MODEX 2018 delivers opportunities to future-proof food processing plants
Fleet management software directs self-driving vision guided vehicles
Seegrid expanded its Seegrid Supervisor fleet management software to include three new features for directing self-driving vision guided vehicles.
Seegrid, Pittsburgh, Pa., expanded its Seegrid Supervisor fleet management software to include three new features—Queues, Barcode Scanner support and Caution Tape. Seegrid Supervisor directs self-driving vision guided vehicles (VGVs) for flawless material flow, tracking vehicles in real time and facilitating a connected, smart factory environment.
Queues. Supervisor’s new Queues feature helps companies reduce wasted travel time, maximizing the productivity of their VGV fleet. When a VGV completes a job, Supervisor identifies the next available job and automatically dispatches the vehicle to execute its next task.
Barcode scanner. Supervisor now integrates with barcode scanners, allowing customers to direct the movement of materials transported by VGVs throughout their facilities. Team members simply scan each payload and Supervisor understands the load type, automatically dispatching the vehicle to its destination.
Caution Tape. In busy manufacturing and distribution environments, customers often need to block off or restrict certain areas from VGV travel for a variety of reasons. Supervisor’s new Caution Tape feature prevents VGVs from traveling down certain segments of the route network. When a VGV begins its route, Supervisor tells it to ignore any blocked segments. The VGVs intelligently work around the blocked area and continue on their routes. This new feature gives fleet managers the ability to quickly block off segments of a facility due to construction, scheduled maintenance or spillage–without stopping operations.Seegrid Corp.
Material handling & load containment solutions
Signode Industrial Group displayed a wide variety of its customer-focused innovations, including the BXT3 Plastic Strapping Tool, ideal for heavy-duty applications requiring high tension force and extremely rough and tough environmental conditions as well as sensitive, light-duty applications requiring soft tensioning and small and thin straps.
Signode Industrial Group, Glenview, Ill., displayed a wide variety of its customer-focused innovations from Signode Packaging Systems, Muller Load Containment Solutions (LCS) and Loveshaw.
For instance, Signode Packaging Systems introduced the BXT3 Plastic Strapping Tool. Boasting a lightweight and balanced design, the drop-, dust- and moisture-proof tool is easy to assemble and disassemble, and features a full-touch, 3-color display. The BXT3 is ideal for heavy-duty applications requiring high tension force and extremely rough and tough environmental conditions as well as sensitive, light-duty applications requiring soft tensioning and small and thin straps. The BXT3 is said to be the world’s first strapping tool with a number of features, including real-time indication of tension force, variable tension speed, strap alignment indication, 3-color information display and acoustic signal. The tool is also equipped with the ability to switch between standard and favorite settings, including tension force, welding time and operating mode.
Muller’s Octopus “1717 C” automatic rotary ring stretch wrapper is a compact-size wrapper that’s versatile for a variety of applications and environments.
Muller also showcased its Yellow Jacket Orbital Stretch Wrapper. Originally built by fabricators to solve the unique challenges of securing oddly shaped, heavy loads directly to the pallet, Muller’s Yellow Jacket orbital stretch wrapper effectively secures complex fabrications, metal parts and loose assemblies on a pallet while simultaneously minimizing the time and labor required to secure the load to a pallet. Yellow Jacket’s Orbital Stretch Wrapper is available in manual or semi-automatic. The 87M requires a footprint of only about 8͛x9 inches, runs on 110VAC and wraps a standard pallet size up to 68 inches diagonally.
Loveshaw’s LDX RTB is a random automatic case sealer developed specifically for customers seeking a case sealer that processes random size cases without an operator. This durable machine can process weak, void and overstuffed cases at high speeds, and is ideal for high-volume environments. With an expansive case range, easy access to motors, electrical and belts, and operation from all sides with moveable controls, the LDX RTB is equipped with unique safety features like interlocking safety gates and automatic locking of the top drive assembly when there is loss of air or electric.Signode Industrial Group
Order picking, fulfillment system
Softeon, Reston, Va., demonstrated its breakthrough order picking and fulfillment system.
With the growth in “eaches” (or broken case picking in many distribution operations as a result of e-commerce) and other factors driving changes to order profiles, companies are turning to a variety of technologies, including voice, smart pick carts, put walls, pick-to-light and more, to reduce picking costs.
