As the speed of manufacturing and supply chain operations continues to accelerate, the future of the industry depends on today’s forward-thinking decisions. From illuminating education to next-generation technology and equipment in action, MODEX lets you see what’s coming — and take advantage of it to “future-proof” your supply chain for years to come.

Powered by MHI, Charlotte, N.C., MODEX 2018 took place April 9-12 in Atlanta, connecting over 850 leading providers to showcase key industry trends and innovations.

In fact, MHI, Charlotte, N.J., and Deloitte Consulting LLP, New York, teamed up to produce "Overcoming Barriers to NextGen Supply Chain Adoption," an annual industry report that provides an up-to-date perspective on emerging supply chain trends.

Here’s a rundown of some of the latest innovations in equipment and solutions introduced and showcased at MODEX 2018:

*Click the links above to jump to a section of the alphabet

Bench Scales

Adam Equipment

Adam Equipment unveiled the Cruiser bench checkweighing scales, ideal for efficient operation in production or warehouse applications.

Adam Equipment, Oxford, Conn., unveiled the new Cruiser industrial bench scales, including the Cruiser bench counting and the Cruiser bench checkweighing scales.

Cruiser scales provide a durable, versatile tool for industrial weighing and counting tasks. With sturdy construction and heavy-duty grade, 304 stainless-steel platforms, Cruiser scales can withstand use in factories and manufacturing facilities.

The Cruiser bench counting range is available in nine different models that feature readabilities from 0.0002-0.005 pounds and capacities from 8-100 pounds. A backlit LCD shows weight, unit weight and count in one convenient location. The programmable backlight can be customized to be “always on,” “always off,” or to light only when weighing. Cruiser counting scales are ideal for inventory control tasks or checkweighing during packaging processes.

Cruiser bench checkweighing scales are available in 10 models with readabilities from 0.0002-0.005 pounds and capacities from 8-100 pounds. For efficient operation in production or warehouse applications, Cruisers can store and recall up to 100 product lookups or piece weights. To facilitate the checkweighing process, the Cruiser’s display changes colors.

Each Cruiser model features adjustable non-slip feet and a level indicator to ensure proper set-up and optimum weighing results. Load cell protection ensures the ultimate in performance and accuracy. A sealed keypad is easy to clean and protects against dirt and spills. The scales are powered by AC adapter or optional rechargeable battery pack, making them ideal for production, warehouse or field use. Communication with computers and printers is simple with the RS-232 interface, and an optional USB port is available.

Adam Equipment USA

Battery monitor for industrial trucks

Advanced Charging Technologies

Advanced Charging Technologies launched the 2nd Generation BATTview battery monitor for industrial trucks.

Advanced Charging Technologies (ACT), La Mirada, Calif., launched the 2nd Generation BATTview battery monitor.

Upgraded features include:

  • Hall effect current sensor simplifies installation by eliminating the need for calibration and ensuring long-term current measurement accuracy.
  • External temperature sensor for redundancy ensures that if for any reason the internal temperature sensor gets damaged or fails, the battery temperature will continue to be measured and reported.
  • New Wi-Fi chipset boasts higher speeds, further enhancing wireless connectivity and cloud integration for remote monitoring and control. Remote and wireless firmware and software updates will push in seconds, allowing for seamlessly updated functionality and continuous improvements with minimal effort.
  • Real-time data logging enables time-stamped, in-depth diagnostics of battery operational data. 

BATTview battery monitors are UL/cUL-certified and meet the most stringent ANSI/UL 583 safety standards for electric battery-powered industrial trucks.

Advanced Charging Technologies

Pallets made from 100% recycled cardboard


Alpesa introduced Úpalet, a pallet made of 100% recycled cardboard.

Alpesa, Spain, introduced Úpalet to the American market. Úpalet is a pallet made of 100% recycled cardboard, is recyclable and weighs in at just 1/10 of traditional pallets made of wood or plastic.

Úpalet can be customized with graphic art or even by size, carrying weights of up to 13,000 pounds, making it suitable for cross-docking merchandise directly to local stores and facilities and delivery of fruits and vegetables, among others.

Úpalet can also be stacked in an interlaced way, reducing and optimizing warehouse storage, and is accessible from all four sides, making it easy for supply chain operators.

