September 2023 Material Handling Network

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4 September 2023 Material Handling Network SEPTEMBER 2023 VOL. 42 NO. 9 6 Cover Story By: Eileen Mozinski Schmidt Meeting the need: A look at trends in warehousing, along with a few logistical and new tech solutions in the industry 10 Safety First By: indeed Warehouse safety tips to keep your employees safe 14 Chain Reaction By: Bill Denbigh Unlocking Warehouse Potential: Exploring AMRs in Automated Material Handling 16 Business Management By: Invar Group Warehouse automation: Five key points on securing operational resilience 20 Industry News 24 People News 26 SalesLeads 32 Product Showcase 34 Marketplace 36 Advertiser Index Don't miss our next issue: Staffing Your Warehouse All warehouse operations are different. We will take a look at some warehouse operations and how they balance warehouse personnel with automation technology. Deadline: September 15th CONTACT INFORMATION Kip Krady Account Executive 563 557-4493 Nikole Hoffman Production Lead, Graphic Design Eric Faramus Graphic Design Have some news to share with Network readers? Email a word doc and JPG photo when available TO SUBSCRIBE TO MATERIAL HANDLING NETWORK VISIT US AT www. MHN Material Handling Network (ISSN #21551685) is published monthly serving the material handling industry. Editorial opinion expressed herein are the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Material Handling Network. Material Handling Network assumes no responsibility for inaccuracies, errors or advertising content and reserves the right to reject or cancel any advertising for any reason, at any time.


Maintenance free Li-ion batteries increase safety and efficiency with a lower total cost than lead acid.

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Cover Story

Meeting the need: A look at trends in warehousing, along with a few logistical and new tech solutions in the industry

Industry impacts

And within warehouses, Schramm said racking is a top priority for many businesses. “The influx of racking is probably the biggest part of the interior of the warehouse. Everyone is looking at the most efficient ways to optimize internally,” Schramm said. Labor, meanwhile, remains a concern.

As 2023 races to the finish, warehousing is in demand throughout the material handling industry. “We’re seeing an increase in a need for warehouses across the board, across the country,” said Chris Schramm, director of sales and accounts for Nexterus, a full-service supply chain and logistics partner offering customized solutions. Schramm said available warehousing space was close to capacity in 2020 and 2021 and that has loosened up somewhat recently.

Nexterus offers the ability to research “bestin-class supply chain strategies employed by the largest companies in the world,” the website said. “We bring them to you in scalable, affordable applications,” the site said, noting the company uses a unique approach of modeling and optimizing supply chain needs. Schramm said the company studies network opportunities, current and expanding client bases and more, to help determine where a warehouse should be placed. He said many companies are looking for opportunities for expanded capacity wherever possible.

“The equipment side has definitely started looking at that. Everyone is fighting for the same people. You can saturate a market quickly with four to five warehouses” in one area, he said, noting that automated trucks are helping fill the labor gap in some places. “The Targets, Walmart’s, the bigger players have putting those into facilities. Now we’re starting to see some of those smaller players take advantage of automated trucks,” Schramm said.

The supply chain will undoubtably be impacted in the coming months by the bankruptcy of Yellow Corp., he added. “The financial collapse of Yellow will have the biggest effect across the board for supply chain. Yellow is the number three truck load carrier in the country,” said Schramm, who said other shippers were already operating at 90 percent or more of capacity, so the transportation needs won’t necessarily be immediately absorbed.

As a result, he said shippers may look at changing the dynamics of what they’re shipping and how warehouses are structured. “Shippers are going to be looking at operating their freight and using tools like what Nexterus provides,” said Schramm, who said the company’s Warehowz tool helps find warehousing solutions to meet changing needs.

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For the average shipper, drawing up solutions takes around four weeks, according to Schramm, who said Nexterus will incorporate data and costs to create simulations and optimizations. “We can model pretty much anything,” he said. Schramm said many economic analysts feel consumer spending will be solid through the rest of 2023 and will likely not drop off to start in 2024.

Power possibilities

At Flux Power, lithium batteries provide warehouse solutions for its large-sized customers through use in forklifts and material handling equipment. “As a general statement, there’s a strong surge to find anything that will provide higher productivity,” said Ron Dutt, CEO, of material handling warehouse operations.


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Cover Story continued
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“One big area is if they can move more pallets during the shift,” he said, noting Flux Power’s customers typically achieve this by switching from lead acid, while smaller operations are often using propane power. “Our target is people that want more productivity at lower cost. That value proposition is becoming very well accepted in the marketplace,” Dutt said.

Another factor for some warehouse operations is cutting down on carbon emissions. “All of these larger companies have sustainability goals. This resonates,” he said.

Dutt said Flux Power is growing fast, at over 50 percent per year. “One of the features that comes with lithium that does not come with lead acid is a computer in the pack that transmits to the cloud (computing.) It gives the battery’s state of health and allows the warehouse people to switch the batteries and extend the useful life of the batteries,” Dutt said.

“It’s so great for asset management. It allows remote monitoring for the customer. It provides for early detection of problems.” Equipment malfunctions with forklifts and batteries are one of the biggest pain points in warehousing, according to Dutt, who said mitigating and reducing down time of equipment is key for warehouses. “Having a computer in the battery for the piece of material handling equipment really enables great productivity in many ways,” he said.

Tech and industry partnerships

And Flux Power is developing artificial intelligence capabilities into its computers to provide oversight monitoring. “All equipment at some point needs to be serviced or replaced and there needs to be planning for that. We are developing AI into our computers and the equipment to provide oversight monitoring. We can have somebody monitoring all of our batteries around the country and advising actions they need to take,” Dutt said.

Other companies in the industry are working on similar technological offerings, according to Dutt. He said the advantage of lithium is offering an 80 percent cost savings for three-shift operations. “One lithium pack could operate for all three shifts and wouldn’t have to be changed out,” he said. “Product, life cycle, cost. That’s been the template for us.”

For warehouse managers, another current consideration is coordinating with suppliers, according to Dutt. “Most of the suppliers are not big. The question is, can a smaller supplier keep up with these big Fortune 500 companies? Can you really deliver on time to all their locations around the country? Can you provide the service?” Dutt said.

For Flux Power, Dutt said relationships are key. “We have relationships with forklift OEM’s, Crown Equipment, Toyota. We can approve our packs to go in their equipment. Batteries are typically not provided by forklift manufacturers, so relationships are crucial,” he said, especially since lithium batteries are not used throughout the industry at the same level as lead acid.

Still, Dutt said Flux Power has almost 20,000 battery packs currently in the market. And he said as labor remains “a big deal,” lithium does provide the relief of not having to change the packs as often. And Dutt believes warehouse robotics will continue to increase in use. “A lot of our customers have automated guided vehicles. We’re seeing a lot of robotics,” he said.

Eileen Mozinski Schmidt is a freelance writer and journalist based in the Greater Milwaukee area. Email Networkeditorial@MHNetwork. com or visit to contact Eileen. If your company would like to be featured, email Networkeditorial@ Material Handling Network September 2023 9 Cover Story continued For more Cover Stories visit

Warehouse safety tips to keep your employees safe

you might rearrange equipment to eliminate a cord that’s a tripping hazard. Looking at employee grievances about the work environment can also reveal risks you haven’t considered.

3. Create a safe layout

In the transportation and warehousing industries in 2020, there were almost 207,000 reported nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The nature of the work makes warehouse employees vulnerable to injuries. Implementing the following warehouse safety tips can help reduce the number of injuries among your employees, so you don’t contribute to those injury statistics.

1. Establish safe procedures

Establishing clear company policies and procedures for various activities in the warehouse helps reduce unsafe behaviors that can lead to injuries. This may include things like using protective equipment, never working alone, wearing the right clothing, inspecting equipment regularly, leaving phones in the locker room and following specific procedures when retrieving something from the warehouse. Evaluate every step of your work processes and create corresponding safety warehouse procedures.

2. Identify risks

Warehouses have many common risks, including heavy machinery, items that can fall, tripping dangers and hazardous materials. Identify specific risks related to those and other categories in your warehouse. Verify that you’re handling those risks properly based on OSHA standards. Determine if you can reduce the risks even more. For example,

Evaluate your current warehouse layout to determine if it’s as safe as possible. Look for wide, clear passageways that allow equipment and people to move through them safely. Create a separate walkway for people and another for machinery. The setup should be logical and allow employees to complete their tasks easily without getting in the way of each other. Ensure you have secure shelving and equipment that allows inventory to remain safe.

4. Mark hazards clearly

Clear signage and markings alert employees about potential hazards in the warehouse. All hazardous items or storage areas where hazardous items are kept should have easily identifiable warning signs per OSHA requirements. Mark safety equipment like fire extinguishers and automated external defibrillators to make them easy to access in an emergency. Use colorful, reflective tape or paint to mark forklift lanes, steps, drop-offs and other dangerous areas.

5. Provide safety gear

Issue personal protective equipment for your warehouse employees based on the hazards they encounter daily. Examples include hard hats, steeltoe boots, safety goggles, harnesses, gloves and high-visibility vests or jackets. Your employees may not need all of this equipment, so tailor the list to your environment. Establish a dress code policy to ensure your employees wear clothing that reduces their injury risk, such as closed-toe shoes with good traction or no loose-fitting items.

