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Distributors: Innovation Expedites Warehouse Logistics in the Largest, Most Challenging Work Platforms

Steel King Industries, a leading manufacturer of material handling products and systems for improving operational efficiency in manufacturing, assembly, distribution centers, storage facilities, and warehousing, has created a new independently operated business unit, called NexCaliber Structures, focused solely on supplying turnkey solutions for engineered elevated work platforms.

For distributors and the industry, the enhanced flexibility and capability of work platforms will reportedly enable more seamless integration and scale up to increase production capacity. The approach will accommodate increasingly important new technology such as automated picking systems, robotic Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS), and massive e-commerce fulfillment centers.

For large projects, platform structures are the first product to the jobsite and serve as the foundational, multi-level structures upon which all other products – from racking and robots to conveyors – are built and integrated. So, if platform structures are not designed, constructed, and installed correctly, lengthy project delays and complications are virtually inevitable.

While platform products are not new for distributors, next level custom yet scalable, turnkey solutions that utilize 3D modeling, data extraction, and DFM can now minimize complications, compress project timelines, and improve reliability.

“With parametric estimating technology (PET), we create a 3D model of the platform with a CAD program. Then from the model we extract data, such as material, weight, and paint coverage. This is passed into a database and paired with costs, and the result becomes the estimate,” said Brian Pfannes, VP of supply chain, Steel King.

Additionally, the use of Design for Manufacturability (DFM) to devise parts or products that ease manufacturing and improve quality at lower cost is achieved by simplifying, optimizing and refining product design. The process incorporates input from design engineers, production staff, and field installers.

To speed the process of successfully implementing such systems from concept to installation and start-up, the sooner distributors, warehouse equipment OEMs, and integrators look into advanced platforms using 3D modeling design, data extraction, and DFM, the greater their advantage over the competition.

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