ProMat 2009: Must-See Products and Technologies

Dec. 1, 2008
Check out the latest tools and techniques to improve material handling performance.

Fleet Management
Access Control Group announces Vigilant Lite, a mobile asset management system for equipment fleets. Often, says the manufacturer, firms cannot justify the cost of an expensive system, yet they still need to comply with regulatory requirements and corporate safety standards. Vigilant Lite is described as a lift truck management system incorporating feedback from dealers and OEMs. Features include operator access controls, electronic pre-shift safety checklists, impact sensors, hour-meter readings and an optional interface to integrate with lift truck controller software. Vigilant Lite can interface with the company’s noninvasive battery monitor, CellTrac, and real-time battery gauge, CellVue.
Access Control Group

Automated Picking
Axium showcases its ROP (robotic order picking) 600, designed to reduce bottlenecks in distribution centers. Cube IQ software indicates to an automated storage/retrieval system (AS/ RS) the sequence in which to release cases and tells the robot where to place cases on a mixed pallet.

The ROP 600 includes an articulatedarm robot equipped with an ultra-slim end effector, which picks the cases from the infeed case conveyor and places them on the stretch wrapper. After being wrapped, the mixed pallet leaves the robot cell via the pallet conveyor.
Axium Industrial Automation

Electric Motors
Baldor Electric Co. designs, manufactures and markets industrial electric motors, power transmission products, drives and generators. The company also offers batteries, chargers, power systems and controls. Its brands include Baldor, Dodge and Reliance.
Baldor Electric Co.

New Wheel
Colson Caster presents its Triumph wheel, designed for tow-line, automotive and tire manufacturing applications. The Triumph wheel is built for loads of 1,200 pounds per wheel and is available in four models. The nonmarking, polyurethane wheels are available with either round or crown tread, which can negotiate obstructions better than flat tread units, Colson says. All models resist damage from chemicals, acids, oils and other caustic substances and can handle temperatures from -40 °F to 180 °F.
Colson Caster Corp.

Low-Profile AGVs
Creform displays its automated guided vehicle (AGV) components and systems, along with new drive units, power supplies and guidance layouts. The company also features its new BST, which features an ultra low-profile drive system measuring only 190 millimeters high. The drive unit travels along a guidepath, slides under a stationary cart equipped with a BST interface and then moves the cart to designated workstations. The unit can be equipped with Creform’s optional Course-10 multi-route controller, which provides directions for 10 routes with 99 commands per route. Standard guidepath systems consist of magnetic tape placed on the floor.
Creform Corp.

AGVs and AS/RS
Daifuku America Corp. and Jervis B. Webb Co., both affiliates of Daifuku Co., will jointly exhibit for the first time. Webb and Daifuku will demonstrate how an automated storage/retrieval system (AS/RS) integrates with two automated guided vehicles (AGVs). Daifuku will show a unit-load AS/RS, which features a high-density pallet buffer that maximizes vertical storage space while maintaining a compact footprint. The Daifuku unit-load AS/RS will transfer and receive palletized loads from a SmartCart AGC and SmartLoader automatic trailer-loading vehicle. The 2000 SmartLoader can move loads weighing 2,500 pounds and is available with single-, double-, or single side-shift forks. Webb’s SmartCarts are available in roller-conveyor, tugger or scissor-lift versions.
Daifuku Co.

Batteries and Chargers
EnerSys showcases an array of products, from its value-priced, flat-plate General battery, to its high-performance, square-tube Ironclad battery. Charging systems include the new EnForcer line of high-frequency chargers and the Express fast-charge line of batteries and chargers.

Inventory Tracking
Enterprise Mobility focuses on customized, mobile information systems for business. Typical applications include receiving, finished-product conversion, cycle counts, barcode reading, wireless data synchronization, Web site administration interfacing and integration with existing inventory and accounting systems.
Enterprise Mobility

Energy-Efficient Fans
Envira-North Systems manufactures the Altra Air ceiling fan, available in diameters from eight to 24 feet. The fan destratifies the air, creating a uniform temperature from floor to ceiling, which can reduce heating and cooling costs as much as 40%, says Envira-North. The company is also testing its new WhalePower fan technology.

Fast-Charge Chargers
eTec Minit-Charge showcases two new, high-frequency, fast-charge chargers: the SC and the FC. Minit- Charger is a fast-charging technology, which, the company says, provides an environmentally friendly, energy- and cost-efficient means of charging lift trucks, airport ground-support equipment and automated guided vehicles (AGVs).

