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Soft costs: What they are, and why you should focus on them

Written by Bengt Kristiansson, 2019-02-05

When the time to purchase new forklifts comes, the focus is always on costs. This makes sense — no-one in business would want to spend money unneccessarily, and if a machine can do the job, then the lower the cost, the better.

Costs will always be an important factor. But which ones? When thinking about the money you're going to spend on your forklift over its lifetime, you'll only make the best decision if you consider your hard and soft costs.

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IFRS 16 Leases is here: This is how to adapt to the change

Written by Ian McNaught, 2019-01-25

So, it's finally here - on 1st January, IFRS 16 Leases came into effect in Europe and beyond. However, in the materials handling industry, where forklift leasing is common, there's still some uncertainty about what the new regulations mean, and how financial reporting will change.

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Trucks for placing and removing pallets: Which is best for your warehouse?

Written by Bengt Kristiansson, 2019-01-17


An operation like loading and unloading goods can be made much more efficient in various ways, like by using loading bays, or stand-on pallet trucks instead of pedestrian versions. Order picking, a repetive and expensive logistics process, offers even more possibilities for optimisation. But for the third main part of materials handling - the intake and retrieval of entire unit loads within the warehouse - what can you do increase efficiency and productivity?

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Order picking and the human body: How to reduce injuries and strain

Written by Bengt Kristiansson, 2019-01-03

Everyone could easily lift a package weighing a few kilograms, but what if you had to pick that same package hundreds of times a day, over the course of weeks and months, possibly from hard-to-reach places? You’d probably start feeling the strain quite quickly, and you’d end up hoping you had some equipment or solution to make the job easier.

This is what order pickers do, but unfortunately the strain and injury that can occur in this job over long periods is still not as well-known as it could be.

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The Material Handling Blog's top 5 posts of 2018

Written by UniCarriers, 2018-12-28

2018 is drawing to a close, and it's the time of year when we start looking back at everything that has happened in the last 12 months.

This year has seen a great deal of new articles on the Materials Handling Blog, and the launch of a number of new blogs in different countries — now, we're running blogs in Germany, Denmark, France, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

To mark the end of the year, here's a list of this year's five most-read blog posts.

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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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Warehouse flooring: What standard do you need?

Written by Bengt Kristiansson, 2018-12-14

The warehouse floor certainly isn't the most exciting part of a materials handling operation, but it's the part on which everything else is built — and flooring-related problems can be a big safety hazard.

At the very least, the warehouse floor must be able to bear the load of the racking and goods and the truck traffic. When you consider that a single piece of racking may be placing many tons of pressure on a small point on the floor, the importance of quality becomes clear.

In most warehouses, concrete flooring will be standard. It’s capable of bearing at least twice as much weight as asphalt, and can be much smoother and flatter, which is important - even small bumps and hollows in the floor can affect truck driving, and even cause accidents in some circumstances.

Depending on the height of the racks, the neccessary flatness can be different. A normal floor, which may vary in height by 5mm across a length of two metres, would generally be good enough for material handling at heights up to three metres. However, for high bay warehouses, that tolerance may drop to only 1.5mm or less. When heavy loads are moved at such high heights, even the slightest variations may be hazardous, so careful construction of the concrete flooring is essential.

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Inside a real cold store: How forklifts operate in -24°C

Written by Bengt Kristiansson, 2018-12-07

Cold stores are extreme environments, but they're an absolutely essential part of the modern supply chain. Without these specialised warehouses, where temperatures can go as low as tens of degrees below zero, it would be impossible to store and distribute frozen goods. Even chill warehouses, which operate at much warmer (but still cold) temperatures are essential for the supply of perishable goods.

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How much difference can a forklift's steering wheel make?

Written by Bengt Kristiansson, 2018-11-23

The forklift’s steering wheel is a component that is often taken for granted, but it’s usually the most-used. Navigating a busy warehouse requires a lot of manoeuvring, and the driver has to make constant adjustments in order to drive safely. In fact, according to research we have conducted with Gothenburg’s Chalmers University of Technology, a reach truck driver makes around 2,000 arm movements in an hour, which adds up to roughly 16,000 movements over an average shift.
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IFRS 16 Leases calculator: How to find out what figures you need to report

Written by Ian McNaught, 2018-11-07

IFRS 16 Leases is approaching fast, and if you lease forklift trucks in your business, the way you report your finances will have to change after the deadline on 1 January 2019.

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