Navigating the World of Aftermarket Solutions

Businesses must continually adapt in order to prioritize efficiency, accuracy, and worker safety if they want to remain competitive. Aftermarket solutions allow them to do just that. They hold the potential to reshape the day-to-day ergonomics of a manufacturing facility or warehouse, allowing businesses to not only survive but thrive in an ever-competitive landscape. 

Some popular aftermarket solutions that can help to increase safety and boost productivity include pallet positioners, hydraulic lift carts, folding security gates, and loading dock lighting. Let’s explore how each of these items can help improve ergonomics, and what you need to know about each option’s application. 

What Is a Pallet Positioner and Why Do You Need One?

In busy manufacturing and warehouse facilities, pallet positioners are key to increasing speed and efficiency. By providing optimal ergonomic support, a pallet positioner is an assistive device created to enhance worker safety and productivity. This clever material handling solution has a simple design with the capacity for impactful results. But what exactly is a pallet positioner and how does it work?

What Is a Pallet Positioner?

A pallet positioner helps lift and position palletized goods without placing any undue stress on the worker’s body. In fact, pallet positioners are well equipped to handle various sizes and weights of materials, thereby reducing repetitive movement and the risk of common workplace injuries.

Types of automatic pallet positioners available on the market today include mechanical spring-loaded and self-contained pneumatic models. An automatic pallet positioner consists of a self-contained air system or mechanical spring actuated scissor let set with a mounted rotating platform or rotator ring. The self-contained air system eliminates the need for a constant air connection. They self-level the pallet load automatically, eliminating the need for pushbuttons or foot controllers. 

Why Do You Need a Pallet Positioner?

The right pallet positioner is a must-have in any loading dock area. Here are some of the top benefits of a pallet positioner:
  • Enhanced worker comfort and safety – Pallet positioners eliminate the need for repetitive movements like bending, stretching, pulling, pushing, and lifting. As a result, there are fewer workplace accidents and job-related injuries.
  • A more inclusive workforce – With the use of assistive devices, more people can manage material goods in the warehouse environment.
  • Improved workplace morale and presenteeism – If workers feel safe, comfortable, and productive in their immediate surroundings, they will naturally work together to achieve a common goal. 
  • Increased speed and productivity – A pallet positioner saves time by providing workers with proximity and accessibility to goods. Ease-of-use also contributes to a faster production time, with fewer interruptions or delays.
  • Reduced liability and enhanced reputation – A pallet positioner offers enhanced ergonomic support and increased safety, resulting in fewer workplace accidents and job-related injuries. Fewer accidents and injuries on-site translate into less liability.
  • Greater cost-savings and profit – Investing in a pallet positioner saves money and helps increase profit margin through reduced liability along with increased speed and productivity.

Pallet Positioners in the Warehouse

A pallet positioner is an assistive device used in the busy loading dock area of a warehouse to help workers safely and ergonomically move goods. Available models include a spring-loaded pallet positioner, electric pallet positioner, hydraulic pallet positioner, and self-leveling pallet positioner.

Implementing pallet positioners can help to enhance worker comfort and safety, establish a more inclusive workforce, improve workplace morale and presenteeism, increase speed and productivity, reduce liability, and enhance reputation, and create greater cost-savings and profit. 

How Does a Hydraulic Lift Cart Work?

A hydraulic lift cart is the perfect material handling solution for any manufacturing or distributing facility. Like all hydraulic lifts, the lift cart is expertly designed to enhance workplace safety and mobility by limiting the need for frontline workers to bend, lift, or carry substantial loads. But what exactly is a hydraulic lift cart and how does it work?

What Is a Hydraulic Lift Cart and How Does it Work?

Although there are many possible configurations, hydraulic lift carts share basic similarities when it comes to form and function. All hydraulic lift carts have these standard features in common: heavy load bearing capacity, an adjustable platform to reach the desired height, some type of pump to activate the platform, and two or more wheels to create portability.  

