NA2004 Its Showtime

March 1, 2004
NA2004 Its Showtime Its March, which means its time for NA2004, the largest material handling and logistics trade event of the year. The show is sponsored

It’s March, which means it’s time for NA2004, the largest material handling and logistics trade event of the year. The show is sponsored by Material Handling Industry of America and takes place March 29-April 1 at the International Exposition (I-X) Center in Cleveland. (See the January issue of Material Handling Management for a preview of the seminars that will take place at the show.)

This year, the NA2004 show floor is divided into four sections:

• Equipment and components for manufacturing solutions;

• Fulfillment and delivery solutions;

• Information technology solutions;

• Aassembly logistics and support solutions.

In addition, there will be a series of free educational seminars on the latest innovations and applications, such as ergonomics and worker safety. For more information, go to to learn who will be there and to get a list of educational conferences and exhibitors — and a floorplan for the I-X Center, so you don’t get lost.

More than 400 exhibitors, displaying everything from automatic guided vehicles to lift trucks to warehouse management systems, will be on hand at the show. This month, we’ll give you a “last-minute” look at some of the products these exhibitors will be displaying. See you there!


This freestanding mezzanine can add additional space by maximizing the existing building footprint. The Express Mezz program guarantees shipment within two weeks of signed approval, giving flexibility to respond to sudden changes in storage needs. According to the manufacturer, the mezzanine offers unlimited options for modifying the current space configuration of a plant or warehouse. Features include simple connectivity and an innovative handrail. Also on display will be a heavy-duty structural staircase for mezzanines and examples of various kinds of deck surfaces. Cogan Ltd.,, 800-567-2642. Booth 913


Aisle sign kit permits creation of customized warehouse aisle signs. Product snaps into pallet rack assembly holes and snaps out to relocate. The kit includes laser/ink-jet compatible paper. The plastic sign holder features a soft plastic hinge that allows the sign to flex without breaking if bumped. The holder can hold any type of paper stock or plastic sign blanks up to 0.100 in. thick. Each box contains 10 holders per package with 12 laser/ink-jet sheets, enough for up to 10 11-in. x 81⁄2-in. signs (single- or doubled-sided). Aigner Index Inc.,, 800-242-3919. Booth 2827


The H-426 and H-434 Series of thermal transfer label printers are designed for high-volume printing. The all-metal printers are available in 203 or 300 dpi. Features include a full backlit LCD; standard real-time clock; ink In or ink Out ribbons, 450-meter capacity; standard serial, parallel, PS/2 and USB interfaces; and stripper sensor for strip-and-peel or tear-off applications. The H-Series also contain internal memory for storing downloaded label formats, graphics and fonts. Using this memory, the printers can be operated without being connected to a computer. The printers also ship with a free version of Tharo Systems’ EASYLABEL Start software for custom designing and printing bar code labels. Tharo Systems Inc.,, 330-273-4408. Booth 930


The FastPic4 inventory management software creates a basic parts inventory by SKU number and quantity, and manages multiple work zones, including shelving and rack, pick-to-light, carousels and vertical lift modules. Features include bar code scanning, bulk storage management, paper pick lists, pick banding and continuous batch picking. The software can also interface with host systems such as WMS, LESA and ERP. FastPic Systems,, 800-897-8379. Booth 1746


FOR ETHERNET APPLICATIONS Modular managed switch has a head station and two side-by-side expansion modules. Front or bottom cable access options provide Ethernet capability in small junction boxes or panels. To enable the expandable switch, the operator plugs in the needed modules and configures the browser-based interface. The switch allows for expansion from two to 24 ports and has simplified point-and-click diagnostics. Intuitive LED indicators enable plant floor staff to install or perform ongoing device and network checks. Other functions include Web-based management and simple network management protocol. Phoenix Contact Inc.,, 800-586-5525. Booth 2525


The Over & Under machine interface provides a continuous, uninterrupted supply of racks for automotive assembly lines. The machine ensures uninterrupted parts supply to the assembly line under operator or robotic control. In addition, by using overhead space to automatically remove the racks as they are emptied, the Over & Under machines conserve the footprint along the assembly line and help keep lift trucks away from operators. SailRail Automated Systems Inc.,, 905-948-1500. Booth 2317 (co-hosted by FMC Technologies)


