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Warehouse Equipment

As a leading provider of material handling equipment built specifically for warehousing applications, BHS, Inc. has a deep well of expertise. The BHS blogging team shares its insights here.

Topics

  • Streamlining On-Site Forklift Battery Service for Dealers

    If you rent forklift batteries, you probably prefer to handle maintenance yourself. Reliable forklift batteries keep customers coming back — and regular service is essential for battery health. Besides, those batteries aren’t just sources of motive power. They’re also core business assets. Protecting them is also protecting your bottom line. But for many forklift battery dealers, service can be tricky.... Continue Reading
  • How Electrical Wholesalers Grow in 2022: 5 Strategies from Top Performers

    After a rough couple of pandemic years, electrical wholesalers came out swinging in 2022. But the new environment is not without its own challenges: ongoing supply chain disruptions make it hard to keep shelves stocked; the “Great Resignation” has left its mark on the labor supply; and runaway inflation is making it more expensive to run a growing electrical distribution... Continue Reading
  • Proactive Ergonomics Saves Money; Here’s How to Get Started

    Ergonomics is the science of matching the work to the worker. That involves adjusting workplace tasks, equipment, and facilities to keep employees safe and comfortable. We’ve covered the topic extensively in this blog, and while we often point out the safety benefits — appropriate ergonomics reduces the risk of common workplace injuries — there’s another reason smart business owners invest... Continue Reading
  • Platform Carts Vs. Furniture Dollies for Industrial Material Handling

    Every year between 2015 and 2018, well over 60 percent of warehouse and distribution center operators invested significantly in material handling equipment. That’s not a surprise; handling materials is the core function of these facilities, and unassisted manual material handling can be inefficient, costly, and downright dangerous. While forklifts and automated guided vehicles may be ideal for moving goods throughout... Continue Reading
  • How to Sell Electrical Products with Value-Added Services

    The electrical wholesaling business is changing, with e-commerce giants encroaching on territory traditionally held by local operations. In a 2018 survey, a full third of the electrical wholesalers said Amazon Business was the biggest threat to their business. That’s more than twice the respondents who said “economic instability” or “inability to attract top talent” were their greatest concerns. In the... Continue Reading
  • How Often to Offer Ergonomic Training in the Workplace: FAQ

    In 1996, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a strategy to improve workplace ergonomics — the practice of matching work to workers. The program’s goal was to reduce cases of work-related musculoskeletal disorders, injuries to the muscles and related tissues typically caused by repetitive, forceful, and awkward movements often associated with workplace tasks like material handling. Part of... Continue Reading
  • Ergonomics and Back Pain: Creating a Safer Material Handling Environment

    Lifting, carrying, and repositioning materials is fundamental to many jobs. It’s the whole job for many workers in warehousing, construction, and manufacturing. And this basic task, without which industrial work cannot proceed, is hard on the human body—particularly the back, where force from upper body movements comes to rest. The good news is that employers can take steps to improve... Continue Reading
  • May Is Electrical Safety Month: 3 Ways for Wholesalers to Participate

    Every May, Electrical Safety Month raises awareness about particular safety issues related to electricity in North American homes and workplaces. But what exactly is Electrical Safety Month? More officially known as National Electrical Safety Month, this campaign is sponsored by the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), a nonprofit that works to expand knowledge about preventing electrical fires, injuries, and worse.... Continue Reading
  • Choosing Metal Sheet Storage Systems: A Guide for Warehouse Operators

    Sheet metal isn’t the easiest material to work with. It’s bulky, heavy, and lined with sharp edges. It’s hard to grip, which leads to a heightened risk of musculoskeletal injury during manual handling. Metal also conducts both heat and electricity, adding more hazards to contact between sheets and workers. To safely handle sheet metal at shops and warehouses, employers must... Continue Reading
  • IIoT Security for Electrical Wholesalers: Mitigating the Risks of Industry 4.0

    Every week, more low-cost sensors, devices, and analytics platforms hit the market. This is the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) — industrial equipment that tracks its own data, connects to a network, and transforms information into insight. And IIoT isn’t limited to high-profile use cases like smart manufacturing or asset tracking in the supply chain. It can also help electrical... Continue Reading
  • Cable Take Up Machines: An Introduction for Every Industry

    Manufacturers of cable and wire are always looking for ways to fill orders faster and more safely, which often boils down to one type of equipment: cable take up machines. Available in a wide range of designs and configurations, these devices rotate cable wheels to fill them with product, automating what would otherwise be a labor-intensive and ergonomically disastrous task.... Continue Reading
  • Reel Rack Axle Brackets: Converting to Electrical Wire Reel Racks

    Warehouses are usually rich with pallet racking. But what happens when they start to stock wire and cable—or even rope, chain, and other coiled materials? Dedicated electrical wire reel racks are expensive, and there may not be space in the facility to add whole new racking systems. These warehouse operators need a way to convert existing pallet racking into reel... Continue Reading
  • Manhole Openers and Ergonomics for Utility Workers

