Choosing the Right Integration Partner

Investing in an industrial automation system for the first time or upgrading an existing system is a large undertaking.

Industrial automation is an innovative field with new advances every year combining hardware and software, often within an existing system to have production and control systems operate at their maximum efficiency. This is where a system integration partner comes in.

They are companies not tied to any company specifically, who partner with you to help achieve top results in your facility while managing schedules. Whether that be storage, conveyance, Robots, etc.

A system integrator will manage all components like engineering, and materials, as well as installation and implementation of control systems.

The right system integrator can bring great benefits to your company such as:

  • Having the capability to be able to quote more than one solution for comparable numbers.
  • Long-standing relationships with the right partners to be able to provide the solution desired either in an area or nationwide.
  • Experience with more than one product line that could tie into the system that you already have in place or to help you rebuild that line.

In this blog, we will discuss finding the correct integrator and the due diligence that it takes to make sure that your experience is nothing but successful.

Determine Your Needs

Are you looking for short-term solutions, or do you need a long-term ROI? Once you have established what your company will need, the search for the correct system integration partner begins.

Ask for sites to visit or references.

Speak with people who have worked with the integrator in the past. Listen to what solutions they represent and do those solutions fit your needs.

Select the Necessary Credentials

Even though cost is a huge factor when you are looking for efficient solutions, do not let this be the entire reason you go with a system integrator. As we mentioned earlier, ask colleagues you worked with in the past. Surprisingly enough, the integrator world is a lot smaller than we think so there is a high chance your peers have been through the process before and will probably have insights and recommendations.

Reviewing Their Work

This is the most telling aspect. While all systems are unique, and require different solutions, at the higher level there is something you can learn from the installation and implementation of the integrator. Learn as much about the problems they encountered and what they did to tackle those hurdles. Ask what they felt was a success of that project. If there is an area that just seems odd then ask them why they designed it this way, more often than not there is a story to tell of how they came to the final solution.

Do They Have Connections to Get the Job Done?

We would argue that one of the most important, yet underrated facets of being a successful integration partner is networking. Working with trusted companies can be a huge advantage when it comes to choosing an integrator because they will be able to generate a quicker less stressful completion date due to already having the connections they need.

Searching for subcontractors with availability is minimized because many work exclusively with the integrator. Something that Lafayette Engineering takes a lot of pride in as a system integrator that has been built over time.

We value our long-standing relationships with vendors and subcontractors, as well as our ability to do almost every aspect in-house. Though we can work with a great majority of companies there are some situations Lafayette is not the correct integrator to work with and it could be for many different reasons.

At the end of the day, we want each and every customer or potential customer to be happy so if we are not able to help with your system, we have the network to help you find the right fit for the job.

Give us a call today to see if we are the right system integrator for you or let us help you connect with the right one. Call us today at (844) 845-7580.

Frequently Asked Questions for Lafayette Engineering

1-Does Lafayette Engineering manufacture conveyors?

No. We are an integrator.

We do, however, partner with Hytrol, and other manufacturers to allow us the flexibility to offer each customer custom solutions for their price point and functionality.

Learn more about what we and our partners do here.

2-What type of support does Lafayette Engineering provide?

All of our projects come with a support agreement for one year after installation. We encourage all of our customers to sign a support agreement with us after that year is up to maintain seamless system support.

LEI offers two unique support contracts.

Advanced, which is 24/7 on call, and standard, which is 8:00 am to 5:00 pm EST.

If you do not have a support contract with us, you can easily sign up with us. You simply sign a non-support agreement, meaning that you pay hourly (minimum of two hours) for support calls.

We have a team of dedicated engineering professionals who handle support 24/7. The process is easy. When you call in for system support, a call center will take your information and relay that to our team. Once we have all the necessary information, one of our support engineers will contact you.

3-How many locations does Lafayette Engineering have?

We have FOUR locations currently.

Our headquarters are located in Danville Kentucky.

We have additional office locations in Ontario-California, South Plainfield-New Jersey, and Atlanta-Georgia. With multiple locations we are able to cover coast to coast and everywhere in between, to give our customers fast access to our team, no matter where they are.

We encourage our readers to reach out with any additional questions or suggestions for future FAQ articles. We are committed to continually enhancing our content and fostering a community of engaged readers. Together, we can build a knowledge-sharing platform that serves as a reliable resource for everyone.

If you don’t have a team of experts on your side to help you streamline your business, we would love to help you. Call us today at (844) 845-7580.


