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31) Automation

The application of computer-based system to improve productivity and quality of performance.

32) Automatic data capture

The technologies that support the identification and direct collection of data into a computer system or other micro-processor-controlled device without using a keyboard.  Such technologies include bar code, radio frequency data communication, radio frequency identification and other emerging technologies.

33) Batch pick

The combining of a group of order requirements by SKU into a single picking activity to optimize productivity by allowing one picker to select all the ordered merchandise within a predetermined group with one trip through the pick path.  Batch picking requires subsequent mechanical or manual sorting of the merchandise to reestablish order integrity before shipping.

34) Broken case

An open case.  The term is often used interchangeably with "repack" or "less-than-full-case" to name the area in which materials are picked in that form.

35) Blow molded pallet

A pallet manufactured by heating a plastic material and extruding it into tubing.  A section is cut to the desired length to create a parison which is then introduced into a mold cavity.  Air is introduced into the parison to inflate the parison until it conforms to the geometry of the mold.  When the part is fully formed and cooled, it is released from the mold for secondary operations such as machining and trimming.

36) Compression molded pallet

Plastic material is placed in an open mold, which is then closed.  Pressure is applied as the mold halves come together (usually in a vertical configuration), forcing the plastic material to flow and fill the cavity.

37) Auto-lock clips

Spring-loaded clips on collapsible pallet containers that automatically lock hinged sidewalls and optional doors.

38) Bins

A box, frame, crib or enclosed container used to store or ship goods.

39) Container return ratio

Comparison of the number of collapsed containers that equal the height of one upright container.  The higher the ratio, the higher the savings with return shipments.

40) Container load capacity

Maximum content weight a container can safely hold.

41) Conveyor

A horizontal, inclined, or vertical device for moving or transporting bulk material, packages, or objects in a path predetermined by the design of the device, and having points of loading and discharge, fixed or selective.

42) Cable reel

An electrically, manually or spring-loaded device used to accumulate power cable on a reel so as to keep the cable from interfering with the piece of equipment to which the cable is bringing power.  A cable reel disperses and takes up the cable as needed and retracts the cable as the machine nears the reel.

43) Cross belt sorter conveyor

Another form of the tray sorter is where the tray is replaced by a short belt conveyor section with its direction of travel orientated perpendicular to the line of travel of the main train. At the proper moment the belt stepper motor is energized propelling its load to either side and the desired takeaway lane. See also Tray sorter .

44) Car-in-track conveyor

A sophisticated version of asynchronous carriers with greater flexibility inherent in the drive systems in terms of acceleration, speed of travel and the manner by which idling is achieved. One of the earliest version of car-in-track systems of a flat, platen-like carrier with four horizontally mounted wheels on each corner. These wheels run both on and against two parallel tracking rails providing support for the carrier as well as lateral guidance. The driving force is derived from a constantly spinning tube running parallel to the guidepath, beneath the carrier. A fifth drive wheel mounted beneath the carrier makes contact with the spinning tube, resulting in a variation of worm style transmission. By controlling the set angle of the drive wheel the carrier speed can be infinitely varied up to a maximum in the 400 feet per minute range.

45) A-frame picking system

Utilized to facilitate the picking of a wide size and shape variety of individual items, the A-frame is extremely popular with drug and pharmaceutical distribution facilities.  As the name implies, individual items are loaded or stacked in two rows of dispensing magazines (one or more magazines per item) that are arranged side-by-side, forming an "A-frame".  A belt conveyor passes through the long tunnel created by the A-frame.  As orders are filled, one at a time, items automatically dispensed from the bottom of selected magazines are kicked onto the belt conveyor, and then they are carried to the end of the tunnel where they fall into a tote.  The tote is then transported by another conveyor to an order and/or packing station.