The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) new Hours-of-Service rules go into effect on July 1, 2013 despite ongoing legal battles to overturn it. Companies, hoping it would go away, are going to find themselves scrambling if they haven’t prepared.
The goals of the new rules are to reduce fatigue-related crashes, improve safety and improve driver health, with the ultimate objective to enhanced safety on our roadways. However, the new rules are expected to reduce trucking capacity between 3- 5% as a result of lower driver and truck utilization. One main cause of this decline is the 34-hour restart provision that requires two consecutive rest periods between 1 AM and 5 AM once per week.
Converting electrical power into mechanical power is fundamental to driving your equipment - and your operation’s success. By modernizing your drive system you can harness this power to improve productivity and performance. Drive technology has come a long way and manufacturers are offering new capabilities such as multiple interfaces, embedded communications with multiple protocols, comprehensive diagnostics, enhanced programming and advanced safety features.
So, why update to these newer drive systems?... Read more »
Performing regular inspections is one of the best ways to extend equipment life, reduce breakdowns, increase worker safety and maintain healthy system performance. Here are some common inspections in our industry:.... Read more »
Recently, the upstate New York regional Engineering Societies held their annual event in Rochester. Approximately 400 engineering professionals attended The Engineering Symposium. One of the continuing education courses approved by NYS which I presented covered the topic of Detecting Cable Failure in Hoisting Systems. The course reviewed safety requirements for detecting cable failure in vertical lifting machines.
The course covered topics such as why the failure detection is needed, which standards to use and when, and different types of failure detection devices, as well as, system analysis. Safety requirements are also a major concern. The highlights included:... Read more »
GUEST BLOGGER: I’m Bryan Doherty, Controls Supervisor at Retrotech, Inc. I’ve been in the materials handling industry for over 15 years.
Whether you are putting a new control system in a greenfield facility or updating your current control system there are many things to think about regarding which approach to use. We commonly see two types of methods – centralized and distributed control systems and each have pros and cons.
Centralized control systems are more traditional than distributed systems so many maintenance workers are.... Read more »
We have drilled into our minds the need to be a defensive driver. To always be aware of our surroundings, to look all around and focus on the task at hand. Not so easy when there are distractions – phone ringing, a child needing something in the back seat, the dog wants the window opened, weather conditions – the list is endless different for everyone!
Being defensive when working around automated material handling equipment is also not so easy.... Read more »
It’s called “Communication Disconnect” – don’t let it happen to your distribution center! Here’s an example – a large warehouse operation was informed by their corporate IT resources that they were going to update the database for the facility’s automated system. It was supposed to be a seamless pro-active update to address a relatively small issue. What really occurred was a substantial database software upgrade. The upgrade caused a major failure in their system, halting plant production and delaying shipments. In fact, it took the majority of a day to explain to how this upgrade impacted operations, and roll back software changes, to get the site running again.
The disconnect happened because the stakeholders... Read more »
A family member asked me what I do for a living the other day. Instead of describing at length, I showed him a video created by MHEDA-TV. (View the MHEDA-TV video here) It does a great job of giving an overview of the aspects involved in our industry and how we play a major role in the support systems that move a product through its life cycle.
Watching the video reminded me that joining Retrotech years ago and working in this business was a great choice for me. It appears that I am not alone. In Modern Materials Handling’s 5th Annual Salary Survey (released in September 2012),... Read more »
We’ve talked before about being prepared with your spare parts. Stocking up on the essential parts for your system can avoid long lead times and catastrophic shut downs that may occur when spare parts are hard to find. We see many DC’s that are 5+ years old operating with outdated software and obsolete OEM parts. And, we’ve received plenty of panicked phone calls where customers needed to modernize equipment as soon as possible. As we all know, emergencies can lead to higher costs on all angles of a project.