    Manhole covers can weigh from 90 to 250 pounds or more, which is essential for ensuring safety: Heavy materials like cast iron and concrete are less susceptible to damage or accidental displacement. However, when workers need to move manhole covers, they often undertake the task without specialized equipment — which creates a serious ergonomic hazard. While the Occupational Health and... Continue Reading
  • Inventory Optimization (IO) for Cable Inventory Management

    In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world entered a new era of supply chain disruptions, some of which introduced new challenges for electrical wholesalers. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Commercial Construction Index for the third quarter of 2021 found 93 percent of contractors faced material shortages for at least one product. While those shortages were mostly for steel,... Continue Reading
  • Material Handling and Supply Chain Trends to Watch in 2022

    As we enter a new year following repeated shocks to global supply chains, analysts are listing the supply chain trends they expect to dominate the near future of industry. Many of these trends are focused on the promise of artificial intelligence and other digital technologies — blockchain, robotic process automation, growing data visibility. Other experts (including a few at the... Continue Reading
  • HDPE Conduit Installation: 3 Tips for Faster, Safer Conduit Pulls

    Originally, HDPE pipes were developed to carry water in municipal systems and industrial facilities—but in the 50-plus years since this material was developed, HDPE conduit has also become a valuable ducting option for telecommunications and electrical cables in outdoor, underground applications. That makes HDPE conduit a valuable material for utility and infrastructure electricians as well as plumbing installers. So what... Continue Reading
  • 5 Surprising Advantages of Automated Warehouses—and How to Start Realizing Them

    The broad advantages of automated warehouses are well-known. Automation cuts costs. It improves efficiency. It boosts productivity and accuracy and even sustainability. But what does that all mean to the DC manager looking to fill accelerating orders during a labor shortage? The view from 30,000 feet up is nice, but it’s not helpful when your challenges are up-close and highly... Continue Reading
  • Electric Forklift Fleet Management Solutions: Frequently Asked Questions

    The forklift fleet ranks high on any company’s list of valuable assets—and that’s especially true for electric lift trucks, which add high-tech batteries to the mix. Managers must ensure forklifts are safe, batteries are fully charged, and all your equipment is being maintained properly. In other words, you have to manage the fleet, and there’s a broad range of forklift... Continue Reading
  • Running Data Cable While Minimizing Product Loss

    Running data cable can be a tricky job, particularly in high-volume installations. Electricians may find themselves pulling network cable through branching conduit, complete with difficult twists and turns — and it’s not enough simply to make the pull. Installers must also be careful not to damage cable. Damaged cable can remain hidden all the way up to the certification check,... Continue Reading
  • Moving Light Fixtures Without Waste or Breakage

    Moving light fixtures in bulk can be a significant material handling challenge. Fixtures are fragile. That’s why they often arrive at installation sites wrapped and boxed — packaging that adds considerable job-site waste. Fixtures are awkwardly shaped, and don’t fit neatly onto most of the carts electricians keep around. And for big projects, like a new construction or a total... Continue Reading
  • Construction E-Commerce: Contractor Preferences for Omnichannel Sales

    As e-commerce continues to grow across verticals, construction contractors have begun to expect it from their distributors, too. In one survey from HMI Performance Incentives, 75 percent of contractors in the electrical, building, plumbing, HVAC, landscaping, and roofing industries said they bought at least some of their materials online. Perhaps more alarmingly for traditional distributors, 66 percent said they patronized... Continue Reading
  • Industrial Cable Spools and Cable Reels: Choosing Reels and Cable Handling Equipment

    In most industries, the terms “cable spool,” “cable reel,” and “cable drum” are used interchangeably.  Some manufacturers use “reel” to refer to the full unit, while “spool” refers to what’s left behind after the cable has been exhausted. For others, a “spool” refers to smaller units — for instance, data cables — while “reel” refers to larger drums. Regardless of... Continue Reading
  • Cat 5 Vs. Cat 6 Cable: Tips for Electricians

    Network cables can be tricky, particularly for industrial electricians. Cat 5, Cat 5e, and Cat 6 cables are essential, but cable spools are expensive; larger reels of network cables create vulnerabilities for material loss. Without appropriate reel handling equipment, installers might find themselves revisiting (and reinstalling) cable towards the end of a construction project. In this article, we’ll highlight several... Continue Reading
  • Root Cause Analysis for Reducing Material Loss in Manufacturing

    Recognizing process failures is a key step in adopting the practices of lean manufacturing. Organizations must constantly look for inefficiencies that affect throughput, but in a busy facility, identifying the root causes of those issues can be difficult. Whether or not your operation has committed to a lean approach, a manufacturing root cause analysis can be extraordinarily beneficial, particularly when... Continue Reading
  • Installing Data Cable: Wire Spool Turntables, Jack Stands, or Reel Rollers?

