ProMat Presents Material Handling, Logistics Innovations

February 1, 2007
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ProMat Presents Material Handling, Logistics Innovations

By JENNIFER ZEGLER

ProMat 2007 showcased the latest innovations in the material handling and logistics industries. The Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA)-sponsored show attracted more than 35,000 national and international visitors to 736 exhibitor booths in Chicago on January 8-11. This year’s numbers represent an attendance growth over previous shows.

“Attendees came to ProMat 2007 not just looking for supply chain solutions, but ready to buy and implement them,” said John Nofsinger, chief executive officer of MHIA, in a statement. “And exhibitors came armed with their best solutions the industry has to offer. One highlight of the show is its diversity, from the diversity of the equipment and technology solutions on the show floor to the diversity of the companies attending, countries represented and unique challenges each faces to make their supply chains work more productively and profitably.”
This year, the show floor was grouped into five “show-within-a-show” solution centers. The expansive show floor organized booths into the areas for equipment, components and manufacturing solutions; fulfillment and delivery; information technology solutions; assembly logistics and support solutions; and knowledge. The knowledge center featured more than 70 educational seminars held on the show floor.
The next MHIA-sponsored trade event will be NA 2008-The 2008 Material Handling & Logistics Show and Conference, April 21-24, 2008, in Cleveland, Ohio. ProMat will once again be held the following year in Chicago. For more information, visit mhia.org or promatshow.com.  
Spiral conveyor
AmbaFlex highlighted the SpiralVeyor SVM for bottling and canning facilities. The mass flow spiral elevator features multiple tracks for single lane and mass flow of bottles or cans. The SpiralVeyor SVM can be used as an elevator or lowerator accumulation system for thousands of units in multiple floor levels. The company’s patented belt with lateral roller guides permits multiple windings, and several model options and material configurations are available. — AmbaFlex Inc., P.O. Box 210578, Bedford, Texas 76095; 877/800-1634; spiralveyors.com.
Protection systems
Chep Equipment Pooling Systems featured its Unicon BC storage device and Blue Guardian product protection system. The cubic-shaped Unicon BC lowers product damage with its high density polypropylene panels and steel base and frame. It has 2- or 3-inch fitments for easier discharge of high viscosity liquids in addition to a tilting base and low discharge outlet that minimizes residual product. Chep also introduced its Blue Guardian I-Beam shaped rubber bumper to reduce product damage. The Blue Guardian helps reduce damage to primary and secondary packaging of palletized products by redirecting the forklift impact. It is compatible with any Class II forklift carriage. — Chep Equipment Pooling Systems, 8517 South Park Circle, Orlando, Fla. 32819; 407/370-2437; chep.com.
Lift, hand trucks
Yale Materials Handling Corp. announced several innovations at ProMat. The company introduced the narrow aisle (NA) lift truck series featuring advanced ergonomic and improved performance and productivity, which is available in fore-aft and side-stance operator compartments. A new motorized hand truck with optional power steering has an AC traction motor and improved ergonomics. The new MPW-050-W Heavy Corrosive/ Wash Down Package walkie is a galvanized truck for demanding grocery and food applications. In addition, Yale debuted new pneumatic and cushion tire models for its Veracitor VX lift trucks. A new NTA-SB very narrow aisle, man-up turret trick for high-density warehouse applications was also introduced. — Yale Materials Handling Corp., 1400 Sullivan Drive, Greenville, N.C. 27834; 800/233-9253; yale.com.
Replenishment system
FKI Logistex launched a new automated replenishment system for less-than-full case picking, which is well suited for retail distribution and manufacturing. The system uses mini-load cranes to provide continuous, automated, demand-based replenishment that can increase order fulfillment and accuracy. It also ensures pick faces are continuously restocked to eliminate downtime. The mini-load crane can automatically reconfigure pick faces on-demand as SKUs change, which is ideal for handling short run and seasonal products. The system integrates a wide range of FKI Logistex technologies, including pick-to-light, EASYpick GoKart, RF devices, Accuzone 24-volt conveyors and Warehouse Optimizer control system. The company also featured new sorters, the LS400CB cross belt; LS-4000E tilt tray; and the new UniSort MXT software module at ProMat. — FKI Logistex, 9301 Olive Boulevard, St. Louis, Mo. 63132; 877/935-4564; fkilogistex.com.