6. Train employees on safety topics

Regular warehouse training keeps safety at the forefront. It’s easy for warehouse employees to take shortcuts or fall into old habits if you train

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them once and forget about it. Don’t wait until an accident reminds you to schedule warehouse training. Establish new-hire and additional safety training to occur throughout the year for all employees.

7. Hold safety meetings

Touching base with daily meetings gives you a chance to review warehouse safety rules with employees. It’s also a good time to discuss things you’ve noticed people doing that aren’t safe. Address the issues generally instead of calling out individuals in these meetings. You can also share new warehouse safety tips as needed and allow employees to ask questions or share their concerns.

8. Require certifications and training for equipment use

If your warehouse uses heavy equipment, establish certification and training requirements for people who operate those machines. All forklift operators should have a forklift certification, for example. It might be tempting to have someone jump in to do a quick task, but this puts everyone at risk. To avoid this problem, you could have everyone certified on the equipment and hold regular refresher courses on how to use it safely.

9. Do drills regularly

Warehouses can be dangerous in emergencies, such as fires or severe weather events. Finding your way out of the warehouse can be tricky, and shelves full of inventory can present a danger in those situations. Test fire and smoke alarms regularly as well as emergency lighting that will help employees get out in case of an emergency. Do practice drills at least once every three months or more often based on the local fire code. If your warehouse has hazardous materials in it, having more frequent drills is important, since the risks are higher.

10. Establish reporting procedures

Create procedures for reporting accidents in the warehouse. These reports help you follow up on incidents to ensure your employees received proper care and an adequate response. Review the reports regularly to look for patterns and determine ways to improve warehouse safety.

11. Emphasize cleanliness

Many warehouse accidents can be prevented by keeping the workplace clean and organized. Wet spots, cords and obstructions in walkways can lead to injuries. Train employees to clean up wet spots immediately and use wet floor signs when necessary during cleaning. Loading docks can become wet easily in bad weather, so emphasize this risk to employees. Train workers to clean as they go instead of letting clutter build up throughout the day.

12. Inspect things regularly

Everything in the warehouse needs to be inspected regularly to ensure it’s in good condition. Create inspection checklists for each shift to look at forklifts, personal protective equipment, machinery and other gear that employees use regularly. Have a reporting process for issues discovered during these inspections.

13. Practice communication

Clear and timely communication can help prevent injuries and accidents. Establish expectations and processes for communicating things like safety hazards. For example, all employees should know about a dangerous spill in a main pathway or a forklift that isn’t working properly. Employees communicating with supervisors also ensure they learn about accidents and hazards, so they can better control the situation.

14. Encourage employee care

Don’t push employees too hard in the name of increased productivity. Ensure your workers get proper breaks and stay hydrated to keep them alert and focused. Employees who try to meet unrealistic quotas are more likely to rush, make mistakes or lose focus, which can lead to injuries and accidents. Remind employees to stay focused on the job by not using their phones or getting distracted by chatting with coworkers while they’re working in the warehouse.

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Chain Reaction

Unlocking Warehouse Potential: Exploring AMRs in Automated Material Handling

dynamic environments using advanced mapping and localization technologies. AMRs across vendors cater to diverse warehouse environments, ensuring that the right solution is available for specific operational needs.

In the realm of warehouse automation, Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) have emerged as a revolutionary solution for streamlining material handling operations. AMRs offer a myriad of benefits, but it is essential to understand their pros, cons, and alternative technologies to make informed decisions. This article delves into the world of AMRs, their advantages and limitations, and explores alternative technologies worth considering.

AMRs offer numerous advantages that contribute to improved warehouse efficiency. Providers like Fetch Robotics have developed advanced AMRs equipped with cutting-edge perception and navigation capabilities. These robots can autonomously navigate complex warehouse environments, collaborate with human workers, and perform tasks such as picking, sorting, and item transportation. Locus Robotics, another prominent player, specializes in AMRs tailored for e-commerce fulfillment operations. Their robots work collaboratively with human pickers, increasing productivity and reducing order fulfillment time. MiR (Mobile Industrial Robots) offers a diverse lineup of flexible and collaborative AMRs for material transportation and logistics within warehouses. MiR's robots autonomously transport pallets, carts, and bins, adapting to

Operating tirelessly, 24/7, AMRs ensure optimal performance and accelerate operational throughput. The versatility of AMRs allows them to adapt to changing warehouse layouts and operational requirements, making them highly flexible and scalable. Integrated with warehouse management systems, AMRs enable real-time monitoring and optimization, contributing to continuous improvement and streamlined operations.

Safety is a paramount consideration in warehouse environments, and AMRs excel in this aspect. Equipped with advanced sensors and intelligent navigation systems, AMRs from providers like Fetch Robotics, Locus Robotics, and MiR can detect obstacles, avoid collisions, and ensure safe movement within the warehouse. This eliminates the risk of accidents caused by human error, enhancing overall workplace safety.

While AMRs offer substantial benefits, they are not without limitations. Initial investment costs, including the procurement of AMRs, necessary infrastructure modifications, and system integration, can be significant. However, the longterm gains in efficiency and productivity often outweigh these costs. Warehouse layouts with high complexity or dynamic elements may pose challenges for AMR navigation and operational efficiency. In such cases, alternative technologies or hybrid solutions that combine AMRs with other automation systems may be more suitable. Furthermore, regular maintenance and repair requirements should be considered to minimize downtime and ensure smooth operations.

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Determining the ideal scenarios for AMR implementation requires careful assessment. AMRs are particularly well-suited for repetitive material handling tasks, stable environments with clearly defined paths, and high-volume operations that demand efficient and agile movement.

AMRs offered by notable providers like Fetch Robotics, Locus Robotics, MiR and others provide significant advantages for warehouse automation, including enhanced efficiency, safety, and scalability. However, a thorough evaluation of specific warehouse requirements is crucial to determine their suitability. By considering factors such as complexity, flexibility, and budget constraints, warehouse operators can make informed decisions regarding AMRs or alternative technologies. Embracing the right mix of automation solutions, including those offered by leading providers, ensures optimized operations, and unlocks the true potential of your warehouse. Remember, the journey to warehouse excellence encompasses a diverse range of technologies, and AMRs are just one exciting piece of the puzzle.

Bill Denbigh serves as the vice president of product marketing at Tecsys. Bill started working in supply chain software some 30 years ago; his entire career has been laser-focused on designing and building pragmatic supply chain solutions that address the real problems that customers are facing in their supply chain operations. Bill has worked on virtually every aspect of the software in the supply chain, gaining insight into the inner workings of some of the industry’s most complex challenges; Bill, however, tackles those challenges with a no-nonsense levelheadedness that has earned him great repute both internally and among customers.

Blocks the Spread of FireActivates the Sprinkler System

Today’s warehouse fire protection systems include more than just pipes and sprinklers. When the products being stored include highly flammable items such as plastics, aerosols, liquors or oils, fire barriers may be required inside the racking structure.

Solid steel rack decking and flat sheet accessories from DACS make effective fire or heat barriers in warehouse environments.

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Business Management

Warehouse automation: Five key points on securing operational resilience

1. Vendors and OEMs

For those with the luxury of a new build facility, it may seem that the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) or vendors can be relied upon, there will be warranties and guarantees and some sort of service contract. But it is rare for all the automation to derive from a single OEM or vendor, there is much scope for dispute as to who is responsible. And if individual items of kit have had to be modified to integrate with other machines, the OEM may reject all responsibility.

Automation in its varied forms is increasingly ‘mission critical’ to warehouse operations. But with such high reliance on sophisticated systems, how do you ensure reliable performance and a risk-free peak? Dan Migliozzi, Head of Sales at independent systems integrator, Invar Group, looks at the options available for maintenance and support.

Advanced automation is transforming the efficiency, accuracy, and throughput of warehouses and distribution centers. But increasing dependency on technology brings risks. Unplanned downtime can no longer be covered by taking on more casual labor, even if this is available, or physically possible in a warehouse laid out for automated systems.

The cost of downtime, in a high-volume 24/7 operation or at the top of a vital seasonal peak, may be existential. Sadly, too many businesses only realize this when the worst has already happened.

So, for any warehouse operation with significant levels of automation, a robust strategy for maintenance, repair and support to minimize downtime is essential. But how can this be achieved? Here are five key points to consider:

As equipment ages, OEMs or their vendors may cease to offer support, or recommend that you update to the latest model. They may even leave the geographic or technical market entirely.

Further considerations, especially with overseas suppliers, are that support may already be outsourced, and of course that support in terms of both response times and pricing, are aligned with the vendor’s business model, not yours. A service contract with an OEM or vendor does not necessarily represent value for money.

2. The in-house option

Not so long ago it was commonplace to have an in-house maintenance team. That was fine when systems were less sophisticated, and most problems could be sorted out by a dual trained mechanical/ electrical fitter and a store of spare parts. However today, the required skill base is much richer, above and beyond the traditional mechanical and electrical skills that have always been essential. There are now further, elevated levels of expertise required, with deep knowledge on pneumatics, hydraulics and the many generations of electronics/ control systems ranging from ‘simple’ PLCs to the software that informs autonomous vehicles and the like. Finding or training such individuals is not easy.