The Softeon WMS directly manages all subsystems in any combination, thus eliminating the need for third-party control software and interfaces.Softeon
Heavy duty cabinets
Vidmar introduced 16 new heavy duty cabinets specifically engineered for industrial applications requiring increased weight capacity, bin storage and enhanced durability.
Vidmar, an Allentown, Pa.-based Stanley Black & Decker Storage Solutions brand, introduced 16 new heavy duty cabinets featuring 12-gauge steel and all-welded construction.
Vidmar heavy duty cabinets are specifically engineered for industrial applications requiring increased weight capacity, bin storage and enhanced durability, such as manufacturing and production facilities, food processing and more.
Key features of the line include:
- 16 Cabinets with four size options from 36x24x60 inches to 72x24x72 inches and 3-4 shelves per cabinet.
- Adjustable shelves on 3-inch increments provide individual shelf capacity of 1,525, 1,650, 1,775 and 1,900 pounds, depending on the model.
- Heavy duty door design features all-welded louvered panels and durable hinges for added door rigidity, and optional bins for additional small item storage functionality and convenience.
- Powder coat finish to prevent rust. Paint color options include Black, Gray, White, Textured Black and Textured White.
- The proprietary flush base design anchors to the floor to help prevent tipping.
Stoecklin Logistics introduced the FSP Shuttle to the North American market, which can go up to 25 meters high, and move product as heavy as 110 pounds from level to level in temperatures as low as -22°F.
Stoecklin Logistics, Inc., Atlanta, introduced the FSP Shuttle to the North American market.
The FSP can go up to 25 meters high, and can move product as heavy as 110 pounds from level to level in temperatures as low as -22°F. Additionally, the extractor on the FSP vehicle has the ability to handle either cardboard boxes or rigid containers as large as 860x660x500 mm. The extractor on the FSP vehicles can retrieve totes and containers up to four deep to either its right or left.
The embedded warehouse management solution offers an efficient strategy and functionality. Visualization and statistical functions give a direct insight, thus enabling proactive maintenance.
The lifter concept comprises the vertical conveyors for carriers and the transfers per storage level. Depending on requirements, an additional lifter can be used for vehicle level changing.Stoecklin Logistics, Inc.
Rack inspection & safety services
Storage Equipment Safety Service (SESS), UK, showcased its rack inspection and training services.
- Annual inspections to identify and classify damaged racking according to risk level, as well as identify operational issues such as pallet condition, clearances, housekeeping, general conformance to RMI codes, etc.
- Ensure that employees are properly trained to perform in-house monthly inspection.
- Post-installation inspections to ensure that racking has been installed according to manufacturer specifications.
+44 (0) 1670 736444
Mobile racking system, high-density pallet shuttle
Storax | FLEXSPACE showcased its mobile racking system, Poweracks, and its high-density pallet shuttle, Ranger.
Future-ready robotics, data-driven automated solutions
Swisslog Logistics Automation demonstrated a variety of scalable, future-ready solutions, including the new CarryPick solution, an automated storage and order fulfillment system that is a flexible, scalable asset for multi-channel fulfillment operations.
Swisslog Logistics Automation, a Newport News, Va.-based division of KUKA, demonstrated a variety of scalable, future-ready solutions designed to help companies keep pace with Industry 4.0.
The new CarryPick solution, for example, is an automated storage and order fulfillment system that is a flexible, scalable asset for multi-channel fulfillment operations. CarryPick’s automated guided vehicles (AGVs) continuously supply workstations with mobile racks. This flexible new approach provides the ability to add racks and AGVs quickly as storage volume increases, and enables equipment to be easily moved from one warehouse to another.
The CarryPick system’s new KMP 600 AGV was developed in close collaboration between KUKA and Swisslog. Advantages include:
- A fully integrated system includes the vehicle and system software.
- Comprehensive service by the KUKA and Swisslog global support network.
- Superior mechatronics that make the AGV quieter and enable a more ergonomic workspace.
- Increased battery run-time and reduced ecological footprint through weight reduction.
- Great system stability for reduction in downtime and better WIFI capabilities.
Billing management system, delivery management system for last mile
TECSYS’ delivery management solution for the last mile is an end-to-end event tracking and delivery management mobile system for distribution organizations and in-house courier and internal deliveries.
