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Paul Boynton

Group Product Manager VNA & Logistics Analyser

Recent Posts

What is logistics simulation?

Written by Paul Boynton, 2019-04-12

"The representation of the behaviour or characteristics of one system through the use of another system, especially a computer program designed for the purpose."

That's the dictionary defintion of simulation, but how does it relate to logistics and materials handling? Since modern logistics began, managers have been looking for ways to accurately predict the effects of changes to a materials handling operation. Will moving a certain type of item to a different rack produce more efficient results, or just create new problems? With experience it's possible to make good predictions, but the complexity of a materials handling operation means it's very difficult to have a lot of confidence in them.

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Planning a warehouse: How to use simulation software to help

Written by Paul Boynton, 2018-12-19

 

When planning a new warehouse, or thinking about making changes to an existing one, it's possible to use some basic figures about the operation to make an analysis of how effective the solution will be.

Figures like the trucks' speed, the rack heights in the warehouse and rough travel distances can give you an estimation of how the operation will look. However, this result will only ever be a fairly approximate estimation - and there's a good chance it could be missing crucial details that lead you to the wrong conclusions.

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Guide: The benefits of logistics simulation

Written by Paul Boynton, 2018-06-18

Building a solid and efficient materials handling operation doesn't start with buying a truck — instead, the process should always begin with a careful analysis of your needs and current operation, so you can see what is being done right, and what needs to change. 

Logistics simulation can help you achieve this, whether you're planning an entirely new warehouse, or just want to improve your current one. In this guide, we've collected some of the main benefits of simulation.

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The 'dead man's switch' — is it really the best solution for order pickers?

Written by Paul Boynton, 2018-01-04

The ‘dead man’s switch’, or ‘dead man’s pedal’ is a standard safety feature on many forklifts, but it hasn’t seen much innovation over the years.

These switches appear on lots of different vehicles and machines, and are designed to stop the machine from operating if the driver isn’t in full control. In the case of a forklift, the dead man’s switch must be held down (usually with the foot) in order for the truck to operate. This makes sure that if the driver becomes incapacitated, isn’t in control of the truck, or even isn’t in it at all, it won’t be able to move.

It’s a smart and simple solution that has prevented countless accidents. But on trucks where the operator is standing, like some order pickers, it’s far from the perfect solution and can even introduce some new safety issues itself. Here’s why:

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The headache-free way to handle long and bulky goods in your warehouse

Written by Paul Boynton, 2017-08-22

In an ideal world, all unit loads would held on standard pallets, in uniform weights and sizes, allowing for easy handling with all kinds of forklift. Unfortunately, that's not the real world - and in many warehouses, standard pallets are the exception.

Many types of goods - for example, pipes, construction materials or metal sheeting - are often quite long, and impossible to fit neatly onto a 1,200 by 800mm pallet. These loads can be difficult to get down warehouse aisles, even if they aren't particularly narrow.

Cantilever racking, as shown in the illustration above, solves the storage problem - this kind of racking is open-fronted, meaning there are no vertical bars to block the placement or removal of long goods.

But when you need to move these goods down an aisle, how do you get around the space problem? The simplest and most versatile solution is - with a multi-directional truck.

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The warehouse building: Five small things that can make a big difference

Written by Paul Boynton, 2017-06-05

As we know, one small part of a logistics operation can have knock-on effects in other areas - and by improving and optimising these areas, you can increase productivity and efficiency with relatively little effort.

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