The Center of It All

April 1, 2010
This month, all things material handling and logistics gravitate to Cleveland for the NA 2010 trade show and educational conference.

Cleveland's I-X Center is the center of the material handling and logistics universe from April 26 to 29. That's the venue for NA 2010, the most important event for material handling professionals in all industries throughout North America.

Produced by the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA), the four-day event is billed as the most comprehensive showcase of material handling and logistics equipment, systems and technologies in the United States. More than 500 suppliers and vendors from across North America are expected to gather in Cleveland to debut and demonstrate a variety of products, equipment and technologies for manufacturing and distribution applications.

Nuts and Bolts

While walking the 150,000-square foot show floor, attendees can check out the latest material handling equipment and technologies, including:

  • Automated systems, such as robots, conveyors and sorters, automated storage and retrieval systems, carousels and unit handling systems;

  • Powered vehicles, including lift trucks, automated guided vehicles and personnel/burden carriers;

  • Technology and software, such as manufacturing and logistics execution systems, controllers, industrial computers, barcode scanners, RFID and vision systems, voice recognition technologies and warehouse management systems;

  • Transport packaging, including containers, packaging machinery, pallets and palletizing equipment;

  • Facility management products, such as loading dock equipment, doors and flooring;

  • Workforce-related offerings, including ergonomic lifting and safety equipment.

And that's just a small sampling of what's on display. NA 2010 attendees can also explore services offered by third-party logistics providers, supply chain consultants and material handling system integrators.

To point attendees to the specific tools and technologies that most interest them, MHIA organizes exhibits on the show floor into four distinct categories — the Centers for Manufacturing and Assembly, Fulfillment and Delivery, Information Technology and Knowledge.

Educational Conference

The fourth category, MHIA's Knowledge Center, refers to 50 educational seminars presented by exhibitors, educators and end users on the NA 2010 show floor. Covering diverse topic s, such as material handling training and education, storage and racking equipment, sortation systems, slotting strategies, lean distribution and supply chain risk management, each 45-minute seminar focuses on a specific problem or application.

The conference at NA 2010 also includes a keynote seminar series themed “The Future Track,” which includes sessions on sustainability, workforce development, training and education and retail distribution. Speakers participating in keynote series include academics and consultants as well as high-level managers from end-user companies, such as Crate and Barrel, Lands' End and the Greater Boston Food Bank.

MHIA is also introducing the premier “Supply Chain Summit,” an educational event offering insights into four distinct views of the supply chain — industry, military, universities and government. Summit participants include Larry Lapide from MIT's Center for Transportation and Logistics, Brig. Gen. Peter Talleri, commander of the distribution center for the Department of Defense, along with professors from major universities and executives from the Pepsi Bottling Group and Anderson-DuBose Co.

Bullet Points

  • IFCO Systems ( recently added another reverse logistics center (RLC) to its warehouse and logistics management network in the United States. The RLC opened in Sterling, Ill., in June 2009 and is the company's 100th location. IFCO's RLCs handle and manage reusable pallets, containers and other recyclable materials for retailers. The company also provides activity information through its online pallet tracking system, Paltrax. IFCO's network includes 92 distribution centers and eight RLCs.

  • CHEP has released the results of a lifecycle analysis demonstrating the sustainability of its pallet and container pooling system. The report, produced by Franklin Associates, a consultancy specializing in lifecycle inventory analysis and solid waste management, indicates the CHEP system generates 48% less solid waste, consumes 23% less total energy and generates 14% less greenhouse gas than pooled plastic pallets. Compared with limited use white wood pallets, the CHEP system generates 50% less solid waste, consumes 19% less total energy and generates 5% less greenhouse gas, according to the report, which was peer reviewed by Dr. David Allen, director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Resources at the University of Texas. The 2009 report examines raw material usage; processing and manufacturing; transportation; application; and recovery, reuse, recycling or disposal for pooled wooden block pallets, pooled plastic pallets and non-pooled, limited-use white wood pallets. In conjunction with the release of the report, CHEP launched, a site where manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and other supply chain participants can calculate the environmental benefits of the company's pallet pooling services.