Lafayette Engineering Inc. is proud to announce that we are expanding our office territory to Atlanta!
This is such an exciting opportunity for us to gain a larger reach with our customers and we’ve been impressed with the immense amount of positive feedback we’ve received so far!

Continue reading

2023 Industry Shift Impact

Where is our industry going in 2023?

With a recession looming overhead for more than a year now, many facility operators find that outsourcing tasks proves to be more efficient and less risky than upgrading “in-house.” Traditionally, 3PLs (third-party logistics) have been used to get a system up and running. In the past year, though, we have seen 3PLs used more frequently for a variety of tasks. Let’s look at a few ways that facility operators are using 3PLs to maximize their throughput in the shadow of a recession.

Robot Usage

In the past year, we have seen a heightened usage of robots in our partner facilities. There could be many reasons for this, but the most common, and most intriguing reason is the low daily attendance percentage. With a large percentage of the workforce not being as reliable as they have been in years past a lot of companies are finding themselves understaffed. Many facilities would rather pay the higher cost upfront for a more reliable workforce as opposed to dealing with being understaffed. Alternatively, some robots are used on a monthly or “by the pick”  rental basis. Still, the flexibility and guaranteed output make robot usage an attractive option for many during uncertain times.

Control Devices

Though the supply chain is far from “back to normal”, the chaos of getting controls devices seems to have greatly improved. The majority of integrators have remedied this problem in two ways: ordered a very large stock that they can replenish from, or find workarounds. While ordering large stocks may be a temporary solution, many of the creative workarounds will be around long after the supply chain corrects itself. 

We’re also seeing a “race to the bottom” when it comes to these devices. Producers are competing on price, often beating the “normal price” before the normal materials increase and they have stock ready to ship.

Reduce Dollar Amount

Like most businesses in just about every industry, the recession has forced distribution facilities to reduce their spending. Before upgrading their facilities, many facility operators are retrofitting their current systems, squeezing every dollar they can from what they already own. Retrofitting can typically be done over long weekends, and there is a lot of risk to it. But partnering with the right team can mitigate that risk and deliver extreme paybacks.

Here’s an example. If your slat sorter is wearing out, you will need a new sorter in the next year or two. However, you can prolong your sorter’s life a bit more by implementing new chains and sprockets. While the maintenance team is conducting their Audit, examine the diverters to see if they are showing wear and determine which parts can be replaced. If you find that a large amount of switches need to be replaced, you will need to get on order early as most of the supplies that have been listed still have a longer than average lead time.

Ready to upgrade? If at any time you would like to upgrade your system, this could be an opportunity to explore the Lafayette Magnetic Sortation switch (LMS). The LMS switch can be used in a new system or, with minor adjustments, can be a drop-in unit to your current Hytrol sortation system. Learn more about the LMS switch here or give us a call at (844) 845-7580.

Recap: 2022 By The Numbers

Here’s a Look At The Numbers In 2022

In April 2022, we launched the Lafayette Magnetic Sortation Switch (LMS) – a conveyor system to help shipping facilities decrease noise, reduce wear & tear, and move more parcels more efficiently. Since the launch of LMS, our partners have posted some of the most dazzling peak shipping season numbers we’ve seen at Lafayette.

We installed five new sorters across four facilities, and 107 LMS switches have been manufactured and installed since the launch of Lafayette Magnetic Sortation Switch.

The average peak season is approximately 5 weeks, with Black Friday being the unofficial “kickoff.” This year started a bit earlier than usual, as shipping and online sales picked up around mid-November. 

One location with two sorters shipped 599,000 parcels over a 6 day period in November, at an average clip of 49,900 parcels per sorter per day.

Another facility with one sorter shipped 477,000 parcels over that 6 day stretch in November, at an average rate of 79,500 parcels per day by this one sorter.

These extraordinary numbers aren’t unusual for systems that have implemented magnetic technology. As is the case with many new product launches, though, there were slight adjustments to be made after we launched LMS. In roughly ten months since the public introduction of LMS, our team has adapted, learned in real time how to manage problematic situations, and reconfigured certain aspects to gain a more controlled version of every switch that leaves our shop.

With each installation, we continue to learn, analyze, and improve our product. Ultimately, our goal in 2023 is to lead the market in quality and performance when it comes to magnetic sortation systems. 

We’re just getting started – these incredible numbers are a sign of things to come in the future for Lafayette Magnetic Sortation.

If you don’t have a team of experts on your side to help you streamline your business, we would love to help you. Call us today at (844) 845-7580.

