Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How We Do Storage, and How You Can Too

Our Parts Department is a busy place, with parts coming and going, customers and technicians stopping in and the phones ringing off the hook.  To stay orderly and efficient, WD Matthews believes in the 5-S’s.  Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain.  Practicing 5S helps us to support 50 technicians and hundreds of customers at the highest levels, each and every day.  The ideas are simple, they are easy to implement and they pay huge dividends.  Our Allied Sales Team sources and supplies everything needed to “5S” our warehouse, and they can do the same for you.  If you’d like to improve your storage density, efficiency and organization with simple ideas such as these, or you have more elaborate plans like a VLM or flow storage solution, give them a call.  Terry and Staci would be happy to discuss your needs and offer any help that you may need.  

1) Visibility -
We use contrasting color shelving so the parts stand out, which serves to increase picking accuracy and allows us to visually identify stock-out and overstock situations.

2) Magnetic Labels -
We have updated our entire warehouse with Part Number Labels affixed to magnetic backs.  This allows for quick and easy location changes when it becomes necessary.  Storage flexibility is the ultimate goal and is especially helpful for fast moving items and items with changing sales velocity.

3) Visual Separation -
We use magnetic strips to visually separate one location from another.  It creates a physical “home” for the part, helps speed picking and put-away, and maintains our highly flexible storage system by allowing quick location changes.

4) Organization -
Everything has its place – seriously.  If the ladder is always here, everyone will know where to get it, when then need it, all the time.

5) Location -
Every location is labeled, clearly and logically – Rows, Units and Shelves.  Everyone knows where everything is – period.  Row 5, Unit A, Shelf 5-8 

6) Kaizen -
Every warehouse has issues, there’s no way around it.  To improve, you work on one at a time.  We spent months struggling with hose storage before we asked our own Allied Sales Group for help.  Here’s the solution they came up with – inexpensive, effective, organized and efficient.  Thanks Terry and Staci!  This is great!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Forklift Pedestrian Safety

Of all warehouse accidents, the most horrifying one frequently involves pedestrians.  According to OSHA Estimates, each forklift in your facility has a 1 in 10 chance of being involved in some sort of an accident this year.  As we all know, accidents can have any number of root causes, but it’s up to you as the employer to train your employees to be safe, whether they’re forklift operators or merely pedestrians, to minimize the risk.  In addition to comprehensive training, there are many other things you can do to improve safety and visibility in your facility.

One such item, the Forewarner – Blue or Red Pedestrian Safety Light that is new to the market and can be installed on any forklift – whether electric or propane powered.
These lights mount to the forklift to project a blue or red beam in both the front and rear of the forklift that helps to notify pedestrians of the forklift’s presence.  The blue and red beams are highly visible, and truly stands out as an ample warning that the equipment is approaching, while still allowing enough time to get away before an accident occurs.  Give us a call to learn how you can help prevent accidents and make your facility a safer workplace.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Modula Lift, the solution. WD Matthews, the partner

WD Matthews Machinery is pleased to announce that we are now exclusive regional partners with System Logistics in offering their advanced storage and retrieval products.  We’re incredible excited by this technology and are focused on helping our customers achieve even higher levels of productivity and efficiency by utilizing systems such as the Modula Vertical Lift Module.

Modula, the next generation vertical storage system from System Logistics is the ideal storage solution for items normally housed on shelves or drawer cabinets.  It is a fully automatic vertical storage system designed for high capacity storage, ergonomic product handling, and pick/put-away speeds up to 500 lines per hour.  If your company utilizes push carts, bins or drawers to pick product, the Modula Lift will be an efficiency breakthrough for your company.  This is truly a natural evolution from conventional material handling and has the ability to consolidate over 9,000 square feet of static storage into a footprint of only 158 square feet while simultaneously offering cost savings, product security and safety.  

Modula Lift units feature a color graphical touch screen console designed specifically for industrial environments, enabling the operator to access all of the unit’s functions quickly and intuitively.
Modula WMS allows for interaction with user’s existing business management and inventory systems to boost efficiency even further.  Give us a call if you’d like to learn more, or see the Modula VLM in action!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lull Telehandlers

WD Matthews is pleased to announce that we have recently become Maine and New Hampshire’s official Lull Equipment Dealer.  WDM Technicians have been factory trained, Lull parts are on the shelf, and we have machines for rent and demo.  We can offer scheduled maintenance and breakdown repair at your job site and are equipped with a GPS Dispatch System to support your equipment and your productivity.  

Since 1959, Lull® telehandlers provide precision load placement to help you in the field.  The Lull horizontal load placement system offers you 80 inches of boom travel for more precise placement capabilities.   Whether you’re landing loads on scaffolds, positioning steel, or transferring loads, you can trust a Lull telehandler to help make the job go faster and easier. Plus, with the patented Stabil-Trak® stability system and a wide range of optional attachments, Lull telehandlers can help you get the job done.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The End Of Another Year

As we prepare to end another year, we would like to thank all of our employees for their dedication and hard work.  W.D. Matthews Machinery Co. has been a family owned business for 70 years.  Although there have been many changes, one thing remains the same, our appreciation for a great team.