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Even if you can staff that maintenance function, you then have the task of determining an appropriate monitoring and maintenance regime that keeps equipment operating at capacity while meeting manufacturing or other operational requirements. And, of course, there will be staffing issues around holidays or absence to contend with; not many in-house teams have sufficient contingency to cover such eventualities.

In addition, it will be necessary to acquire and maintain an appropriate stock of spares, duly prioritized, knowing exactly where to source the less commonly required parts at short notice. Interestingly, maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) sourcing and inventory control can often be more complex, and administratively more costly, than the procurement of production parts. No surprise, then, that many businesses tend to downplay the risks they are running through inadequate support for warehouse automation.

3. Third parties and service strategies

A third-party maintenance and support specialist may be a favorable alternative to managing the whole process yourself, but this does require some serious thought. So, what should a warehouse operator be looking for?

Firstly, what level of service, in the broadest sense, is actually needed? This is a question that is inevitably coupled with risk. Ideally, this should be considered when the automation is acquired, but often that boat has sailed. Would a packing line breakdown, for example, stop the entire operation? Or are there workarounds that will keep things going, albeit less efficiently, for a few days? It’s a question of redundancy – and the answer may be far from uniform across the warehouse.

As an independent systems integrator, our approach with a potential client is to analyze every aspect of warehouse automation: possible failure modes, their frequencies, their criticality. What

skills, and parts, do we need ever-present on site; what can we risk needing to bring in, and how confident are we of the sourcing? What are the appropriate levels and techniques for machine and condition monitoring, and what are the red lines for intervention? How does downtime for repair or maintenance fit with production or distribution targets?

Broadly, this analysis prescribes one of three approaches. There is a model where the maintenance contractor’s staff are fully embedded in the warehouse. And let us be honest. We are big advocates of planned and predictive maintenance, of serious condition and performance monitoring and so on, but we can’t always predict one-time failures. If such a failure poses an existential threat, an embedded maintenance and support operation becomes a compelling option.

This approach offers a comprehensive, highservice level solution, and therefore is a premium service.

Similar analysis may suggest that, if risk is lower and unplanned downtime won’t, if swiftly addressed, impact the business, a ‘scheduled’ solution may be preferred. Here, the maintenance team turns up to a schedule, which may differ according to the nature of the equipment and agreed maintenance schedules – some might need weekly inspection or even complete strip-down and rebuild, other elements may be on much longer timelines. And, of course, the team is on call for unplanned emergencies.

Or for lower risk and relatively uncomplicated automation, a remote service may suffice for advice, instruction, sourcing parts and so on. That is also the approach advocated for control/software issues – you can’t feasibly trial patches when the system is up and running.

It is also important that there should be a wellestablished escalation system, so that a problem

18 September 2023 Material Handling Network
Business Management continued

which cannot easily be resolved by the person in direct contact can be raised to someone who can fix it.

Whichever approach is chosen, it is important that it arises from a comprehensive assessment of risk, which can vary, especially across multiple facilities.

4. Technical capabilities

Few maintenance and support service suppliers can guarantee to have all the technical capabilities on tap – especially when it comes to software and the rapidly-developing field of robotics. However, an independent integrator with a team of in-house software developers, such as Invar Group, offers significant capabilities. In particular, we have over 100 staff worldwide working on the development, implementation and support of industry leading technology and we can offer a range of support services from a complete residential service, through to comprehensive remote helpdesk services, available 24/7.

Other factors to look out for when considering a service supplier are staff qualifications / certification, understanding of and adherence to Health & Safety and other principles, along with proof of experience with similar businesses. However, some third parties rely very largely on hiring skills as needed, which isn’t a responsible approach – indeed we reckon to serve around 85% of customer needs from our own resources. It’s worth noting that sourcing and procurement capabilities will be necessary too.

5. Continuous improvement and partnership

An important point to consider is that many third parties can, to a greater or lesser extent, be ‘tied’ to particular OEMs, vendors, or in some cases parts suppliers. This could lead to conflicts of interest or ‘unconscious bias’. Therefore, a level of independence allows for a ‘best practice’ solution to solving problems and sourcing the most appropriate / best value components.

It really isn’t enough just to address failures, and potential failure, as they arise. A competent third party will be continuously gathering and analyzing data on failures, failure modes, and performance. And this shouldn’t be passive: it should be

firmly linked to job tickets, costs of spare parts, downtime, whether there are repeating issues, and other KPIs, so that informed decisions can be made to enhance performance and improve up-time.

Warehouse automation is a significant, often critical investment in the future of the business, and therefore must function reliably day-in, dayout – particularly at peak. Your maintenance and support supplier needs to recognize and respect your business commitments, and work with you to ensure that up-time is maximized, and the best possible performance of the system is maintained throughout. They also need to be prepared to do this across all your technologies and legacy systems, suggesting enhancements that deliver value.

As an independent, full-spectrum automated warehouse solutions provider, Invar Group is cognizant of the broad array of technologies used to support warehouse operations, and being a multifaceted organization that brings together skilled individuals with competencies across warehouse management software, systems integration and controls, we have all that’s needed to de-risk warehouse performance.

Invar Group, headquartered in Cranfield UK, is focused on delivering complete turnkey warehouse automation solutions using advanced technologies such as industrial robotics, AMR goods-to-person solutions, pick-to-light technology, sortation systems, as well as conventional warehouse automation. The Group comprises: Invar Systems, a developer of warehouse control and management systems; Invar Integration (Greenstone Systems), a front runner in solutions design, hardware integration and project management; and Invar Controls, specialists in the design, implementation and maintenance of PLC software and hardware. Further independent advice on transforming operational performance in the warehouse can be found at: www. Material Handling Network September 2023 19
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Business Management continued

American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) mobilizes for Hawai'i fires

The American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) is calling on members of the material handling community to be on long-term alert for opportunities to assist the recovery efforts. The Disaster Micro-Site (www. includes key details about the fires and their related material handling needs. ALAN Executive Director Kathy Fulton encourages you to consider making a pre-offer of any space, services and equipment you would like to donate to assist with the fire relief efforts.

Intella Parts Company searches for the oldest Hyster forklift

Intella Parts Company, LLC recently conducted a contest on finding the oldest Hyster Forklift that included their customers. They were encouraged to submit their entry if they felt they had the oldest Hyster. The rules were that they must actually own the forklift. The winner of the oldest Hyster forklift was Public Steel, Inc. based in Amarillo, TX with a 1945 Hyster KD Krane. Public Steel has been in business since 1948 and believe it or not has three of this model in their possession. Phillip reports that it still runs, and the machine is still used once in a while, they also have a few more modern forklifts they use on a regular basis. They won a $100 gift certificate from Intella, a Carhart sweatshirt and a $100 VISA gift certificate.

Crowley and the Port of San Diego celebrate groundbreaking for AllElectric Tugboat Charging Station

Crowley and the Port of San Diego broke ground for the shoreside charging station designed to provide clean energy for the company’s forth-coming zero-emissions tugboat, eWolf. Joined by key partners and community stakeholders, the ceremony marked a significant step forward in the industry’s journey to decarbonization and reduce emissions in the San Diego community. The eWolf, under continuing construction, is a crucial component of the shared commitment between Crowley and its federal and local partners to invest and develop emissions-free technology.

ARA’s quarterly economic forecast updates CIE rental revenues

The American Rental Association (ARA) has released an updated forecast for the construction and industrial equipment rental industry. In the quarterly update, the ARA presented significant changes in the economic forecast, particularly for construction and industrial equipment (CIE) rental revenues. In the previous forecast, CIE rental revenue was expected to reach $45.5 billion in 2023 and $46.7 billion in 2024. With new considerations, the CIE rental revenue is expected to total $56 billion this year and $59 billion in 2024.