The New Hidden Value of Your Inventory

Lasting Effects of the Pandemic

Pre-pandemic times were much simpler. 

Two years ago, acquiring components and supplies was a simple process. If you needed supplies, you knew where to get them and for the most part, how long it would take to get them.

Supply Acquisition

But things are different in the post-pandemic world. It’s no secret that parts acquisition has become a challenging, and often maddening process.

For example, at LEI we can get about 90% of the material needed for assembling a panel through our typical, tried and true avenues. However, the remaining 10% of panel materials must now be searched for and acquired through non-traditional means.

Lead Time Variability

The supply chain issues brought on by the pandemic have also led to unthinkable lead times.In the post pandemic world, buying online is difficult with unprecedented lead times. This has become our new normal. Suppliers such as Allen Bradley are listing 30-35 weeks wait time for orders on their website, while some individual components are looking upward of 78 weeks. That’s unheard of! 

Inventory & Supplier Relationships

There’s nothing worse than being stuck in an ‘out of stock’ situation. 

To counteract the long and fluctuating lead times from suppliers, companies began to ‘stock-up’ on inventory as a way to prevent out-of-stock situations from happening during shortages. 

It’s crucial to maintain a steady relationship with suppliers and manufacturers during these times. When supply is in high demand, a supplier may allow a certain percentage of its inventory to key customers. This means that other customers may only get a small percentage of what they need for a specific component, resulting in disruptions to their production and a trickle-down effect that extends all the way to consumers.

Opportunity in Unlikely Places

 So, what do we do when that isn’t enough? We get creative.

At Lafayette, we’ve turned to “outside the box” methods to keep our operations moving fluidly. Where we were once able to easily find certain parts and supplies, we now have to scour the depths of the internet for! 

We’ve learned to get creative; making use of websites like eBay to fill in the gaps when suppliers fall short. 

Leveraging Your Inventory

This approach makes spare parts sitting on shelves much more valuable than ever before. Parts that are in your inventory may no longer be required if you’ve upgraded your system, but to others who have not upgraded, those parts are like gold — and they will pay good money for them. 

A shortage of inventory naturally adds a significant increase in price. As the old saying goes, “when supply is down, demand goes up.”  

A component like the safety input card 1734-IB8S is a perfect example. We normally buy a 1734-IB8S from our supplier for $393.58 (list cost being $648.72). However, these are currently selling new on Ebay from anywhere from $1,500 to over $2,000 each. Due to job demands, we have been forced to buy several of these in order to keep things moving as scheduled. 

That’s a 200-300% increase in cost.

And users like us are flocking to buy them because it is the only way to keep our systems functioning within an appropriate timeline. If you have accrued a surplus of parts and supplies for your systems that you no longer need, there is a massive opportunity to turn that surplus into profit.

The same can be said for end-of-life equipment. If there are parts needed for your system that are no longer being manufactured, your best bet is to find an online source who has an excess of those items to sell. 

3 Ways Around the Supply Chain Dilemma

Since 2020, LEI has spent over $500k on large surplus orders in an attempt to get ahead of the lead time madness.

That’s one way to do it. But here are a few other ways to get around the supply chain dilemma:

  • Substitute the part with a compatible part either from the same manufacturer or a different manufacturer.  
  • Buy material online from nontraditional sources like Ebay. Although you may have to purchase at a premium cost, it beats not having the part you need.  
  • Last resort, re-engineer the job. Although not ideal, if you cannot find the backlogged part online or expedite it from your vendor, you may have no other choice.  

It’s safe to say that any excess components are an advantageous commodity right now. Many manufacturers and even integrators have begun to list their surplus inventories and are making profits hand over fist. This may be a beneficial route for you as our industry continues to recover from pandemic-driven supply-demand issues.

If you don’t have a team of experts on your side to help you streamline your business, we would love to help you. Call us today at (844) 845-7580.

Shipping Delays & Material Handling: Causes and Strategies for Avoiding Delays

Since the start of the pandemic, online shopping has seen tremendous growth very quickly. According to the Census Bureau, e-commerce sales increased by 43% in 2020, and again by 14% in 2021. Some sources are projecting over 70% revenue growth from 2019-2023. 

While this is welcomed news for e-commerce brands, the surge in shopping created by the pandemic has made a mess of the global supply chain. Nearly 4 out of every 10 small businesses have experienced supply chain disruptions or delays in the United States. These disruptions are frustrating for customers, and anxiety-inducing for business owners who worry about losing their frustrated customers. 

