Thursday, November 2, 2017

Robots in the factory

Will robots replace us? Here is a bit about that:

Artificial Intelligence in Material Handling

Research into AI is well funded and progressing quickly in the material handling arena.  As reported by the NY Times, researchers in Berkley, for instance, are working on robots that can look inside a bin full of randomly sized objects, quickly understand the size and shape of each discrete item, and then successfully grab one and place it in a desired location.  This type of behavior has always been outside the capability of robots, requiring companies to hire human “pickers” to perform it.  Other areas of research include self-navigating autonomous industrial vehicles (e.g. AGVs and fork trucks), using AI to optimize material flow in a facility, predictive maintenance for material handling components, and many more.
There are also many AI applications that have already moved from research to employment in facilities around the world.  Self-navigating industrial vehicles, although still an area of research, are already in many warehouses (continued research will serve to increase their capabilities).  Omron’s mobile robot, Adept, for instance, will automatically drive to desired locations once it has mapped a facility.  With the ability to grab objects of different shapes, there are even some robotic grippers that are already employing a portion of the technology being researched by the Berkley group.  Clearly, then, AI has had a substantial effect on material handling automation, and with continued research, it will continue to shape it.  Does this mean we can expect a future where distribution centers and manufacturing facilities are totally automated, i.e. without any human workers?  Perhaps, but probably not.
To date, AI has increased the capabilities of material handling automation, and automation, in turn, has made workers more productive and valuable.  Thus, in my experience, after automating a process, companies do not eliminate workers.  Rather, those workers become much more productive or are moved into a different process that provides more value.  For example, a goods-to-person system such as AutoStore will drastically increase the number of items a human picker can pick, so the human is not replaced, but is now much more productive.  Eventually, I do think that researchers like those at Berkley will create systems that replace the human picker in this process, but that person will not go away.  Machines are not perfect, and humans will need to supervise them and correct them when they make mistakes.  The picker, therefore, will become a supervisor of intelligent machines, taking immediate corrective action when the machines make mistakes in order to keep production moving.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Factory automation

Automation[ or automatic control, is the use of various control systems for operating equipment such as machinery, processes in factories, boilers and heat treating ovens, switching on telephone networks, steering and stabilization of ships, aircraft and other applications and vehicles with minimal or reduced human intervention. Some processes have been completely automated.
Automation has been achieved by various means including mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic, electrical, electronic devices and computers, usually in combination. Complicated systems, such as modern factories, airplanes and ships typically use all these combined techniques. The biggest benefit of automation is that it saves labor; however, it is also used to save energy and materials and to improve quality, accuracy and precision.
The term automation, inspired by the earlier word automatic (coming from automaton), was not widely used before 1947, when Ford established an automation controllers, which were introduced in the 1930s.
 It was during this time that industry was rapidly adopting

Kuecker Logistics Group prides itself on helping companies use automation to increase speeds and profits.

Over the last 30 years, Kuecker Logistics Group has developed a reputation for providing innovative system solutions and great service to the industry. Our team of recognized professionals can provide you the very best in material handling products, cutting edge design and impeccable implementation and support.

Online Fulfillment Center OFC "Fast Track" - System Solutions

Our market presence as an integrator allows us to provide you best of breed products and system solutions at the right price for all facets of your project.

Online Fulfillment Solutions On Time & Within Budget

  • Conveyor & Sortation Systems 
    We work with the best brands in the industry and provide you with the perfect solution for your unique requirements. Our job is finding the right sortation and conveyor systems solutions for you.
  • Storage Media
    We understand the benefits of different types of storage solutions for different applications. We also understand the competitive nature of this industry. We can provide with you the best products at a competitive price.
  • Software - WCS
    Our well-staffed team of design experts, engineering professionals and problem solvers will work closely with your company in order to develop a customized solution that is guaranteed to optimize the many unique aspects of your warehouse and distribution process.
Import Facilities 3PL Provider
2014 Panama Canal Opening is Rapidly Approaching. With double the capacity and capable of handling Post-Panamax Ships).
Kuecker Logistics Group is part of a strategic alliance of partners who can rapidly provide enhanced results in a compressed time frame while cutting cost and effort. Designers, Architects, Engineers, Builders, MHE Integrators / Consultants, WMS/WCS Software, Controls, Electrical Constructors, and 3PL Operators all working in unison to get your facility rapidly and correctly deployed.
If you are looking for the best online fulfillment solution to meet the unique requirements of your company, contact Kuecker Logistics Group today at (816) 348-3100.