  • At NA 2010, supply chain consulting firm enVista ( is presenting educational seminars on supply chain network optimization and labor management. The company is also offering consultations and demonstrations at Booth 1141.

  • ResinDek mezzanine flooring from Cornerstone Specialty Wood Products ( has recently qualified for certification under the Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) programs for Recycled Content and No Added Formaldehyde (NAF). The SCS environmental certification process includes site audits to review documented control systems, quality-control plans, record keeping and product samples. The ResinDek product line is SCS certified for a minimum of 46% pre-consumer recycled wood content and NAF, which requires laboratory testing to confirm formaldehyde content of less than 0.05 ppm.

NA 2010 Show Hours

Monday, April 26: 10:00 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday, April 27: 10:00 am-5:00 pm

Wednesday, April 28: 10:00 am-5:00 pm

Thursday, April 29: 10:00 am-3:00 pm


Electric Chain Hoist

Columbus McKinnon Corp. adds new features to its Lodestar electric chain hoist. The CM Lodestar has lift capacities ranging from 1/8 to 2 metric tons and a lightweight cast aluminum housing with black powder coat finish. Quick-change plugs, allowing for 208 to 460 operating voltages, prevent improper voltage connections that can damage the hoist. Both single- and three-phase models are capable of 50 hz or 60 hz operation. An adjustable limit switch prevents the load from over-travel, and built-in overload protection helps prevent lifting of dangerous overloads. The Lodestar features a five-pocket liftwheel to minimize chain wear and a redesigned control panel.

Columbus McKinnon Corp., Booth 1332
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Overhead Handling Systems

Demag Cranes and Components exhibits a range of overhead material handling systems, including process cranes, overhead lifting products, components, parts and accessories. The company also highlights its technological capabilities, including design and engineering, as well as services and spare parts.

Demag Cranes and Components, Booth 2618
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Lifting Device

Gorbel introduces G-Jib, a “fusion” of the company's G-Force intelligent lifting device and an enclosed-track workstation jib crane. Available in capacities of 330 and 660 pounds, the G-Jib can be mounted on a wall or column or used as free-standing equipment. Because it moves with the motion of the operator, going as fast or as slow as the operator chooses to move, the device is suitable for lifting applications that alternate between high speeds and slow, precise movements. When equipped with the Float Mode option, the G-Jib allows operators to apply a slight amount of force with both hands to orient the load precisely.

Gorbel, Booth 1420
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Industrial Manipulator

Positech Corp. has redesigned its ReactionArm industrial manipulator, a pneumatic-torque reaction arm that absorbs shock as well as torsional and impact forces from power tools to reduce carpal tunnel injuries and cumulative trauma disorders. The new design features lift capacities of 500 pounds and 2,212 foot-pounds of torque. The ReactionArm lowers balance forces to give the operator a “float feel” when moving through a work cell. A new middle joint leveling feature allows the arm to stay in place once the operator positions it. Powered by 90-psi air, the ReactionArm can be mounted overhead or on a trolley, pedestal, wall or portable base. The device includes a pilot-operated lock valve, minimum lift circuitry and parallel linkage.

Positech Corp., Booth 2506
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Mobile Leveler

The PalletPal mobile leveler from Southworth Products Corp. allows workers to lift, transport, and position 3,000-pound loads. PalletPal can be used for loading or off-loading pallets, picking orders or positioning materials at workbenches or production machines, says the company. Able to handle any type of pallet or skid, the device is 52.5 inches tall and has dual-wheel steering. Users can choose between manual and electric lift and drive. Standard features include infinite height adjustment, safety wheel/toe guards and auto-stop release, according to Southworth. Electric models have extended-duty cycles, battery discharge indicators and integral battery chargers. The “fork-over” configuration of PalletPal handles skids and pallets with no cross-bottom boards, and the “straddle” version handles pallets and skids with open or closed bottoms. Standard fork lengths are 42 inches for straddle models and 45 inches for fork-over units. Other fork lengths are available.

