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Modex 2012: Show Preview

Modex 2012, slated for February 6-9, will showcase more than 500 exhibits and include a comprehensive educational conference. The event, to be held at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, will offer an array of products to help improve productivity at your company.
By Sara Pearson Specter, Editor at Large
January 01, 2012


Crisplant brand returns
Crisplant loop sortation technologies, systems and life-cycle support services are once again offered. A full line of automated high-speed loop sortation systems and services, including configuration, manufacturing, installation and support throughout the conveyor’s life cycle are available. To facilitate upgrades to support future business growth and changes, flexible controls and software optimization programs—as well as modernization road maps—can be custom-tailored for individual facilities. Beumer, 732-893-2892, http://www.beumer.com Booth, 2315.

Use vertical space for storage, goods-to-person picking
For goods-to-person picking that increases efficiency and productivity, a line of dynamic storage solutions includes vertical lift modules, horizontal carousels, vertical carousels, mobile shelving and integrated software. From receiving and order processing to replenishment and cycle counting, the technologies save floor space and increase accuracy. The equipment eliminates wasted walk and search time to increase productivity up to 66%, while reducing floor space requirements by up to 85% by using vertical storage space. Integrating the systems with pick-to-light technology increases pick accuracy up to 99.9%. Kardex Remstar, 800-639-5805, http://www.kardexremstar.com Booth, 2914.

Voice-directed picking system supports Android operating system
The supplier’s line of voice recognition software now supports Google’s Android operating system, allowing it to be used on Android devices and perform accurately. The functionality enables additional flexibility in operating device selection options. Portable, the voice-directed picking system application can be moved to certified Android devices without reprogramming. The voice-driven software products optimize warehouse operations for greater accuracy, productivity and flexibility in supply chain execution. Voxware, 877-483-7239, http://www.voxware.com Booth, 1414.

Dual-pallet handling AS/RS for beverage, food applications
Offering unit-load handling cranes up to 140 feet tall and mini-load cranes handling multiple loads up to 70 feet tall, the supplier offers energy-efficient automated storage and retrieval systems for food and beverage applications. To maximize stock rotation, automated dual pallet handling machines handle pallet loads arranged side-by-side in the down aisle direction for independent deposits into or retrievals from the racking. This setup yields a 65% throughput increase over systems that only handle one pallet at a time. Other savings include a reduction in handling equipment, aisle hardware (floor and power rails) and installation costs since fewer aisles are required. System Logistics, 207-784-1381, http://www.systemlogistics.com Booth, 4214.

Spiral conveyors save floor space
The SpiralVeyor family of spiral conveyors offers a range of elevators for all types of products and applications. Compact, the units provide a high-throughput solution for up or down elevation with simple, control-free function. As reliable as a normal, straight conveyor, the device delivers continuous product flow in a small footprint to save floor space. It is ideal for handling individual parcels, totes, packed items (including shrink-wrapped bottle packs), cartons, and single mass flow items such as bottles and cans. AmbaFlex, 817-366-8744, http://www.ambaflex.com Booth, 1700.

New WMS offered, plus flexible, customizable AS/RS
Version 2.3 of Savanna.NET warehouse management software features real-time 3D visualization of the facility; a dashboard for tracking key statistics of operations; streamlined user rights management interfaces; and a module for integrating third-party order fulfillment, including high-speed and mixed-layer picking. The Web-based system’s screens apply actual warehouse data to show a facility from any perspective, including walking through and overhead. Also showcased are examples of flexible automated storage and retrieval system installations that double or triple storage capacity of existing, conventional low-bay warehouses and in new construction. Westfalia Technologies, 800-673-2522, http://www.westfaliausa.com Booth, 3611.

Four-way forklifts handle long, bulky loads easily
To ease handling of long, bulky loads, a full line of four-way forklifts are offered. The vehicles provide safe, space-saving handling. Versatile, the forklifts can be used both inside and outdoors, on semi-rough terrain and in all weather conditions. The vehicles come in diesel, LPG and electric models with capacities ranging from 5,000 to 50,000 pounds. Combilift, 336-378-8842, http://www.combilift.com Booth, 2723.

