Automation Plus, a Stoughton, Wis.-based division of CSF Inc., developed the Pallet Return Device (PRDTM), designed to operate in distribution center pick modules and make handling pallets (wood or plastic) safer and more efficient without using any outside energy source.

The PRDTM incorporates a unique method for stacking empty pallets, wherein the operator lifts the pallet over a pivot point, thereby creating a mechanical advantage to remove the back strain associated with lifting pallets.

The PRDTM uses a “carriage” to help guide the empty pallets. This feature produces a perfect stack every time, thereby eliminating the need for the fork truck driver to re-shape the stack.

The PRDTM also incorporates a shock-absorbing device that provides a smooth transition from the load position to the unload position. In use, the operator loads the carriage. When the carriage is full, the operator simply releases the load and lets the shock-absorbing device safely guide the stack to a vertical (unload) position. Once positioned, the pallets roll forward to a raised outbound location, which releases the pallets from the carriage. The operator then slides the carriage back, tilts it to the load position and is ready to receive more empty pallets.

Automation Plus, a division of CSF Inc.


Kardex Remstar, Westbrook, Maine, displayed its newly redesigned horizontal carousel and Shuttle XP Vertical Lift Module (VLM).

The horizontal carousel consists of an oval track supporting rotating bins with shelves. Working on the goods-to-person principle, goods are brought directly to the operator at the touch of a button. The new design requires less parts than the previous model, which allows for faster delivery and improved installation time. New carriers and shelves can be configured in twice as many positions due to smaller carrier spacing and increased flexibility. These configurations can be adjusted as product is re-slotted.

The Shuttle XP (VLM) is the foundation of a smart order picking solution. The Power Pick Global warehouse management software allows for smart storage strategies such as batch picking and user-friendly features such as pick-to-light and put-to-light.

Kardex Remstar, LLC, a company of the Kardex Group


Barcoding, Inc., Baltimore, Md., showcased a #SupplyChainGeek experience, with hands-on, live demonstrations of Bluetooth low energy (BLE) asset beacons.

This “pick-to-pose” demonstration showed how asset beacons enable “pick-to-light” processes. Using BLE, asset beacons allow enterprises to track physical inventory in near-real time by turning assets into tiny sensors. These sensors continuously transmit information about each item’s presence, temperature and movement, so that users know the exact location of their inventory.

Barcoding, Inc.


Interroll presented its new modular conveyor platform for material handling.

The main feature of the new platform is an entirely modular design that allows users to incorporate key elements of a conveying system. For example, it can be assembled to form a complete material handling solution that provides smooth flow of product. The components include straight sections and curves with and without drives, as well as merge components for loading and unloading goods and alignment and belt conveyors for overcoming steep inclines.

Furthermore, these conveyor modules can be equipped with various drive systems and combined with one another. Zero pressure accumulation conveyors can be built by using 24-volt RollerDrive units that operate without any pneumatic actuators. A 400-volt drive solution was also optimized to handle high conveying speeds and extremely heavy goods (up to 110 pounds) for use in high-performance applications.

And, the new high-performance divert (HPD), with throughput rates of up to 3,600 units per hour in on-the-fly mode, is used to transfer unit loads that preferably have a smooth bottom surface. This can be done to the right or left and at different angles. The HPD is designed to be a cassette system, whereby several of the cassettes that are each 120 mm in length can be combined to meet the respective requirements.

The new transfer also adapts to various application requirements, and features the Interroll MultiControl, the new network card for PROFINET, EtherNet/IP and EtherCAT that can be used in temperature ranges of between -22°F and 104°F.

Interroll Corp.


Hatteland, Vista, Calif., unveiled what is said to be the largest ever demonstration of its ultra-space-efficient, high-performance AutoStore automated warehousing system.

Built around a 50-square-meter grid and featuring six robots and two carousel ports, the live system showed visitors how AutoStore can store up to 400% more goods in the same space as a conventional warehouse, at the same time as improving retrieval times, reducing energy costs and improving security.

AutoStore consists of five standardized modules—grid, robot, bin, workstation and controller—each tailored to suit the specific warehouse surroundings.

AutoStore’s grid-based structure optimizes the use of available storage capacity by eliminating walking lanes, empty shelves and wasted space. Fast robots driving on the top of the grid access goods stored in the bins below. These are put-away, re-ordered, accessed and delivered to the workstation required, with the system self-optimizing over time.

Compatible with any warehouse management software (WMS),AutoStore can quickly access all inventory data with extreme precision and confidence, resulting in shipment accuracy close to 100% and picking rates multiplied several times per worker.