Southworth Products Corp., Booth 2620
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Powered Conveyor

Conroll Corp. introduces ShaftDrive, a powered conveyor system that eliminates the need for grooved carrying rollers, exposed round or polyvee belts and spring-loaded shafts in carrying rollers. The company says ShaftDrive allows conveyors to be 6 to 60 inches wide and mounted on close centers. ShaftDrive cartridges have bearings and drive sheaves for either polyvee or round belts. A driven roller equipped with a non-contact sensor eliminates the need for photo optics in zone-controlled accumulation applications, according to Conroll. ShaftDrive is available with motorized drive rollers or with an externally mounted 24-volt motor drive. Power transmission elements are enclosed within conveyor side frames.

Conroll Corp., Booth 2641
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Container Loaders

Container Stuffers introduces the C-Loader and K-Loader, designed to load the entire contents of a 20- or 40-foot container in one movement. The C-Loader is an efficient way to load cargo containers, according to the company. The platform chassis of the C-Loader rests on two I-beams and is constructed of 3/8-inch A36 mild steel. The deck cargo load platform and push plate are made of 3/8-inch A36 steel plate. The K-Loader was designed to help forest-products companies load logs into containers for export. Both container loaders offer transfer feed speeds of 10 feet per minute for an entire 60,000-pound load.

Container Stuffers, Booth 532
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Roller Conveyor

Cornerstone Automation Systems Inc. introduces the TransMaster 9000 series 24-volt, DC roller conveyor. The TransMaster 9000 series is available in a variety of custom colors and control options, from simple transportation to zero-pressure accumulation with photoeyes. The conveyor does not require electrical panels and ships fully assembled. Options include wash-down capability, belt over roller and custom sizing and roller centers.

Cornerstone Automation Systems Inc., Booth 2602
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Multishuttle AS/RS

The Multishuttle miniload automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) from Dematic offers dynamic product sequencing to support goods-to-person picking, pick-face replenishment and mixed-case palletizing. Multishuttle offers throughput rates four to five times greater than traditional miniload configurations, according to Dematic. It has the ability to retrieve and deliver loads in sequence via a less complex conveyor path to the point of use. Multishuttle can be installed in awkward or lost spaces in a facility, such as over a dock, on mezzanines, in areas with a low ceiling height or under or over obstructions. The system features a small footprint with fewer aisles, simplified front-end conveyor networks and controls and direct route/fast response for load retrieval.

Dematic Corp., Booth 1128
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Multi-Belt Sorter

HK Systems Inc. introduces the MB-100 multi-belt sorter for mid-range sortation applications. Sortation rates can exceed 100 packages per minute for 6- to 36-inch-long packages weighing 75 pounds, according to the company. The modular sorter, which is suitable for pre-sorting, value-added, kitting, pre-shipping and shipping applications, features 90-degree transfers and 30-degree diverts that can be relocated to accommodate different product sizes or field situations.

HK Systems, Booth 1234
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Order Fulfillment

Intelligrated Inc. demonstrates its Real Time Solutions order fulfillment systems, including pick-to-light, pick-to-voice, pick-to-cart, RF picking and software. The company also displays Crisplant tilt-tray and cross-belt sorters. Crisplant LS-4000E tilt-tray and LS-4000CB cross-belt sorters are equipped with energy-saving linear synchronous motors, says Intelligrated. In addition, the company offers software solutions, such as InControlWare and other technologies that reportedly improve equipment utilization, increase system efficiency and productivity, reduce operational costs and improve flexibility. Intelligrated also offers 24-hour technical support and the online parts catalog OnTimeParts.