The 360 degree difference!

 The difference of a 360° degree supply chain view by (Belton) hide this posting

Kuecker Logistics Group offers an intelligent solution for supply chain execution: KeyChain 360°. While other integrators will initiate the RFP process and move forward from there, we know that effective supply chain solutions execution requires a holistic approach. With the recent addition of key staff members who were former clients, our team now combines the industry experience we've gained as customers with expertise honed as material handling system integrators and developed a customized strategy that combines skilled engineering services and successful supply chain execution. Since we have experienced both sides of the business, we offer a unique and effective process that separates us from industry peers.

The result? End-to-end solutions tailored to meet your business' ever-changing demands. With KeyChain 360°, you can differentiate your Supply Chain to cultivate growth, on-going improvement, and new business opportunities with flexible and scalable solutions. Call Jim at Kuecker Logistics Group.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The conveyor system

I did not write this but it is a nice history of the conveyor system. Kuecker Logistics sells and installs conveyor systems call Jim if you would like to learn more:

In 1913, Henry Ford revolutionized the world of mass production with his conveyor belt assembly line. It’s been 100 years now and the conveyor belt is more a part of our industrial landscape than ever. In fact, we’re now using conveyors in ways Ford never imagined.

The Beginnings of the Conveyor Belt

Ford wasn’t the first to use conveyor belts for industry. In the late 18th Century, primitive conveyors with canvas or leather belts were being used in mines and rail yards to handle bulk materials over short distances. But it was Ford’s assembly line process that changed mass production forever. Along with interchangeable parts, this process greatly sped up the assembly of individual units, making it possible for Ford to produce cars faster and more cheaply than had ever been done before.
This process has been replicated in every mass production facility in the world. And though technology has improved, the basic principles of the assembly line that Ford implemented in 1913 haven’t changed.

Modern Day Assembly Lines

Today’s assembly line still consists of a conveyor and stations where specific tasks are completed. But modern technology has improved speed and precision beyond anything Ford dreamed of.
Today’s world markets for cars and other manufactured goods are more demanding than ever before, and this requires assembly lines to be more efficient than ever. Now-a-days, specialized machines do much of the work along assembly lines depending on the products being manufactured. Computerization and laser guidance systems have made many of these robotic workers faster, cheaper, smaller, and more precise than human counterparts. Of course we haven’t figured out how to do build robots for every task, and people are still essential for fabrication, quality assurance, and sorting along many assembly lines.
The efficiency of a manufacturing process requires a great deal of logistical coordination and adaptability. Components for building an average automobile might originate in factories all over the world. Many of these factories have become so versatile that they can completely retool from manufacturing one product to the next one in a matter of weeks. As many aspects of production change, conveyor belts are ubiquitous in mass production processes.

A Highly Adaptable Machine

A conveyor belt is a simple, but incredibly versatile machine. New innovations have made this tool highly adaptable for a wide variety of tasks. For this reason, conveyors are widely used in agriculture, mining, manufacturing, recycling, pharmaceutical, food processing, and many other industries.
Moving bulk materials for commercial use is a job conveyors have done for hundreds of years, but not like today. Modern conveyor belts are made from homogeneously molded rubber compounds that last three to five times longer than traditional laminated rubber belts. The various rubber compounds used can make the belts oil, heat, or flame resistant or increase conductivity for vastly different manufacturing conditions. Flexible sidewalls and innovative cleat designs have greatly increased the load capacity of belts even along steep inclines.
Modern conveyors designed for sorting packaged goods are capable of sensing the positions of objects and rotating and aligning them for processing and shipping. Some belts can electronically identify objects and divert individual packages to different destinations without human oversight.