20 September 2023 Material Handling Network
Industry News Material Handling Network September 2023 21 Largest online market for used forklifts, attachments and work platforms. DEALERS DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN GET YOUR EQUIPMENT ONLINE FOR JUST $99 A MONTH? PLUS, WE HAVE AN EQUIPMENT QUOTING TOOL INCLUDED AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE. CALL KIP 563 557-4493 | KIP.KRADY@MHNETWORK.COM OR MONTY 563 588-3855 | MONTY@FORKLIFT-INT.COM TO BE PART OF THE FORKLIFT FAMILY OF DEALERS. WWW.FORKLIFT-INTERNATIONAL.COM 2000 CAT Lift Trucks PD50 American Equipment Sales, Inc. Lawrence | 785-843-4500 1 2012 Hyster H90FT ATP Equipment Exchange Rockdale | 815 744-1683 13 2018 Hyster E65XN MH Equipment Company Des Moines, IA | 515 288-0123 5 2023 Aisle Master 44SE Easy Street JD&S, LLC Carol Stream, IL | 630 682-0021 2 2017 Clark CTX40 Russell Equipment Twinsburg, OH | 330 405-8300 7 2015 Hyster E65XN MH Equipment Company Des Moines, IA | 515 288-0123 5 2022 Doosan G25E-7 DF Industrial Lift Truck Service Chattanooga | 423 332-5533 1 2013 CAT Lift Trucks PD6000-D Wolter Inc. Brookfield, WI | 888 272-0601 1 2009 CAT Lift Trucks E6500AC Wolter Inc. Brookfield, WI | 888 272-0601 1 2016 Combilift C8000 Easy Street JD&S, LLC Carol Stream, IL | 630 682-0021 5 Raymond 71SL60TN Somerset Equipment Sales Batavia | 708 921-0751 6 2018 Hyster H135FT Chicago Industrial Equipment Rockdale | 815 569 6499 17 2004 Yale GP330-EC Forklifts of St. Louis St. Louis | 573-335-2244 1 2017 Hyster S120FTPRS A Lift Above Inc Aurora, IL | 630 758-1023 4 2023 Doosan BC25S-7 36V Industrial Lift Truck Service Chattanooga | 423 332-5533 2 Crown SC4520-35 Somerset Equipment Sales Batavia | 708 921-0751 6

Industry News

Green Cubes announces Preferred Supplier Agreement with Doosan

Green Cubes Technology (Green Cubes) has announced that Doosan Industrial Vehicle America Corporation (DIVAC) named Green Cubes as preferred power systems vendor to support its electric forklift product line. The DIVAC group supplies quality material handling equipment for the North American network of 105 independent authorized and trained dealers. The Industrial Vehicle product line includes 133 separate models of 82 various engine/ battery configurations of Internal Combustion and Electric-powered vehicles. Under the agreement, Green Cubes will provide its Lithium SAFEFlex batteries and chargers for these electric industrial trucks.

A Light of Hope, Felling Trailers announces 2023 Trailer for a Cause Auction dates

Felling Trailers, Inc. is conducting its eleventh annual online auction of an FT-3 drop deck utility trailer to benefit a nonprofit organization. Pockets of Hope is the 2023 recipient. Every day, children are rescued from abuse, neglect, and abandonment. The Trailer for a Cause auction will start on Monday, September 11th at noon, running for five days, ending Friday, September 15th at noon. The online auction can be viewed at

Rack Manufacturers Institute (RMI) embraces a new look for 65th anniversary

RMI has unveiled a new logo and fresh branding to coincide with its 65th year of promoting rack safety. Founded in 1958, RMI is an MHI Industry Group and the leading racking industry association. It currently boasts 38 members, who are identified as leaders in the rack manufacturing and material handling industry space. Some of the new elements of the RMI site include the newly minted logo, a refreshed infographic design, and a fresh look for its free informational blog site,

Chang Industrial and Hai Robotics combine to launch Advanced Manufacturing Initiative


Industrial and Hai Robotics announced the formation of a strategic partnership targeting North American manufacturers. Chang Industrial has built a consortium of engineering and supply chain partners and features Hai Robotics, a global provider of intelligent automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS). This collaboration aims to improve flexibility and sustainability in manufacturing offerings. In forming the advanced manufacturing consortium, the teams of Chang Industrial and Hai Robotics plan on delivering innovative turnkey solutions for their customers worldwide and developing new business together.

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TVH announces changes in Customer Service and Sales Teams in the U.S.

TVH Americas just announced changes to the Customer Service and Sales teams in the USA.

Effective July 2023, Ryan Walker was promoted to Director of Sales and Services for the USA. Cathy Diaz will remain in her current role, as Sales Director USA, until December 2023 when she will retire. Diaz began her career with System Material Handling Inc. (SMH) in 1984. Her wealth of experience and knowledge proved vital during the acquisition of SMH by TVH in 2003. In 2006, Cathy Diaz played an integral role in the IMC Holdings (Intrupa and LPM) acquisition.

Equipment Depot appoints Anthony Garcia as President to succeed David O Turner

Equipment Depot announced that Anthony Garcia has been appointed president by the company’s Board of Directors with the transition date of September 11, 2023. Garcia succeeds president and CEO, David O. Turner, who has announced his departure after 12-years at the helm. Turner exits after successfully integrating five new companies into the Equipment Depot fold, reaching over 50 nationwide locations. Garcia joined Equipment Depot in 2022 as the Regional Vice President of the South Region.

Toyota Material Handling promotes Jimenez to Vice President

Toyota Material Handling (TMH) has recently announced the promotion of Cesar Jimenez to Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Product Planning, and Product Assurance. In this new role, he is responsible for Toyota’s industry-leading product line throughout its life cycle, including pre-development, launch, warranty and ongoing resolution of any technical problems. Jimenez began his career at Toyota as a college intern in the summer of 1996. Over the last 27 years, he has worked in various capacities, including product planning engineer, product marketing manager, and joined the Toyota executive team in 2015.

Skyjack announces retirement of President Ken McDougall and appoints Charlie Patterson

Skyjack division announce the retirement of Skyjack President Ken McDougall, and subsequent appointment of Charlie Patterson as President, effective January 1, 2024. The two will be working together over the next several months to ensure a seamless transition for the organization. Patterson’s title as Skyjack President will be effective January 1, 2024, as he and McDougall work together for the remainder of 2023 to facilitate a smooth transition.

24 September 2023 Material Handling Network People
Ryan Walker - Cathy Diaz L to R Ken McDougall and Charlie Patterson Material Handling Network September 2023 25 Give Them AIT’S QUALITY & YOUR SERVICE. American Industrial Transmission Inc. 20395 Hannan Pkwy. Walton Hills, OH Fx 440-232-8142 800-588-7515 Give YOUR Customers MORE Than They EXPECT. Reman Transmissions Reman Torque Converters Transmission Rebuild Kits Reman Drive Axles Reman Steer Axles Let us be an EXTENSION to your COMPANY!

Distribution and Supply Chain Project Report

Data provided by SalesLeads

196 New Distribution and Supply Chain Planned Industrial Project in July 2023 – A Third Straight Month Increase

SalesLeads announced the July 2023 results for the new planned capital project spending report for the Distribution and Supply Chain industry. The Firm tracks North American planned industrial capital project activity; including facility expansions, new plant construction and significant equipment modernization projects. Research confirms 196 new projects in the Distribution and Supply Chain sector compared to 180 in June and 158 in May 2023.

ILLINOIS: Food and beverage company is planning to invest $400 million for the construction of a 775,000 SF distribution center in DEKALB, IL. They are currently seeking approval for the project. Completion is slated for 2025.

SOUTH DAKOTA: Industrial supplies mfr. is planning to invest $158 million for a 200,000 SF expansion of their manufacturing and warehouse facility in BROOKINGS, SD. They are currently seeking approval for the project.

The following are selected highlights on new Distribution Center and Warehouse construction news.

Distribution and Supply Chain - By Project Type

• Distribution/Fulfillment Centers - 26 New Projects

• Industrial Warehouse - 172 New Projects

Distribution and Supply Chain - By Project Scope/Activity

• New Construction - 110 New Projects

• Expansion - 44 New Projects

• Renovations/Equipment Upgrades - 39 New Projects

• Closings - 6 New Projects

Distribution and Supply Chain - By Project Location (Top 5 States)

• Florida - 19

• Georgia - 9

• Illinois - 8

Largest Planned Project

• Texas - 17

• New York - 9

During the month of June, our research team identified 5 new Distribution and Supply Chain facility construction projects with an estimated value of $100 million or more.

The largest project is owned by Walmart, who is planning to invest $350 million for the renovation and equipment upgrades on their distribution center at 2200 7th Ave SW. in CULLMAN, AL. They are currently seeking approval for the project.

Top 10 Tracked Distribution and Supply Chain Project Opportunities

TEXAS: Tissue paper MFR. is planning to invest $400 million for the construction of a manufacturing and warehouse facility on Gene Campbell Rd. in NEW CANEY, TX. They are currently seeking approval for the project. They will relocate their operations upon completion.

KENTUCKY: Startup distillery is planning to invest $144 million for the construction of a production and warehouse facility in MOREHEAD, KY. They are currently seeking approval for the project.

FLORIDA: Global online retailer is planning to invest $120 million for the construction of a 100,000 SF warehouse and satellite processing facility at Kennedy Space Center in MERRITT ISLAND, FL. Completion is slated for late 2024.

MISSOURI: Food service distributor is planning to invest $117 million for the construction of a 350,000 SF distribution facility at 5321 Hern Ave. in ST. LOUIS, MO. They are currently seeking approval for the project. They will relocate their operations upon completion.

INDIANA: Global retail chain is planning to invest $108 million for the expansion and equipment upgrades on their distribution center in SEYMOUR, IN. Construction is expected to start in late 2023, with completion slated for 2024.

OHIO: Beverage company is planning to invest $100 million for the construction of a 400,000 SF distribution center at 1489 Rohr Rd. in COLUMBUS, OH. They are currently seeking approval for the project. They will relocate regional operations upon completion in Spring 2025.

GEORGIA: Cold storage service provider is planning to invest $66 million for the construction of a 268,000 SF warehouse and office facility at 3875 Cornelia Hwy. in LULA, GA. They are currently seeking approval for the project.

FLORIDA: Electric power equipment mfr. is planning to invest $50 million for the construction of a 302,000 SF manufacturing and warehouse facility on Jericho Road in CRESTVIEW, FL. They are currently seeking approval for the project. Construction is expected to start in late 2023, with completion slated for 2027.