Intelligrated Inc., Booth 1000
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Material Lift

Pflow Industries Inc. adds the Series B (Box) lift to its line of vertical material lifts and vertical reciprocating conveyors. The 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-foot load carriage and mechanical drive mechanism, the lift can move 300- or 500-pound loads to heights of 20 feet at speeds of 20 to 40 feet per minute. Its soft-start/stop performance motor allows speeds to be adjusted for fragile or sensitive loads. Safety features include access gates interlocked with the lift operation and enclosures that provide full height guarding on all sides. Two roller chains move the carriage, while spring-loaded safety pins prevent uncontrolled descent. The ASME 20.1-compliant lift is also available in custom versions that move loads between more than two floors and/or to heights greater than 20 feet.

Pflow, Booth 2134
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Robotic Picking Cell

The Robo-Pick from SSI Schaefer is an automatic picking cell with a two-step image processing system that automatically recognizes the position of products and then controls the universal picking robot. When combined with the vision system, the robot can handle more than 2,000 picks per hour. According to the company, a user does not need to program individual products or gather their properties before picking, since Robo-Pick uses existing allocations of transport units and articles in automated warehouses. Robo-Pick is suitable for returns handling as well as order picking, says the company.

SSI Schaefer, Booth 1328
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Westfalia Technologies Inc. introduces its fourth-generation storage retrieval machine (SRM) with a double-mast structural design and redesigned base, allowing for better tolerance adjustments in the field and reduced installation time, the company says. Westfalia designs, builds and installs automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) with Savanna.NET warehouse management software, which tracks the pallets throughout the AS/RS. Satellite technology allows pallets to be stored one to 12 deep in each lane.

Westfalia Technologies Inc., Booth 2140
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Pallet Conveyors

Wulftec/M.J. Maillis launches a line of 2,500-pound-capacity, powered-roller pallet conveyors. They are available in different lengths, widths, heights and speeds and can be installed with or without controls. Adjustable drive systems, mounted below conveyor guards, do not require guard removal for adjustments and are completely enclosed. The conveyors feature 2 1/2-inch-diameter rollers on 3 3/4-inch centers.

Wulftec/M.J. Maillis, Booth 1209
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AGV Tugger

Creform Corp. introduces its Tite-Space BST AGV (automated guided vehicle) tugger, which slides under a stationary cart equipped with a BST interface. It then extends a tow pin to engage the cart and move it to a predetermined workstation. The Tite-Space AGV is suitable for delivering materials to line-side assembly points when space is at a premium, says Creform. One BST unit can move a whole fleet of carts, provided their undercarriages are alike and have the BST interface. The automated unit also frees up employees for other tasks. The AGV has a maximum towed weight/draw bar of 1,320/57 pounds, depending on floor conditions and caster selection. For safety, it has electromagnetic breaking, an audible warning and flashing light, obstacle sensor, bumper switch and e-stop. Command tapes initiate AGV functions, such as speed changes, route selection and extend/retract tow pin. Control options include PLC, RF, RFID and an optical communicator.

Creform Corp., Booth 1834
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Powered Stackers

Presto Lifts Inc. introduces a new line of powered stackers with lift heights of 62, 101, 125 and 150 inches and capacities to 2,200 pounds. The PowerStak line features a narrow mast design, offset control handle and forward- and reverse-drive thumb switches on both sides of the handle for left- or right-hand operation. An auto-reversing belly switch protects operators from potential injury when walking the unit backwards, while an automatic brake immediately halts travel when reversed, says Presto Lifts. PowerStak vehicles use two 12-volt batteries. A 110-volt, built-in charger is standard. Units are available in fork-over design for use with open-bottom pallets or adjustable straddle design for use with closed-bottom pallets.