Canada-based TECSYS developed a billing management system (BMS), what is dubbed as the most agile and dynamic monetizing and billing management system. BMS empowers third-party logistics providers to accurately monetize, manage current and potential services billing, track costs on an activity basis, reduce collection times and heighten client service levels. It can also be leveraged to eliminate manual processes and help avoid missed billing opportunities. As a central system, BMS captures billing requirements for all customers across all facilities with consolidated invoicing. In addition to warehousing, BMS provides billing of other services such as transportation and delivery management and value-added services.
TECSYS’ delivery management (DM) solution for the last mile is an end-to-end event tracking and delivery management mobile system for distribution organizations and in-house courier and internal deliveries, including all unattended or unscheduled pickups and deliveries. It enables logistics management to create, pick up and deliver shipments directly from a smartphone, and offers real-time, online traceability of shipments. This DM solution features a razor-sharp focus on recording everything that happens throughout logistics operations and on the road from pickup to drop off. It operates from a web-based, self-service portal, offering shipment tracking for internal and external users on one end to a customer self-service call for package pickup that automatically syncs up to a driver’s mobile device on the other end. DM manages the sorting and staging of groups of orders and packages to similar destinations, and provides the driver with detailed work instructions at every stop on the route.TECSYS Inc.
Tow tractor with AC power
The newly designed Cushman AC-powered Tug tow tractor from Textron Specialized Vehicles is purpose-built for towing applications in factories, warehouses and other facilities.
Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc., an Augusta, Ga.-based Textron Inc. company, introduced the CushmanAC-powered Tug tow tractor.
The newly designed Tug is purpose-built for towing applications in factories, warehouses and other facilities. Key upgrades include the implementation of an AC motor for power and efficiency, higher voltage batteries for extended operation, the switch from a mechanical parking brake to an automatically engaged electronic parking brake (E-brake) for increased safety and consolidation to one model that offers a robust 8,000-pound towing capacity.
Transitioning the Tug motor from DC to AC allows the tow tractor to operate more efficiently due to the durability of its brushless motor and the use of direct drive rather than a pulley system. The AC motor also increases the lifespan of the vehicle and the longevity of its batteries. The Tug motor boasts improved peak horsepower at 15.42hp in comparison to the previous model’s 11hp. By increasing the battery voltage from 36 volts to 48 volts, the vehicle tests to up to 80 miles. The electronic parking brake offers users increased safety, as the Tug automatically engages the parking brake when the operator stops the vehicle.
Product enhancements also include a user-friendly dashboard design. The new digital display includes a state-of-charge meter, speedometer and hour meter. The dash also incorporates a forward-neutral-reverse selector that is integrated into the key switch to increase ease of use and convenience. The access port for charging the vehicle is now located on the rear of the vehicle, eliminating the need to remove the deck board for access. The deck board is NUDO coated to add grip and increase durability.Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc.
Automatic split case picking robot
TGW Systems debuted the Rovolution, an intelligent, self-learning robotic picking solution.
TGW Systems Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich., developed a revolutionary system for fully automatic split case picking using a robot.
Rovolution is intelligent, self-learning and extremely flexible, and is available as an add-on module to FlashPick, TGW’s Smart Piece picking solution. This modular concept allows for upgrades at any stage in the customers’ lifecycle. With PickCenter ONE TS, a customer can choose to upgrade as many or as few workstations to Rovolution as required. The Rovolution can pick a variety of products quickly and accurately into totes or cartons. Items are stored within the FlashPick system, which automates split case picking for shorter lead times. It can be configured to interleave orders from different distribution channels while supporting the variable and frequently changing inventory assortments in the food industry. Built on the TGW Software Suite that incorporates sophisticated algorithms to continuously prioritize orders based on configurable profiles, the FlashPick system allows for later order cut off times and/or earlier deliveries.
Also showcased are TGW’s 360-degree services and solutions, designed to support users across a broad range of industries, including e-commerce, omni-channel, general merchandise, grocery, manufacturing, distribution and more.TGW Systems, Inc.
Portable automated sortation system
Tompkins Robotics, a Raleigh, N.C.-based division of Tompkins International, partnered with SI Systems, Easton, Pa., to introduce t-Sort, what is said to be the world’s first portable automated sortation system. These solutions pick up to 36,000 units per hour with the ability to efficiently sort to 1,000s of destinations.