Company acquisition
HighJump Software announced its acquisition of Canada’s Global Beverage Group Inc., a provider of delivery management solutions for direct store delivery of consumer packaged goods. The Waterloo, Ontario-based company has more than 500 consumer packaged goods companies to which provides shelf and product management solutions. The acquisition will help HighJump Software, a 3M company, continue to strengthen its ability to deliver supply chain execution solutions to meet the increasing demands of global supply chains. — HighJump Software, 6455 City West Parkway, Eden Prairie, Minn. 55344; 800/328-3271; highjump.com.
Air compressor
Hitachi America Ltd.’s Industrial Systems Division announced its new SRL Oil-free Scroll Air Compressor Technology. The SRL Oil-free model features a 100 percent oil-less design, patented Scroll Wrap with Alumite surface treatment, labyrinth seal, multi-stage cooling, integrated air receivers, quiet enclosure and Hitachi motors and air-ends. The compressor also includes microprocessor-based Cycle Control Logic that automatically elongates the Load/Unload cycle to avoid excessive restarting frequency and promote extended package life. — Hitachi America Ltd., Power and Industrial Division, 50 Prospect Ave., Tarrytown, N.Y. 10591; 914/524-6645; hitachi.us/ijp.
Case system
HK Systems introduced the Case-A-Matic Storage and Sequencing System. The system enables organizations to maximize multi-SKU order fulfillment, customize high-speed case sequencing, reduce transportation costs and improve direct store delivery practices. The Case-A-Matic Storage and Sequencing system offers a dense case storage solution designed to work with a wide variety of case and tote sizes to provide high-speed, less-than-pallet order fulfillment. When combined with automated palletizing, the Case-A-Matic generates mixed SKU pallets with a throughput of 400 cases per hour. It also includes three distance measurement sensors from SICK to ensure unvarying horizontal and vertical positioning accuracy. Integration with warehouse or equipment management software also is available. — HK Systems, 2855 South James Drive, New Berlin, Wis. 53151; 800/457-9783; hksystems.com.
Stretchwrappers
Wulftec offered new stretchwrapping innovations, including the Wring-500 and the semi-automatic Value Line. The Wring-500 automatic rotary ring wrapper offers high-speed stretchwrapping, pattern versatility, film-saving one-way wrapping, banding and split wrap capabilities. The machine also has radio frequency technology for reduced maintenance. The company’s Value Line pallet wrappers are another introduction for cost-effective pallet wrapping applications. The line ensures maximum efficiency while cutting labor and stretch film costs for affordability, versatility and reliability. Wulftec International Inc., 209 Wulftec, Ayer’s Cliff, Quebec, Canada J0B 1C0; 819/838-4232; wulftec.com.
New lift truck model
Komatsu Lift Trucks announced the new AX50 lift truck with internal combustion cushion and pneumatic tire models. The AX50’s features include Komfort Zone dual floating operator cabin, KOPS Plus to lock out lift and travel when the operator exits, K21 Tier 2-compliant ECCS high-torque engine in gasoline or LPG. The model also has single piece, fully insulated all-steel engine cover for reduced heat and vibration. — Komatsu Lift Trucks, 14481 Lockridge Boulevard, Covington, Ga. 30014; 800/980-8875; kfiusa.com.
Conveyor controls
Matthews Marking Products’ electronic controls subsidiary, Holjeron, featured three new controllers for conveyor systems. The new compact, user-friendly I-Mark SX 16 inkjet marking system offers additional memory for less cost than other carton marking systems. Character sizes range from half inch to 1.5 inch and the system can print on the top or sides of cartons. In addition, the company launched a UBT controller for high-level supervisory control, low-pressure accumulation controller and serial interface for ZPA conveyor line with Windows CP graphic user interface. — Matthews Marking Products, 6515 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15206; 412/665-2488; matthewsmarking.com.