On top of that, as competition within the industry increases, customers have come to expect shorter delivery times. And marketing shorter delivery times only intensifies the pressure that shipping and handling departments are feeling.

The material handling industry has been completely upended by this sudden high demand. Shipping delays have affected most major players on the world stage, like the US, China, Russia, and Ukraine, and the effects trickle upward from raw material suppliers all the way to the end users. 

In order for packaging facilities to process packages at a high rate, they must be able to depend on 3 things: proper equipment, staffing, and up-to-date technology.

These 3 components are crucial for packaging facilities to successfully navigate shipping delays. This post will highlight the main problems that a packaging facility faces related to shipping delays, how to plan ahead, and mitigate shipping delays.

Equipment and Parts

No packaging facility is cookie-cutter. Different products and packages require different approaches, different equipment, and carries its own unique set of challenges and requirements. If outfitted with the wrong (or outdated) parts and equipment, it can add an extra load of stress, especially during those peak seasons. Without every piece of the puzzle working together seamlessly, delays are inevitable

Outfitting your facility with up-to-date equipment is the best way to avoid pesky delays and costly downtime. Staying up-to-date requires an intimate knowledge of your own system and consistent dialogue with your installation partners and engineers.

Here are a few tips to keep your parts and equipment up-to-date:

  • Perform regularly scheduled checkups of your parts and equipment to ensure that you head off concerns before they become problems. 
  • Some parts wear quicker than others. Stay in front of these issues by keeping replacements for these parts handy. This is the simplest way to prevent downtime or delays.
  • Stay in touch with your installation partners, who can help you keep up with industry trends and ensure you know your systems inside and out.

Staff Shortage

The spike in consumer demands created its own issues for companies that sell products online. But on top of that, global worker shortages have made it extremely difficult for packaging facilities to process orders as quickly as they’re coming in. With fewer workers to carry out manual tasks, shipping delays are becoming inevitable. 

Although some are returning back to the workforce, staffing continues to be an issue for many companies. As a result, many packaging facilities are now looking to robotics and automation to speed up processes or fill in gaping holes. In fact, as many companies turn toward robotics and automation, we believe it’s becoming the way of the future

As staff shortages continue to plague many companies across various industries, there are a handful of ways to combat these shortages and reduce shipping delays.

  • Improve company benefits and perks.
  • Get help with recruitment.
  • Encourage opportunities for growth in the company.
  • Automate where you can.


Over the last 20 years, technology has been one of the most mercurial facets of material handling. The ever-changing technological front can make it difficult for facilities to stay up to date, which leads to inaccurate information and slower processing — which is ultimately what leads to delays.

But technology plays an increasingly important role in driving down costs and increasing speed and predictability within packaging facilities.

Practically speaking, there are a number of clear-cut ways you can leverage technology to reduce shipping delays:

  • Keep your current systems versions up to date.
  • Note parts and equipment that haven’t been replaced in awhile. Look for equipment that has improved dramatically over the years, and if replacement of this equipment makes sense for your business.
  • Monitor your parts and equipment a few months before peak season, so you aren’t caught off guard when the rush comes.
  • Maintain communication with your system engineers for them to analyze, review, and update your systems.

With the state of our global supply chains, it may not be possible to entirely eradicate shipping delays, but there are ways to stay proactive and mitigate those possibilities. While most shipping delays are caused by circumstances outside of your control, it’s never been more crucial to eliminate causes that ARE within your control.

And, the most significant way to stay on top of your game is to keep a body of support around your systems. 

Hiring a material handling partner can help you: 

  • properly analyze your systems
  • inspect your equipment
  • inform you of the potential improvements your facility
  • and most of all, help you to improve your processing systems on a consistent basis. 

If you don’t have a team of material handling experts on your side to help you streamline your systems, we would love to help you. Call us today at (844) 845-7580.

Turn-key Material Handling Services: What does it mean?

The term “turn-key” is tossed around quite often and has become a buzzword in our industry. But what does it really mean? And do most companies actually deliver turn-key services?

Though we can’t speak for other companies, here’s what the term “turn-key” means for Lafayette Engineering: we can handle any project internally from start to finish — from concept to implementation.

Essentially, turn-key services means we are a one stop shop.

It is the complete design, build, and installation of material handling equipment.

So what does our turn-key service process look like for clients? Let’s take a look.


The first step in a material handling project is the ideation or concepting phase. Every material handling project is unique because each client’s needs and facility specifications are unique. 