Meanwhile, Tompkins Robotics, and RightHand Robotics, Somerville, Mass., announced a collaboration that will combine t-Sort with RightPick, a robotic piece-picking system, to provide flexibility and throughput for e-commerce and omni-channel fulfillment.Tompkins Robotics
Toshiba America Business Solutions collaborated with Panther Industries to launch a print-and-apply system.Toshiba America Business Solutions, Lake Forest, Calif., collaborated with Panther Industries, Highlands Ranch, Colo., to launch a print-and-apply system.
Easily integrated with scale heads, barcode scanners, warehouse management systems and enterprise resource planning systems, the print-and-apply system prints and applies labels on-demand with high accuracy.
Featuring Toshiba’s proprietary Ribbon Save technology, the print-and-apply system optimizes ribbon consumption while reducing waste. A large-capacity ribbon (up to 800 meters) reduces the need for frequent media replacement. The dual motor improves media handling and assures the creation of scannable labels.
Toshiba America Business Solutions, Inc.
www.business.toshiba.com Panther Industries, Inc.
Flexible packaging acquisition
Transcontinental Inc., Canada, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Coveris Americas, a Chicago-based business held by Coveris Holdings S.A., a portfolio company of Sun Capital Partners, Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., for $1.32 billion.Transcontinental Inc.
Order Picking Solutions
UNEX Manufacturing showcased a full range of order picking solutions, including its Roller Rack structures (as seen here), which are ideal for distribution, manufacturing and retail operations where carton flow is required.
UNEX Manufacturing, Inc., Lakewood, N.J., showcased a full range of order picking solutions, including the patented carton flow solution Span-Track, a full line of gravity conveyor products tailored to the order picking process and UNEX Flow Cells for durable, modular and portable storage for the manufacturing floor.
UNEX also demonstrated its redesigned Pick-Plank, which is a drop-in shelf unit for use with pallet rack that provides the ability to slide the plank forward to bring stored products closer to the order picker. Pick-Plank is said to deliver 40% more space utilization with a reduction in beam clearance.
UNEX also showcased its Roller Rack structures, which are ideal for distribution, manufacturing and retail operations where carton flow is required. Roller Racks are pre-configured, easy to assemble and feature the UNEX Span-Track patented carton flow system with available wheel bed, roller lane and pallet track.
UNEX industrial carts offer flexibility and mobility in moving materials, parts, boxes and components from one location to another within assembly operations. Carts are available with open shelving or racks to hold cartons or parts.
UNEX also demonstrated its UNEX SKUBE software, which is used for slotting inventory to determine what should go where in what type of carton flow set-up for maximum efficiency.
Lastly, UNEX acquired SpeedCell Storage Systems, Zeeland, Mich.UNEX Manufacturing, Inc.
Turnkey robot features neocortex AI software platform
Universal Logic introduced the Neocortex G2R cell, a turnkey robotic solution designed to replace manual
Universal Logic, Nashville, Tenn., introduced a turnkey robotic solution to replace labor.
The Neocortex G2R cell is a complete smart robot cell on a 4x4-inch skid that is up and running in one day. It is controlled by Neocortex, which extends perception, directs grasping and guides the robot. The three sizes provide collaborative ease with industrial speed. It can also be redeployed to other human-sized work areas as needed, requiring only a hard-wired Internet connection, compressed air and power.
Neocortex is a sophisticated artificial intelligence software platform designed as a general purpose control system. The product uses sensor data, artificial intelligence and machine control to provide robots and machines real-time reactive control to changing supply chain products and processes. It is independent of sensors, end effector and robots, capable of working with all major equipment manufacturers.
The Neocortex G2R cell application improvements include multiple input and output tote handling, sorting and special item handling for finished goods piece picking; improved part management and higher-resolution inspection for manufacturing part picking; and enhanced depalletizing and palletizing box handling along the supply chain. Version 5.0 platform provides enhanced mixed piece picking, multi-configurations of finger grasping and integration of new sensors and PLCs.
The Medium G2R cell features the recently introduced GP12 from Yaskawa Motoman, Miamisburg, Ohio, what is said to be the fastest speed 12-kg payload, 6-axis robot in its class. Additionally, the Medium G2R incorporates DataMan 360 Series Barcode Readers from Cognex Corp., Natick, Mass., into a high-speed barcode tunnel for real-time SKU reading and sorting during the robot picking.
