The Material Handling Industry of America showcased material handling and logistics solutions at ProMat 2011 from March 21 to 24 at McCormick Place, Chicago. The show featured the products and services from more than 700 material handling and logistics providers and displayed many options for the beverage industry.

AmbaFlex provided information on its SprialVeyor SV300 “Slim Line” for packing and palletizing lines. The product features a compact design to save on floor space and keep aisles and working areas free, the company says. The spiral elevator of the “Slim Line” diameter is less than 4 feet compared to 6 or 5 feet of traditional spiral elevators, it says.

Big Ass Fans introduced Yellow Jacket, a portable, durable fan. Yellow Jacket features a 0.5 horsepower motor that uses 400 watts at full speed and includes 11 speed settings. It also is engineered with Powerfoil-inspired blades, a heavy-gauge steel cage and oversized wheels, and an ergonomic handle for maneuverability. The Yellow Jacket also is equipped with an IP45-rated motor and controller allowing for spray down cleaning and an easy-to-use locking position mechanism, the company says.

Buckhorn Inc. unveiled Maximizer, its new class of pallet-sized, collapsible containers featuring an integrated pallet and lid system. Maximizer is designed as an alternative for corrugated bulk container users. It also offers a solution for shipping and storing light-duty dry goods to maximize productivity, cost savings, safety, space usage and sustainability, the company says. It is 100 percent recyclable, holds up to 1,000 pounds and has a 48-inch by 40-inch by 41-inch footprint. The product also folds flat and contains no sharp edges, staples or nails.

Chep provided information on its new material handling simulator in Orlando, Fla. The simulator is a testing facility for pallets and customer unit-loads that can measure handling impacts throughout the entire distribution lifecycle, the company says. The lab features testing machinery that simulates distribution and supply chain conditions to measure pallet damage and performance.

Clark displayed its new full line of pallet jacks at the trade show. The Clark hand pallet jacks’ standard features include rugged heavy duty frames of steel that are lightweight and offer strength as well as reinforced forks to provide added strength with tapered ends for easy pallet entry, the company says. It also features hydraulic pumps complete with a special lowering valve to allow a controlled rate of descent along with an overload bypass valve. An additional foot release pedal provides operation versatility. Steering is capable at a 200-degree pivot action to allow greater maneuverability with 7-inch polyurethane wheels, sealed bearings and “ball-thrust” steering. The Low Profile Jacks have 6-inch wheels and the Heavy Duty Jacks have an articulating axle that allows for level transport of loads on uneven floors.

Columbia Machine Inc. featured information on its SP4000 Palletizer. The product is a small footprint, high-capacity palletizer capable of forming patterns with gaps in both directions using a bi-parting stripper apron, the company says. The company also had information on its new FL1000-SW, which combines a rugged, heavy-duty small footprint palletizer with the added functionality of a fully integrated stretch wrapper, it says.

Corbi Plastics shared information on its second generation extruded polypropylene plastic sheet for aluminum cans. The solid plastic layer pads/divider sheets are designed for re-use and offer greater cleanliness, strength and moisture resistance than corrugated or solid fiberboard divider sheets, the company says. The company also shared that it will introduce pallet washing services at its Chicago service center.

Conroll demonstrated use of its ShaftDrive conveying system. The products feature 24VDC brushless motors, have no exposed belts or guards and is an IP65-rated sanitary module for wash-down. Modules available are Zero Pressure (ZPA), Low Pressure Accumulation, Transport, Non-powered and Tapered Roller Curve.

Continental featured its newest product offering of its tire line, the PT18. The full-sized press-on-band tread was designed for the North American market, providing a wider footprint and increased lug to void ratio to assist on uneven and wet surface areas such as loading docks, outdoor applications and ramp inclines, the company says. PT18 is available in Continental’s Elastic low-rolling resistant Standard and Clean Compound tires in a variety of sizes.

Dematic and Crown Equipment Corp. announced an alliance to collaborate on research and development of new products that improve warehouse and distribution center productivity. The companies introduced LaserTrucks+, the first product resulting from the alliance. LaserTrucks+ is an integrated solution that combines Dematic picking and voice software suite and Automated Guided Vehicle guidance technology applied to a Crown PC 4500 Series rider pallet truck that will increase case picking productivity in the warehouse, the companies say.