+34 962 823 856

Cloud-based software solution for fleet management


AMETEK Prestolite Power introduced AMETEK Insight, a cloud-based ZigBee software solution available through Prestolite wireless battery identification devices for fleet management.

AMETEK Prestolite Power, Troy, Ohio, introduced AMETEK Insight, a cloud-based ZigBee software solution available through Prestolite Wireless Battery Identification Devices (WBID) for fleet management.

AMETEK Insight provides the ability to remotely monitor and manage battery performance as well as change settings, update software/firmware and monitor charges for an entire fleet without having to do an on-site visit. 

Starting in May, AMETEK Insight will be available via enhanced WBID. Data is transmitted wirelessly via ZigBee radio or through DC cables to a single data point, from which that data is available for download to multiple units simultaneously. 

AMETEK Prestolite Power

Flexible drive & control technology

AMK Automation

AMK Automation exhibited a portfolio of flexible drive and control technology for the material handling industry.

AMK Automation Corp., Carpentersville, Ill., exhibited what is said to be the most flexible drive and control technology for material handling.

Ideal for material handling applications such as palletizing, conveying and AGVs, the AMK Automation portfolio features both centralized and decentralized control solutions. For example, the AMKASMART series supports multiple axes of movement, and includes servo controllers, servo drives and integrated motors and drives.

The recently released SPINDASYN SEZ electronic cylinder is a ready-to-install linear drive motor system where the rotor is pressed directly onto the screw. Featuring high and constant force, high precision and high-energy efficiency, the closed-loop positioning and force control make it an ideal alternative to other linear technologies such as pneumatic or hydraulic cylinders, rack and belt drives and linear motors.

The AMKASYN centralized control and drive portfolio includes KE/KW servo converters, KE/KW controller cards, the A Series motion controller and AMKAMAC I/O. The portfolio supports dynamic machine functions with maximum efficiency. The AMKASYN KE/KW servo motors combine a compact design with a modular structure that provides several flexible combination options for machine builders, including a choice of cooling systems, single- and multi-axis solutions and controller cards.

The A-series motion controllers come as compact control cabinet motion controllers and as complete units with touch displays. In each case, they offer programming in CODESYS, visualization and motion control rolled into one. The A-series also offers a highly accurate synchronization of servo axes – even across multiple levels. The KE/KW controller cards are application-oriented and work with all major communication protocols, providing scalable functionality and machine safety capabilities.

The portfolio is ideal for applications such as tubular bag packaging, blister packaging, carton forming, palletizing, pick and place, cross-cutting, labeling, wrapping, strapping, filming, insertion, order picking, sealing plastics, printing, paper processing, textiles, food and beverage, machine tooling and more.

AMK Automation Corp.

Rugged, Windows-based tablet


Bak USA demoed its rugged Seal tablet for manufacturing, logistics and materials handling applications.

Bak USA, Buffalo, N.Y., demoed its rugged Seal tablet for manufacturing, logistics and materials handling applications.

The Seal tablet offers power, versatility and mobility in a rugged, industrial-grade design. It’s built to IP65 standards and engineered to resist drops, shocks, spills and more. Plus, it’s equipped with a Quad-Core Intel processor, 8GB RAM and powered by Windows 10 OS, enabling employees to manage workflow, simplify the assembly process and exchange information in the most extreme environments.

Available in a variety of configurations, the Seal features a built-in fingerprint reader and flashlight, NFC chip, front and rear cameras, a hand strap, multiple USB ports and an active stylus. Optional hardware add-ons include a barcode scanner and an RFID reader.


Solutions in supply chain architecture & analytics

Barcoding, Inc., Baltimore, Md., exhibited its solutions in supply chain architecture and analytics, data capture, RFID and consumables.

For example, the RFID MRO System is designed to help factories maintain an accurate MRO inventory, so factory machine parts are appropriately replenished when supply is low.

Barcoding, Inc.

Carbon-neutral pallet

CHEP carbon neutral pallet

CHEP introduced 40x24-inch pooled, carbon-neutral half pallets, making them what is said to be the first and only CarbonNeutral-certified pooled platform in North America.

CHEP, Livonia, Mich., introduced what is said to be the first and only carbon neutral half pallet in North America.

CHEP also discussed case studies, including the reverse logistics solution developed for Walmart Canada, as well as the CHEP-TPA unsaleables reduction report and CHEP’s state-of-the-art Innovation Center.