Since 1959, SalesLeads, based in Jacksonville, FL is a leader in delivering industrial capital project intelligence and prospecting services for sales and marketing teams to ensure a predictable and scalable pipeline.

26 September 2023 Material Handling Network Material Handling Network September 2023 27 Label Holders for Pallet Racking with Wire Decking 800.242.3919 | Slip•Strip™ Black Hang•Vu™ Deck•ID™ Slip•N•Stik™ Magnetic 6 – 140,000 lb. Rigger Booms Bristol RS80 $169,500 USD Call Toll Free (877) 621-5438 WHITE BLAZE EQUIPMENT 12 – 15,500 lb. Class IV Booms in Stock Optional Swivel Clevis Stingers

Industrial Manufacturing planned Project Report

Data provided by SalesLeads

June 2023 Shows 141 New Industrial Manufacturing Planned Project with Renovations & Equipment Upgrades Remaining Constant

SalesLeads announced the July 2023 results for the new planned capital project spending report for the Industrial Manufacturing industry. The Firm tracks North American planned industrial capital project activity; including facility expansions, new plant construction and significant equipment modernization projects. Research confirms 140 new projects in July as compared to 141 in June, unchanged for the Industrial Sector.

TENNESSEE: Automotive component mfr. is planning to invest $790 million for the construction of two manufacturing and warehouse facilities totaling 940,000 SF in STANTON, TN. The project includes the construction of a 400,000 SF manufacturing facility in LAWRENCEBURG, TN. Completion is slated for 2025.

The following are selected highlights on new Industrial Manufacturing industry construction news.

Industrial Manufacturing - By Project Type

• Manufacturing/Production Facilities - 129 New Projects

• Distribution and Industrial Warehouse - 82 New Projects

Industrial Manufacturing - By Project Scope/Activity

• New Construction - 44 New Projects

• Expansion - 48 New Projects

• Renovations/Equipment Upgrades - 57 New Projects

• Plant Closings - 13 New Projects

Industrial Manufacturing - By Project Location (Top 10 States)

• California - 10

• Texas - 9

• Ohio - 8

• Georgia - 6

• Tennessee - 6

Largest Planned Project

• New York - 9

• Indiana - 8

• Michigan - 7

• Minnesota - 6

• South Carolina - 5

During the month of July, our research team identified 16 new Industrial Manufacturing facility construction projects with an estimated value of $100 million or more.

The largest project is owned by Formosa Plastics Corporation, who is planning to invest $12 billion for the construction of a processing facility in ST. JAMES, LA. They are currently seeking approval for the project. Construction is expected to start in Summer 2024.

Top 10 Tracked Industrial Manufacturing Projects

CALIFORNIA: Semiconductor MFR. is planning to invest $2 billion for the expansion, renovation, and equipment upgrades on their manufacturing facility at 7501 Foothills Blvd. in ROSEVILLE, CA. They are currently seeking approval for the project. Completion is slated for 2026.

TEXAS: Tissue paper MFR. is planning to invest $400 million for the construction of a manufacturing and warehouse facility on Gene Campbell Rd. in NEW CANEY, TX. They are currently seeking approval for the project. They will relocate their operations upon completion.

INDIANA: Plumbing equipment MFR. is expanding and planning to invest $300 million for the construction of a 300,000 SF manufacturing facility adjacent to their existing plant in WABASH, IN. Construction is expected to start in early Fall 2023.

ARIZONA: Semiconductor equipment MFR. is planning to invest $270 million for the construction of a laboratory and manufacturing facility on the Arizona State University campus in TEMPE, AZ. They are currently seeking approval for the project.

FLORIDA: Building materials MFR. is planning to invest $235 million for the expansion and equipment upgrades on their manufacturing facility in PALATKA, FL. They are currently seeking approval for the project.

GEORGIA: Automobile MFR. is planning to invest $200 million for the renovation and equipment upgrades on their manufacturing facility in WEST POINT, GA. Completion is slated for Spring 2024.

OHIO: Tissue paper MFR. is planning to invest $185 million for a 500,000 SF expansion of their manufacturing facility in CIRCLEVILLE, OH. They are currently seeking approval for the project. Completion is slated for 2025.

SOUTH DAKOTA: Industrial supplies MFR. is planning to invest $158 million for a 200,000 SF expansion of their manufacturing and warehouse facility in BROOKINGS, SD. They are currently seeking approval for the project.

KENTUCKY: Automotive components mfr. is planning to invest $153 million for a 752,000 SF expansion and equipment upgrades on their manufacturing facility in BEREA, KY. They are currently seeking approval for the project.

Since 1959, SalesLeads, based in Jacksonville, FL is a leader in delivering industrial capital project intelligence and prospecting services for sales and marketing teams to ensure a predictable and scalable pipeline.

28 September 2023 Material Handling Network Material Handling Network September 2023 29 Quality Hydraulic Components Cylinders Power Steering Pumps Valves Quality & Value for Over 50 years New & Remanufactured Exchange HADER Incorporated P.O. Box 510260 • New Berlin, WI 53151-0260 Shipping: 15600 W. Lincoln Ave. • New Berlin, WI 53151 Toll Free: 877.388.2102 • Phone: 262.641.8000 • Toll Free Fax: 877.384.1654 • Fax: 262.641.8010 • Email: H a der INCORPORATED

Industrial Food and Beverage Report

Data provided by SalesLeads

78 New Food and Beverage Industry Planned Projects Remain Unchanged for July 2023

SalesLeads announced the July 2023 results for the new planned capital project spending report for the Food and Beverage industry. The Firm tracks North American planned industrial capital project activity; including facility expansions, new plant construction and significant equipment modernization projects. Research confirms 78 new projects in the Food and Beverage sector as compared to 79 in June.

facility at 4832 Camp Rd., HAMBURG, NY. They are currently seeking approval for the project. Construction is expected to start in Spring 2024 and they will relocate their operations upon completion.

WASHINGTON: Grocery retailer is planning for the construction of a 1-million sf distribution center on Anderson Rd. in ELLENSBURG, WA. They are currently seeking approval for the project.

The following are selected highlights on new industrial construction news and project opportunities throughout North America.

Food and Beverage Project Type

• Processing Facilities - 45 New Projects

• Distribution and Industrial Warehouse - 35 New Projects

Food and Beverage Project Scope/Activity

• New Construction - 34 New Projects

• Expansion - 21 New Projects

• Renovations/Equipment Upgrades - 19 New Projects

• Plant Closing - 5 New Projects

Food and Beverage Project Location (Top 10 States)

• California - 7

• New York - 6

• Indiana - 4

• Ohio - 3

• Florida - 2

Largest Planned Project

• Minnesota - 6

• Alabama - 4

• Michigan - 3

• Pennsylvania - 3

• Georgia - 2

During the month of June, our research team identified 5 new Food and Beverage facility construction projects with an estimated value of $100 million or more.

The largest project is owned by Walmart, which is planning to invest $350 million for the renovation and equipment upgrades on their distribution center at 2200 7th Ave SW., CULLMAN, AL. They are currently seeking approval for the project.

Top 10 Tracked Food and Beverage Projects

KANSAS: Global retail chain is planning to invest $257 million for the construction of a 320,000 SF processing facility in OLATHE, KS. They are currently seeking approval for the project. Construction is expected to start in late 2023, with completion slated for 2025.

NEW YORK:  Food bank is planning to invest $99 million for the construction of a 200,000 SFwarehouse, food prep, and office

ALABAMA: Frozen food MFR. is planning to invest $28 million for an expansion of its processing facility in MOBILE, AL. They have recently received approval for the project.

TEXAS: Food products MFR. is planning for the renovation and equipment upgrades on a 540,000 sf processing and distribution facility in NORTHLAKE, TX. They are currently seeking approval for the project

GEORGIA: Specialty ingredient MFR. is planning for the construction of a 160,000 sf processing facility at 5901 Technology Pkwy, COLUMBUS, GA. They are currently seeking approval for the project.

KENTUCKY: Hydroponic farming company is planning to invest $25 million for the renovation and equipment upgrades on their processing facility in FLORENCE, KY. They have recently received approval for the project.

NEW YORK: Specialty food products MFR. is planning to invest $16 million for a 12,000 SF expansion and equipment upgrades on their processing facility at 75 Empire Dr. in WEST SENECA, NY. They are currently seeking approval for the project.

MINNESOTA: Fresh produce grower is planning to invest $15 million for the renovation and equipment upgrades on their processing facility in MORRIS, MN. They have recently received approval for the project.

INDIANA: Ice Cream MFR. is planning to invest $13 million for the expansion of its processing and warehouse facility at 3426 N Wells St., FORT WAYNE, IN by 58,000 SF. They are currently seeking approval for the project.