The Benefits of a Hydraulic Lift Cart

There are numerous advantages to using a hydraulic lift cart within the workplace or on the job site. They include:
  • Safety Regulation – Regardless of whether it is being used to elevate people, heavy equipment, or weighty materials, a hydraulic lift cart will enhance worker safety on the job site by reducing the amount of physical strain on workers’ bodies. Less physical strain on the body ultimately helps to prevent workplace injuries.  
  • Time Management – While faster is not always better when it comes to quality, in this case, increased speed goes hand-in-hand with improved efficiency. Hydraulic lift carts save precious time and energy, without compromising results.
  • High Function, Low Maintenance – Hydraulic lifts are quite simple in both design and construction. They require very little effort to operate or maintain. 
  • Cost Savings – In addition to being a wise long-term investment, this device will save money by reducing workplace accidents and subsequent insurance claims.  
  • Streamlined Approach - Rather than placing frontline workers in a precarious situation, a hydraulic lift cart can streamline the approach to repetitive tasks such as loading and unloading goods.
  • Tailored Solution – From a manual hydraulic lift cart to an electric hydraulic lift cart (and everything in between, including hybrid models), you can choose the right lift cart for your specific industry and site application needs. Additionally, many equipment suppliers will work with you to create a customized solution.

Hydraulic Lift Carts in the Warehouse

When lifting or transporting heavy materials is a frequent chore in your workplace, a hydraulic lift cart can help to lighten the load both literally and figuratively. Hydraulic lift carts save money and hassle, leaving you with a safer, more ergonomically sound workplace – one that functions at a faster and more efficient pace. 

How Do You Install Folding Security Gates?

Folding security gates control safe access to loading bay doors and other restricted areas, safeguarding your property against possible theft or trespassing. It provides a lockable barrier to most doorways, without restricting light and air circulation. Commercial folding security gates are easy to use – simply fold back the gates when people or trucks need to pass, and then close them again for security.

In order to accommodate various needs, folding security gates come in both single and double configurations. They can be mounted in the doorway or in the outside wall, and inserted into many different materials, such as wood, steel, brick, or concrete. 

Required Tools and Items to Install Folding Security Gates

These are the tools you’ll need to install a folding security gate system:
  • Drill
  • 5/8” masonry drill bit
  • 3/8” masonry or wood drill bit
  • Marking pencil
  • Ratchet/wrench
  • Bearing washers (one for single gate, two for double gate)
  • ‘L’ brackets (one for single gate, two for double gate)
  • Locking bar

How to Install Folding Security Gates

Before installing a folding security gate, decide whether to mount it in the doorway or in the outside wall. Keep in mind that optional door mount extension brackets may be necessary, depending on the layout and configuration of a particular space. 

For a complete step-by-step guide of how to install a gate system, see our blog post on folding security gates for a breakdown of the process.

Benefits of Folding Security Gates

Whether choosing a single or double folding security gate for the warehouse, there are many advantages to using folding security gates:
  • Enhanced safety for workers
  • Increased warehouse security
  • Reduced amount of impact damage
  • Clear, visible barrier to restricted areas
  • Durable and cost-effective solution
  • Stress-free application
In addition to the many benefits cited above, folding security gates help to improve productivity and reduce workplace injury, thereby resulting in significant cost savings for the company. 

Loading Dock Lighting Requirements

To maintain a safe, cohesive working environment, adequate lighting is essential. While specific lighting requirements may vary by jurisdiction, all loading dock lighting requirements are designed to help keep both people and product in prime condition. 

Overview of Loading Dock Lighting Requirements

Traffic Lights and Light Communication Packages

Another important consideration of loading dock lighting requirements is traffic control. Safety experts recommend installing a system of traffic lights to communicate to drivers. By alerting drivers of when to shut off their engines and engage their brakes, traffic lights help to reduce the incidence of ‘drive-away’ and ‘trailer creep’ – two significant loading dock issues that can result in severe injury or material damage.

The Critical Role of Loading Dock Lighting

Appropriate lighting plays a critical role in the reduction of workplace hazards. As the loading dock area can accommodate both the loading and unloading of goods from multiple vehicles (at a brisk pace), there is an elevated risk of accidents and job-related injury. Every loading dock area must be adequately lit in order to create a safe and comfortable working environment. Loading dock lighting requirements help to protect workers from harm and facilitate a more efficient and productive workplace.

Aftermarket Solutions for Every Application

The Blue Giant Aftermarket portfolio includes a variety of safety and lighting components. From energy-saving solutions, to protective systems, and upgrade opportunities, Blue Giant has everything you need to expand and maximize the functionality and security of your facility. Contact an authorized Blue Giant representative for more information.