CHEP, a Brambles company


3D shuttle machine


Cimcorp presented its 3D Shuttle machine, running live demonstrations of the unique benefits of the AS/RS for good-to-man picking.

Cimcorp, Canada, presented its 3D Shuttle machine, running live demonstrations of the unique benefits of the automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) for good-to-man picking.

Designed to increase speed, reduce labor costs, eliminate errors and ensure traceability in today’s retail and distribution sectors, the Cimcorp 3D Shuttle uses gantry robot technology integrated with an innovative shuttle device to store and retrieve goods in plastic crates, totes, bins and containers. The simple, scalable and movable robotic system is easy to install and maintain, is up to six times more efficient than manual solutions and has the capacity to pick up to 1,000 totes per hour.

Cimcorp Group, part of Murata Machinery Ltd.

Wireless charging system, onboard charging solutions

Delta Electronics

Delta Electronics debuted its 1.5kW onboard charger, designed to efficiently charge the battery in industrial electric vehicles, even in the harshest environments.

Delta Electronics, Fremont, Calif., launched its 30kW wireless battery charging system for the material handling industry, capable of charging a 600Ahr-48V battery in 60 minutes. This charging system is ideal for large and complex vehicles associated with the burgeoning warehouse automation industry, such as scissor lifts, forklifts, trucks and automated guided vehicles (AGVs). The company's range of wireless charging solutions, which cover applications from 1kW all the way to 30kW, can be customized to meet the unique needs of a diverse number of installation sites, such as warehouses, factories, ports and any location where traditional wired battery chargers exist. These innovative systems, comprised of a base-pad connected to a wall box and a low-weight, on-vehicle unit, eliminate the use of cables, connectors and contactors.

The company also debuted its 720W and 1.5kW onboard chargers, designed to efficiently charge the battery in industrial electric vehicles, even in the harshest environments. Developed to easily integrate with a variety of vehicles, such as pallet trucks, scissor lifts, aerial platforms, floor-cleaning machines and more, the 720W Onboard Charger brings a compact solution to the smallest of spaces. The charger's rugged design is also IP65 dust and waterproof. Equipped with a battery temperature sensor, the solution optimizes charging, and offers extended data storage capabilities, including a full history of the previous 1,000 charges.

Similarly, the 1.5kW Onboard Charger, also equipped with the interlock feature, accommodates larger or more energy-intensive vehicles. It is compact, efficient and packed with a robust die cast chassis designed to bear the shock and vibration standards of industrial machinery. Most notably, the 1.5kW charger is 100% convection cooled, making it particularly suited to applications in environments where water or pollutants are present. The 1.5kW unit offers several connection options to smart battery or vehicles systems, with additional connections available for an optional external LED module and battery temperature sensor. As with the 720W model, the unit will store information on the past 1,000 charges, which can be easily accessed through a data port.

Delta also displayed its DC-DC converters and modular charging stations, which offer accurate monitoring to ensure optimal charge, as well as scalability to handle a wide range of battery types, voltages and amp-hour ratings in one cabinet. These modular solutions come equipped with CAN bus communication, and boast wall or floor mounting options to accommodate any setting.

Delta Electronics (Americas)

Improved workflow, warehouse management system

Lydia VoiceWear

Lydia VoiceWear solution from Ehrhardt + Partner eliminates the need for a traditional worker headset, as workers wear a “voice vest” outfitted with specialized microphones and directionally optimized speakers.

Ehrhardt + Partner (E+P), Charlotte, N.C., launched Lydia Voice 8, an upgrade to its voice workflow-driven supply chain solution, designed specifically for the industrial environment where “near perfect” voice recognition performance is required.

Lydia Voice 8 is said to be the first voice recognition solution for the logistics market to use deep neural network technology. Lydia Voice 8 modernizes phonetic and word-based word recognition models, eliminates time-consuming voice template training to boost productivity and streamlines support and onboarding of new, temporary and day-labor voice-enabled workers.

New capabilities include:

  • Added support for Android devices. 
  • Added support for the new Voxter Elite + Voice Computing Device, as well as additional support for a wide range of Zebra, Honeywell and Datalogic Android and Windows-based mobile computers and scanning devices.
  • Added support for wide-band Bluetooth headsets, such as the Jabra BlueParrott B450-XT, Jabra BlueParrott C400-XT and the Zebra HS3100.
  • New API to enable ERP or WMS user profiles to synchronize seamlessly with Lydia Voice 8.

