USTMA sees 2018 tire shipments rising 1%

The shipping rates for U.S. tires are expected to rise 1 percent compared to 2017 according to reports from the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association.

Medium truck tires are the ones fueling this growth, according to USTMA figures. Original equipment truck and bus tires will rise 13.4 percent and replacement shipments are expected to rise 2.7 percent. Replacement passenger tire shipments are estimated to rise 0.7 percent, while replacement light truck shipments are expected to decline 0.3 percent.

For UMD, this means that tire makers will be shipping and sorting more tires than 2017. With this in mind, it’s important to remember efficiency and the bottom line impact. The faster and more efficient a tire sorting operation is, the more tires are produced.

UMD creates complete state-of-the-art material handling solutions for leading manufacturers in various industries with special emphasis in Tire and Rubber and Tier 1 Automotive. And while every customer offers unique products or services, the need to improve efficiency, maintain quality standards, and plan for change is common to all. At UMD we consider these overall company needs with every system that we design, no matter how specific the application. We know from experience that every solution built for today must include a plan for the future. We are experts in material handling systems and process development. In today’s competitive and ever-changing manufacturing environment, we have to be.


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Types of Industrial Conveyor Systems

Conveyors play a large role in streamlining multiple processes in manufacturing, warehousing, packaging, and distribution sectors, among others. Tasks such as product conveying, and positioning, which were once difficult and time-consuming, have now been made easy with the help of automated conveyor systems.

There are many makes and models of conveyors available that contribute to the automation several challenging and time-consuming material handling tasks. This blog is meant to familiarize you with some of the popular types of conveyors widely installed in industrial applications.

Popular Types of Industrial Conveyors

As a customer, you may often get confused to make an informed purchasing decision from the many conveyor options available.

Plastic Belt Conveyors

When your applications call for conveying items in bulk, then plastic belt conveyors are a smart decision to implement. Both packaged and loose products can be transported to preferred locations by using belt conveyors. The conveyor system guarantees safe and effective conveyance of delicate products.

Sanitary Conveyors

These conveyors are ideal for applications demanding extreme hygiene. They are produced utilizing stainless steel components that can withstand regular wipe downs and high-pressure washdowns. The components of the conveyors will not wear easily despite frequent wash downs using industrial cleaning agents.

Stainless Steel Conveyors

These conveyors are the perfect choice for applications in extreme environments. For example, conveyors used in the oil and gas industry are regularly exposed to dust, moisture, oil, and other contaminants. Prolonged exposure to these contaminants leads to corrosion. For applications in such environments, prefer choosing stainless steel conveyors as they can withstand the hostile conditions exist in the application areas.

USDA Conveyors

Consider choosing these conveyors for applications in the food processing, pharmaceutical, and dairy industries. Manufactured from polished stainless steel, the conveyor unit features USDA approved belting, high end wash down components and lightweight conveyor belt.

Elevation Conveyors

These are ideal for applications demanding high-speed elevation of products in bulk quantities. These types of conveyors feature excellent load bearing capacity, relatively high operating speed, and modular design.

When choosing the conveyor system that is right for your operation, UMD is here to help every step of the way and advise on certain systems. We have knowledge in different industries and conveyor systems.


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3 Tips To Keep Your Conveyor System Up and Running

Between the challenges of today’s economy and decreasing budgets, many businesses are faced with the question of keeping deteriorating conveyor systems operating well past when they would usually be retrofitted or done away with.

However, there are options for those companies that don’t have the pleasure of upgrading to a brand new, state-of-the-art conveyor system. Below are tips to upgrade your aging conveyor system.

Hire A Maintenance Technician

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make do is either not hiring a maintenance technician or underpay one. A good technician will correct small problems before they become too big to fix. It comes down to paying someone to manage the system or letting the system fail and buying a new one. Would you rather spend money on lost sales and unhappy customers when your system goes down and you can’t get the product out the door, or on a great maintenance technician?

Keep Up on Maintenance

If you only plan to fix things when they break, you’re going to be very busy fixing stuff. Mechanical equipment, including conveyors, must be maintained. Different parts of your system require different levels of preventive care. It’s no different from a car. Follow the recommended service schedule, and it will run longer. Don’t perform service on the car, and you’ll constantly be sitting on the side of the road. A competent supplier should be able to work with you to develop a comprehensive preventive maintenance plan. By following this, you will ensure yourself maximum system up-time.

Obsolete Equipment and Parts

Sometimes money doesn’t allow replacing entire systems. However, it’s important to stay current on what conveyor and parts of your system are out-of-date and no longer being manufactured. Knowing this can help you and your company makes wise business decisions. For example, if we know a particular type of conveyor is no longer being manufactured, we may determine it would be more financially wise to stock additional spare parts for this piece of equipment than replace it in its entirety.


