Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


60 seconds with Shana Relle, MHIA, Intralox

Modern spends 60 seconds with Shana Relle, chair of the ISCC for MHIA and marketing for Intralox
May 01, 2012

Shana Relle
Title: Chair of the Integrated Systems & Controls Council (ISCC) for the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA); marketing for packaging and materials handling for Intralox
Location: New Orleans
Experience: Six years in the materials handling industry
Primary Focus: The goal of the ISCC is to bring together suppliers of system components and controls with companies that put together an entire materials handling system. The focus of the automation alliance is to put a public face on the group’s efforts and educate end users on materials handling.

Modern: Are you and your colleagues in the integrated systems group seeing a rising interest level in automation
Relle: We are. And while the members within the group offer a variety of automated solutions, we’re seeing interest from customers of all sizes, across all industries and with a wide set of problems. We’re seeing customers who want to put in a large, comprehensive system, but there’s also interest in islands of automation. They may want just a small piece of automation, like putting in a piece of live conveyor to move a tire down an assembly line rather than a worker having to push it across a gravity conveyor.

Modern: Your group has a campaign to bust the myths around automation. What are some of the myths around automation?
Relle: The myths persist, but I’d say many of them are going away. For instance, people used to think that only large companies could automate. Now, according to our research, 52% believe that automation is for companies of any size, and 78% agree that automation can be retrofitted into an existing facility. We’re making headway on those two. However, 56% still believe that these systems are hard to support and maintain, even though I think that’s no longer true. Only 56% think automation is safe, yet we don’t hear reports about people being injured as a result of automation.

Modern: If myths are really being busted, what does that say about automation?
Relle: I think you’re just seeing more of it. Consumers are comfortable with the idea that goods come from Asia, and they have to be moved around a warehouse. The press about Amazon buying Kiva brings a certain amount of attention to the industry from people who haven’t paid attention in the past—a good percentage of the population is buying products from Amazon.

Modern: What does the ISCC see for the future of automation?
Relle: There are a lot of reasons for customers to automate going forward. For instance, you’re seeing more green packaging. That has to be handled very gently and precisely, which is something that automation can do. Where facilities are at capacity or want LEED certification, you’re going to see more automation. I think you’re going to see a mix of automation and non-automation, and I think that’s going to grow more and more. I also think as young people become more comfortable with personal technology, they’ll be more comfortable with robots and automation.

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!

Recent Entries

Despite advances in process automation, vital business processes consisting of data-driven tasks such as collecting, reviewing, and inputting information still exist in most organizations. These tasks are mundane, repetitive and... okay, boring.

Pressure-senstitive labeling machinery company expands Accraply's products and markets.

The new tire handling systems group will offer a variety of services including design engineering, project management, site supervision, controls, software, automated storage and retrieval, and custom manufacturing solutions specific to the tire industry.

New facility to house more than 300 engineers, project managers, sales, customer service and administrative staff.

Material handling parts distributor acquires Mid-Atlantic industrial safety distributor.

About the Author

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.


© Copyright 2016 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA