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March 2008

MATERIALS HANDLING THE

GUIDE

INSIDE: Factory Materials Handling ● Warehousing Equipment ● Forklifts & Lifting ● Bulk Materials Handling ● Handling Hazardous Materials ●

>>> A special supplement produced by


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CONTENTS

MATERIALS HANDLING THE

GUIDE

contents Editor – Alan Johnson Tel: (02) 9422 2480 Fax: (02) 9422 2966 E-mail: alan.johnson@reedbusiness.com.au Publisher - Chris Williams Tel: (02) 9422 2957 Fax: (02) 9422 2966 E-mail: chris.williams@reedbusiness.com.au Victoria sales Project Manager – Michael Northcott Tel: (03) 9245 7326 Fax: (03) 9245 7511 Mobile: 0407 689 759 E-mail: michael.northcott@reedbusiness.com.au New South Wales sales Anthony Head Tel: (02) 9422 2368 Fax: (02) 9422 2966 E-mail: anthony.head@reedbusiness.com.au Queensland sales Sharon R. Amos PO Box 3136, Bracken Ridge QLD 4017 Ph: (07) 3261 8857 Fax: (07) 3261 8347 Mobile: 0417 072 625 email: sharon.amos@reedbusiness.com.au South Australia/NT & WA Sales David Murray Smith Unit 2, 497 Marion Road South Plympton SA 5038 Ph: (08) 8371 5800 Fax: (08) 8371 5900 email: david@agsmedia.com.au. Operations Manager - Anthony Gollan Tel: (02) 9422 2368 Fax: (02) 9422 2722 E-mail: anthony.gollan@reedbusiness.com.au Production Co-ordinator- Eryk Cleghorn Tel: (02) 9422 2379 Fax: (02) 9422 2655 E-mail: eryk.cleghorn@reedbusiness.com.au

Factory Materials Handling

Warehousing Equipment

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The multi-modal warehouse. Chep reinforces pallet ownership. Pallet dimensioning system. Telescopic conveyors reach 23m.

Forklifts & Lifting

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Fuel cell forklifts not too far away. Remote vehicle monitoring system. Gas-powered forklifts keep freight moving. Forklifts rising to the ‘green’ challenge.

Bulk Materials Handling

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Understanding metering screw feeders. Continuous weight scale. Bulk materials elevator.

Handling Hazardous Goods

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Fire extinguisher training. Ready access padlock stations. Printed three times a year, the Materials Handling Guide is inserted in the March, July and October 2008 issues of Manufacturers' Monthly, FEN, Construction Contractor, Packaging, Food, Pace and Logistics magazines, with a distribution of over 50,000.

Graphic Design - Melissa Hartley Fax: (02) 9422 2722 E-mail: melissa.hartley@reedbusiness.com.au

Behind the cover

Circulation/Customer service Tel: (02) 9422 2992 Mobile: 1300 360 129

National Manufacturing Week (NMW) – Australia’s only fully integrated annual manufacturing exhibition – is returning to the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre in a significantly expanded form from 27 – 30 May 2008. Covering all major aspects of the manufacturing sector, NMW08 will feature a number of new pavilions catering for the automation, electronic and electrical sectors, as well as seminars, information sessions and related industry association forums and meetings. Also new to NMW08 will be a fullyintegrated Logistics, Materials Handling & Distribution (LMHD) pavilion showcasing all the important aspects of this sector, from raw materials to production, through to warehousing. It will include a comprehensive range of products, services and technologies from Australia and overseas, aimed at making it easy for Australia's manufacturing industry decision-makers to source the latest logistics, materials handling and distribution solutions for their business. For more information, contact John Delpech, (02) 9422 2568, email john.delpech@reedexhibitions.com.au, or visit www.nationalmanufacturingweek.com.au.

Contents Copyright. Published by Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Pty Ltd (ACN 008 427 067) Tower 2, 475 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood NSW 2067 Locked Bag 2999, Chatswood Delivery Centre Chatswood, NSW 2067 Tel: (02) 9422 2999 Fax: (02) 9422 2922 web: www.reedbusiness.com.au Printed by Webstar All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or copied in any form or by any means without the written permission of the publisher. Utmost care is taken to ensure the accuracy of editorial matter. Product specifications and claims are those of the manufacturers.

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The growing importance of sensors. Sorting out capital equipment returns on materials handling systems. Wrapping machine cuts costs. Foster’s toast successful robots. Exhibition celebrates 25th year in new venue.

sponsors’ index Ansir Group ..................................................................10 Australian Exhibition & Conferences ............................5 BAC Australian Systems ..............................................25 DMF International ........................................................23 Elgas – NSW ................................................................30 Eriez Magnetic ..............................................................14 Exhibitions & Trade Fairs ............................................40 Flexicon Corporation Australia ..................................34 Hubtex Australia ..........................................................24 IFM Efector ..................................................................20 ISS Pro Rack ..................................................................19 Kiel Industries ..............................................................22 Kockums Bulk Systems ..............................................35 Linde ............................................................................29 Longreach Telescopic Conveyors ................................15 Materials Handling ......................................................17

NTP Forklifts ................................................................33 Pacific Hoists ................................................................32 Power Lift Australia ......................................................31 Priority Supplies ..........................................................39 Red Australia Equipment ..........................................27 Reed Business Information ........................................37 Reed Exhibitions Australia ............................................1 Robot Technologies Systems ......................................13 Rubbermaid Australia ....................................................9 Sew Eurodrive ..............................................................11 Sick ..................................................................................7 Smalte Conveying Solutions ......................................14 Tallships Solutions ......................................................22 Toyota Material Handling ..............................................2 Unilift Cranes & Equipment ........................................12 WAM Australia ............................................................38