Presto Lifts Inc., Booth 1232
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Fleet Management System

Raymond Corp. offers its iWarehouse system, an enterprise fleet management system that allows warehouse and distribution center managers to collect and analyze real-time lift truck data to maximize fleet productivity and reduce costs. When connected to a Raymond lift truck's vehicle manager with an iPort connector, the system collects real-time information from the operating systems of Raymond lift trucks. Managers access the information through a Web portal and generate reports that help benchmark lift truck and operator productivity, diagnose potential lift truck issues remotely, reduce the risk of impacts and optimize lift truck capital and maintenance costs. The communication system is available through Raymond's relationship with ShockWatch, a company that offers usage monitoring and impact detection for a range of material handling applications. The iWarehouse system offers various modules, including iAlert, which sends maintenance notifications to technicians; iControl, which configures operator profiles based on skill level to limit speed and verify operator certification; iImpact, which notifies managers of impacts; iVerify, which requires operators to review the daily checklist before allowing the truck to start; iMetrics, which tracks lift truck usage data, allowing managers to evaluate operator productivity; and iTrack, which generates custom reports based on specific lift trucks, facilities, regions and companies.

Raymond Corp., Booth 637
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Mobile Vertical Fan

Big Ass Fans introduces AirGo, an eight-diameter, mobile vertical fan equipped with four eight-inch Performa rubber-tread wheels. The fan features heavy-duty steel tubing, a rigid screen and a high-efficiency motor and gearbox, according to the company. Adjustable speed controls and 360-degree angle adjustments allow AirGo to provide non-disruptive, large volumes of air movement in any direction. It also has interlocking safety features, OSHA-compliant caging and yellow powder costing for visibility and corrosion resistance. AirGo plugs into any 115-volt, 20-amp outlet.

Big Ass Fans, Booth 2614
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Magnetic Sweepers

Master Magnetics Inc. introduces a line of 12- to 96-inch-wide permanent magnet assemblies that remove scrap-metal debris from warehouses, loading docks, parking areas, runways, manufacturing and shop areas, job sites, workshops and other traffic areas. New 36- and 48-inch hang-type sweepers feature quick-release handles for release of collected material. Each sweeper has two eyebolts for attaching to the forks on a lift truck or suspending on a chain from a vehicle. The 36-inch-wide sweeper has a 330-pound pull force, and the 48-inch-wide unit has a 440-pound pull force. The 18-inch-wide push-type sweepers, suitable for cleaning up small- to medium-sized areas, feature height-adjustable handles, 7-inch wheels and adjustable sweeping heights from 0.5 inches to 2.5 inches.

Master Magnetics Inc., Booth 1946
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Rack Repair Kits

Ridg-U-Rak Inc. introduces a kit for repairing damaged frames and columns on racking systems. Available in straight-leg, slant-back and set-back designs, the bolt-on universal frame repair kits feature heavy-duty horizontal and diagonal bracing and heavy-gauge front and rear columns. They are compatible with roll-formed or structural racking frames, and internal Column Sentry reinforcing is available. Designed for field bolting, the rack repair kits eliminate the need to weld, according to the company.

Ridg-U-Rak Inc., Booth 2605
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Carts and Trucks

Rubbermaid Commercial Products introduces a line of heavy-duty material handling carts and trucks. Consisting of 55 products, the new line features Duramold structural resin and metal composite structure, which has been tested to hold and transport 2,500 pounds of load capacity. Duramold decks won't warp, dent, splinter, rust or rot, according to the company, and are resistant to most chemicals and impervious to water damage. The line includes platform trucks, utility carts and convertible A-frame and platform trucks. Variable grip-height handles on the carts and trucks improve maneuverability and help reduce muscle strain.

Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Booth 2800
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Pallet Stretch Wrappers

ARPAC demonstrates its Power and Pro series of semi-automatic and automatic pallet stretch wrappers. With the Power series pallet stretch wrapper, a lift truck operator can complete an entire wrap sequence without getting off the truck, says the company. The operator sets the pallet on the turntable platform and activates the wrapping cycle from a remote pendant. When the cycle is complete, the stretch wrapper automatically clamps, cuts and secures the film to the pallet. A 72-inch-diameter turntable protects the film clamp from damage during loading and unloading. Available in high and low profiles, the Pro series pallet stretch wrapper has powered pre-stretch capabilities, user-friendly operator controls and a powder coat finish, the company says.