    Electricians who install low-voltage wiring face two material handling challenges to handle at once: First, they have to move data reels throughout the facility. Then they have to pull the cable. For the second of these challenges, installers have a choice between wire spool turntables, reel rollers, or traditional jack stands. But which provides the greatest benefits, in terms of... Continue Reading
  • 3 Ways Pallet Positioners Improve Warehouse Throughput

    In warehouses, distribution centers, and other industrial facilities, pallet positioners are essential material handling equipment. As we’ve discussed in other articles, one out of every three dollars spent on worker’s compensation in the United States goes towards workers with musculoskeletal disorders. Also known as pallet turntables or pallet carousels, pallet positioners keep loads at a consistent height. Workers can comfortably... Continue Reading
  • Automated Warehouse Logistics: Plan for Supportive Material Handling Equipment

    Warehouse automation is more than a trend. Most professionals accept that automation will play a critical role in the future of logistics and the greater supply chain. However, there are significant discrepancies regarding what warehouse automation looks like at peak performance. Is an operation with a few automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) technically “automated,” if that equipment doesn’t interact with a... Continue Reading
  • Wooden Reel Dimensions for Wire and Cable Orders

    The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) is North America’s leading authority on standardizing cable and wire reels. The group published a specification guide called the Binational Wire and Cable Packaging Standard in 2008, and it remains a top source for cable packaging manufacturers in the United States and Canada. In addition to providing specifications for plastic and steel cable reels... Continue Reading
  • The Semi-Automated Warehouse: A Task-Based Approach to Automation

    Warehouse automation is a major trend in the logistics industry, but the fact is that around 80 percent of fulfillment centers have yet to begin an automation journey. Maybe that’s because we tend to discuss automation as an all-or-nothing proposition; either you commit to smart warehousing with a greenfield construction or you’re stuck with manual order picking forever. This approach... Continue Reading
  • OSHA Pallet Rack Anchor Requirements

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations for workplaces that fail to adequately anchor pallet racks, leading to structural failure — and it’s likely that they’ll continue to do so. However, OSHA pallet rack anchor requirements aren’t among the clearest regulations on the books. At least two OSHA rules may be applied in citations of workplaces that... Continue Reading
  • Coping with the Skilled Labor Shortage in Manufacturing, Electrical, and Other Industries

    The skilled labor shortage isn’t going away anytime soon, and industrial employers need innovative solutions to address the problem. Per a report from the American Action Forum (AAF), employers in nearly every state will face significant shortages of qualified workers by 2029. These shortages are not confined to skilled trades, but industrial employers — warehouses, manufacturing facilities, and electrical distributors,... Continue Reading
  • Pallet Turntables: Spring-Operated Vs. Pneumatic Turntables

    The manufacturing and warehousing industry completely depends on pallets, and that won’t change anytime soon. The global use of pallets is expected to increase through 2026, and pallet turntables allow operations to maximize throughput through better ergonomics. Improvements in pallet loading/unloading procedures can translate to a safer, more efficient facility. Manual loading & unloading of pallets causes more injuries than... Continue Reading
  • Palletizing and De-palletizing: What Employers Should Know

    Pallets are the basic building blocks of the global supply chain. They standardize shipments; they influence the design of material handling equipment; they make it possible to move goods from the manufacturer to the store or the consumer’s doorstep more efficiently. Without pallets, we might not have lift trucks. Without pallets, we might think of “unit loads” in radically different... Continue Reading
  • Cable Reeling Equipment: What It Is and Why It Matters

    Electrical wholesalers are always looking for ways to fill cable and wire orders faster and with less risk to workers. And while cable reeling equipment has come a long way since the days of hand-cranked reeling machines, it’s still highly varied, without the sort of industry standardization we see with, say, the industrial truck market. The Occupational Safety and Health... Continue Reading
  • Smart Parcel Lockers: How IIoT Technology Improves Last Mile Delivery

    The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) connects machinery and software platforms for predictive analytics, automated reporting, condition-based maintenance, and other Big Data-related tasks. So far, most studies of the IIoT have focused on manufacturing and business processes; this post is about how IIoT technology applies to the supply-chain challenge of last-mile delivery—which is to say, this is a post about... Continue Reading
  • In-Plant Logistics and Material Handling Efficiency

    The discipline of logistics is concerned with the whole process of managing, storing, and transporting products and materials. In-plant logistics refers to the same thing, but within a single manufacturing facility, not across global trade routes. Don’t be fooled by the smaller scale, though: in-plant logistics is just as crucial to manufacturing productivity as the broader supply chain. Think of... Continue Reading
  • Parcel Lock Boxes for B2B Materials Distribution

    With the continuing rise of e-commerce, consumers and shippers alike are looking for better ways to complete deliveries. Parcel lock boxes provide greater flexibility and security than traditional options like home delivery or retrieval from a staffed location, and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies make locker retrieval even more reliable and convenient. These advantages explain why the smart parcel lock... Continue Reading
  • Industrial Reel Racks: 3 Key Factors to Consider

    Without proper storage, wire and cable reels can quickly become unmanageable. Industrial reel racks improve organization and maximize floor space, and they’re essential when workers pay out cable or wire from a consistent location. While shelving is a functional option for long-term storage, racking is the best option for reels that are used regularly — and the quality of racking... Continue Reading
  • How Do Scissor Lift Tables Work?