Since 1959, IMI SalesLeads, based in Jacksonville, FL is a leader in delivering industrial capital project intelligence and prospecting services for sales and marketing teams to ensure a predictable and scalable pipeline. The Outsourced Prospecting Services, an extension to your sales team, is designed to drive growth with qualified meetings and appointments for your internal sales team. Visit us at

30 September 2023 Material Handling Network

• Manage Economic Uncertainty

• Train and Engage Employees

• Access Industry Resources

• Create and Maintain Business Connections

• Save on Everyday Expenses

• Recruit and Retain New Hires

• Stand Out from the Competition

• Understand and Act On Shifting Industry Trends Material Handling Network September 2023 31
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Product Showcase

TGW presents new generation of shuttles

The Stingray shuttle is the efficient all-rounder for transporting totes, cartons, trays, and hanging goods. More than 20,000 shuttles are in use worldwide and prove their reliability day after day. With this advanced shuttle generation, robustness and sustainability are the focus. Covers are now made of wood, a renewable raw material from local production sites, saving 25 tons of plastic per year. As part of the FlashPick® goods-to-person system, shuttles play a central role in automated warehouses, along with other TGW solutions.

Connect tubes securely and without visual clutter

Cabka has announced its participation in the upcoming Pack Expo Las Vegas (September 11-13, 2023), where it will showcase its innovative products designed for the circular economy at booth N-9403. With a focus on tailormade solutions and sustainability, Cabka aims to transform storage and transport processes while benefiting customers and the environment. Cabka will present its diverse portfolio of large load carriers and pallets, highlighting its commitment to the circular economy.

HC Forklift America introduces the new

XE Series Electric Lithium-Ion Pneumatic Forklift

HC Forklift America Corporation (HCFA) has announced the new XE Series Electric Lithium-Ion Pneumatic Forklift with a 4,000-7,600lb capacity. The new XE Series of lithium-ion pneumatic forklifts were designed from the ground up to provide operators with a true lithium-ion alternative to I.C. pneumatic forklifts. Because of this, the integrated 80V lithium-ion forklift features lift speeds, travel speeds, gradeability, ground clearance, and a competitive price point that rivals comparable I.C. pneumatic forklifts.

Matrix demonstrating its excellence with

Flexible Packaging Machines at PACK EXPO 2023

Matrix will be demonstrating its portfolio of VFFS, pre-made pouch, and sachet solutions, including its MVC-300 continuous boxmotion bagger, in booth C-2825 at PACK EXPO 2023, September 11-13. Matrix is a provider in VFFS packaging equipment producing a variety of flexible bag styles, including pillow, gusseted, flat bottom, and modified doy.

Yale launches new Power Key option to help warehouses change among lift truck motive power technologies

Yale Lift Truck Technologies announces Power Key™, a one-of-a-kind solution engineered to provide flexibility in a world of increasing electric power options. Expanding on the previous offering, lithium-ion-ready lift trucks, Power Key allows operations to easily switch among not only leadacid and lithium-ion, but now also thin plate pure lead (TPPL) battery modes, without external accessories. Like lithium-ion, TPPL produces zero emissions and enables opportunity charging but offers a lower acquisition cost, attributes that make it a strong consideration as a lift truck power option for some warehouses.

32 September 2023 Material Handling Network

Product Showcase

KEEN Utility footwear unveils Arvada for the fall

New for Fall ‘23, KEEN Utility’s Arvada is designed for jobs requiring constant movement and long hours on your feet. A perfect blend of athletic-level cushioning and style, this safety-toe work sneaker series features the lightweight, compression-resisting KEEN. ReGEN midsole that returns 50% more energy than standard EVA foam and a sneaker-like ultrabreathable mesh upper. Offering energy-returning jobsite performance with all-day style, the Arvada will be available for both men and women in several colorways.

EnerSys® expands NexSys® iON battery offering with addition of 80 volt model

EnerSys® has expanded its line of virtually maintenance-free, high-performance NexSys® iON Lithium-ion batteries with the addition of its 80 Volt model. Engineered for fast recharge, long run times and to deliver high energy capacity in a smaller footprint, the latest NexSys® iON battery model provides customers with a premium power solution catered to meet the energy demands of a variety of heavy-duty applications, including those converting from LPand diesel-fueled equipment to fulfill sustainability requirements.

Continental introduces NightViu LED Driving Lights

Continental has introduced 10 new, professional-quality driving lights as part of the company’s NightViu® Lighting Solutions line. These new lights have been designed to help improve operational safety by dramatically increasing nighttime visibility. They feature rugged aluminum die-cast housings with cataphoretic coating, and resilient shatterproof polycarbonate lenses. Depending on the model, they are rated IP69K or IP67K for Ingress Protection (IP) from dust and water.

WillScot Mobile Mini unveils innovation in space management - PRORACK™

WillScot Mobile Mini Holdings Corp. has announced PRORACK, a proprietary space management solution aimed at delivering unparalleled organization, productivity, and efficiency in storage containers used on job sites and projects across a variety of industries. PRORACK is a new solution of adjustable surfaces that can be configured as a workstation, pipe rack, tool organization, or general material storage – or a combination of these formations, all at once.

Signode to showcase suite of automated turnkey solutions at Pack EXPO

Signode will present an array of automation advancements and support solutions in booths C-4814 and C-5017 at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2023. Held at the Las Vegas Convention Center September 1113. This year at PACK EXPO Las Vegas, Signode highlights the benefits of automation for manufacturing and distribution operations through its advanced line of Simplimatic® robotics, palletizers and conveyors, Little David® case packing equipment, Lachenmeier® stretch hooding equipment and others. Material Handling Network September 2023 33
34 September 2023 Material Handling Network ASSOCIATIONS Your direct connection to the Material Handling Industry’s hottest trends, newest products, best management training workshops & represents a wealth of resources for all material handling businesses. — 847.680.3500 For more articles, news, products and more visit ERGONOMIC HOLSTERS ENGINES Toll Free 877-303-LIFT • 440-943-9546 • FAX 440-943-9547 ✓ Remanufactured engines ✓ Engines in-stock for same day shipment ✓ Quality assured workmanship from people who know the business! Marketplace DECKING PROVEN SOLUTIONS ONE SOURCE DACS inc. 800-909-4937 Punch Deck ® & Punch Deck Plus® Open Area Rack Deck FlueKeeper ® Keeps Flue Spaces Open Fire and Heat Barriers Racking / Shelving Mezzanine Decking Solid Rack Deck BATTERIES FIND IT. SELL IT. ENJOY IT. Material Handling Network September 2023 35 Interested in this space? Next Deadline: September 15th TRANSMISSION REBUILD NEED A TRANSMISSION REBUILD KIT? ◆ OUR KITS ARE DESIGNED FOR TECHS, BY TECHS! ◆ AIT CARRIES KITS FOR MOST TRANSMISSION STYLES. 800.588.7515 AMERICAN INDUSTRIAL TRANSMISSION, INC. TIRES At Tires International Corp., we offer a variety of solid tires for forklifts, telehandlers, skid steer loaders as well as larger loaders and other construction equipment. If you don’t see the tire you need on our website or need help in making your selection, call us. We’re always ready to help! “We ship our solid tires nationwide!” (800) 818-1139 WWW.TIRESINTERNATIONAL.NET FORKLIFTS PA Industrial Equipment, Inc. Delivering Quality Since 1977 PA CONTACT: ROY BRAMM 610/369-9778 215 S. Washington St. Boyertown, PA 19512 USED FORKLIFTS & INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT FORKLIFT PARTS RENTALS FIND IT. SELL IT. ENJOY IT. FORKLIFTS Marketplace
36 September 2023 Material Handling Network The advertisers’ index is an extra service to the advertisers. The publisher does not assume liability for errors. Aigner Label Holder Corp. .............................. 27 All Industrial Engine Service 11 American Industrial Transmission, Inc..... 25, 36 Bishamon Industries WS18 Bristol Manufacturing .................................... 17 Cavaion Baumann USA 8 CombiLift USA ............................................... A2 Custom Industrial Products, Inc. / CIP ....... WS5 DACS, Inc. ...................................................... 15 Dyna Rack ......................................... A1, WS2-3 Enersys A4 Flight Systems Industrial Products (FSIP) ...... 3 .............................. 21 Generix Group .................................. WS7, WS19 Green Cubes Technology ................................. 5 Hader Industries Inc ...................................... 29 Industrial Forklifts ........................................ A3 Joseph Industries, Inc.................................... 36 LD Systems ............................................... WS11 MHEDA .............................................................. 31 Nucor Warehouse Systems .................... WS14-15 PFlow Industries, Inc. 13, WS13 RAVAS USA, LLC .............................................. 7 Superior Engineering ..................................... 23 Vestil Mfg. Corp. .................................. WS20-21 West Point Rack, Inc. ................................ WS22 White Blaze Equipment .................................. 27 Wy'East Products .................................... WS8-9 ADVERTISER INDEX • TRANSMISSIONS • REBUILD KITS • DIFFERENTIALS • DRIVE AXLES • STEER AXLES • TORQUE CONVERTERS TRANSMISSIONS WE KNOW American Industrial Transmission Inc. 800-588-7515 Remanufactured Transmissions, Engines, Torque Converters, Steer Axles, Overhaul Kits and Aftermarket Parts for: • Material Handling • Construction • Agricultural Equipment 800-321-9983 Authorized Distributor Authorized Distributor Authorized Distributor Authorized Distributor Authorized Distributor
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A4 Find out more: © 2023 EnerSys. All rights reserved. Trademarks and logos are the property of EnerSys and its affiliates unless otherwise noted. Subject to revisions without prior notice. E.&O.E. Sold my customer cheap batteries. They failed. Like our relationship.
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Warehouse Solutions Supplement insert for Material Handling Network September 2023


Dyna Pallet stacking frames turn your warehouse pallet into a stackable rack within seconds.

