Package Handling
DCS’s design and engineering team has more than 40 years of experience creating unique parcel handling systems for diverse customer applications. With installations including semi-automated handling in small city distribution centers and fully automated, integrated hubs with advanced conveyor and sorter equipment, DCS routinely thinks outside the box.
E-Commerce and Multi-Channel Fulfillment
DCS designs and implements end-to-end warehouse automation solutions for e-commerce and multi-channel retailers that address numerous workflow challenges. This includes solutions for receiving, putaway, storage, replenishment, order fulfillment, picking, packing, sortation, and outbound shipping. Our custom integrated warehouse, distribution, and fulfillment systems draw from a deep pool of conventional, semi-automated, and automated material handling technologies.
Various Distribution Applications
Whether an operation is considering the construction of a new distribution or fulfillment center, or a retrofit or expansion of an existing facility, it’s important to create a solution that fits the overarching supply chain strategy. DCS has four decades of experience designing and integrating comprehensive, end-to-end material handling solutions that meet a multitude of operational goals. Whether conventional, semi-automated, or fully automated, DCS can help your organization implement a custom solution that meets its goals while maximizing return on investment (ROI).
Supply Chain Consulting
The DCS Supply Chain Consulting team offers a range of services to help your operations address the challenges it faces. Working in partnership with you, DCS consultants analyze your business data- existing workforce, workflow processes, inventory, order data, operations, and more- to determine a strategy that addresses your unique needs. Whether you need an operations assessment, process improvement recommendations, or distribution design services, DCS consultants will help guide you to the material handling system or operational solution that best meets your current and future needs, as well as your budget.
Customer Support
Keeping your warehouse operations and material handling systems running smoothly and at the peak of productivity are the goals of DCS’ Customer Service Team. By partnering with DCS, your warehouse automation solution is supported from commissioning to end of life. You’ll receive comprehensive in-house training of your personnel, including specialized training of your designated internal system expert. Plus, DCS offers a complete package of spare parts and expert system troubleshooting support from qualified engineers dedicated to your installation.
System Design & Integration
DCS offers a broad range of material handling equipment and automated system design, installation, and integration services for a multitude of projects. These include retrofits, expansions, upgrades, and more. While every project is unique, our system design and execution processes are the same, encompassing meticulous attention to detail, frequent communication, and a dedicated partnership with our clients.
About Us
Designed Conveyor Systems (DCS) has 40 years of experience serving major clients in multiple industries by providing material handling, full-scale warehouse operations, and conveyor design solutions that are custom crafted for their needs. DCS does not sell ready-made conveyor systems but builds relationships that empower collaboration to craft custom warehouse designs together. DCS utilizes consulting, engineering design, project management, installation services, and client support to ensure our customers can keep their promises to deliver on time.
With more than 40 years of experience providing automated system design, installation, and integration services, DCS has created solutions for companies throughout the United States in a broad range of industries and markets. We’ve completed more than 1500 projects ranging from greenfield facilities with completely new systems to expansions and retrofits of existing operations.

Attention Grabbing Automation at MODEX 2022 Addresses Current Handling Trends

As a member of the supply chain and materials handling industry for my entire career, I still get a thrill from seeing the latest technologies on display at tradeshows like the recent MODEX 2022. “Kid in a candy store” was heard more than once from my colleagues as they described my enthusiasm when touring the exhibits. I wasn’t alone in my excitement — more than 35,000 participants were there as well, and the energy was palpable. It was easily the busiest and most crowded MODEX I’ve ever attended.

Not only were people happy to be back at an in-person event, but there was also some serious tire kicking happening. Attendees were actively looking for solutions to their supply chain challenges.

With so many companies facing tremendous pressure to get products out the distribution center door — whether to replenish retail stores or to ship items direct to consumer — yet stymied by an extremely limited labor market, vendors are responding with new, more affordable automation. Solutions such as shuttle systems and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) that can be quickly deployed at a lower initial capital investment for a faster return on investment (ROI) were displayed throughout the show floor. These technologies are helping companies pick, pack, ship, and fulfill orders faster in order to remain competitive.

AMRs in particular have become a mainstay at tradeshows since they first debuted at ProMat in 2007. Their capabilities and applications have steadily increased over the years, according to recent research from Modern Materials Handling and Peerless Research Group. While the majority (63%) of robotic solutions in use today are used for picking, another 50% are used for sorting, and 31% for replenishment. The study also found that just 25% of operations use robotics evenly across five separate processes: transport of heavy or unit loads, case or tote transport, goods receiving and unloading, putaway, or order consolidation.

Those lower deployment percentages exist because currently the majority of robots are typically most successful in applications heavy on product consistency. That is, they’re best suited for handling standard sizes, common sizes, and similar weights. Anything outside a specific set of parameters requires human intervention.

One of the most difficult tasks for the successful application of robotic automation is unloading trailers of floor loaded cartons, cases, or boxes stacked in a range of configurations. Because the cartons are nearly always dimensionally inconsistent and stacked irregularly, manual unloading has historically been the most efficient way to unload these vehicles. Humans can easily adapt to the broad range of cases and their differing characteristics as they pick up and place each box on an accordion conveyor extended into the trailer.

But at MODEX I saw a solution that stood out to me as one that may have finally conquered this challenging application: the Stretch mobile robot for case handling and truck unloading from Boston Dynamics (the same company that brought us Spot, the dancing robotic dog that is also being used to inspect and monitor industrial safety).

Boston Dynamics had a demo in their booth at MODEX that featured Stretch unloading cases, and has already deployed the solution at DHL Supply Chain (the parcel carrier announced a $15 million investment in the technology in January). Stretch is a compact, omni-directional AMR topped with a multi-axis robotic arm sporting an adaptive gripper. The robot is packed with perceptive sensors and computer vision technology that enable the unit to detect and identify each carton, accurately pick it up, and gently place it on the unloading conveyor — no programming required.

What was particularly interesting to me was that the robot wasn’t especially fast, nor did it try to maintain control over the stacks of boxes. Instead, its programming sacrifices speed for an emphasis on reliability and accuracy.

For example, just like when a human unloads a trailer, boxes will fall to the ground. Whereas previous robots would have been impeded by this, Stretch “sees” what happened and responds by turning around to pick it up then place it on the conveyor. Human intervention is completely unnecessary.

And, when you consider how hot it can be to unload trailers in the middle of the summer at a warehouse or parcel sortation center receiving dock — such as those found at DHL hubs throughout the country — replacing a human with a robot that can work for a full shift without requiring breaks in a tight labor market is a no brainer. The speed of unloading is no longer as important as simply getting the job done. For that reason, I think we’ll be seeing more robotic solutions trend in this direction, and more companies deploying them throughout their operations.

What technologies at MODEX caught your eye? Connect with us and let us know.


Matt Ferguson, President,

Matt Ferguson serves as the President of Designed Conveyor Systems and leads the company with his 15+ years of industrial automation experience and five years in material handling. Matt received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University and began his career as an electrical and controls engineer for a systems integrator specializing in material handling and process automation. He has since grown through progressive roles within system integration, including project management, sales, and leadership. Outside of the office, you can find him spending time with his wife and six children.