Scanning, dimensioning system reads bar codes at any angle
Ideal for cubing, the AccuLazr bar code scanning and dimensioning system combines an Axiom-X laser bar code scanner with RangeFinder technology. The omni-directional laser scanner can read bar codes at any angle on the top of the package, making it unnecessary to align conveyed packages. Reliable, accurate dimensioning is achieved with patented RangeFinder technology. Installation does not require any specially trained staff. In applications where bar codes may also appear on the sides of packages, additional line or laser scanners can be added and linked to the main system through Ethernet without a multiplexer. Accu-Sort Systems, 800-227-2633, http://www.accusort.com Booth, 2312.

Organize small parts in steel storage cabinet
The heavy-duty, 19 series steel storage cabinet line includes high-impact polystyrene drawers in a choice of five colors: black, blue, gray, red and yellow. Offered in six models, the cabinets are ideal for storing, consolidating and organizing small parts. They feature a heavy-duty welded steel frame for strength, as well as a chip-proof, durable powder-coated finish, built-in nesting feet for stable stacking and four keyhole slots for easy wall mounting. One model offers a locking door for enhanced security. The removable drawers are rust-, corrosion- and dent-proof, and can be divided into as many as eight compartments with dovetailed partitions for customized storage. To prevent spills and lost materials, a rear stop tab is integrated into each drawer. Akro-Mils, 800-253-2467, http://www.akro-mils.com Booth, 3900.

Portable, folding barrier safeguards workers
A line of lightweight, portable folding fabric barriers provide a flexible means to safeguard pedestrians and workers from dangerous areas on the facility floor. Weighing 7 pounds, the barriers feature alert green/yellow fabric with “Safety First!” markings and gray tubular plastic construction. Foldable for storage, the polyester material used in the barrier resists water and mildew. Each panel of a three-panel unit measures 22.5 x 38 inches to extend to a full width of 69 inches. Vestil Manufacturing, 800-348-0868, http://www.vestil.com Booth, 4102.

Voice solution for rugged mobile computers
For use with ruggedized mobile computers, VoiceClient 2.0 voice-directed workflow software supports devices from Intermec, Psion, LXE and Motorola and complements Talkman mobile appliances to deliver productivity, accuracy and safety to distribution workers. Enhancements and capabilities include greater flexibility for multilingual workforces, with support for more than 30 languages and the ability to quickly switch out languages when shifts change; extended battery life and maximum efficiency during the charging process for devices operating with wireless headset; interleaving of voice with scanning when needed; and support for diverse bar code formats. Vocollect, 866-862-6553, http://www.vocollect.com Booth, 1318.

Lift truck batteries and chargers
A full family of batteries for materials handling vehicles and applications is offered. Battery models include high performance, low maintenance, premium, fast charge, flooded standard, and low maintenance. The supplier also provides chargers such as high frequency, SCR, ferroresonant and fast types. GNB Industrial Power, 800-872-0471, http://www.exide.com Booth, 3226.

High-capacity spiral works with high-speed induction conveyor
A specialist in vertical conveying solutions, the supplier is showcasing new, high-capacity spiral conveyors with multiple entry capabilities combined with a new high-speed induction conveyor. Also featured are dual track spirals to maximize space savings by minimizing the footprint required for conveyance. The spiral conveyors need less floor space than conventional conveyors, while running faster and more reliably than elevators or lifts. Ryson International, 757-898-1530, http://www.ryson.com Booth, 4100.

Move pallets around facility on low-profile, automated carts
For use in assembly lines, to deliver pallets to and from stretch wrappers, roller conveyors and palletizers, or to move loads around a facility, SmartCart 100ST short tunnel automatic guided vehicles are flexible and affordable. The vehicles tunnel under customized carriers to transport them throughout a warehouse or manufacturing facility. The units measure 39.4 inches long and travel up to 120 feet per minute. Optionally, the units may be specified with a pop-up bin for hitching to customized carriers. Jervis B. Webb Co./Daifuku America, 248-553-1000, http://www.jervisbwebb.com Booth, 2705.

Middleware for better control in manufacturing
Automation IQ industrial middleware gives IT and operations managers more control of—and intelligence from—manufacturing processes. Capable of pinpointing where manufacturing systems are breaking down, the software provides information about why breakdowns happen. The system receives data feeds from enterprise system inputs, fixed-mount scanners, RFID readers and scales. It then compares, validates and logs the information to generate outputs regarding the data back to the original devices, PLCs, other signaling equipment (buzzers or light stacks), or e-mail alerts. Acting as a central SQL server control database, the software employs standard Ethernet communications. BarCode ID Systems, 678-904-9045, http://www.barcodeid.com Booth, 214.