Infinite sizes available with custom made racks. Custom engineered per application.

WS2 September 2023 Warehouse Solutions Contact Dyna Rack for your customer’s storage needs. 800.939.3962 | | THE DEALERS' SOURCE FOR PORTABLE RACKSTM CUSTOMIZED DESIGNS ARE CONSIDERED STOCK AVAILABLE on some sizes & designs
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PORTABLE STACK RACKS STACK RACK CARTS DYNA PALLET STACKING FRAMES CUSTOM RACKS Made in the USA Material Handling Network September 2023 WS3 • Store product up and off the floor preventing product damage. • Racks store easily with little storage space required when not in use. • Standard rack designs/sizes can be changed to meet your specific needs. Portable Stacking Racks • For storing or transport, these long-wearing racks save space & time. • Utilize vertical storage space by safely stacking these racks up to 5-high. • Forklift portable for easy handling of loads up to 4000 lbs & more. • Rugged construction features stand up to heavy industrial requirements. • Save time by moving more material with fewer moves. “Ideal for your customer’s material handling needs.” STOCK PROGRAM AVAILABLE Call for assistance. 800-939-3962 Made in the USA Customized designs are considered!

Warehouse Management

Will warehouse automation replace humans?

Read any article on automated warehouse vehicles, and it’s pretty easy to see there is a lot of hype. Although automation in automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs)—my specialty—have come a long way, they are not replacing all warehouse workers.

There is a fair amount of automation hype but automation and various technologies like AGVs impact workers. Companies that manufacture this increasingly sophisticated equipment must consider the social impacts.

AGVs are getting smarter

AGV technology has advanced since the 1950s. The state of the art is being pushed by sensor technology, such that today’s vehicles do more than simply follow a line on the floor. Technology has advanced to a point where rigid infrastructure is no longer needed to tell the vehicle where it is or understand how to get from point to point. That has advanced, and it continues to advance.

In the world of AGV and AMR, there’s a bit of bleed over between the two. AGVs path-follow exclusively, meaning—if you take it all the way back to the earliest of AGVs—they just follow a line in the floor. The newest version of AGVs, don’t do that by any stretch of the imagination, but the concept is the same: Follow some form of guide or instruction to take you from point A to point B. AMRs, on the other hand, path-plan; they work from a blank sheet of paper and can take whichever

path they determine is best to get where they need to go.

Sensor technology is at the point where the vehicles don’t necessarily need to be accurate to the millimeter range. Most are down to plus or minus 20 mm, which is quite good. AMRs are typically plus or minus 50 mm, which isn’t great, but the sensor tech is now allowing us to see where we’re going. So rather than driving to a specific, designated X and Y (and a Z in some cases) coordinate to pick a pallet—which requires a fair degree of accuracy—today’s AMR can now “see” what they want and drive up to it—no coordinates required.

Fear not... humans still needed

Several years ago, AGVs were sold exclusively on ROI, which meant that even though it was pure, horizontal transport—pick a pallet and drop a pallet—it was sold based on how many people (forklift drivers) you could displace from the workforce. AGVs were too expensive to justify otherwise. But that calculation is changing.

Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) in warehouses and distribution centers have come a long way. What does this mean for the human labor force that used to do those jobs?

Early on, companies had to accept an ROI of two to three years. Now, when you start talking multiple shifts, ROI is easily accomplished in far less time. Adding to that ROI are increased

WS4 September 2023 Warehouse Solutions








capabilities. As the sensors are updated and the ability for the onboard computers to do tasks that weren’t possible 10 years ago, AGVs can now perform all kinds of applications. We move further away from just simply replacing fork truck drivers and into cobotic applications. Robots and AGVs are part of picking solutions and integral to the rapid ecommerce intralogistics growth.

However, although AGVs and AMRs are replacing human workers for some types of jobs, we’re a long way from a computer’s ability to think through the challenges of day-to-day intralogistics operations. The jobs that will go away will be the low-hanging fruit for automation. Those are pointto-point transport of goods from the end of an aisle to the dock door, and from the dock door into the truck.

So, human pickers will be here; they’re not going anywhere in the short term. Currently, there isn’t a way to automate that function in a way that is more financially viable, particularly in the fastmoving consumer goods market, which operates on thin margins. You still need people.

Every year there’s a huge number of forklifts sold. But the number of AGVs sold is less than 1 percent of the forklifts sold (but climbing), so by no means are AGVs and AMRs taking over. Although there was resistance to this technology early on, even unions are starting to warm to the technology a little bit. Because of the labor market, they may have no choice. The current labor shortage may

be causing some operations to look a little more closely at automation to fill in for the workers they can’t get.

The other side of this equation is that kids coming out of school probably don’t want to drive forklifts and might not even consider warehouse work at all. In that respect, the warehouse industry is no different than the manufacturing industry. Whether it’s driving a forklift all day or spinning lug nuts onto wheels, those jobs are giving way to automation. Instead, the interesting career work for those just out of school or for those whose jobs are being replaced by automation will be the ability to work behind a computer writing code, programming AGVs, or maybe sitting in an office driving a forklift remotely. The warehouse industry needs to be doing the same kind of public relations work as manufacturing: Today’s modern warehouse is a far cry from what it was 20 years ago.

Technology will continue to advance. Our goal should not be to just look at the ROI of replacing manual jobs with automation, but instead to look for ways to move people who had those jobs into positions that are more fulfilling, better paying, and in the long run add more value to the company and society.


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October 2023 - Staffing your warehouse!

Deadline: September 15th

All warehouse operations are different. We will take a look at some warehouse operations and how they balance warehouse personnel with automation technology. What is the right balance?

November 2023 - Warehouse Productivity Deadline: October 16th

In this issue we look at how your operations flow. From inventory coming in the door, picking products, bagging and mailing the orders and then shipping it to your customer.

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WS6 September 2023 Warehouse Solutions
Warehouse Management continued
John Hayes is Owner of No Risk Automation, a 2014 Supply and Demand Chain Executive Pros to Know, and a widely-respected thought leader regarding automation in the materials handling industry.

One of the most


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Warehouse Efficiency

Is your warehouse truly ready for robotics and automation?

data. Data serves as the ultimate informant about operational nuances, and our unique three-step data analysis strategy, bolstered by AI and a team of design engineers, guides us to the most fitting solutions. Occasionally, this translates to full automation, at times partial automation, and often, it entails enhancing existing setups. Each approach hinges on a 24-month ROI calculation, with our average being 17 months.

Navigating the Automation Landscape

In the contemporary landscape filled with buzzwords and trending topics like robots, RaaS, and automated guided vehicles, prominently featured in trade publications, customers now find themselves more perplexed than ever. The questions loom large: which technology should be adopted, when should it be implemented, how can technology be scaled effectively, what's the cost implication, and what kind of return on investment (ROI) can be expected?

Amid the allure of a fully automated warehouse, where robots pick products and place them onto automated guided vehicles bound for the shipping area, where a second set of robots packs and stacks them, the concept seems undeniably alluring. Yet, the reality is that not all warehouses are primed for this high-tech transformation. In fact, embracing such technology prematurely might inadvertently hinder operational efficiency.

These insights stem from our hands-on experience. As a pioneering material handling systems integrator, we have successfully executed over 500 projects for industry giants in retail, e-commerce, and distribution over the past 27 years, resulting in a wealth of knowledge.

The Crucial Role of Data Analysis

Before delving into the realm of automation solutions, or any solutions for that matter, our starting point rests on delving into our clients'

In the data realm, we embrace the philosophy that more is better. We hunger for insights on building layout, inventory reports, granular product movement data, and every iota of item information we can amass.

Don't misconstrue our sentiment; our fascination with automation is unwavering. Nevertheless, its deployment demands precision timing and meticulous execution. Missteps in this arena could lead to bottlenecks within the fulfillment process or substantial cost burdens. Furthermore, when introducing automation or material handling equipment, the primary question arises—where will it fit? The universally acknowledged scarcity of floor space underlines the significance of each square foot. Consider a scenario: if we reconfigure your facility and provide 10,000 to 20,000 square feet of additional floor space, priced at $300 per square foot, the savings on a replacement cost basis comes to $3 million to $6 million respectively.

Vertical Potential: The Z-Axis Revolution

Distribution centers have excelled in optimizing floor space, yet the same cannot be said for their vertical space. Here at LD Systems, our thought leader, Bob Sutphen, unveiled the "Z-UP" concept. While geometry lessons recall the x and y axes, the Z-axis, the often-forgotten third dimension, proves pivotal. The Z-axis signifies the vertical space within your facility.

Given the preciousness of floor space, ascending vertically can magnify storage capacity twofold or more within your warehouse or distribution center. This cost-effective strategy avoids leasing or acquiring additional structures and, in isolation,

WS10 September 2020 Warehouse Solutions Material Handling Network September 2023 WS11 ▶

elevates productivity, safety, and storage potential. A fraction of the cost mentioned above.