Hyster unveiled its highly durable E30-40XN electric lift truck. With lifting capacities of 3,000 to 4,000 pounds, the series offers significant performance and versatility for a variety of material handling applications, the company says. The series features newly designed operator compartments and allows for 16 percent more floor space. It also relocated multifunction displays that ensure enhanced visibility and precise pallet control and improved brake pedal layout. E30-40XN also has an Auto Deceleration System, which reduces operator fatigue, and a steel hood that provides for maximum battery service access. In addition, various elements were on display throughout the booth focusing on total cost of ownership, such as The Hyster Manufacturing Advantage video and the new benefits of the heavy-duty walkie rider.

IFCO Systems featured information on its Pallet Management Services, which specializes in the procurement, reconditioning and distribution of wood pallets to and from the manufacturing and retail sectors.

Intelligrated and Swisslog announced the formation of a strategic alliance in North America to provide highly integrated material handling solutions. Swisslog’s Warehouse Automation products and integration services will be available alongside Intelligrated’s U.S. manufactured technologies and regional network. Intelligrated also introduced new products, such as the InControlWare Warehouse Control System (WCS). The InControlWare WCS now fully integrates control for IntelliSort tilt-tray and cross-belt sorters to ensure optimized material flow, efficient order fulfillment, streamlined communication and complete facility control and visibility, the company says. The company also launched and demonstrated its Real Time Solutions Trak3 xD and Track3 xL extended display pick-to-light system. Both systems offer dual-shelf pick face and replenishment slotting capability. Also new is Intelligrated’s PLC-controlled Alvey robotic palletizer, which use a programmable logic controller to improve line integration, response time and overall productivity while reducing operator and maintenance training, the company says. The display of the PLC-controlled Alvey robotic palletizer used a Kuka KR100 robotic arm and custom-programmed Rockwell Automation controls.

Intralox shared information about its Activated Roller Belt technology. The conveying concept can be applied in a variety of applications, from sorting to merging. Solutions include its 90-Degree Transfer, which orients and positions packages properly. It allows the line to stay productive and eliminates the risk of product damage and line jams, the company says.

JBT Corp. demonstrated application of the Automatic Guided Vehicle (AGV) System. AGV includes several types of vehicles that provide material handling throughout the manufacturing process, from the automatic delivery of raw material and work-in-process goods to the storage and retrieval of finished goods. The vehicles also can change their own batteries. The company also provided pictures and a video of AGV application.

Kuka Systems Corp. provided information about its solutions for robotic layer picking, layer forming and mixed case palletizing. The company also had information on its new product KR 180-2 PA Arctic, which can be used for deep-freeze palletizing applications.

Linde Material Handling showcased many of its products at the trade show including its RX60C models, which feature a deep-well battery compartment. The forklift combines the advantages of IC and electric-powered trucks as well as longer service intervals and precise braking, the company says. It also has indoor/outdoor tires and has a load capacity between 5,000 and 6,000 pounds. The company also featured its RX60L models that have a load capacity between 5,000 and 7,000 pounds.

Nilfisk-Advance Inc. offered information on its rider scrubbers. The company offers its Condor and Condor with EcoFlex System, which are available in 40-, 45- or 48-inch disc or cylindrical scrub paths. They contain a 70-gallon solution and recovery tank and also feature UltraFlow squeegee system with 100 percent water recovery that leaves the floor dry. Condor XL also is available. It is an industrial cylindrical scrubber (48 inches) with a side scrub (60 inches) dual side sweep (62 inches) or right scrub/left sweep (67 inches). It contains a 100-gallon solution and recovery tank and includes the AXO Onboard Detergent Dispensing System.

Orbis Corp. featured displays and information on its new 44-inch by 56-inch Optimal Container Pallet (OCP). The pallet is designed for conveying a wide variety of PET and metal containers. It is lightweight as well as durable and impact resistant to protect transport product, the company says. The pallet is dimensionally compatible with many palletizers, depalletizers, automatic strapping/banding systems and conveyors, it adds. The company also featured its new 40- by 48-inch Stack’R pallet that is designed for storage, shipping and handling of products. It can be used in both stacking and lightweight racking applications. It is available with an open or a solid deck.