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Why Are Installation Drawings for Your Material Handling System Important?

Detailed material handling system installation drawings lead to successful projects. Material handling system drawings are a key piece when proposing a new system. If they don’t make sense, it can interfere with discussions and the final outcome of the system installation. Once the proposal stage is complete and the job has begun, where do your drawings go from there?  Do you start on finishing your building model? Do you start on the final layout drawings of the system? Or do you start on the details?

There can be many levels to installation drawings. These drawings need to be conveyed in a way that the supply chain manager and the engineer can work together to achieve their main goals. In other words, the person creating the system installation drawings should take into consideration all that the manager wants to achieve to deem if it is possible or if there are other options.

Successful System Installation Drawings

Building Model

To have effective drawings, you need to have an accurate building model with everything that could affect installations. If you don’t have an accurate building model, your design and budget could take a hit. You need to dimension all columns, paths or egress, building expansion joints, building joists, etc.


The most difficult part of a large project and project team is ensuring good communication. Communication is the most important tool when drawing a system because if you have multiple people involved in the building of conveyor lines there is always the possibility of things getting lost in translation.

We will study the data you provide us regarding SKU numbers, product movement, pallet and container footprints, and reorder points. We will take the time to learn your operation, determine what works well, and find what areas need improvement Our complete operational analysis allows us to not only fix areas that need improvement but enhance your current success as well.

As a company grows, you must make changes to accommodate the growth while maintaining standards for your conveyor systems. Not every conveyor system is a one size fits all. The engineers at UMD Automated Systems are here to help you every step of the way. Contact Us to learn more about our design and build services and how our complete warehouse solutions can increase production, improve worker safety and give a great ROI.

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Top 5 Material Handling Trends Changing the Industry

Is your company adapting to keep up with new trends and preparing for the future? In order to remain competitive, staying well informed of what’s coming ahead is essential. The following are 10 material handling trends making great changes and improvements in the material handling industry today and in the future.

1. Changing Workforce

The workforce in material handling is getting older, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find qualified candidates entering the workforce who possess the necessary skills. The direction suggests that over the next decade, this industry should join with the government and educational system to help expand demographics to including women, younger workers, disabled workers, and veterans.

2. E-Commerce

E-commerce growth has vastly increased the need for shipments to be trackable in real time from the moment an order is placed for delivery. It’s also becoming more popular to have 2-day and same-day shipping for online orders, making it necessary to have inventory in-stock at multiple locations and same-day processing.

3. Mass Personalization

As customized and personalized order requests become more common, businesses are required to have flexible manufacturing and automation systems. Also, consumers expect personalized goods at mass production prices. Businesses need to increase their capabilities to support more diverse orders with shorter turnaround times than in the past

4. Robotics and Automation

Robotics and automation systems have helped businesses keep up with growing demands while remaining cost-efficient. These advances in technology also assist in smooth order picking, real-time tracking, and many other processes. Automated sorting systems are becoming more affordable and available in various versatile configurations to accommodate single piece picking in part-to-picker and picker-to-part configurations. Additionally, high-speed automation is leading to technology that can load and unload trucks at the pallet and carton level. Over the next decade, the material handling industry should expect to become more immersed in automated processes.

5. Sustainability

The industry has begun developing standard and accepted metrics to assess environmental impact. As consumers become better understanding of the environmental consequences of the products they purchase, transportation and material handling companies should continue working toward reducing their energy use and environmental footprint.


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Implementing An Automation System

Automation isn’t a desire, it’s a need. Every plant operations manager is aware of this need and the impact it has on the overall safety, reliability and economic efficiency. Still, companies are sometimes suspicious of adopting such technologies as the risk for failure is significant while the margin of error near to zero. This is especially true in large-scale industries where even a single hour of downtime due to delayed or malfunctioned automation can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of losses.

Connectivity, complexity, testing reliability of hardware/software and staff satisfaction are just a few of the many issues that a plant can face if an upcoming automation is pending. Nonetheless, these are not reasons, sufficient for abandoning the automation of a system, irrespective of its size. In retrospect, following a few simple best practices can go a long way and save any automation implementation from being put on the back-burner.

Reality Based Development

One of the major problems managers face is coping with the budget. As soon as they overflow their limitations, a nervousness arises and the entire team tries to cut corners wherever possible. Doing so only hurts the functionality and reliability of the system being developed, which could lead to greater operational and maintenance costs than planned.

Starting off with a realistic budget is the key to success in such matters. Automation managers often try to accomplish more with fewer resources. However, if from the very start they work on an optimistic schedule and budget, they would face no issues throughout the development and implementation.


Any plant, big or small, should be developed along lines that would allow easy-expansion in the future. Machine interfaces form a core part of any industrial automation system, and in order to ensure smooth operations, all parts should be coherent and in-phase with each other.