Coming Full Circle

100 years after Ford perfected his assembly line, conveyor belts are essential parts of mass manufacturing throughout the world. The simple design is versatile enough to adapt to an incredibly wide range of tasks. As new technologies come and innovations improve efficiency even more, it’s likely that these machines will continue to be valuable tools in industry. This is because, barring a Star Trek style dematerializing transporter, it’s difficult to conceive a more efficient way to move material and products along the production line than a conveyor belt

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Retail Distribution Centers – Material Handling and Order Fulfilment Solutions

Retail Distribution Centers – Material Handling and Order Fulfilment Solutions

There are many options out there to improve retail distribution center efficiencies; we can help you determine the best option for your material handling design. As logistics experts seasoned in fulfillment center consulting, we are the ideal partner for enhancing your retail distribution center operations. We are a company with the right answers, the right team and the right products for distribution logistics solutions. We take pride in providing innovative fulfillment center solutions customized for your business.

Selecting Warehouse Automation and Material Handling Equipment for Retail Distribution

Your customers expect the products they order when they order them. They don't care if the automation at your retail distribution centers shuts down and you can't get product out the door. Your retail customers have customers of their own to service, so your warehouse management and logistics must be in tip-top shape. Kuecker Logistics Group has served some of the highest-volume fulfillment centers in the industry. You can find a list of the fulfillment centers we've served below.
Please visit the following case study for an in-depth study of an installed Retail Distribution Centers system. Click here .....
Kuecker Logistics Group Retail Customers
For more information on how we can help improve retail inventory management, warehouse management, & distribution logistics at your retail distribution or fulfillment centers, contact Kuecker Logistics Group at (816) 348-3100.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Third Party Logistics Management Solutions

Third Party Logistics Management Solutions

Kuecker Logistics Group represents and implements a wide variety of third-party logistics management products and solutions. We are an integrator, taking the best products and solutions from our diverse pool of sources and resources, and integrating them together in a custom designed solution for your company's unique needs. We can help identify the solution that makes your operation more efficient and flexible, leaving you free to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow.

Advantages of Using Kuecker for Your 3PL Needs

1. Saving Time & Money

KLG is an experienced material handling integrator. When you use us as a 3PL to manage your distribution and supply chain demands, you get the benefit of our vast experience and ability to pull together numerous efficiencies. This translates into cost and time savings for you. We are experts in logistic solutions, warehouse management, and much more.
Engaging a 3PL results in a lower capital commitment when engaging a 3PL. And because of our ready adaptability, you can more quickly and cost-effectively adjust to meet customer and supplier needs on an ongoing basis.

2. Allowing You to Focus

Let us do what we do best -- logistics management, material handling, warehouse automation, and more -- while you do what you do best.

3. Flexible Logistic Solutions

Our experience and expertise in designing and building solutions for every type of business operation gives us an advantage and a range of flexibility that you cannot match with in-house direct handling of your company's logistics challenges. We specialize in an array of third party logistics services that you may not be able to offer in-house.

A Trusted Provider of Third Party Logistic Solutions

We are knowledgeable in providing warehouse logistics, material handling and management solutions to third party logistics companies, including the organizations listed below.
Third Party Logistics Vendors

For more information on our third party logistics and warehouse management solutions, contact us today at (816) 348-3100.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

What is supply chain management?

What is supply chain management? n commerce, supply chain management (SCM), the management of the flow of goods and services,[2] involves the movement and storage of raw materials, of work-in-process inventory, and of finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption. Interconnected or interlinked networks, channels and node businesses combine in the provision of products and services required by end customers in a supply chain. Supply-chain management has been defined as the "design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of supply chain activities with the objective of creating net value, building a competitive infrastructure, leveraging worldwide logistics, synchronizing supply with demand and measuring performance globally."
SCM practice draws heavily from the areas of industrial engineering, systems engineering, operations management, logistics, procurement, information technology, and marketing and strives for an integrated approach.[citation needed] Marketing channels play an important role in supply chain management] Current research in supply chain management is concerned with topics related to sustainability and risk management, among others, whereas the “people dimension” of SCM, ethical issues, internal integration, transparency/visibility, and human capital/talent management are topics that have, so far, been underrepresented on the research agenda. Kuecker Logistics Group is a leader in this field, call Jim Kuecker. Visit our web site at for more information about us.