MODEX—the biggest supply chain show of 2016
NEW TESTING/TRAINING FACILITY, UPGRADED S/RM
Westfalia Technologies, Inc. showcased its upgraded storage and retrieval machine (S/RM) to provide clients with safer operations. The new S/RM features an independent moveable safety cab, or service lift, which allows operators to access storage levels without using a ladder. Also, the S/RM features more built-in, dual-safety processors and service components that are more accessible for easier maintenance.
Westfalia also completed a multi-million dollar test facility, located at its York, Pa., headquarters. This facility allows the company to test improvements and new software user interfaces to better its solutions and stay at the forefront of the technology. It will also serve as a training facility to provide customers with hands-on, improved training on using an automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS).
Westfalia Technologies, Inc.
SELF-DRIVING VEHICLE FOR LIGHT-LOAD MATERIAL TRANSPORT
Canada-based Clearpath Robotics expanded its OTTO line of self-driving vehicles with OTTO 100, designed for autonomous light-load material transport in factories and warehouses.
The OTTO 100 system delivers dynamic and efficient light-load transport in increasingly congested industrial operations. OTTO does not rely on external infrastructure for navigation, making implementation hassle-free and highly scalable. Additionally, OTTO 100 uses Clearpath’s self-driving operating system to provide autonomous transport up to 220-pound loads at speeds up to 4.5 mph, while tracking along optimal paths and safely avoiding collisions.
OTTO 100 can be configured with a lift, bin carrier or cart, and integrates directly with ERPs via the OTTO enterprise fleet management system.
VISION-ENABLED MOBILE TERMINAL
Cognex, Natick, Mass., introduced the MX-1000 vision-enabled mobile terminal with a flexible modular design that marries industrial-class barcode scanning with a wide range of Android or Apple mobile devices.
The MX-1000 series of mobile terminals offers manufacturers, logistics providers and other organizations a revolutionary new method for performing tasks such as inventory management, logistics and field service. The MX-1000 combines the ease-of-use and flexibility of off-the-shelf smartphones with a rugged hand-held assembly that holds both the phone and a specially designed Cognex barcode reader.
SORTATION, DISTRIBUTION SOLUTIONS
BEUMER Group, Somerset, N.J., introduced its latest offering—the Rota-Sorter—suitable for handling a vast range of items on a single line at top speed. The Rota-Sorter boasts unique discharge technology that sorts a variety of items—large or small, tall or flat, of different weight categories and in different packaging—on one single line at 5,000 items per hour. The sorter can be expanded to up to three lines arranged above each other, thus achieving a maximum capacity of 15,000 items per hour.
BEUMER also exhibited a broad range of flexible, high-speed and low-maintenance energy-efficient sortation and distribution solutions, including its automated BS 7 cross-belt sorter and an interactive “video wall” featuring several BEUMER warehouse and distribution solutions.
3D SMART SENSOR FOR INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION
ifm efector, Malvern, Pa., introduced the O3D smart sensor for industrial automation applications
The O3D smart sensor is a 3D-depth camera designed to benefit industrial robotics, material handling and packaging applications.
This 3D imaging solution enables an automated machine to perceive its environment the way a human does—in 3D—and includes two “pre-built” applications—case completeness and box dimensioning.
The case completeness application is designed to verify that a case contains all necessary products and that all contents are properly placed in the case, eliminating the potential for short shipments and damaged products. It is also color independent, making it ideal for detecting different packaging varieties. The O3D smart sensor can also digitally change between application “recipes,” making it an ideal fit for today’s flexible packaging lines.
Box dimensioning obtains the dimensions of a case and uses them to confirm sequencing of products for mixed-case palletizing or sized-based sortation. The O3D smart sensor can dimension boxes/cases to an accuracy of+/-10mm.
HANDLING SOLUTIONS FOR INTRA-LOGISTICS APPLICATIONS
Schmalz Inc., Raleigh, N.C., showcased handling solutions for a multitude of intra-logistics applications.
The box gripper for the Jumbo vacuum tube lifter, for instance, allows for the ergonomic handling of standard small load carriers. Ideal for picking workplaces, small load carriers are moved quickly and in large quantities. The integrated lifting slots in the crates pick them up with maximum reliability. At an average weight of 20 kilograms per small load carrier and 50 picks an hour, the vacuum tube lifter transports a total load of 8 tons per shift.
Schmalz also showcased the FXP vacuum area gripping system, which ensures maximum flexibility and reliability when handling workpieces of different shapes and sizes. Just one gripper can handle multiple workpieces with a width up to 20 mm simultaneously with speed and reliability. The vacuum generation occurs directly in the gripper, providing increased energy efficiency. Thanks to its low weight, the FXP area gripper is ideal for use on robots.
Furthermore, the SPZ-M layer gripping system with mechanical gripping support allows the user to handle intermediate layers, pallets, cardboard boxes, crates and film packaging with maximum efficiency. The suction area is available either as flexible foam or single suction pads, and fully adapts to the structure of the workpiece and the task. By handling whole product layers rationally, the cycle time can be drastically reduced to a minimum.
Caster Concepts Inc., Albion, Mich., created what is said to be the first motorized industrial caster.
The Drive Caster integrates an electric motor with an industrial caster to create a single unit that can be easily added to carts, racks or just about anything that rolls on casters. With a mere flip of a switch, operators can effortlessly move heavy loads without fear of injury.
The Drive Caster boasts a quarter horsepower or a half horsepower motor, powerful enough to move loads up to 6,000 pounds at up to 5 miles per hour. The Drive Caster also eliminates the need for manual pushing or pulling, reducing the risk of injury and the need for multiple operators.
Caster Concepts Inc.
WALKIE REACH TRUCKS FEATURING POWER STEERING
Big Lift LLC, the Lombard, Ill.-based makers of Big Joe equipment, introduced the J1-190 and J2-72 as well as the new PDSR30 walkie reach truck featuring power steering.
The J1-190 is the latest and tallest version of the J1 series, reaching a working height of 22 feet and able to accommodate a larger battery for extended run times. The new J2-72 Joey is a low level order picker that features a 2,000-pound total vehicle capacity and the ability to lift 1,500-pound pallets up to 72 inches. The J2 comes with power steering, an ergonomic mini-mast and an industrial battery compartment. Optional features include an overhead guard and a choice of guard rail mounted or front-mounted controls to conform to application needs.
The new walkie stackers with power steering—the CB-33 Counterbalanced walkie stacker and the PDSR30 walkie reach truck—boast AC power, integral tilt and proportional controls for lift, lower, extend and retract. Both units also deliver lengthy run times, low-cost operation and the ability to perform in a wide variety of material handling tasks in small spaces.
Meanwhile, the new T15 walkie tugger—the D40M electric pallet truck—is able to handle both standard pallets and half-pallets.
Big Lift LLC