ARPAC, Booth 1218
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Collapsible IBCs

Buckhorn features its Caliber series of intermediate bulk containers (IBCs). Available in three sizes, from 270 gallons to 315 gallons, the collapsible IBCs are molded of FDA-approved, food-grade plastic and have smooth surfaces to comply with hygienic standards. Caliber IBCs are stackable when full or collapsed, allowing for optimal cubing in transport systems, says Buckhorn. They are also reusable.

Buckhorn, Booth 805a
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Label Applicator

The All-in-One Touch-computer from MPI Label Systems is a label applicator with touchscreen computer. A standard 15-inch LCD display saves space, while the silent, fan-less design withstands heat and rugged environments according to the company. The system includes two serial, four USB and Ethernet ports. It can be configured to include labeling software, printer applicator, conveyor and mounting stand.

MPI Label Systems, Booth 2132
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Hybrid Packaging System

Sealed Air introduces the PackTiger Hybrid, a paper packaging system that allows users to select void fill or cushioning material by flipping a switch. The unit produces pad-like paper from sheets of 17 x 20-inch-wide, 100% recycled paper. Applications include fill for small and medium voids or cushioning and blocking and bracing. Sealed Air says the PackTiger Hybrid system is more compact than traditional paper packaging systems and adapts to on-line workstations or batching applications. An operator presses on the foot pedal to create a continuous length of material or turns a control knob to select variable output length. The system has a removable tray in front for reloading.

Sealed Air, Booth 2200
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Pallet Maker

The Lumina Plastic Pallateer injection molding system from Wilmington Machinery allows end users to make their own plastic pallets from recycled material. According to the company, one Palleteer machine can produce any pallet size in production quantities — from from 150,000 to 800,000 pallets per year.

Wilmington Machinery, Booth 2144
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Label Holders

Tri•Dex clear plastic label holders from Aigner Index seal and protect labels, including barcodes, without the need for adhesive backing. Five different sizes allow most companies to retrofit their plastic bin slots. The label holders have a tri-fold configuration and are made from heavy-duty PVC, says the company. Laser inserts are included with printing instructions.

Aigner Index, Booth 712
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Storage Drawers

Akro-Mils introduces AkroDrawers, a line of storage drawers that keep supplies and parts secure, organized and dust free. Available in both 12- and 18-inch lengths, five sizes and five colors, AkroDrawers can be labeled for quick inventory identification. Each AkroDrawer contains multiple grooves for optional width dividers and a wide front handle. AkroDrawers are available in several configurations, including super modular cabinets, stackable cabinets, secure mini-cabinets and louvered carts.

Akro-Mils, Booth 805b
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Slotting Accessories

Frazier Industrial Co. introduces new slotting accessories for its SelecDeck carton flow system.

New lane dividers fit into slots along the load side of the carton flow bed, permitting cartons to be added, changed or sorted by size and SKU. The dividers allow users to identify correct lanes for order selection and replenishment.

Another new accessory, the sliding label holder, can be placed anywhere along the front of the case flow bed to prevent scraping and removal of adhesive labels during product reprofiling.

The SeleDeck carton flow system allows users to retrofit structural roll-formed systems without having to replace existing shelf beams, according to Frazier.

Frazier Industrial Co., Booth 1634
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AutoID Label

ID Label Inc. introduces “Z” Sign, an automatic identification label that can identify two locations with one sign. Made of durable PVC, “Z” Sign has a retro-reflective label mounted on either side. The labels can be scanned from 30 feet away or farther, depending on the number of digits in the location record.

ID Label Inc., Booth 1929
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Loading Dock Products

GMR Safety Inc. introduces its Power Chock CR restraint and ClearToGo SG dock door protection and access control system. Designed to prevent loading dock accidents during loading and unloading, the Power Chock CR wheel-based truck restraint can restrain all types of vehicles, including trailers with lift gates, and is independent of a truck's rear impact guard. The ClearToGo SG helps protect loading dock doors from being damaged during staging and loading with a high-visibility barrier that sustains impact. The system also sounds an alarm, allowing dock employees to avoid accidently hitting the dock door.

GMR Safety Inc., Booth 2069
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