Manage, monitor yard and dock with software
The 4Sight yard and dock management system allows facilities to monitor, schedule and communicate trailer movements, load assignments, and loading dock status with a simple, easy-to-use interface. By combining RFID, GPS and sensor technologies, the software provides real-time yard and loading dock visibility, full automation and optimization from the time a vehicle approaches the inbound gate to the time it exits the outbound gate. Event-management capabilities and alert notifications improve trailer coordination and turn time. The system also allows facilities to schedule maintenance based on actual usage by automatically sending e-mail alerts to service providers and facility managers when equipment reaches a pre-set usage threshold. 4FRONT Engineered Solutions, 866-691-1377, http://www.4sightsolution.com Booth, 209.

Mini-load cranes move 660-pound loads up to 78 feet
Providing an automated shelf solution for containers, boxes and trays, the SMC 2 and SMC 2 XL twin-mast mini-load cranes use a closed lifting trolley to hold two standard, or one large, piece of load-carrying equipment. The machines access heights up to 39 feet or 78 feet respectively for high payloads and greater throughput. Load-carrying equipment includes combined telescopes, grippers and pulling fixtures for containers or trays, and box and package grippers. Due to low clearance requirements, the devices optimize space and feature extremely stable masts with very high torque resistance. New drive technology enables the transport loads up to 660 pounds due to a mast reinforcement strut—guided through a recessed groove—that prevents vibration. Schaefer Systems, 800-876-6000, http://www.ssi-schaefer.us Booth, 2105.

Valve makes checking battery electrolyte levels safer, easier
The hydro-port valve makes checking battery electrolyte levels safe and easy with a red slider that opens to allow the hydrometer tube to fit inside. Once the reading is taken and the hydrometer is removed, the slider closes to keep debris from entering the battery cell. To prevent the slider from being lost or broken, it incorporates a notched configuration. Low-profile, the valve’s level indicator eye allows proper verification of the electrolyte level to be seen from the top, side and front, while an encapsulated float eliminates interference with the moss shield and the solid float prevents water from leaching into the cavity. Battery Watering Technologies, 877-522-5431, http://www.batterywatering.com Booth, 2209.

Paper void fill system for small-cell packing stations
For use in small work cell packaging environments, the FasFil EZ paper void fill system uses an advanced crimping function to deliver efficient, high-performing sustainable paper packaging. The system dispenses 100% recycled crimped paper pads, and comes in tabletop or stand-alone models. Minimal training is required, with the system activated by a footswitch to dispense a continuous length of paper void-fill material. Optionally, a programmed length output mode sets a timer to stop paper flow, eliminating excess paper usage per pack. A built-in cutting mechanism eliminates the risk of repetitive motion injuries. Sealed Air, 800-648-9093, http://www.fasfilez.com www.s,ealedair.com, Booth 2709.

Lightweight bulk box
Constructed of sturdy, structural foam panels and drop down doors atop an injection-molded, two-piece welded base, the BN4845 bulk box is lightweight. It is offered in two heights—25 or 34 inches—on a 48 x 45 inch footprint, with 31.7-inch wide dual drop-down doors. Ideal for manufacturing and automotive industries, the container features ergonomic handles, four-way fork entry and four drain holes for outdoor storage. The container nests with any other 48 x 45-inch footprint bin when upright or collapsed. To repair damaged sidewalls, no special tools or fasteners are required; replacement panels snap into the base, while latches and hinges lock into the door. Buckhorn, 800-543-4454, http://www.buckhorninc.com Booth, 3700.

Track location of pooled pallets
To provide the supplier’s pooled pallet customers with end-to-end visibility of their assets, PalletView proprietary asset management software system tracks locations. By logging into the system through a Web-based portal, managers can track how many pallets are in the system, the quantity and sizes of pallets at each location and whether those pallets are being sorted, repaired or are ready for delivery. The system can also determine where the pallets have been delivered and in what quantities. Through accurate billing, accounting, inventory control and asset management, the system reduces the number of new pallets that need to be purchased every year. Millwood, 800-860-4744, http://www.millwoodinc.com Booth, 2305.

Automate load transfer with integrated pallet cart system
By enabling a fork truck driver to place a pallet onto an integrated pallet cart, the LTS-C load transfer station machine automatically completes the transfer without further operator intervention. The system transfers shipped or received products packaged in cases, barrels, drums, bags and pails from one pallet type to another, including plastic, CHEP and GMA pallets. Offered as a stand-alone machine, the unit can also be incorporated into a fully automated system with pallet washing and/or stretch wrapping. Columbia Machine, 800-628-4065, http://www.loadtransfer.net Booth, 2523.

