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Manufacturers of Automated Material Handling Solutions Honored

MHI, a trade association for the material handling, logistics and supply chain industry, recently named its finalist for its Innovations Awards for 2017.

Exhibitors at ProMat 2017 were asked to submit a new product, product line, technology or service or new application of an existing products or technology. MHI reported that a record 153 submissions were received.

Held at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois on April 3-6, ProMat is an annual showcase of material handling, supply chain and logistics solutions. More than 700 material handling and logistics providers participate in the event each year.

Finalists for the Best Innovation of an existing product include:

· Big Ass Solutions for Powerfoil X3.0 with SmartSense
· Transbotics for Natural Navigation AGV
· Schaefer Systems International for Weasel
· EuroSort Inc. for Twin Push Tray Sorter.

SmartSense is a smart controller that automatically adjusts fan speed based on temperature and users' comfort preferences.

Big Ass Solutions' SmartSense.
(Courtesy: MHI)

According to Big Ass Soutions, manufacturer of the product, the Powefoil X3.0 produces 15% more airflow while improving energy savings. It can be operated in summer or winter modes, which elevates airflow based on the time of year.

When the temperature rises in summer, SmartSense automatically increases the fan speed to product the maximum cooling effect. In the winter, hot air rises to the top of large manufacturing facilities and is trapped by denser, cooler air that sits at floor level. The Winter mode automatically alleviates this condition by spinning the airfoils slowly, gently pushing the hot air down to the floor. The result significantly reduces the cost of heating large spaces.

Natural Navigation AGV from Transbotics is one of five forms of navigation of Automatic Guided Vehicles for material handling solutions. It uses existing environment scanned maps that are stored in the vehicles computer memory. Lasers that are implanted in the bumpers of the vehicle create the maps based on a few fixed reference points.

Driverless forklift with Transbotics' Natural Navigation AGV.
(Courtesy: MHI)

The guide path can easily be changed and/or expanded for different material handling situations and the system offers control of blocking and traffic management. It is ideal for environments that are changed frequently, but not significantly.

Other navigation guidance systems Transbotics offers include:

· Laser Guidance Technology
· Magnetic Spot Guidance Technology
· Magnetic Tape Guidance Technology
· Inductive Guidance Technology (Wire Guidance)

Schaefer Systems International’s Weasel is a driverless transport system that performs such tasks as handling incoming goods, work area activity, goods dispatch and waste disposal. The system handles containers, cartons, trays or other products that vary in size up to 35 kg.

Wiesel does not use complex sensor technology or control systems. Instead, it utilizes features that include automatic RFID group reading.

The Weasel from Schaefer Systems International.
(Courtesy: MHI)

EuroSorts Twin Push Tray Sorter automatically sorts products that are a variety of sizes from 2-inches x 3-inches x 0.1-inch up to 31.5-feet x 23.5-feet x 20-feet and from .1 g up to 55-lbs. The system makes it possible for one machine to handle all sizes and weights of up to 26,600 trays per hour.

The Push Tray features a pusher mounted to a tray to sort/push a variety of products gently, at a right angle, into an accumulation chute or direct into a box/tote/bag/container. Each pusher acts independently, or in-sync, which gives it the capability to sort two small items per tray, or one large item. The push tray sorter design permits sorting in smaller discharge space enabling a denser, space saving layout with the same or higher throughput as cross belt or tilt tray sorters.

EuroSorts' Twin Push Tray Sorter.
(Courtesy: MHI)

The four finalists for Best New Product include:

· ProShip, Inc. for CVP-500 Automated Packaging System
· PINC Solutions for PINC Air, inventory robotics
· DSA Systems, Inc. for PICAVI Smart Glasses
· 6 River Systems, Inc. for Collaborative Fulfillment Solutions

The ProShip Inc. CVP-500 Automated Packaging System builds, fills, folds, and labels single and multi-item orders with variable dimensions in one seamless process and creates a custom-fit package every seven seconds. It requires only one person to operate and does the work of up to 10 packing stations.

It also features a parcel-rating engine that is part of the ProShip’s multi-carrier shipping solution. The CVP-500 captures a final weight and dimensions for each parcel, then

ProShip's CVP-500 Automated Packaging System.
(Courtesy: MHI)

“rate shops” up to 70 potential carriers prior to the final printing and application of the shipping label, which ensures the lowest possible shipping costs.

PINC Air from PINC Solutions is a real-time location technology and automated flight program that can be put on drones allowing the drones to locate assets or inventory that are stack in racks inside a warehouse or densely packed on the ground. The system uses advanced RFID and optical sensor capabilities. An operator can order a drone to perform automatic inventory checks throughout a warehouse and accurately identify inventory in put away locations.

The PICAVI Smart Glasses from DSA Systems, Inc. is a visual display headset that interfaces with warehouse WMS to ensure picking orders efficiently. The glasses also include an integrated barcode scanner and, if desired, a ring scanner. The glasses permits the picker to work with both hands free and allows him one look, one pick and done capability.