Additionally, Lydia Voice Enterprise SiteSwitcher enables IT to set up voice device network security and WAN profiles from a central location. The devices are then smart enough to adapt to each location’s network security access protocol.  

E+P also showcased Lydia VoiceWear solution, which eliminates the need for a traditional worker headset. Workers wear a “voice vest” outfitted with specialized microphones and directionally optimized speakers to ensure a premier worker experience in noisy environments.

Ehrhardt + Partner 
+971 4-87 01 000

Anti-collision system for forklifts, pedestrians


ELOKON made its U.S. debut with ELOshield, a UHF-based warning system that helps prevent industrial truck accidents (both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-person).

ELOKON, Germany, made its U.S. debut by demonstrating several innovative lift truck safety products, including ELOshield, a best-in-class anti-collision system for forklifts and pedestrians. ELOshield is a UHF-based warning system that helps prevent industrial truck accidents (both vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-person). A fixed-site version monitors accident-prone areas, such as high-traffic aisle intersections. A mobile version monitors zones of up to 50 feet around moving vehicles. Based on the customer’s needs, these zones can be flexibly programmed, by vehicle, as circles, symmetrical rectangles or asymmetrical polygons. Two zones, representing “warning” and “danger” risks, trigger different system reactions. When trucks get too close to each other or pedestrians, the truck-mounted display sends an audible and/or visual alert, automatically slowing down the truck to “creep speed,” and if desired, stopping the truck altogether. If pedestrians come too close to a truck, their tags vibrate and sound an alarm. The system also provides operator access control on each vehicle and automatic speed control at exterior doorways, so vehicles can operate at maximum speed outdoors, but are limited to a safe speed indoors. This turnkey advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) includes ID tags for industrial trucks, pedestrians and fixed locations (like racking or doorways), as well as operator displays for each vehicle and a charging system for the pedestrian tags.

ELOKON also debuted several industrial truck safety technologies, including ELOprotect, a mobile personnel protection system designed specifically for lift trucks operating in very narrow aisle (VNA) warehouses. ELOprotect is an automatic, self-activating, collision-avoidance system designed to prevent pedestrian-vehicle and vehicle-vehicle accidents in VNA warehouses. Tested and approved by government safety agencies, the system uses intelligent laser scanning technology to monitor the distance between industrial trucks and surrounding objects. If ELOprotect detects a person or object in an unsafe area around a VNA lift truck, it automatically slows the vehicle down, and can, if desired, bring the vehicle to a complete stop. At the same time, the system generates acoustic and visual warnings to both the pedestrian and the vehicle driver. To avoid false alarms, ELOprotect activates automatically when a VNA lift truck enters an aisle, and deactivates automatically when the truck travels outside the aisle. The latest version of ELOprotect incorporates advanced vehicle-to-vehicle anti-collision technology, enabling more than one lift truck to operate in the same aisle at the same time. The system also offers automatic end-of-aisle slowing and stopping, dynamic speed-sensing zones, a lift-height limiter and a low-temperature package for cold storage applications.

+49 4122 9570-0

Batteries for high-capacity lift trucks


EnerSys showcased its expanded NexSys battery line, developed to handle the power demands of high-capacity lift truck vehicles.

EnerSys, Reading, Pa., showcased its expanded NexSys battery line, developed to handle the power demands of high-capacity lift truck vehicles.

Also featured at the show were:

The NexSys iON battery. Scheduled for launch in late 2018, NexSys iON batteries feature an advanced Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) chemistry, offering 100% charge rates and 2-3 times the lifecycle of lead acid batteries. Plus, they’re CE and UL compliant.

Express EnCore modular fast chargers. Engineered with the latest digital power control technology and charging intelligence, Express EnCore modular fast chargers allow batteries designed for fast charging to be effectively charged anytime during the shift day. The chargers also offer intelligent charging with high efficiency and flexibility and adapt to a wide range of battery capacities.

NexSys battery chargers. Designed for use with NexSys batteries, NexSys battery chargers slash recharge times and allow for flexible opportunity charging while optimizing battery life cycle. NexSys+ battery charger models offer multiple communication platforms, intelligent charging with advanced efficiency and the flexibility to maintain peak efficiency at all times.