Convert pallet trucks, tow tractors to unmanned robotic industrial vehicles
The GP8s and GT10s standard, off-the-shelf pallet trucks and tow tractors navigate without drivers using the supplier’s vision guidance system. The guidance system transforms standard vehicles into unmanned robotic industrial trucks that optimize workflow processes by increasing productivity and reducing costs. This offers economic and operational advantages, as the vehicles operate without the need for wire, tape, laser or other automatic guided vehicle guidance systems. Seegrid, 877-733-4743, http://www.seegrid.com Booth, 3100.

Handheld bar code terminals equipped with advanced features
The series of BHT-900 handheld bar code terminals features C-language programming and USB connection directly to a PC. Other communications capabilities include Media Transfer Protocol, Bluetooth 2.1, and batch communication through RS232C or USB. Pre-installed software enables instant, out-of-the-box use for basic data collection applications. The terminals are equipped with CCD technology to recognize hard-to-read or damaged bar codes at maximum speeds of 400 scans per second. Running for 200 hours between charges, the devices withstand 60 drops onto concrete from a height of 3.9 feet. Slim, lightweight and ergonomic, the terminals offer easy touch or distance scanning, a large display and up to three trigger keys for operation without changing grip. Denso, 310-952-7955, http://www.denso-adc.com Booth, 313.

AGV sports sophisticated controls
Equipped with a sophisticated control system, the model CA-A50060-NSI BST tugger can navigate up to 50 courses (128 commands each) and is programmable by PC or an onboard touchscreen. The units follow a magnetic tape guidepath and function as automated tuggers, eliminating the need for manned delivery vehicles. They drive under a stationary cart equipped with a BST hitch, extend a tow pin into the hitch, deliver the cart to a designated work area, then retract the tow pin and move out to pick up another cart. Programs can be downloaded with USB memory, Ethernet cable or radio frequency. For command initiation, the unit includes an RFID reader. Safety and operational features include a non-contact laser bumper and 8-bit optical communications device for remote control and starting. Creform, 800-839-8823, http://www.creform.com Booth, 4705.

Protect personnel, equipment from falls off docks
Easily operated by one person in seconds, EdgeGard dock gates create a barrier to protect personnel and equipment from falling off wide truck pits and loading docks. The gates are offered in two versions: straight-rail (8- or 10-feet long) and folding-rail (10- or 12-feet long) with a pivot point in the center. Smooth cantilever action enables easy operation and long service life. When raised, the gate completely clears the opening for unimpeded traffic flow and maximum accessibility. Upon closing, the gate stays securely in place with top rails 42 inches above floor level. Properly anchored, the gates meet the 200-pound OSHA 1910.23 load force protection requirement. Wildeck, 800-325-6939, http://www.wildeck.com Booth, 3709.

Custom, pre-engineered mezzanines
Custom, pre-engineered mezzanine systems can be engineered to meet a variety of industry and warehouse applications for improved inventory management and streamlined logistics. The systems are scaled to match a facility’s existing footprint as an affordable, turn-key solution. Services include on-staff engineering, metal forming and powder-coat finishing for long lasting, durable surfaces. Cubic Designs, 800-826-7061, http://www.cubicdesigns.com Booth, 4127.

Heavy-duty electric chain hoist easy to adjust, maintain
Offered in capacities from 1/4 to 3 tons, the man guard electric chain hoist is equipped with an overload clutch for a heavy-duty rating. Easy maintenance and adjustments are facilitated through open construction, which allows for quick access to the brake and wiring. Other features include a durable AC disc brake, precision gearing and efficient electric hoist motors that require less energy to operate the unit. The hoist comes standard with single speed or variable frequency drive, with most units in stock ready to ship. Its standard rigid hook mounting may be interchanged with other mounting options. Columbus McKinnon, 800-888-0985, http://www.cmworks.com Booth, 3609.

Open area rack decking FM-approved
FM-approved after laboratory fire testing in accordance with standard 6914, Punch Deck open area rack decking can be considered equivalent to 70% open area shelving. This enables its use in warehouses with sprinkler protection conforming to FM global data sheet 8-9, “Storage of Class 1, 2, 3, 4 and Plastic Commodities.” The decking is offered in 24- to 36-inch widths. Also offered, Fluekeeper rack attachments keep stored material out of transverse flue space products. DACS, 866-400-8107, http://www.dacsinc.com Booth, 2109.