IDS Imaging Development Systems GmBH, Germany, provides industrialized high-speed, high-resolution Ensenso N-Series stereo 3D vision structured light sensors for both cells.
ABB Robotics, Auburn Hills, Mich., supplies an IRB2600 20-kg payload, 6-axis robot for Universal’s Large G2R cell.Universal Logic, Inc.
Intelligent voice solutions
Voiteq demonstrated its portfolio of intelligent voice solutions with easy integration, advanced analytics and 3D visualization, including its VoiceMan Data Analysis, which is an enterprise-grade application that converts large volumes of operational data into easy-to-understand, actionable insights for managers.
Voiteq, Alpharetta, Ga., demonstrated its portfolio of intelligent voice solutions with easy integration, advanced analytics and 3D visualization.
For example, Voiteq’s VoiceMan Data Analysis is an enterprise-grade application that converts large volumes of operational data into easy-to-understand, actionable insights for managers. The VoiceMan Screen-to-Voice solution quickly and easily adds voice capabilities to existing screen-based shop-floor processes.
Meanwhile, the CLASS Visualiser for VoiceMan, which was developed in collaboration with Voiteq’s sister company Cirrus Logistics, Alpharetta, Ga., integrates into VoiceMan products and gives real-time 2D and 3D views of voice associates.Voiteq Inc.
IoT wireless router for carts, pickers
Voodoo Robotics expanded its cloud display lineup with the new Mobile Turbo, an IoT wireless router that attaches to a cart or is carried by a picker.
Voodoo Robotics, Plano, Texas, expanded its cloud display lineup with the new Mobile Turbo, an IoT wireless router that attaches to a cart or is carried by a picker.
Mobile Turbo runs on a standard battery pack, supporting communication for as long as a full day between charges.Voodoo Robotics
Wireless power system for autonomous mobile robots
Waypoint Robotics, Merrimack, N.H., launched EnZone, a wireless power system for autonomous mobile robots, designed specifically to make robots easier to set up and use.
EnZone’s high-power wireless connection allows for “opportunity charging,” giving robots the capability to charge anywhere and any time it is paused during the regular work cycle.
The EnZone enables on-demand wireless power for payloads such as robot arms, conveyors or other equipment.
- Fully autonomous system. Robots charge themselves when they are in the EnZone — no human intervention is required.
- Architecture. Any robot can charge from any EnZone or one robot can move between multiple EnZones.
- Configurable via a software API. Users can adjust the charge rate for each charging cycle to charge fast when needed, or slower when there’s more time. This allows for optimizing configurations for increased battery life and better overall power management across the robot fleet.
- WiBotic’s Adaptive Matching technology. This provides consistent wireless power even if the robot doesn’t dock in the exact same position each time. The system is flexible enough to allow robots and EnZone to be substantially misaligned in the vertical, horizontal or angular directions without a decrease in power transfer.
- Software-defined power system. Can work with any robot, including a fleet of different robots, even with different battery chemistry or voltages.
Waypoint Robotics also launched Waypoint Whistle, a common sense robot controller that empowers today’s workforce by putting a robot at their beck and call.Waypoint Robotics
Automated warehouse solutions
Westfalia Technologies highlighted its automation solutions, including the Savanna.NET Warehouse Execution System with FireFly fault recovery visualization.
Westfalia Technologies, Inc., York, Pa., highlighted its automation solutions, including the Savanna.NET Warehouse Execution System with FireFly fault recovery visualization.Westfalia Technologies, Inc.
Strategic partnership improves WMS implementation
Worldwide Chain Stores (WCS), Chicago, and Operations Resource Group (ORG) Consulting, Brentwood, Calif., announced a strategic partnership, creating offerings of next-generation WMS with an implementation methodology that ensures greater accuracy and improved efficiencies.Worldwide Chain Stores
www.wwchainstores.com Operations Resource Group Consulting
Study analyzes future of on-demand economy
Zebra Technologies Corp., Lincolnshire, Ill., announced the results of its Future of Fulfillment Vision Study, a global body of research analyzing how manufacturers, transportation and logistics (T&L) firms and retailers are preparing to meet the growing needs of the on-demand economy.Zebra Technologies Corp.