Through it all we’ve had committed employees who have helped with our progress and success.  We would like to recognize the following employees who have contributed to that success for more than 25 years:

  • Larry M. – 43 Years
  • Roger P. - 42 Years
  • Russ M. - 41 Years
  • Dale B. - 41 Years
  • Ronnie M. - 39 Years
  • Linda P. - 38 Years
  • Dennis L. - 37 Years
  • Stan H. - 36 Years
  • Craig P. - 35 Years
  • Greg G. - 34 Years
  • Marianne L. - 33 Years
  • Arthur L. - 32 Years
  • Alan H. - 32 Years
  • Devon D. - 32 Years
  • Robert B. - 27 Years
  • Joanne G. - 27 Years
  • John P. - 27 Years
  • Stephen E. - 27 Years
  • Timothy B. - 27 Years
  • Ronald B. - 26 Years
  • George B. - 26 Years
  • Sylvie B. - 26 Years
  • Robert S. - 25 Years
  • Keith J. - 25 Years
A heart felt thanks goes out to all of our employees whether they have been here 43 years or 43 days.  We hope the New Year brings in a time of good health and prosperity for you, your family, your co-workers and friends.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ANSI Standards for Clamps.

    Those of you who utilize lift truck mounted clamps in your facilities should take note that ANSI Standards are changing and it will affect you.  If you are using Paper Roll Clamps, Carton Clamps, Bale Clamps, Fork Clamps or other specialty clamps, listen up…  Beginning October 7, 2010 ANSI B56.1 Section 7.25.7 requires that an operator make two distinct motions to open a load bearing clamp.  For most manufacturers, this will take the form of a small button that an operator will need to depress before the auxiliary open function is activated.  The standard takes effect for all trucks manufactured after 10/7/10 and such a “release interlock” will be mandatory.  
     This new standard will obviously improve safety in your workplace and should also improve product damage from falling loads.  While any NEW fork trucks will be fitted with this safety device, WD Matthews is not alone in recommending that existing units in operation be retrofitted with a Clamp Release Interlock to achieve the same benefits of this feature on new equipment.  Let us know if we can help…

 Some info on retro-fit packages is available here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Little History

WD Matthews Machinery Co…  That’s a strange name for an equipment dealership, huh? 

Well, meet Walter D. Matthews, our founder.  He passed away some time ago, but his beliefs still run strong here at WDM.  WDM was founded in 1939 as a woodworking equipment business by Walter, our current owner’s grandfather.  The company grew by leaps and bounds and in 1955, began supplying forklifts and other industrial equipment to New England Area Customers.  Since then, we have become one of the area’s dominant players in the industrial equipment marketplace and have built a customer list, one by one, that spans every major sector of the New England Economy.  Through the years, WD Matthews has always been a family business and prides itself on exceptional customer service and forming long lasting relationships with our business partners.

Friday, June 11, 2010

WD Matthews Machinery – Environmental Initiatives

WD Matthews is committed to recycling as much of our waste as possible.  We work diligently to implement this initiative within our company and statistics for 2009 appear below…

    Industrial Battery Recycling Program
        Lead Recycling – 181,280 lbs
        Acid Recycling – 14,497 lbs
    Scrap Metal Recycling Program
        Steel and Other Metals – 285,320 lbs

    Tire Recycling Program
        Rubber Recycling – 101,200 lbs

    Waste Oil Conversion to Heat in Shop Areas
        Waste Oil – 3,800 gallons
    Antifreeze Filtration and Re-Use
        Green Antifreeze Re-claimed – 200 gallons
    Recycling of Office and Warehouse Products
        Paper, Cardboard, Toner, Computers and related accessories

We are committed to making improvements to our facilities to reduce energy consumption at WD Matthews Machinery Co.  We’ve made the following investments in 2009.

Installation of a new High Efficiency Waste Oil Burner
Installation of new electronic ballast lighting in office areas
Installation of a new High Efficiency EnerSys HFIQ Charger for shop use
Conversion to new water-based parts washers for shop use

Friday, March 5, 2010

New Toyota 8 Series

Toyota Material Handling announces new 8 series electric forklift line.
One of the biggest changes to the new Toyota Electric forklift line is the addition of a 5,500 lb capacity truck, the 8FBCU28.  Other models that have been redesigned are the 8FBCU20, 8FBCU25, 8FBCHU25, 8FBCU30, and 8FBCU32.

Highlights of the improvements of the new Toyota 8 series four wheel electric forklift include:

Performance -
    Travel Speed has been increased by as much as 21 percent.
    Lift Speed has been increased by as much as 7 percent.