    Scissor Lift Tables play a critical role in thousands of workplaces by ergonomically positioning loads where workers can reach them comfortably. That’s an important task in warehousing, logistics, and other industries, since proper ergonomics keeps workers safe while maximizing throughput. A quality Lift Table can substantially improve productivity, making it an excellent investment. However, while scissor Lift Tables have similar... Continue Reading
  • Plan For Every Part (PFEP) Material Flow: Where Data Meets Material Handling

    It’s common for manufacturers to practice the lean philosophy of continuous improvement. But typically, that improvement occurs only on the line, through changes in labor practice or manufacturing techniques. Material flow is often the last place managers look for innovation. That’s a costly oversight. The Lean Enterprise Institute reports that materials and material handling make up between 50 and 80... Continue Reading
  • 5 Electrical Sales Tips for Distributors

    Whatever salespeople learned in 2019, much of it didn’t apply in 2020, as the unconventional year changed most industries in profound ways. For electrical distributors, many of those changes were difficult; according to one April survey, the electrical distribution channel diminished 10 percent during the lockdowns at the beginning of the pandemic, with particularly steep declines in metropolitan areas and... Continue Reading
  • Warehouse Picking Strategies and Equipment

    Call it the Amazon Effect: Consumers expect quick, low-cost shipping on their e-commerce orders. If your warehousing operation is struggling to adjust to two-day, next-day, or even same-day delivery promises, it might be time to rethink the fundamentals. Start by considering alternate warehouse picking strategies. Every warehouse develops its own unique picking strategy based on a range of factors, from... Continue Reading
  • Pit-Mounted Lift Tables: Industries and Applications

    Lift Tables provide a solution for lifting heavy materials, whether the goal is to position them for ergonomic work or to elevate them to a mezzanine level. With the right safety features, Scissor Lifts can even lift personnel to improve work positioning. However, not all Lift Tables are suitable for all types of loading. Most BHS Lift Tables have a... Continue Reading
  • Last Mile Delivery Ramps for Distribution Center Docks

    In the United States, most warehouse docks stand somewhere between 45 and 55 inches above the ground. That range works for semi-trailers, even if it’s not an exact match for every bed height. Dock plates and edge-of-dock levelers can usually make up the difference, allowing safe, reasonably flat passage from dock to trailer and back.  But loading docks aren’t just... Continue Reading
  • Vertical Sheet Racks for Warehousing and Materials Storage

    Lumber yards, steel manufacturers, and construction shops have to store large supplies of sheet material. It may be sheet metal, drywall, plywood or other sheet woods, or even plastic panels; the storage hazards remain similar. And where labor and material handling equipment is limited, the safest way to store these items is with a vertical sheet rack. Alternative storage options... Continue Reading
  • How a Hydraulic Scissor Lift Table Can Save Money and Boost Productivity

    A hydraulic scissor lift table is a multi-function ergonomic solution with clear benefits for manufacturers, warehousing operations, and other industrial applications. Employers provide lift tables for a variety of tasks, including safer work positioning, line feeding, manual assembly, and even picking orders. Of course, no investment in equipment is justified without proving a return. Scissor lift tables lower operational costs... Continue Reading
  • How Warehouse Equipment Helps to Prevent Workplace Injuries in Winter Weather

    Advanced, ergonomic warehouse equipment is designed to do two things: Make work safer and boost productivity. The best material handling solutions accomplish both of these goals simultaneously, year-round. However, as the snow, sleet, and ice pile up on our docks and in our yards, there’s even greater reason to rely on mechanical assistance for warehouse workers. Extreme weather has all... Continue Reading
  • Picking without Pallets: Flat Deck Carts and Turntables

    For nearly a century, the humble pallet has been the lifeblood of the supply chain. With the rise of the pallet, patented in 1939 by George Ramond, Sr. and Bill House, came the concept of the unit load, the ubiquity of lift trucks, warehouses lined with pallet racking, and many other familiar features of today’s supply chain industries. But what... Continue Reading
  • Managing Forklift Batteries in Food Production Facilities

    If you use forklifts in a food production capacity, odds are those trucks are electric. Electric lift trucks run cleaner and don’t release emissions, making them ideal for the super-clean, hazard-sensitive nature of a food production facility. Of course, while electric forklifts won’t leak oil or leave a layer of soot on the machinery, forklift batteries do sometimes leak. Electrolyte... Continue Reading
  • How BHS Products Comply with the FDA Standards for Food Production

    The FDA Food Code provides recommendations to state, local, territorial, and tribal governments on food-safety standards. While it is up to individual governments whether to write the Food Code recommendations into local law, the Food Code does represent a unifying authority on safety in food production, handling, transportation, and service. So when you’re designing material handling equipment for the food... Continue Reading
  • Optimizing Inventory Levels in Retail: The Role of Material Handling

    Matching inventory to demand is always a challenge in retail. Too much, and you hemorrhage money in storage and handling costs. Too little, and you miss out on make-or-break opportunities. The trouble is, an optimal inventory level is always a moving target. As we write this, there seems to be some anxiety regarding retail inventory at the national level. The... Continue Reading
  • Should Manufacturers Replace Forklifts with Tugger Trains?