Truck series
The Raymond Corp. featured its 4700 Series four wheel, sit down electric lift trucks and 8000 series pallet trucks. The 4700 Series trucks are maneuverable and responsive for increased operator efficiency and productivity. The trucks are simple to learn and operate with ergonomic controls. The series uses dual-powered, counter-rotating AC motors to allow the 5,000 pound Model 4700 C50HM to turn within its own footprint. Also displayed were the 8000 Series pallet trucks, which are built to withstand tough environments. The 8000 Series is made with thick steel pull rods, castings, forks and skid bars as well as a reinforced battery box to withstand heavy-duty applications. Available in four models, the trucks have an ergonomic design complete with Raymond’s CoastPRO system that can be activated with one hand. The Raymond Corp., South Canal Street, P.O. Box 130, Greene, N.Y. 13778; 607/656-2311; raymondcorp.com.
Compact controller
Rockwell Automation demonstrated the Allen-Bradley CompactLogix 1768-L43 controller. The controller is well suited for material handling applications requiring speed, motion synchronization and information-sharing capabilities, all in a small, modular footprint. The CompactLogix model controls up to four axes of motion in a single, integrated multi-tasking platform. It also supports a full range of networks, including DeviceNet, ControlNet and EtherNet/IP. In addition, the model eliminates the need for a battery, which can reduce maintenance and support issues. — Rockwell Automation, 10701 Hampshire Avenue South, Bloomington, Minn. 55438; 800/223-5354; rockwellautomation.com.
Floor coatings
Tennant offered new solutions in floor coatings for the beverage industry. Its Eco-ProTekt features three primary coating products for a durable coating that is able to withstand severe cleaning methods, presence of hot oils and corrosive acids, temperature variations, high-impact equipment and resist bacterial growth. The seamless coating is NSF-certified, meets USDA regulations and is available in beige, red, dark gray and light gray colors. Also available, is Eco-HPS 100 gloss urethane topcoat for high-image areas. Eco-HPS 100 gloss has UV stability and chemical resistance and comes in a number of stock and custom colors. Both coatings are part of Tennant’s Eco-Advantage family, which are virtually odor free, environmentally friendly, user friendly and VOC and VOS compliant. — Tennant, P.O. Box 1452, Minneapolis, Minn. 55440; 800/553-8033; tennantfloorcoatings.com.
Up/downward conveyor
Ryson International Inc. introduced a new Mass Flow Spiral Conveyor. Ryson’s spiral offers continuous upward or downward flow of full and empty bottles, cans, jars and similar containers. The Mass Flow Spiral Conveyor uses one drive motor for savings in controls and systems integration. The conveyors are shipped pre-assembled and are available with 8- or 12-inch wide slats with extended in and outfeed tangents to facilitate smooth side transfer to and from external conveyors. The company also launched a new generation of Spiral Conveyors with load capacities of 75 pounds per linear foot of conveyor for speeds up to 200 feet per minute. — Ryson International Inc., 300 Newsome Drive, Yorktown, Va. 23692; 757/898-1530; ryson.com.
Motion control devices
Schneider Electric offered its “smart” Lexium 05 motion control and Lexium 15 servodrives and servomotors. The Lexium 05 line was designed to ease integration and simplify start-up and operation of a machine. It also has accurate control in four modes, unrestricted communication and quality drives. Lexium 15 servodrives and servomotors are dedicated to the control of torque, speed and position of BDH and BSH servo motors for high performance applications. The line is available in a variety of power, size and communication options. Schneider Electric Motion Competency Center, Bergher Lahr Motion Technology Inc., 44191 Plymouth Oaks Boulevard, Suite 100, Plymouth, Mich. 48170; 734/459-8300; motioncompetency.com.
