers can make informed buying decisions.
4. What are the top tips you have to advise supply chain professionals to reduce the risk on such health hazards?
Implementing a robust risk management program that includes business continuity must be a priority. This program should be managed at the highest levels of an organization with input into strategic decision-making rather than letting it be passed off as a low-level functional responsibility. This requirement must be written into contractual agreements with suppliers and verified through joint exercising and two-way information sharing. A comprehensive program is the only way to ensure that there is an ongoing process in place to deal with issues of quality control from manufacture through delivery and disposal. Organizations must also conduct effects-based planning so that there is a crisis management plan in place before an incident occurs. The plan will enable an organization to face a crisis immediately and handle the response in a way that will improve safety and minimize damage to the organization.
BioChloe Demrovsky is Executive Director of DRI. She designed and implemented DRI’s international market development strategy and manages a global network in over 50 countries. Follow her @ChloeDemrovsky.