Material covers rack beams, old labels for a clean appearance
Beam Renew covers rack beams easily to obscure existing bar code and non-bar code labels on warehouse racks. Highly opaque with a metalized backside, the material can be custom color matched to existing rack beam color. More cost-effective than other solutions, application of the material yields racks that look clean and have a like-new appearance. To resist abrasion, water and cleaning solvents, the material includes an over-lamination coating. Labels can be easily re-applied over the cover-up material. ID Label, 800-541-8506, http://www.idlabelinc.com Booth, 818.

Insulate with modular curtain wall
Made with reclaimed polyisocyanurate (polyiso) insulation—which has the highest R-value per inch of any common insulation material—Green InsulWall is offered for use in commercial buildings as an energy-conserving, modular wall system. The rigid, insulating modular curtain wall is easy to install and can be moved, rehung, and reused as a facility’s needs change. The system improves insulation capacities and is constructed of salvaged commercial roofing insulation, preventing landfill waste. Randall Manufacturing, 630-782-0001, http://www.randallmfg.com Booth, 5123.

WMS software improves inventory accuracy up to 99.99%
A new warehouse management system reduces work by a third while increasing inventory accuracy up to 99.99% by reducing or eliminating physical inventories. The system prevents mis-shipments by verifying correct product prior to shipping to cut returns. By optimizing routing and pick sequencing, employee productivity is improved for directed pick and putaway operations. Additionally, the system provides accurate knowledge of what inventory is on hand, while tracking productivity by capturing time, date and operator information every time a product moves. The supplier also offers outbound shipping software that interfaces with enterprise resource planning systems. HAL Systems, 770-927-0700, http://www.halsystems.com Booth, 215.

AGVs freely navigate
Turn-key automatic guided vehicle systems increase productivity and lower operating costs through efficient and safe materials handling. Featuring the patented free ranging over grid (FROG) navigation, this system enables the vehicles to travel over an entire work area automatically, indoors and outside. The vehicles handle loads ranging from small part totes weighing 50 pounds to steel coils or paper rolls weighing 50 tons or more. Frog AGV Systems, 248-760-5667, http://www.frogusa.com Booth, 1805.

Sorter handles heavy boxes, light polybags simultaneously
The push-tray high-speed unit sorter sorts heavy boxes, traditionally non-conveyable items and light polybags simultaneously on the same unit sorter. With trays offered in a variety of configurations, the system ensures maximum throughput capacity and gentle product handling. Multiple induction methods and sorting destination types can be specified to accommodate unique application requirements. Eurosort, 410-363-6345, http://www.eurosort.com Booth, 1909.

Full line of overhead handling, lifting devices on display
A full line of overhead cranes, wire rope hoists, electric chain hoists, workstation cranes, Gottwald port cranes and crane service capabilities are offered. New additions to KBK workstation crane construction kits are available that increase load capacity and spanning capability. Other additions include a new track profile, KBK II-H, for use with cranes, monorails and workstation cranes. Other featured items include an operational stepless high-speed chain hoist that combines precise positioning and high speed for high-duty assembly operations, and HMI-certified electric chain hoists that can be either pendant or radio controlled. Demag Cranes & Components, 440-248-2400, http://www.demag-us.com Booth, 3318.

Store, organize parts with cabinets and bins
Combining a stylish look with practical accessories, the Treston line of storage systems provides flexible, efficient parts storage. The modular units include a variety of bins and storage cabinets that can be stacked, wall-mounted or mounted on turntable assemblies. Ideal for use in maintenance, production and storage areas, the compact turntable assemblies store thousands of components for easy identification. When paired with the supplier’s line of workstations, the units create a fully functional, ergonomic workspace. Sovella, 800-437-6772, http://www.sovella.us Booth, 3802.

About the Author

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Sara Pearson Specter
Editor at Large

Sara Pearson Specter has written articles and supplements for Modern Materials Handling and Logistics Management as an Editor at Large since 2001. Based in Cincinnati, Specter has worked in the fields of journalism, graphic design, advertising, marketing, and public relations for 15 years, with a special emphasis on helping business-to-business industrial and manufacturing companies. Specter graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky., with a bachelor’s degree in French and history.


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