    Manufacturers need to feed their lines, which requires a reliable material handling operation within the plant. Historically, material flow has depended almost entirely on forklifts. More recently, another type of industrial truck is showing up at assembly lines around the world. Whatever you call them — tuggers, tow tractors, tugger-cart systems, Warehouse Trailers — this new approach has plenty to... Continue Reading
  • How Material Handling Containers Make the Retail Industry Safer (And More Efficient)

    For retailers, nothing’s quite as important as efficiency. However, when trying to improve productivity, retailers often focus on improving training and sales tech — without considering the obvious impact that high-quality material handling containers can have on their bottom line. Material handling containers are essentially a much-needed upgrade to cardboard boxes, plastic bags, and other holdovers from the pre-digital era.... Continue Reading
  • Safety at the Electrical Supply Warehouse

    We spend a lot of time discussing electrical safety at the jobsite, in the home, and even in schools. But what about safety programs for the workers who make electrical systems possible? Long before electricians begin to observe their strict lockout/tagout protocols or double-check the NEC, the electrical-material supply chain is hard at work, manufacturing, storing, shipping, and distributing the... Continue Reading
  • Energy Savings for Green Warehousing Operations

    Whether you run a warehouse, a cold-storage facility, or a regional distribution center, odds are you’re pursuing aggressive sustainability goals. The fastest way to reduce your business’ carbon footprint is to invest in energy efficiency — and that doesn’t necessarily mean costly redesigns. Here are a few ways you can cut your warehouse energy bill while also contributing to a... Continue Reading
  • Mulch and Soil Recycling for Landscapers

    At a certain point in any landscaping company’s growth, it becomes more profitable to produce mulch and topsoil in-house. Initial costs amount to capital investments that can start producing a return within just a few seasons. Even better, landscapers who produce their own soil products can avoid the inevitable bottlenecks that accompany late shipments from third-party producers. Manufacturing topsoil and... Continue Reading
  • Material Handling in the Wire and Cable Manufacturing Industry

    Wire and cable manufacturers carry a heavy burden; if they fail to fill their customers’ just-in-time orders, those customers might have to shut down entire production lines until the vital components come in. Understandably, cable providers will do just about anything to fill their orders reliably. But that leads right into another problem. If a cable manufacturer overproduces, they’ll be... Continue Reading
  • Choosing Material Handling Equipment for Manufacturing Facilities

    When manufacturers look for inefficiencies to address, they often focus on the production line itself. Can automation improve operations? New manufacturing processes? Different staffing strategies? In fact, these strategies make up only a portion of efficient operation in the manufacturing industry. Material handling — getting raw materials to the lines, moving components between one station and the next, and eventually... Continue Reading
  • Warehouse Employee Retention Beyond Wages

    Warehousing operations often struggle with employee retention. Since August of 2017, separations — quits, terminations, and layoffs — grew by 26,000 jobs in the warehousing industry. During the same period, the quit rate for all industries remained fairly stable, hovering around 2.4 percent. What is it that drives employees to leave warehousing jobs more than positions in other industries? More... Continue Reading
  • Cable Paralleling and Other Value-Added Services for Electrical Suppliers

    What sets your electrical supply operation apart from the big online retailers? The rise of omnichannel retail and mega-e-commerce outlets means electricians can buy their cable, wire, and material handling supplies from pretty much anywhere, often at bargain-basement prices. But, as a dedicated electrical materials supplier, you have something the big companies don’t: expertise. If you can translate that expertise... Continue Reading
  • E-Commerce Strategies for Electrical Supply Companies

    Toward the end of 2018, just 42 percent of U.S. electrical distributors offered their customers an e-commerce experience. That’s according to a surprising study from credit management platform Apruve, which released a report comparing e-commerce in the electrical supply industry. Providers that operate e-commerce sites tended to be larger and more established — again, a surprise, when the narrative of... Continue Reading
  • Supply Chain Trends for 2019

    Labor shortages. Automation. The growth of omnichannel retail. The trends that transformed the global supply chain over the past few years are likely to continue for some time; these forces also provide hints as to what’s to come in the near future. In fact, some of 2019’s challenges are clearly on the horizon. Here are a few of the market... Continue Reading
  • BHS, Inc. Expands Product Line of Gas Cylinder-Handling Equipment

    September 3, 2018 — St. Louis, MO — BHS, Inc., a leading manufacturer of industrial equipment, is growing a popular line of products designed to store and transport compressed gas cylinders. These products meet stringent rules from OSHA and the Compressed Gas Association, while providing users with convenient solutions to the challenges of handling pressurized contents. “Compressed gas cylinders are special materials, and they need special material handling equipment to keep risks to a minimum,” said Melissa Bowen of BHS Marketing. “We’ll keep coming up with new cylinder-handling products as long as our customers keep asking for them.” BHS, Inc. manufactures a range of cylinder storage options, built to alleviate the hazards of working with compressed gas. The newest product... Continue Reading
  • BHS, Inc. Releases New Bifold High Value Cart for Mobile Secure Storage

    Aug. 20, 2018 — St. Louis, MO — BHS, Inc., a leading manufacturer of industrial equipment, recently released a new solution for high-volume, secure storage at job sites. The Bifold High Value Cart features a heavy-duty steel exterior, opening at the center to display dual rows of heavy-duty shelving. “This is a unique design that does two things,” said Melissa Bowen of BHS Marketing. “It opens outward from the central hinge, essentially doubling the area of the shelf face. But that bifold system also boosts security, because when it’s closed, it’s essentially a solid steel box.” Welded steel construction and the ability to padlock the unit closed ensure resistance to unauthorized access, Bowen said. The Bifold High Value Cart was... Continue Reading
  • Preparing the Shipping/Receiving Area for DC Peak Season

