60 seconds with Russ Devilbiss

Russ Devilbiss is the chair of the Conveyor & Sortation Systems industry group at MHIA.

By ·

Russ Devilbiss, MHIA, Carter Controls
Title: Chair, Conveyor & Sortation Systems industry group, MHIA; Sales engineer, Carter Controls
Location: Charlotte, N.C.
Web: http://www.mhia.org/industrygroups/conv

Modern: This has been a good year for the materials handling industry in general. How has the conveyor and sortation industry performed?
Devilbiss: Our market is coming back, but it has been slow, especially in the retail sector. We’re hoping this oil crisis doesn’t hurt demand.

Modern: What’s driving the demand for sorters today?
Devilbiss: The drivers are different with every industry, but the common theme is that people continue to look for cost savings. They also want to implement systems that will give them an ROI today, but they are also asking if the system that meets their needs today will keep up with their demand in three to five years. They’re trying to plan for that growth.

Modern: Let’s talk about speed. Is the push for higher and higher speeds, or is there still growth in the slow-speed sortation market?
Devilbiss:There is a lot of demand for sortation in retail fulfillment and retailers want the maximum throughput they can get. We’re seeing shoe sorters running at 600 feet per minute. The major players in our industry continue to come out with new products to make the U.S. more competitive.

Modern: When you look across the industry, what has been the most significant technological development in sortation in recent years?
Devilbiss: I think we have to go back to the last answer, and say that the most impressive technological developments have been around higher speeds and higher throughputs. Software has allowed that to happen. So has the ability of cameras and scanners to read bar codes at faster and faster speeds. We have been able to bring together complimentary technologies like automatic weighing, labeling and bar code scanning to create total sortation solutions.


About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

60 Seconds With · Automation · Conveyors · MHI · · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Download the full 2016 Modern Materials Handling Salary Survey
How does your earning power match up with your peers across the material handling industry? Materials Handling salary survey, Warehouse manager salary survey, Warehouse Salary Research
Download Today!
From the November 2016 Issue
In Whirlpool Corp.’s Clyde, Ohio, factory, mobile robots have automated the delivery of parts to the line. The result is a more consistent, efficient and safer operation.
Optimizing home delivery: It takes more than planning
9th Annual Salary Survey: Success and Satisfaction Continue to Reign
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
2016 Warehouse/DC Operations Webcast: Confronting omni-channel complexity
During this webcast we’ll examine the current activities, trends, and best practices in warehouse and DC operations management and how companies plan to address complex issues associate with omni-channel fulfillment.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Systems Report: Whirpool puts mobile robots to work
In Whirlpool Corp.’s Clyde, Ohio, factory, mobile robots have automated the delivery of parts to...
Modern Materials Handling’s 2017 Casebook Collection
The 2017 Casebook features more than 35 case studies that put the spotlight on successful innovation...

Brownells: Designing for Efficiency and Growth
Brownells’ new Iowa distribution center has taken touches—and miles—out of the order...
Industry celebrates National Manufacturing Day
Fourth annual Manufacturing Day is a grassroots effort by U.S. manufacturers to improve the public...