The Minit-Charger system can reportedly recharge batteries four times faster than conventional chargers. eTec adds that Minit-Charger can recharge batteries at opportune times, eliminating the need for battery changes and resulting in enhanced worker safety, productivity and cost savings. The company also showcases its fast charger, the LSV 100, for neighborhood electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles or electric vehicles.

Integrated Equipment
FKI Logistex launches its Logistex Case Conveyor Solutions (LCCS) product family, which will be featured as part of an equipment demonstration loop.

In addition to the LCCS products, the company also showcases integrated equipment, such as robotic palletizing and depalletizing products. The conveyor loop demonstrates the Logistex RT200 right-angle transfer, NB200 narrow-belt, and MR200 motorized roller conveyor.

The company also demonstrates its energy-saving LS-4000E tilt-tray sorter, the Library Solutions MiniSorter, and the UniSort XV sliding-shoe sorter, capable of throughputs of 400 cartons per minute. Other displays showcase the company’s warehouse control system software.
FKI Logistex

Cross-Belt Sorter
GBI showcases its new line of crossbelt sorters. The sorter, driven by contactless induction motors, can sort products weighing 100 pounds. Each cross-belt car unit contains a smart processor with an independent set of controls. Sort and cross-belt action instructions, such as variable belt speeds and dispatching positions, are communicated across an infrared link.

Automatic product loading is achieved with a series of metered induction belts that load the sorter from a stationary point onto the moving cross belt. Each cross-belt car is programmed to pull the product from the metered belt onto the cross-belt car. Optional components include automatic loading, display and notification methods, custom chute designs, customized software and conveyors.
GBI Data and Sorting Systems

Vinyl Door
Goff’s Enterprises introduces its HarshGuard line of vinyl doors, designed for areas affected by chemicals, water and dust. The unit withstands moisture buildup and resists rust due to its stainless steel, PVC and aluminum components. Amenities include a wind-load-rated door and slanted roof, which allows for water runoff.
Goff’s Enterprises Inc.

Electric Lift Truck
Hyster introduces its E45-70XN line of electric lift trucks. The E45-70XN series features a remodeled operator compartment with more foot and leg room and a removable floor plate for quick maintenance. There’s also a relocated dash display for visibility and pallet control, while a redesigned hood provides easy battery access, says Hyster. A new traction motor features improved speed sensors for speed monitoring over the entire motor’s operating temperature range. Customizable software for the lift truck enhances performance and productivity, Hyster says.
Hyster Co.

IAC Industries manufactures production workbenches, ergonomically designed workstations, chairs and accessories. The company produces Laminar flow workstations, which provide dust-free work areas for sensitive testing and assembly areas. The industrial workstations are available in both vertical- and horizontal-flow versions.
IAC Industries

EFG Lift Trucks
Jungheinrich Lift Truck Corp. unveils two series of counterbalanced trucks with capacities ranging from 2,500 to 4,000 pounds. The EFG 213-220 and EFG 316-320 both provide three-phase, AC technology in the drive, hydraulic and steering systems.

The units are said to offer energy efficiency, improved travel and lift/lower speeds and smooth acceleration and ramp-handling abilities. According to the manufacturer, new technology allows longer run times on a single battery charge.

Both trucks allow operators to charge and change batteries from the side of the truck using hand pallet trucks, lift trucks or cranes. The 2 Series includes six three-wheel chassis variations, including two compact versions. It is maneuverable in restricted spaces and works well in outdoor applications, the company says.

The 3 Series includes five four-wheel chassis variations and is suitable for longer runs. Safety features include curve control for speed reduction when cornering, anti-rollback on ramps and automatic parking-brake application.
Jungheinrich Lift Truck Corp.

LP Lift Truck
The new gas-powered lift truck from Landoll Corp. features an integrated, demand-driven hydrostatic drive, lift and steering system; a tierthree- certified, LP gas, 2.4-liter GM engine; on-demand fuel injection; CANbus electronics/wiring; integrated control capabilities; calibration and maintenance diagnostics via dash display; improved cooling; reduced noise levels; and a Via-Sonic fuel-level sensor.

According to the manufacturer, the lift truck meets the demands of narrowaisle storage operations at high elevations. The truck has a 4,000-pound lift capacity and a lift height of 30 feet.
Landoll Corp.

High-Bay Warehousing
The automated high-bay warehousing system from LTW ensures precise positioning, even at heights exceeding 40 meters, the company says. LTW’s switching technology allows for the use of derailment-guarded, curve-going stacker cranes. The warehousing system features travel speeds of 250 meters per minute and lifting speeds of 80 meters per minute. Open interfaces provide a secure connection to the facility’s host system, says LTW.