    The holiday peak season for distribution centers encompasses both shipping and receiving, making this area a potential efficiency bottleneck. Every DC manager needs a plan for scaling up outbound orders while simultaneously processing returns. The good news is that the elements of this plan don’t need to be expensive or difficult. We’ve already looked at a few strategies for preparing... Continue Reading
  • Making the Most of Automotive Plant Shutdown

    Automakers and other manufacturers use summer shutdowns to perform vital tasks to keep operations running smoothly. While these lulls in output can be expensive — after all, factories are not only stopping production but spending big money on improvements — they can also increase productivity. And when management takes time to carefully plan a plant turnaround, they can reap even... Continue Reading
  • How Automotive Manufacturers Can Improve Material Flow Systems During Plant Shutdowns

    Automotive manufacturers can’t push out the next big model without retooling plants, and that means periodic shutdowns at factories across the U.S. But while teams of workers busily upgrade assembly lines, plant managers also stay busy planning to move the entire operation forward. Disruptions of day-to-day plant operation create tremendous opportunities for improvement. This is especially true in the automotive... Continue Reading
  • OSHA Standards for Sheet Metal Storage at Shops and Warehouses

    Sheet metal isn’t always the simplest material to work with, but choosing the right type of storage can set you up for a safer, more successful material handling environment at the shop or warehouse. While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) hasn’t written a regulation that refers to sheet metal storage in specific, the standards do offer clues. Here... Continue Reading
  • 3 Green Warehouse Improvements You Can Make Right Now

    Whether it’s for cost-saving or environmental responsibility, warehouses are going green and saving money in the process. Here are a few simple ways warehousing companies can reduce costs while limiting their carbon footprint with green practices. 1. Upgrade to LED Lighting Switching to LEDs can save an operation more than 60 percent on energy costs compared to fluorescents and other... Continue Reading
  • Preparing Docks for the Spring and Summer Seasons: What to Expect

    The summer is nearly here, and now’s a good time to start preparing docks and bays at busy distribution centers for the seasonal changes. In particular, warehouse operators should get ready for two trends that are right around the corner: Summer heat — especially at the docks — and a possible uptick in carrier traffic. Consider how freight has been... Continue Reading
  • Retaining Warehouse Staff with Ergonomic Equipment

    Hiring and retaining warehouse staff could be the next big challenge facing the logistics industry as a whole. And while you might have read a lot about the ongoing scarcity of truck drivers, the entire supply chain, from start to finish, is starting to compete for the best workers to stay ahead of the curve. These new conditions could hit... Continue Reading
  • Electric Forklift Fleet Costs Over Time

    If this is the year you switch to an electric forklift fleet, costs are bound to be a major topic of conversation in your office. The expense of a capital investment like a forklift fleet can’t be limited to the purchase price alone, of course. You need to consider the future costs, as well, and those can be hard to... Continue Reading
  • Lift Tables vs. Tilt Tables: Ergonomics for Various Applications

    Lift Tables vs. Tilt Tables: Which is right for your application? Both improve the fit between workers and the tasks they must complete, which is the core of ergonomics. By adjusting loads to a more agreeable height or angle, these positioning tools reduce injuries, conserve human energy, and increase productivity. These adjustments can have tremendously positive effects on worker health... Continue Reading
  • BHS Mobile Showrooms Bring Warehouse and Battery Handling Equipment to You

    Business owners know that their warehouses can only succeed with the right material handling and battery changing equipment, and they’ll definitely want firsthand experience with any potential investment before signing the deal. But what can these valued customers do when dealers don’t have a full line of products on hand in the immediate area? Thanks to BHS Mobile Showrooms, the... Continue Reading
  • Prepare Seasonal Warehouse Workers for Success

    Seasonal warehouse workers give distribution centers the extra capacity that they need to take on the busy holiday season — and it’s only getting busier. Last year, online sales between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 reached a total of $91.7 billion, more than 10 percent higher than the previous year. Search marketing firm NetElixer projects an increase of another 10... Continue Reading
  • Earthquake Preparedness in the Warehousing Industry

    Because of their unpredictable nature and powerful tremors, earthquakes pose a unique threat to the warehousing industry. These two qualities make it difficult to evacuate a warehouse without risking injury from toppling racks or falling merchandise. Earthquakes will always pose a danger to people inside buildings. But there are still relatively inexpensive steps warehouse managers can take to reduce injury... Continue Reading
  • Customize Order Picking Carts for Unique Applications

    Order Picking Carts (OPC) from BHS provide simple material handling for order picking and other industrial tasks. However, sometimes clients need special modifications of these heavy-duty steel carts in order to meet a unique workplace challenge. That’s why BHS offers full customization for OPCs. Engineers at BHS design carts from the ground up to fit into highly specific applications at... Continue Reading
  • Material Handling Ergonomics: Using the “Golden Zone” for Safer Lifting