Rehrig Pacific Co. showcased its Plastic Slip Sheets at the trade show. The solution is available in standard and customized sizes as well as thickness and surface textures. Plastic Slip Sheets also are sustainable because of its tear resistant, high-pull strength HDPE resin and contains 100 percent recyclable material. Compared to wood pallets the slip sheets are lighter weight and take up less space, the company says.

Retrotech Inc. offered two seminars for attendees. Session One discussed how to properly plan and execute an automated storage and retrieval system modernization project to restore systems to the same standards of current high-quality and optimally performing systems. Session Two covered specific practices and procedures to safeguard employees from unexpected energizing or startup of machinery or the release of hazardous energy during maintenance activities.

Ryson displayed equipment and provided information on products. The company shared product information on its Mass Flow Spirals, which are designed to handle full and empty bottles, cans, jars and similar containers. Products are conveyed up or down in a continuous mass flow. It also has a small footprint to offer space savings, the company says. Mass Flow Spirals can be delivered with 12-, 16- and 20-inch wide slats with capacities of up to 800, 1,200 or 2,000 bottles or cans a minute, it says.

Savoye Inc. demonstrated its PTS Storage Retrieval System during ProMat. PTS is a fully automatic high-density storage and retrieval miniload system and is highly flexible and scalable, allowing for fast and accurate order picking and buffering, the company says. The PTS system uses standard modular components allowing for maximum pick and replenishment productivity, pick accuracy, a highly ergonomic interface, optimal cube for various sized cases, system flexibility and is scalable for future expansion capability, it says. Savoye announced in February that it completed an agreement to purchase all outstanding shares of Retrotech Inc., which the company also addressed at a press conference.

In addition to announcing its alliance with Intelligrated, Swisslog displayed its AutoStore solution for order fulfillment and inventory storage for its 3PL operations. The AutoStore system fits into existing buildings and the grid can be tailored to customer’s needs, the company says. The total performance of the system is controlled by different parameters. Each installation will have a unique configuration that is adjusted to the customer’s need. The type of logistics and the picking speed requirement determines the number of ports and robots, the company says.

The Raymond Corp. released a case study that involved Malin Integrated Handling Solutions, an authorized Raymond Sales and Service Center that provides expertise in custom materials and handling solutions. Raymond Corp. also displayed its Raymond Model 4250 Counterbalanced Truck, which features the ComfortStance suspension to improve operator comfort. It also offers a compact footprint and agile steering for precise maneuvering in tight spaces.

Westfalia Technologies introduced Savanna.NET Warehouse Management Software version 2.3 at ProMat 2011. Key features of Savanna 2.3 include real time 3D visualization of the warehouse, a dashboard for tracking key statistics of warehouse operations, streamlined user rights management interfaces, and improvements to the order picking module for integrating third-party picking solutions, such as high-speed layer picking and mixed layer picking, the company says. Savanna 2.3’s 3D visualization allows users to view the warehouse from any angle, including walking through it. Individual SKUs can be identified and filtered as can warehouse zones. Like all other aspects of Savanna, this 3D visualization module is flexible enough to be integrated into warehouses controlled by other warehouse management systems, where Savanna Warehouse Control System is used.

Yale Materials Handling Corp. showcased its new MPE060-080VG end rider series. Engineered to withstand heavier duty cycles, the new MPE060-080VG series with a capacity range of 6,000 to 8,000 pounds, meets customer needs in extreme operating conditions. The MPE060-080VG series’ undercarriage has been enhanced with more robust tie bars, frame sections, linkages, casters and bearings to provide greater strength and stability, which equates to steadier load handling, longer up time and greater durability, the company says. Reinforced with 25 percent more steel, the MPE060-080VG series’ forks are designed to provide superior pallet entry and exit, it says. The fork tips are specifically designed for smooth pallet entry.

Zebra Enterprise Solutions exhibited information about its Visibility Server Software (VSS), an integrated software package that provides all the tools required to design, configure, operate and troubleshoot the WhereNet Real Time Locating System (RTLS). Among the software components is WhereSoft Locate, which is a set of services that detects and computes the locations of RTLS tags and makes this information available to third parties and WhereNet business applications using WhereNet API. The company also had information on its WhereLAN Location Sensor and Locating Access Point, developed by WhereNet as part of the RTLS solutions. They provide infrastructure for locating assets and receiving data telemetry. The Time Difference Of Arrival technology also provides accurate location performance, the company says. BI