Prior to diving into the realm of robotics, automated guided vehicles, or AS/RS systems, we suggest a preliminary examination of your current layout and space utilization, encompassing the Z-axis. Only then should your company's data be combed through to make wise choices. If automation stands as the logical next step, then embrace it wholeheartedly!

Embracing the Automated Revolution

As a Material Handling Products System Integrator, our solutions revolve around three main principles: optimizing space utilization by 20% to 60%, increasing productivity by 20% to 60%, and improving order accuracy to a staggering 99.9%, all while guaranteeing an equipment ROI within 24 months.

Currently, we are immersed in automating a leading Master HVACR Distributor. Their journey started in 2019, after moving to a new building. Their previous vendor misjudged storage needs by a substantial 50%. Our intervention encompassed the addition of storage units, conveyors, two mezzanines, and a vertical lift. In totality, we doubled their item-carrying capacity, almost doubled storage, and redoubled throughput. The integration of self-driving forklifts followed, culminating in our ongoing endeavor to automate their facility and increase their shipment volume by a remarkable 120%.

For deeper insights into our several of our projects, visit

Empowering Progress with Automation

If you've visited PROMAT or MODEX over the past years, the spectrum of automation options was everywhere. From on-demand packaging and autonomous forklifts to robotic pick arms and AS/ RS systems, the pickings were ripe.

Recently, a 2023 automation study surfaced, revealing that surveyed companies were poised to revamp or embed various automation equipment. The quartet of pocket sortation, A-frame picking technologies, robotic picking, and automated guided vehicles emerged as the leaders of this movement, align with what we notice.

Pay-Per-Pick and RaaS: Innovative Payment Approaches

In sync with the rapid rise in fulfillment automation's popularity, innovative financial models have emerged. Notably, Robots-as-a-Service (RaaS) and Pay-per-pick have gained prominence.

RaaS represents a business strategy wherein robotics companies lend their robotic assets through subscription-based arrangements. As the allure of robotics surges, a growing number of companies recognize RaaS's merits in risk mitigation and adaptable resolutions for their clienteles.

This model frequently sidesteps upfront costs, relying on contracts spanning one to multiple years, facilitating seamless adaptation to evolving needs and automation trends. Given non-ownership of equipment, the onus of maintenance and uptime rests on the manufacturer.

Pay-per-pick resonates with RaaS but takes a distinct route. In this pricing model, users are billed according to the volume of items handled by a robot. This proves especially advantageous in scenarios like warehouse automation, where charges are intricately linked to a robot's efficiency in processing items.

This model offers flexibility, ensuring effortless scalability. Similar to RaaS, upkeep and guaranteed uptime fall to the manufacturer.

Closing Thoughts

While the adoption of automation is surely a game-changer, warehouses and DCs should do their due diligence before making decisions. As our CEO often says, “you make business decisions based on data, shouldn’t you do the same with your warehouse?” No truer words can be spoken.

The good news is you have all the data you need to make informed decisions on how to best maximize space, increase productivity, improve safety, and reduce order errors. It’s just a matter of knowing how to extrapolate and analyze the data.

LD Systems is a world-class Systems Integrator, having orchestrated over 500 automation projects. Our track record underscores our knack for leveraging technology across industries to surmount productivity hurdles.

Rob Railis at LD Systems If you’re in need of warehouse optimization or thinking about fulfillment automation visit

WS12 September 2023 Warehouse Solutions
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warehouse solutions partner.

Warehouse Automation

Exploring drone implementation in the warehouse industry

every type of automation tool possible to improve efficiency. Some companies, like Amazon and Walmart, are already experimenting with drones for product delivery.

But drones can also be used inside the warehouse. Here are four main ways drones are already being used to support the warehouse industry.

1. Inventory Management

The warehouse industry presents a huge opportunity for new technology solutions to boost productivity and provide businesses with competitive advantages. Many companies in this sector have been implementing solutions like robotics, RFID tags, and automated picking systems. Another innovation is warehouse drones.

Drones are one of the latest automation trends aimed at reducing costs and improving efficiency in the warehouse. But how does this technology work, and what are its benefits? Here’s what you need to know about drone implementation in the warehouse industry.

Four Ways Drones are Being Used in the Warehouse Industry

Today’s warehouses are bigger and more complex than ever. As the demand for eCommerce products skyrockets, the average size of a warehouse has ballooned to accommodate consumer preferences. The typical warehouse is around 50,000 square feet. But they can reach as big as 4 million square feet. Warehouses have grown up as well as out. Some have mezzanines that use their vertical space, and others have narrow aisles to maximize shelving.

What these warehouses all have in common is that they are large, busy, and often congested. It’s no wonder warehouse owners are considering

Proper inventory management is critical in the warehouse industry. It is the process of accounting for, ordering, and organizing product stocks to ensure items on hand are in good shape (i.e., not damaged or expired) and of sufficient quantity to fulfill anticipated needs. But manual inventory control can be prone to human error and costly in terms of labor and potential mistakes.

Drones are being used for inventory management for the following tasks:

• Stocktaking

• Inventory audits

• Cycle counting

• Item searches

• Buffer stock maintenance

Instead of having workers go around the warehouse counting items and scanning barcodes by hand, drones can perform these tasks automatically. Drones can confirm that the correct items are where they should be, keep track of your stock levels, and search for items that are listed as out of stock or missing.

2. Inspections

Any business environment that gets constant use, like a warehouse, will also be prone to wear and tear. A broken shelf, dislocated stair rail, or cracked flooring can create a serious safety hazard. A damaged piece of equipment can stall operations and cost the company time and money.

WS16 September 2023 Warehouse Solutions

Traditionally, detailed inspections in the warehouse would be done in person, with a manager walking through the aisles examining key equipment, racks, floors, walls, and ceilings. Drones can automate and speed up this inspection process. For example, a drone can fly through the warehouse to capture visual data that managers can review later. Even better, artificial intelligence solutions can take an initial pass at that data and identify potential areas of concern.

3. Indoor Intralogistics

Warehouses are busy facilities that often need to relocate small items from one area to another. Drones can assist with these intralogistics tasks. For example, a drone can transport a machine part to the area of the warehouse where a repair is taking place. Drones can also move small products for fulfillment activities. However, the gripping, payload, and navigation capabilities of today’s drones remain limited. These types of applications will certainly expand in the future.

4. Surveillance and Security

As mentioned earlier, warehouses can be massive buildings. Many of them are full of expensive equipment and products, making them attractive targets for thieves. Having security measures in place is essential. Fortunately, drones can fly through a warehouse 24/7 and provide a live feed that security staff can watch from a central location. Alternatively, AI-enabled software can analyze the video footage produced by a drone to alert owners to any unusual activity.

Benefits of Using Drone Technology in the Warehouse

Here are just a few of the benefits of using drone technology in the warehouse:

1. Improved Cycle Counts

The manual and repetitive inventory counting is a common checks and balances process in a warehouse. But it’s time-consuming and prone to human error. Drones can make this job faster and more accurate by flying through the warehouse with an RFID reader that collects real-time data.

2. Lower Operations Costs

It’s costly to hire and pay workers for things like manual inventory counts. You can reduce these costs by automating the process using drones.

These solutions can also lower your costs when they help you avoid machinery breakdowns or serious accidents on the warehouse floor.

3. Better Safety Records

Drones can take dangerous and repetitive tasks off of a worker’s shoulders, improving overall workplace safety. For example, a drone can alert management of serious safety hazards. It can also reach products on high shelves, so workers don’t have to make the climb.

4. Seamless Inventory Searches

Searching for products during the picking process is one of the most time-consuming and costly activities in a warehouse. A drone camera can perform these searches seamlessly and report back to human workers.

How Warehouse Drone Technology Works

We’ve all seen toy drones that end up in a neighbor’s tree. So, will your warehouse drones get lost in the storage racks or, worse, crash into workers below? Ideally not. Similar to autonomous mobile vehicles (AMVs), these more sophisticated drones are equipped with navigation technology that allows the unit to avoid obstacles.

Drones can also be equipped with sophisticated sensors and readers to detect RFID tags, temperatures, and other items. In addition, software algorithms are used to deliver the insights that make these solutions useful for businesses.

There’s a lot of fascination with drones because they have a cool factor. Beyond being fun toys and scary military weapons, drones also have a lot of uses in the warehouse environment. Using sensors, cameras, and the right processing equipment, drones can help improve efficiency in many areas and boost your warehouse’s overall results.

In 2005, Newcastle Systems, Inc. was the first U.S. company to introduce mobile powered industrial carts to support supply chain applications, bringing leading-edge efficiencies to the market. The company has continuously pioneered new technology developing the first swappable lithium battery system for industrial applications in 2016, as well as the most ergonomic mobile carts available. A privately-owned, Massachusetts-based company, it serves some of the largest retailers, manufacturers, and distributors in the world to help to increase supply chain efficiency by consistently doubling employee productivity while reducing costly labeling errors by over 92%. Material Handling Network September 2023 WS17
Warehouse Automation continued
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