This means that the user-interface should be designed in such a manner, that the feel of the interface remains the same around all corners of the plant. Furthermore, the user should be such that it sits well with the staff automatically, providing functions which were previously non-existent.

Next, a well-executed asset optimization strategy should be in place to take care of any maintenance requirements in an organized manner. It should be able to track the cause of failures, identify root causes and in the end, recommend actions that can bring the asset back online. Moreover, the asset management system should be aware of the current state of each machine and recommend diagnostic actions on its own before the asset is completely unusable. Only such strategies would ensure smooth operation, proving the system’s ability and its worth over the previous one.

If you’re seeking a partner for your next automation or controls project, contact one of our experienced engineers to schedule a free on-site visit.


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Industrial Services Offered by UMD

UMD Industrial Services make sure that your systems are set up properly and operating safely. Our services include training and installation as well as custom work such as relocation of existing equipment, system retrofitting and more! We offer these services in order to best serve our customers.

On-Site Training 

UMD offers complete, on-site training services by qualified personnel. Our training staff will make sure that you understand how to operate our equipment safely and efficiently. They will also address any questions or concerns that you may have. This is the perfect opportunity to ask in depth questions about the equipment, in order to be relay the information to your staff.


UMD offers comprehensive installation services for every product that we build! Installation is one of the most important parts of the process. All work is performed by factory trained and certified installation personnel and our installation services are guaranteed. We install equipment in any type of operational environment and strive for no disruption of your work schedules. We will work with the company and their staff to ensure that the installation schedule works best for all parties involved. Our goal is always to provide efficient installation services wherever and whenever you need them.

Custom Services

UMD also offers a variety of custom services designed to complement our traditional business. By combining our custom services to best suit your needs, you will have all the resources necessary to complete your project on-time and on-budget. And all provided by a trusted partner who understands your business.

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U.S Demand for High-Performance Tires Continues to Rise

The demand for high-performance tires in the U.S. increased in 2017 for the eighth straight year, increasing their share of the OE and replacement markets to nearly 56 and 46 percent, respectively, according to the latest U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) data.

Aftermarket shipments in the U.S. of tires H-Rated and higher rose 9.1 percent last year to 92 million units, a volume that represents 44 percent of all aftermarket shipments, up from 41 percent in 2016. Viewed more closely, aftermarket shipments of H-rated tires rose 11.7 percent to 48.8 million units; V-rated tires rose 8.4 percent to 25.8 million units; and Z-rated were up to 3.6 percent to 17.4 million units.

What does that mean for UMD Automated Systems?

It is great news for not only our company but for our industry as well. The tire manufacturing process of our business involves a series of specialized operations with precise requirements for temperature and pressure control, component splicing, measurement and testing. UMD can help you every step of the way with equipment that will meet or exceed quality standards will improving productivity throughout your operation.

With the demand for high-performance tires on the rise, our engineers will continue to work and evolve the product that our company currently produces as well as work to enhance our products to better meet the needs of the consumer.

Read the full article from Tire Business about the U.S. Demand for High-Performance Tires here:

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UMD JIT Trailer Conveyor Systems

Have you checked out the JIT Trailer Conveyor Systems in action? UMD loading/unloading systems help move trailers away from the dock faster than ever saving time and money. Our loading/unloading systems can build trailer loads to shipping manifests or bulk load. Product is then pre-conveyed to the dock before the truck arrives resulting in shorter load/unload time and maximum productivity.

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UMD’s Production Process


In order to best serve our customers, it is important to know how we do things here at UMD Automated Systems. The Production Process plays is a crucial piece of the puzzle in regards to accomplishing our goals and completing projects. This process covers every aspect of product development from concept design through operation. Without fail, we apply this process to every project we engage. Our project engineers guide the project team through each phase of production to ensure that our company’s high standards are maintained from start to finish.

Concept Phase

Our design engineers work directly with our customers to define their exact goals and expectations for the project. This is where we define the details from initial concept through finished product. We take everything our customers have to say into consideration while paying close attention to their application needs, the operating environment and the usage of the equipment. We want to make this a true joint collaboration, driven by our belief that detailed planning leads to effective design engineering and precise, efficient manufacturing.

Design Phase

UMD engineers develop a product design based on the initial discussions during the concept phase. As the design work evolves, we often develop new innovations and architecture which improve the original concepts. Where appropriate these are added to the design and final specifications are committed to an engineering blueprint.

Production Phase

This includes construction and modification of the parts needed to assemble the final product. UMD fabricates each component based on the exact specifications provided in the engineering design print. From there, it is time to assemble the parts into a working model of the product and add finishing applications.

Setup and Testing Phase

Once production is completed, the assembled, working model is rigorously tested using actual customer products. We will then perform a complete diagnostic and process test on all working parts of the product, paying special attention to the structural components and overall assembly of the product.

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