    Warehouse managers often focus on equipment solutions to ergonomics issues. And while there’s good reason to invest in assistive lifting equipment, there are cheaper and easier ways to get big returns. The number one way? Teach workers to lift in the ergonomic “golden zone.” The Dangers of Poor Lifting Technique The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that in 2015,... Continue Reading
  • How Better Warehouse Ergonomics Improves Productivity

    In the not-so-distant past, managers viewed warehouse ergonomics as mostly a matter of worker comfort—it was a nice thing to provide, but not a necessity. And while comfort is certainly one element of ergonomics, it is just one of many benefits of safer and more efficient processes. A more essential and frequently overlooked advantage to good ergonomics is improved productivity.... Continue Reading
  • Warehouse Ergonomics: Order Picking and Pallet Building Safety Tips

    October is National Ergonomics Month, and in honor of this yearly reminder to match “the work to the worker,” we’re reviewing two of the most common tasks in the distribution warehouse: order picking and pallet building. Both of these jobs traditionally contribute to the risk of musculoskeletal disorders such as strains, sprains, and pulled muscles. The reasons for this are... Continue Reading
  • Year-End Budget Planning: Invest in Electrical Equipment

    As the year draws to a close, growing companies may find that they still have the budget for a capital investment or two. The end of the year is a great time to invest in new equipment to make the coming year more productive. Any operation that depends on electrical work, whether that’s in the construction industry, the electrical supply... Continue Reading
  • Electrician Safety in Cold Outdoor Environments

    Electrical contractors can’t simply pack up and wait out the winter weather; eventually, electricians just have to work in the cold. Extreme temperatures create special hazards, especially for electricians, and staying safe in the depths of winter requires special efforts on the part of employers and employees alike. The Occupational Safety and Health Association breaks down their safety rules for... Continue Reading
  • Handling and Storing Construction Tools at High-Rise Building Sites

    The hazards of working on high-rise construction projects have been well-documented. While self-climbing perimeter protection systems, or “cocoons,” protect workers from falls, there’s another safety risk that cocoons can’t eliminate: injuries involving construction tools. A safety guide from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health offers a few rules to keep construction tools safe: Cal/OSHA requires employees to keep... Continue Reading
  • 4 Common Ergonomic Hazards in Warehouses

    Injuries have a big impact on warehouse productivity and profitability, and every warehouse could stand to address common safety hazards. The good news is that warehouse managers can reduce the chance of an on-the-job injury by identifying the most common injury risks and addressing them with training or ergonomic equipment. Safety committees can help identify major risks for your operation.... Continue Reading
  • Improving Manure Management for a Safer “Manure Share”

    Manure management has always been a problem for farmers. A little bit of nature’s fertilizer is a wonderful thing. When it accumulates in large stockpiles, though, the natural byproduct of munching cows can pollute the waterways and poison the air. Recently, farmers have introduced a novel way to distribute the 335 million tons of manure that America’s agricultural animals produce... Continue Reading
  • Stacking Pallets: OSHA Regulations

    Stacking empty pallets saves space and removes tripping and collision hazards from warehouse floors. But if workers stack pallets carelessly or overly high, they could be creating an even bigger hazard. To figure out the best practices for pallet stacking, let’s take a look at what OSHA and other regulators have to say. OSHA addresses stacks of items, including pallets,... Continue Reading
  • How Pallets Changed the Global Logistics Industry

    In a very real way, the simple wooden pallet was the spark that ignited the entire global economy as we know it. Before the advent of pallets during World War II, shipments consisted of awkward piles of boxes, barrels, canisters, and loose product. Warehouse staff would pack trucks any way they could. The process was inefficient in terms of both... Continue Reading
  • Warehousing Pallet Options: What to Know

    Material handling continues to evolve as new technologies emerge, but the humble pallet remains a constant fixture in warehouses around the world. That’s not to say that pallets haven’t changed over the years. Due to specific industry needs and the desire to be sustainable, companies have developed a number of new strategies in regards to pallets, which standardized just about... Continue Reading
  • Ergonomics and Pallet Building: Problems and Solutions

    Rising worker’s compensation claims and an aging workforce responsible for pallet building tasks are causing warehouse managers to rethink their processes. Add in the fact that industry experts project the use of pallets to increase through 2019, and you can see why it’s necessary to reevaluate the pallet building and unloading process. Even if warehouse managers didn’t care about productivity... Continue Reading
  • Measuring Electrical Conduit Sizes at the Job Site

    For electricians, pulling cable is only half the job. Before they can even begin installing the cabling, they have to create vast networks of electrical conduit. Electricians typically run multiple cables through a single raceway, so it’s vital that they know how much space is available inside the duct. That isn’t always apparent at a glance. The trade sizes of... Continue Reading
  • Forklift Work Platforms, Forklift Man Baskets, and OSHA Compliance

    There’s an inherent risk in elevating staff using a forklift work platform, even using a forklift man basket. Given the risk, it’s no surprise that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has quite a bit to say on the matter. In fact, at one point the federal agency even discussed banning the use of forklifts as a support for work... Continue Reading
  • Material Storage and Handling for Bagged and Bundled Components