Right after initial contact, we begin to draft plans and work closely with the client’s team to design a system concept that is built specifically to suit their facility. At this point in the journey, we provide comprehensive design consulting for our customers and truly become an extension of their project planning team. 

Concepting is not only applicable to new systems projects. In fact, any system can be customized, upgraded, or retrofitted for optimum performance — with a keen eye for integration, of course. 

The whole point of concepting is to generate new ideas — to redefine the possibilities of facility production output.

Once an idea is born, it is ready to be made.

Mechanical Engineering

The next phase in our turn-key service is mechanical engineering — where ideas are brought to life. Concept drawings must be done quickly to speed the iteration process, so when we reach this phase, our engineers refine the concept drawing by designing it to meet your facilities specifications. 

From storage/picking, waves, packing, order matching, and sortation, our engineers work with the client’s team to ensure the best possible design to fit the needs of the facility.

Seamless Collaboration

Bridging the gap between mechanical engineering and control engineering is where true turn-key services are a massive advantage. With both engineering teams available working together in-house, communication is smoother, fewer mistakes are made, and ultimately, the next phase is scheduled faster.

The Control Engineering phase is one in which many material handling service providers rely on subcontracting to accomplish — and thus, this phase is where many projects stall. But seamless collaboration between our mechanical and control engineering teams is a huge advantage for our clients.

Control Engineering

Undoubtedly, the most important aspect of any conveyor system is the control system. 
Control Engineering is a hallmark of Lafayette Engineering. Once the mechanical engineering phase is completed, our Warehouse Control System (WCS) software application, Conveyor Works, seamlessly takes over.

Essentially, Conveyor Works acts in place of a controls team for Lafayette Engineering.

Conveyor Works uniquely combines extensive electrical engineering capabilities with the latest in technology and control devices to improve equipment utilization, increase system efficiency, reduce operational costs, and provide flexibility with your material handling systems.

What truly sets Lafayette Engineering apart in regards to turn-key material handling services, however,  is that we have a fully UL listed panel design and fabrication center located within our main office. 

This allows us to have ownership over the quality of every panel required for any given project — and we don’t have to rely on an outside source. From small push button enclosures to large motor control panels, each panel is rigorously tested by our in-house electrical engineering team prior to shipping, to ensure craftsmanship and operational perfection. An in house fabrication center also affords us the flexibility to work directly with customers on timelines and adjustments to specifications.


When it comes to installation, repair, and maintenance of conveyors, a turn-key material handling project should provide engineering, mechanical, electrical, and construction services.

The installation process can be tedious, so it’s best to work with a team that has ample experience in installing, moving, and liquidating rack, tear-outs, and conveyors and has plenty of experience with many types of equipment. 

When it comes to wiring the conveyor systems within a warehouse or other facilities, Lafayette represents the superior choice in field-wiring material handling systems. We provide our customers with well-trained, experienced electricians, capable of performing the most complicated projects under tight time constraints. Having oversight from one place, ensures we are able to communicate effectively and timely during all stages of a job.

PLC Installation & Testing

When the system is wired and ready for PLC installation and testing, our engineers arrive on site — the same team that worked together on the initial design of the project. They will first test to ensure that we are receiving inputs and that the outputs function correctly. They arrive with a base code ready to be deployed into the PLC, but every job has to be refined and tested to ensure that each product is moving as it should through the system.

WCS  Implementation

During testing, the WCS team works closely to make sure each of your systems has the correct information prior to implementation into the system. After it is finalized and implemented our team will work closely with the controls engineer and the facility’s WCS to ensure that each team is sending and receiving the correct message and to ensure that every product delivers to the correct location.

Go Live & Beyond

It’s time. 

After months of work to get a project to this stage, it is finally here. Our team will be on site to ensure that everything works as intended. Even though we have tested it as hard as we can, we can never simulate true working volume and real life situations. 

This is the final mile. A strong material handling partner is with you every step of the way until the final mile is completed. To ensure the system hand off is seamless, our team will be there to train and properly hand off the system to yours. Even after our team does leave your facility, we are still with you every step of the way with our “1 year 24 hour remote support.”

We never suggest replacing your staff entirely with robots, because humans play an integral role in a production facility. Robots cannot lead, develop innovative ideas, or solve problems. We will always need the human element in warehouse operations — with robots assisting our endeavors.

Want to learn more about robotics? Give us a call at (844) 845-7580 and see how we’re working to help customers like you save time, money, and growth.

Are Robotics the Future of Material Handling?

Five ways that robotics and automation can propel your business into the future.

As the economy begins to open back up, many assumed that everything would fall back into place as it were, and our economy would continue to charge full steam ahead. 