Pick-to-cart workstation for horizontal carousel systems combines batch picking and pick-to-light technologies. The cart is positioned in front of a put-light array. Up to 16 totes can be positioned on the cart, each with its own light module. The light module indicates which totes are active, as well as the quantity to place in them. The operator picks from the cluster of carousels via pick-to-light and puts items into the totes via put-to-light. When the batch is completed, the cart can be wheeled to the next operation. Remstar International,, 800-639-5805. Booth 2605


New AC-powered ERC-GH lift truck is designed to handle the most demanding applications, and excels in reliability and durability. According to the manufacturer, the ERC-GH has top-of-the-line components and superior ergonomics. It is designed for general warehousing, automotive, grocery and beverage/bottling applications. Yale Materials Handling Corp. ,, 800-233-YALE. Booth 2800


Odyssey Model CB1500 counterbalanced, fork-style laser-guided AGV has a load capacity up to 1,500 lb. The vehicle has a 24-in. wheelbase and features floor-to-elevation lift capability up to 98 in.. The AGV is equipped with a point-and-click function to facilitate guidepath changes. Other features include laser-scanning front and rear bumper systems, continuous RF communication and operator diagnostics. AGV Products Inc.,, 704-845-1110. Booth 2413


This high-density polyethylene, 40-in. x 48-in. x 5.1-in. heavy-duty pallet combines fire safety with plastic construction. This recyclable rackable plastic pallet meets or exceeds established performance standards for 40-in. x 48-in., edge-rackable Grocery Manufacturers’ Association-specified pallet systems. Features of the one-piece, double-face pallet includes seamless interface with conveyors and automated equipment; smooth, contoured edges and corners; thick outer wall and diagonal ribbing for added impact resistance; flow-through deck; FDA-approved material availability; and a static load capacity of 30,000 lb, dynamic load capacity of 4,000 lb. ORBIS Corporation,, 888-307-2185. Booth 1200


The Configura and InstantPlanner software programs create 2D layouts, 3D images, quotations and bills of material. They are designed to produce instant and complete business proposals and reduce lead time from inquiry to quote. According to the manufacturer, Configura is a customized business system that contains a company’s products as graphical icons with built-in knowledge and rule-based behaviors. It generates correct information for calculations and product configurations, calculates load capacities, keeps track of safety regulations and identifies configuration options. InstantPlanner is a generic space-planning tool that includes pallet racks and industrial shelving. Configura Inc.,, 616-975-0162. Booth 2134


The Easy Arm Intelligent Lifting Arm uses a processor-controlled servo-drive system to provide access in work cells with low headroom or obstructions. (A ceiling-mounted version will also be on display at NA2004.) The Easy Arm operates in a range of speeds and can lift any weight within the capacity range. The arm does not require a foundation; a four-bolt pattern allows it to be placed anywhere without pouring a foundation. In addition, the arm has adjustable tension of both arms and pivots in two places on the boom. The Easy Arm is a self-contained unit; it is delivered pre-assembled and bolted to any six-inch reinforced floor. The actuator is mounted on the pivot. Gorbel Inc.,, 585-924-6241. Booth 2408


The PosiGrip Accumulation Conveyor features non-contact zero pressure accumulation. The conveyor stages from the discharge end and is intended for the computer and electronic component, food and beverage, and glass industries where non-contact between conveyed products is crucial. Accumulation zones are driven by motorized rollers, each with a drive card with settings that allow easy adjustment of speed acceleration and deceleration. The drive roller stops as product reaches the photo-eye at the discharge point of the zone, ensuring that no contact takes place. Zones can be individually controlled for specific assembly areas and are available up to five ft. in length and 48 in. wide. The conveyor has roller drive gear teeth formed directly into the rollers and powered by quiet synchronous belting in a positive drive. All electrical components are self-contained within the side frames. TKF Inc.,, 513-241-5910. Booth 1217