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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

  • 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 and OSHA Compliance

    There’s an inherent risk in elevating staff using a forklift work platform. Given that 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 platforms. After a lengthy discussion, OSHA... 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