But that’s simply not what is happening. Labor shortages, strained and chaotic supply chains, and many other issues continue to plague economic progress in the wake of the global pandemic. Unemployment rates in the U.S are still being heavily impacted as a result.

As the workforce has been slow to return to work, many in the field have been forced to wear multiple hats, taking on tasks that were previously not required of them. As you might be able to imagine, this has devastating effects on productivity. Fortunately, the future has arrived, and new technology has afforded us the ability to automate more tasks, and keep production moving with fewer workers. The answer? Robotics. As the labor shortage continues, many companies will be forced to explore the implementation of robotics and automation within their warehouses, in order to keep up with production demands and maintain the happiness and health of their employees

In this article, we’re going to discuss 5 ways that robotics and automation can help your warehouse keep up with production demands and propel their operations into the future.

  1. Save time. Robots can easily handle the workload of multiple humans while committing fewer errors. Front-end investment in robotics will help your facility get more done in less time, while simultaneously reducing your overhead costs. While we cannot (and should not) totally remove the human element from our facilities, robotics can serve as a wonderful compliment to human effort within materials handling, and will increase your output without increasing your payroll.
  1. Better Access to Data. Through connected automated systems, logistics experts and facility managers have access to many types of data – at a much faster rate — than ever before. This setup affords us the ability to call upon data from a central location, issue new commands to automated guided vehicles, and make adjustments to other connected machines, all in an instant.
  1. Greater Flexibility. A crucial competitive advantage for production facilities and warehouses is flexibility — especially in today’s volatile supply chain climate. Automated material handling equipment gives factories and distribution centers this advantage. With robots performing tasks continuously at high speeds, factories are able to adapt more easily to curveballs such as changing customer demands, peak season, and volume volatility.
  1. Cost-effective growth. As robotics becomes more common, they are becoming smarter, faster, and cheaper. An initial investment in robotics and automation capabilities will allow small to mid-sized companies to grow without increasing labor costs. The operational cost of a robot is around $2-$3, and by automating the mundane, repetitive tasks, warehouses are able to shift human effort to more complex and valuable responsibilities.
  1. Improved Workplace Safety. Automating dangerous tasks is not a new idea. Facilities have used pallet jacks and lift trucks for decades to reduce the risk of injury to their employees. In the same way, robotics are being used to handle hazardous processes or materials, which benefits employees and companies, both. 

In order to remain competitive, warehouses must begin to rely more on robotics and automation. We never suggest replacing your staff entirely with robots, because humans play an integral role in a production facility. Robots cannot lead, develop innovative ideas, or solve problems. We will always need the human element in warehouse operations — with robots assisting our endeavors.

Want to learn more about robotics? Give us a call at (844) 845-7580 and see how we’re working to help customers like you save time, money, and growth.

Pitman Creek

Pittman Creek

Modern Materials Handling Magazine Article by Chad Young on Scribd

During the height of a global pandemic, Pitman Creek, one of the largest distributors of freshwater fishing tackle in North America, opted to consolidate two former warehouses and operate out of a new state-of-the-art facility in Stanford KY. From the beginning, this project was an unusual circumstance for Lafayette Engineering, due in part to challenging lead times and protocols for covid-19. And one huge advantage: being in such close proximity to our main office. 90% of our workload comes from out of state, so being located 15 minutes from the job site gave us a few options we typically don’t have. The LEI team took on the Mechanical installation, Electrical installation, Electrical Engineering, PLC controls, Human-machine interface, and Warehouse Control System, and a fixed deadline fast approaching.

With two panels on-site, we worked with the Allen Bradley Plc. in order to control the conveyor system. Sick Cameras were used to scan the totes in the picking area and boxes in shipping. It was the first time Lafayette using the Balluf communication blocks but in the end, they seemed to be a solid solution. And using the Panther P9 to print and apply the labels. After scanning, Lafayette’s Conveyor Works was used to deliver the message for the PLC to divert to which. Going through the right-angle Narrow Belt we were able to achieve XX rate with the customer spec XX.

In all, this upgrade resulted in a 250% improvement in picking, managing 40 units per minute, with shipping handling over 20 units per minute. With the help of the Hytrol Integrator HOJ Engineering, we were able to meet the customer’s deadline and hand over the system prior to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear officially opening the building in a ceremony on Oct. 28, 2021. This article from Modern Materials Handling Magazine highlights many of our triumphs in helping Pitman Creek to achieve its highest level of efficiency to date.