    Working with bagged or bundled components requires unique precautions to protect against injuries. Shifting weight and awkward dimensions are two of the many tricky variables associated with these materials. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a helpful publication that addresses many of the common pitfalls of material handling. From a thorough reading of this document, we can recommend a... Continue Reading
  • Safe Material Handling and Storage for Marble, Granite, and Stone Slabs

    Construction materials are often heavy and irregularly shaped, leading to considerable material handling challenges. In any facility that houses building materials, though, slabs of marble, granite, and stone may be the toughest items to store and transport. These unique materials require specialized equipment and proper training to keep staff safe. Luckily, experts at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have... Continue Reading
  • Improve Material Storage Safety in Industrial Settings

    “Material storage” is a simple term for a pretty complex topic. If all the materials that workers in factories, warehouses, and construction sites use fit onto pallets, everything would be much simpler. Here in the real world, though, industrial staff have to learn how to handle and store cylinders, drums, heavy bags, bundles, tubes, and just about any other configuration... Continue Reading
  • Industrial Racks for Landscaping Materials: The Ergonomic Benefits

    Landscaping is a growing field, and that’s not just a grass pun. In 2016, the IBIS World Market Report listed an annual growth of 3.9 percent for the landscape services industry. Landscaping already employed nearly 1 million people in the U.S. that year; it wouldn’t be surprising if we surpassed the 1 million mark in 2017. That’s a lot of... Continue Reading
  • Ergonomic Solutions for Electrical Contractors

    The risk of shock isn’t the only occupational hazard that electrical contractors face on a daily basis. Like many construction trades, electrical work is full of ergonomic hazards that can cause serious injuries. Spools of wire, bundles of conduit, and tools themselves can cause significant stress on muscles when workers try to lift them. In fact, the Occupational Safety and... Continue Reading
  • Warehouse Equipment Checklist for Omnichannel Retailers

    Sooner or later, most small and medium-sized retail operations will need to enter the online space to continue growing. For traditional brick-and-mortar stores, this can be a daunting project. Once your operation grows to a certain size, you’ll have to run your own warehouse, big or small, to fill orders. Very few entrepreneurs happen to double as material handling professionals.... Continue Reading
  • Utilizing Vertical Space in E-Commerce Fulfillment Centers

    Vertical space has been a hot-button issue in warehousing for a long time, but with the rise of e-commerce, boosting clearance height is virtually required for fulfillment operations to remain competitive. The increased value of vertical space in fulfillment centers stems from a sea-change in shopping culture, driven by online shopping. Mail-order catalogs like the iconic Sears, Roebuck, and Co.... Continue Reading
  • Moving and Storing Compressed Gas Cylinders Safely

    If you work with compressed gas, those big metal cylinders are the most dangerous items in your facility. They can explode like bombs, fall like anvils, and even blast through the room like rockets. Plus, let’s not forget, they’re filled with gas that might be flammable, poisonous, corrosive, or any combination of those hazards. But if you do work with... Continue Reading
  • Safely Completing Inventory at the Top of Warehouse Shelves

    At some point, usually at the end of the year, order pickers and warehouse managers alike have to buckle down and tackle inventory. Manual inventory, while a chore, isn’t really that tough for the first few tiers of shelving. Staff can easily kneel for the lower racks, take inventory up to eye level, and even climb short ladders to go... Continue Reading
  • The Easiest Way to Carry Drywall at Construction Sites

    Ergonomics in the construction industry has come a long way, but there are still materials that present particular handling challenges. Large panels are among the most difficult to transport and install; there’s simply no easy way to grasp them. At least with windows and other plates of glass, you can use a vacuum lift. Moving drywall is another story. Even... Continue Reading
  • How Tilt Tables Improve Ergonomics for Order Packing

    Perfecting ergonomics is a never-ending challenge, especially in material handling applications. You may have your Shipping/Receiving Desks set up perfectly for your staff, with corners cut to reduce reaching. You might even provide Lift Tables to adjust the height of certain work tasks. But what happens when a client changes package sizes on you? As the size and placement of... Continue Reading
  • Creating A Proactive Ergonomics Action Plan for Safer Material Handling

    Why should you care about ergonomics? Worker’s compensation claims are likely a major expense for your facility, and even if you’re running a relatively small operation, you’ll eventually face an on-the-job injury caused by repetitive stress. This is bad for the worker, the facility, and the quality of the product, which is why ergonomic material handling should be a primary... Continue Reading
  • How to Prevent Coasting, Drifting, and Leak Down in Hydraulic Lifts

    If you work with hydraulic lift tables, you’ve probably encountered a frustrating scenario: You get the lift at the precise elevation you need for a job, and then the darn thing scoots upwards just enough to cause a problem. Either that or it dips down when you add a load. These are unwanted side-effects of the hydraulic technology that powers... Continue Reading
  • Customize Lift Tables for Any Task With Tabletop Attachments

    A Lift Table from BHS may be the most versatile piece of material handling equipment in your facility. These hydraulic-powered lifts incorporate into just about any production line, they allow you to create variable-height work stations for any task, and, of course, they effortlessly lift loads of up to 6,000 pounds. In short, Lift Tables are an ergonomist’s dream. Thanks... Continue Reading