Mobile RFID reader
Symbol Technologies introduced the next-generation RD5000 Mobile RFID Reader. Designed for mobility, the RD5000 is cable-free, provides real-time wireless LAN connectivity and has motion-smart features to conserve battery power. The model can be installed on material handling equipment, mobile carts, portable skate wheel conveyors or hard-to-reach locations. Its rugged design allows for continuous use indoors or outdoors, including warehouse, retail floor, delivery zone and other challenging locations. The company also introduced an RFID-enabled shipping tag.  — Symbol Technologies Inc., One Symbol Plaza, Holtsville, N.Y. 11742; 800/722-6234; symbol.com.
Fleet Management program
UPS Logistics Technologies showcased Roadnet Anywhere, a management solution for small fleets of 10 trucks or less. The program’s Web-based platform provides daily manifests, maps and directions for increased driver performance and accountability as well as reduced miles and overtime for better profitability. It also has a Plan component, which finds orders, creates routes and generates maps, and Dispatch component that manages dispatch/driver communications and interactions. Another feature is Roadnet Anywhere’s pre-formatted, customizable operational, tactical and strategic reports. — UPS Logistics Technologies, 849 Fairmount Avenue, Suite 400; Baltimore, Md. 21286; 800/762-3638; upslogistics-tech.com.
Ink jet printers
Videojet Technologies featured the Videojet 2330 and 2310 large character ink jet printers. The printers provide repeatable, high-quality characters on secondary packaging as large as 2.75 inches and 0.66 inch, respectively. For maximum uptime, a patented automatic self-cleaning and self-maintenance system keeps printheads free of dust and debris throughout production. The touchscreen user interface displays ink use monitoring and low ink warnings. New ink can be added in sealed, non-pressurized containers without halting production. Both models are fully compatible with a suite of Package Coding Management software for centralized package coding and network control. — Videojet Technologies, 1500 Mittel Boulevard, Wood Dale, Ill. 60191; 630/860-7300; videojet.com., Videojet_Ink Jet Printers.jpg
Automated warehousing systems.
Westfalia Technologies showcased its automated storage and retrieval systems. Available in multiple storage layouts – from single to flowthrough – the systems help to manage inventory and distribution. The foundation of the systems is the Storage/Retrieval Machines, consisting of horizontal and vertical drive axes with the company’s patented Satellite pallet retrieval system. The company customizes each warehouse project to suit the application’s needs and can include cranes, conveyors, peripheral equipment and software. — Westfalia Technologies, 3655 Sandhurst Drive, York, Pa. 17406; 717/764-1115; westfaliausa.com.
Stretchwrapping innovations
Wulftec offered new stretchwrapping innovations, including the Wring-500 and the semi-automatic Value Line. The Wring-500 automatic rotary ring wrapper offers high-speed stretchwrapping, pattern versatility, film-saving one-way wrapping, banding and split wrap capabilities. The machine also has radio frequency technology for reduced maintenance. The company’s Value Line pallet wrappers are another introduction for cost-effective pallet wrapping applications. The line ensures maximum efficiency while cutting labor and stretch film costs for affordability, versatility and reliability. — Wulftec International Inc., 209 Wulftec, Ayer’s Cliff, Quebec, Canada J0B 1C0; 819/838-4232; wulftec.com. , Wulftec_Stretchwrapper.jpg
Lift, hand truck introductions
Yale Materials Handling Corp. announced several innovations at ProMat. The company introduced the narrow aisle (NA) lift truck series featuring advanced ergonomic and improved performance and productivity, which is available in fore-aft and side-stance operator compartments. A new motorized hand truck with optional power steering has an AC traction motor and improved ergonomics. The new MPW-050-W Heavy Corrosive/Wash Down Package walkie is a galvanized truck for demanding grocery and food applications. In addition, Yale debuted new pneumatic and cushion tire models for its Veracitor VX lift trucks. A new NTA-SB very narrow aisle, man-up turret trick for high-density warehouse applications was also introduced. — Yale Materials Handling Corp., 1400 Sullivan Drive, Greenville, N.C. 27834; 800/233-9253; yale.com. , Yale_Lift, Hand Truck Introductions.jpg

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