Ergonomics -
    Larger dual operator assist grips for use while traveling in reverse.
    Wider & lower first step for easier entry.
    Increased floor space.
    Full suspension seat is now standard.
    Increased forward & backward seat adjustment positions.
    Parking brake is now activated by foot pedal.
    Parking brake release is located on steering column.
    Increased fork tip visibility while sitting in a natural position.
    Seat swivels 16 degrees to the right and 17.5 degrees to the left for traveling in reverse and easier entry/exit.
    Standard anti-cinch seat belt
    Mini Levers with ergo shift and fork leveling.
    Relocated dash display.
    Lowered free lift cylinder for increased visibility.

Operation -
    Momentary hold for starting on inclines.
    Auto height selection option.
    Touchpad, keyless entry option.
    Shock sensor option.
    Auto power off option.

For the full press release, visit Toyota Material Handling USA.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

They love their Toyota Forklifts

Just an update on the customer that purchased a Toyota 8FGCU32 with a Bolzoni Single/Double Pallet Handler (original post here).
They loved their Toyota Forklift and attachment so much, they bought another one.  This one is a Toyota 7FBCU32 with a Bolzoni Single/Double Pallet Handler.


Monday, January 18, 2010

New Clark CGC50 forklifts in action

Tough application?

Demanding duty cycle?

Reliability a must? 

WD Matthews has you covered.  With a broad range of products and in-house customization, we strive to meet our customer’s most demanding applications.  We just delivered four new Clark Forklifts to a premier warehousing and transportation leader in Northern New England whose goal of flexibility and cost efficiency matches our own.  

These trucks have been tailored to tackle the tough job of moving pulp and paper from trucks and rail year after year.  From specialized cooling packages for high intensity use to just plain rugged design, these Clark CGC50's were “Built to Last”

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

(Electric + Forklift) x W.D. Matthews = Success

  I remember being broken down in Kentucky, laptop plugged into the salad bar of a truck stop, co-worker bursting into tears when she considered the absurdity of the situation and I was thankful for the ability to get work done on the road.  Back then my laptop was great although I needed to be near an outlet if I wanted to work for more than an hour. 
  My wife got an IPOD for Christmas and I remembered the above scene, my 29 pound laptop, the power cord, the waitresses scowl as she cleaned “her” salad bar.  Now in the palm of her hand, my wife has more mobile computing power than I could have even imagined then and she work for hours and hours!
  A similar paradigm shift is occurring in the world of forklifts.  While it has largely gone unnoticed by many in the manufacturing, warehousing, and distribution worlds, we forklift geeks are ecstatic about the revolution of batteries and chargers and our ability to offer cleaner, greener, less expensive power for materials handling operations. 

  Old concerns about battery swapping, gassing during charging, exposure to acid, connectors arcing, and more are still prevalent in the materials handling world.  I received an e-mail today expressing these reservations and would like to cover several here.

1.My operation runs 24 hours a day and I do not have space to dedicate to spare battery storage. 

  Today’s opportunity & Fast Charge systems allow operations to run extended shifts on the single battery that stays in the lift.  Taking advantage of High Frequency charging technologies to “read” the status of the battery allows the charger to continuously adapt and prevent the damage caused by older chargers when used to opportunity charge. 

2.I do not want my employees exposed to battery acid.

  Today’s batteries are designed to run and extended time between watering intervals and combined with single point watering systems and Smart Blinky water indicators virtually eliminate the need for employees to open vent caps and access the acid portion of the battery. 

3.Electric lifts are slower and can’t do the work of my LP powered lifts.

  Fact is new AC powered electric lifts deliver equal or even better performance than IC forklift.  So unless you just love the vibration, noise and fumes; this is a hard argument to win.

Now let’s look at some of the advantages of electric lifts. 

1.Drastic reduction in fuel costs.  LPG cost more and the market volatility should scare the daylights out of anyone charged with operating a fleet of fork lifts.  Electric rates are more controlled and predictable from year to year. 
2.Improved operational cleanliness.  Electric units reduce dust and do not produce the film often found on shrink wrapped products in the warehouse.  Also fewer fluids to leak or spill resulting in a cleaner operation.
3.Improved operator health and safety.  Eliminating noxious fumes, engine vibration and  noise will improve the safety and well being of forklift operators and all those who work around the warehouse.
4.Reduction in maintenance costs.  Simply put, electric lifts have fewer components and moving parts.  No engine-oil changes, no radiators, no transmissions leads to greatly reduced maintenance costs and down-time.
5.Realizing “Green Initiatives” in the materials handling process.  Reduced emissions, less carbon footprint, and lower reliance on foreign oil to power daily operations.  A great bonus for running a more cost effective facility.

Overall there are fewer applications that demand an IC powered forklift.  More of our customers are educating themselves and realizing the benefits of converting to an electric powered forklift.

If you have any questions or would like to see how your company could benefit by switching to electric powered lifts, feel free to contact me directly.

Michael Brandt
Account Representative
Southern Maine & New Hampshire Territory
WD Matthews Machinery