Custom Devices
Martins Industries Inc. introduces Flexpipe assembly components, which enable companies to create custom workstations, carts, racks and other devices. The modular system is made up of resin-coated steel tubes, steel connectors, conveyor rails and wheels and accessories that can be assembled with a hex key, says the company. Flexpipe is simple, flexible, multifunctional, safe and reusable, according to Martins Industries.
Martins Industries Inc.

Powered Workstation
Newcastle Systems’ NB Series mobile powered workstation holds and powers a variety of equipment, including computers, industrial printers and barcode scanners. The workstation allows operators to perform tasks wirelessly. Applications include inventory management; mobile, ondemand label printing; shipping and receiving; and crossdocking.

Features include a 24 x 22-inch footprint, 40- or 100-amp hour battery, 350- or 750-watt inverter and 20-amp charger. The unit can power up to four devices at once, for about six to eight hours of normal use, says the manufacturer.
Newcastle Systems

Dust-Control Sweeper
The Exterra rider sweeper from Nilfisk-Advance features a 77-inch sweep path. The unit’s DustClear side-broom system uses fog to minimize fugitive dust and provide up to 71% more cleaning productivity than conventional sweepers, says the manufacturer. The Exterra is described as an efficient solution for cleaning warehouses and manufacturing facilities as well as indoor and outdoor parking areas.
Nilfisk-Advance Group

Modular Lift
Pflow’s new Series B lift moves boxes, cartons, barrels, loose parts and other portable loads to and from mezzanines and basements or between floors. Featuring a 3 x 3 x 4-foot load carriage, the Series B moves loads weighing 500 lbs. to heights of 20 feet at a speed of 40 feet per minute. Also, the soft start/stop motor can be adjusted to speeds appropriate for fragile or sensitive loads. The unit is modular, with bolt-together construction; this provides for loading and unloading from any of three sides at either level. The Series B lift ships pre-assembled with quick-connect wiring.
Pflow Industries Inc.

Versatile Stacker
The Counterbalance Stacker from Presto Lifts works with any pallet or skid and is suitable for servicing racks, loading/unloading trucks, feeding machinery and other applications. With a load capacity of 1,100 pounds, a load center of 15 inches, and a lift height of 62 inches, the unit has a short wheelbase for maneuverability. The tilt of the mast is adjustable. Overall height is 82 inches, and overall width is 32 inches. The forks are 3 inches wide and 30 inches long.

Forward- and reverse-drive thumb switches on both sides of the handle accommodate left-hand or righthand operation. An auto-reversing “belly bump” switch helps protect operators from injury. Power is provided by two maintenance-free, 12-volt batteries. A 110-volt, built-in charger is standard.
Presto Lifts Inc.

Pallet Truck
Raymond Corp. showcases its range of pallet trucks designed for extreme and corrosive environments. The Extreme Environment Corrosion package includes galvanized frames, parts and linkages that extend the life of the pallet truck, says the company. It is available for three Raymond pallet truck models, ranging in capacity from 4,500 pounds to 6,000 pounds, and provides protection for pallet trucks exposed to salty, high-moisture, wash-down and corrosive environments.
Raymond Corp.

Plastic Pallet
Rehrig Pacific Co. introduces the 40 x 48 inch HuskyLite Nestable SG plastic pallet. The injection-molding process allows the manufacture of complex geometric shapes, precise tolerances and reinforcement of specific areas of the pallet, according to the company. Enhancements to the Nestable SG plastic pallet include highly beveled leading edges around the rim that allow easy entry by lift truck tines into a stack of nested pallets. Large surface areas on the leg bottoms improve conveying, eight handles accommodate hand stacking, top decks are scuffed to reduce slippage and a tight nesting ratio saves space in shipping, storage and backhauling, Rehrig states.
Rehrig Pacific Co.

Efficient Fan
The Revolution fan from Rite-Hite is a high-volume, low-speed fan that is said to provide more consistent air circulation and ventilation with better energy efficiency than traditional, high-speed ceiling or floor fans. The fan features four, contoured, aluminum blades and a design that moves air consistently across the whole blade, extending the reach of air movement up to 85 feet from the fan’s center, says Rite-Hite. The fan is available in 8-, 12-, 16-, 20- and 24-foot diameters and in four- or two-blade configurations.

Heavy-Duty Cabinet
Rousseau’s WSA0380 Triple Mobile Standard Cabinet provides extra muscle on the work floor, says the manufacturer. With 100 pounds of capacity per drawer, the WSA0380 reduces the time it takes to retrieve or replace items stored in drawers, says the company. The ergonomic handle facilitates rapid relocation. Accessories include dividers, plastic bins and foam for tools.
Rousseau Metal Inc.

Spiral Conveyors
Ryson’s new spiral conveyors target applications requiring high height and weight capacities. The units can handle double the weight of Ryson’s regular spiral conveyors, and they ship in one piece to reduce installation costs, says the company.

The load capacity is 75 pounds per linear foot of conveyor at speeds of 200 feet per minute. Total weight capacity in the spiral at any one time is 3,200 pounds. Only one drive motor is required, and models with 16- and 24- inch-wide slats are available. Ryson’s spiral conveyors feature a low-friction design, which results in high speed, low noise, smooth operation and long life, the company notes, adding that the unit’s modular design allows for quick modifications in the field. Ryson says its mass flow spirals do not require water lubricants for proper flow. They are available in powder-coated, carbon steel; stainless steel; or wash-down versions.
Ryson International Inc.

AutoID Options
Sick Inc. provides automatic identification, industrial sensors and safety products for the retail logistics, parcel/postal, automot ive and consumer goods industries. Example products include barcode scanning and dimensioning systems, conveyor zone control, AGV collision avoidance, package detection and AS/RS laser positioning. In addition, the company offers RFID and data communications equipment as well as controls.
Sick Inc.

Pallet Inverter
Southworth says its PalletPal inverter is a fast, safe and easy way to rotate fully loaded pallets. It is suited for replacing broken pallets, switching to or from inhouse/ shipping pallets, transferring loads to slip sheets and replacing damaged goods at the bottom of a load without the need for manual restacking.

The PalletPal inverter can handle loads measuring up to 48 x 48 x 60 inches with capacities to 4,400 pounds. The clamping mechanism features adjustable pressure control to ensure lighter loads aren’t crushed. Loads rotate 180 degrees on an anti-friction turret bearing and can be stopped at any point during rotation.
Southworth Products Corp

Tubular Rack
Steel King offers its SK2000 boltless, closed tubular rack, which the company says is stronger than open-backed racks. Features include upright frames, 1 x 2-inch, horizontal bracing, two-inch welds and multiple-offset anchor holes.

According to Steel King, laboratory tests have confirmed that the SK2000’s columns are 250% more resistant to lift truck impacts, resulting in reduced maintenance costs and improved safety, says the company.

The SK2000’s beam connections feature a three-rivet connection with one safety lock per beam end. Upright frames on the SK2000 feature tapered keyhole connection slots. Steel King says the connections are interchangeable with other rack systems.
Steel King Industries Inc.

Custom Controller
Tapeswitch Corp. introduces its MultiZone Controller. Compatible with light curtains, safety mats, edges and safety bumpers, the new product provides a higher level of system responsiveness, according to the company. Tapeswitch also plans to introduce a line of mat edging and multi-directional safety bumpers.
Tapeswitch Corp.

Hybrid Lift Truck
Toyota Material Handling USA (TMHU) debuts its hybrid concept lift truck, inspired by Toyota’s automotive Prius technology. The prototype harnesses both electric and internalcombustion technologies to deliver optimum fuel/emissions efficiency, according to TMHU.

The company also showcases its 8-Series AC single reach truck with a 3,500-pound lifting capacity. Also available are a 4,500-pound capacity single reach truck and 3,000-pound capacity double reach model. The new trucks feature ACpowered drive systems that contain no motor commutators, brushes or springs. TMHU is also displaying AeroVironment’s PosiCharge battery fast-charge system, now available through Toyota dealers.
Toyota Material Handling USA

Fulfillment Software
Vargo Companies has developed SpeedPack, software that enhances COFE (continuous order fulfillment executor), Vargo’s flagship fulfillment suite. SpeedPack employs software and mechanical material handling adjustments to increase packing capacity and productivity during peak periods. The software works with specialized workstations that streamline processing of easyto- pack orders. This added capacity is said to increase throughput by allowing existing pack stations to focus on hardto- pack orders.
Vargo Companies

Steel Mezzanine
VertiSpace’s structural-steel mezzanine transforms unused overhead space into valuable floor space, the company says. Platforms fit around existing obstructions, and openings for stairways or pallet-drop areas can be located anywhere on the structure. VertiSpace says it designs the freestanding, moveable structure to meet specific load-capacity requirements of each application.