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FACTORY MATERIALS HANDLING

The growing importance of sensors You'll never take sensors for granted again once you understand their role in automated materials handling systems. Bob Trebilcock reports from the US. HEY may not be as sexy as RFID tags and bar codes, but sensors are a key enabling technology in automated materials handling systems. What's more, those little devices that look for cartons on a conveyor and monitor the motor vibration, just could be the next automated data collection device to cut the cord and go wireless. While wireless sensing is still in the very early stages of development, proponents say it may enable the collection of more data from more points in the supply chain than is possible when you have to run wires and cables. When it comes to automated materials handling, sensors play a role different from other data collection technologies. Bar codes and RFID tags collect identifying information about whatever item they're connected to. Sensors, on the other hand, capture information about the physical environment surrounding that product. Once captured, the sensed data is converted into digital information that is fed to a PLC or warehouse control system to drive a process. “When a sensor senses a part coming down a conveyor, that information will be used by a control device, like a PLC, to send a signal to a robotic arm to pick up a part or for a sortation system to sort a carton,” said Cliff Whitehead, manager of strategic applications at Rockwell Automation. That information can also be used to monitor system performance. “You need a sensor to tell you what's going on so you can run a conveyor faster, automate a process and get feedback on the status of your system,” said Tony Udelhoven, sensors division director at Turck. “The alternative is for people to manually monitor those conditions.” While industrial sensors have been around for more than 50 years, the requirement for more sensors in materials handling is increasing as more automated processes are introduced. That's because in automated processes, a sensor is the eyes and ears of the control system. “For many years, we've tried to make

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Sensors now play a vital role in automated materials handling systems.

simple devices that mimic the human senses to reduce the cost of production,” said Jim Pankiewicz, product marketing specialist with Omron Electronics. “They may perform a simple function, like saying that something is there or not. Or, they might inspect a finished part to make sure it's perfect rather than having someone physically measure it. “Whatever the case, it all comes back to a device that mimics some human sense,” Pankiewicz said. In factory automation, sensors may be used to monitor the temperature of a vessel, the vibration of a motor, or the fill level in a container. In automated materials handling, “sensors tell you how many, how big, where it is, and when did it come by,” said Wayne Meyer, product manager of industrial sensors for Sick.

The right sensor for the job The sensor world is vast. Options range from basic sensors that detect the presence of an object, to analogue sensors that capture complex information, like temperature, noise or vibration. In the broader supply chain, some users are experimenting with the combination of analogue sensors with RFID and GPS technology to monitor the location of a truck, the temperature in a trailer and the identity of the products inside. In factory automation and the materials handling world, the most common sensors are simple binary ones. These communicate the equivalent of a yes or no response to a question. There are three types: photoelectric, ultrasonic and inductive. Photoelectric, or optical, sensors detect continued on page 6


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FACTORY MATERIALS HANDLING

continued from page 4 the presence or absence of light. While there are a variety of photoelectric sensors, they all work on a similar principle: The sensor emits a beam of light that detects the presence of an object when it breaks that beam, or reflects the beam back to a receiver on the sensor. An object is either present or it's not present. Photoelectric sensors are most commonly found on conveyors, where they track cartons or products. But photoelectric sensors might also be used to determine the height of a load. Or they can be used in conjunction with other sensing devices to position the forks on an AS/RS to put away a pallet. Ultrasonic sensors are used to detect the presence or absence of an object in a different way. Instead of light, these sensors emit an ultrasonic wave. Ultrasonic sensors can be used in dirty environments, where dust and particles in the air might impede a photoelectric sensor. Inductive sensors detect the presence of ferrous and non-ferrous metal object. Like ultrasonic sensors, they can operate in environments where photoelectric sensors can't be used. One common application is to provide information for robotic picking applications.

Sensors for position Also commonly used in materials handling are sensors that determine position. These include linear and rotary encoders and laser distance meters. These sensors may use a time of light measurement technology—sending out an optical pulse and then listening for the result. They could also pick up pulses from a conveyor or motor shaft as they turn. In either case, the sensor determines with a high degree of accuracy how far something has moved and at what speed. Often, one sensor type is not enough to get the job done. In the complex world of automated materials handling “it's common to find multiple sensor technologies on a single line or a single machine to create a solution,” said Meyer.

Going wireless For industries that rely on sensors, wireless could be a big boon. Wireless connectivity, after all, has contributed to productivity gains in DCs and factories. Going mobile enables workers to take bar code scanning, label printing and voice technology directly to the spot the work is getting done. RFID, meanwhile, completely automates data collection.

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Until now, however, sensors have still required wires to do their job, especially in automated materials handling applications. There are two reasons for that. 1. Information latency. This phenomenon is the speed at which information travels through a wire compared to through the air. “A wireless mesh network is transmitting 100 to 200 millisecond data rates,” said Whitehead. “That sounds fast, but a motion control application, like a high speed conveyor and sortation system, requires faster data rates than that.” 2. The need for power. While many sensors may only need to come on for brief periods of time at spaced intervals, a photoelectric eye on a conveyor travelling at 600 feet per minute “is going to be on all the time,” said Whitehead. “If you're going to the expense of running power to the sensor, you might as well put a signal cable in as well.” By all accounts, most sensor providers are still in the R&D stage when it comes to wireless. However, there are a few solutions already in the market. Banner Engineering, for instance, has developed a wireless sensor solution to detect the presence of automotive doors on an overhead conveyor system in an assembly line and to monitor motor and bearing temperature in an AS/RS. Two developments are making new applications possible. 1. A power management system. “The key is to efficiently power the sensor, or cycle it on and off, in a way that extends the battery life,” says Darvin Kaelberer, Banner's wireless business development manager. 2. The development of wireless mesh networks to communicate data. In a mesh network, intelligence is built into the sensors in way that allows them to organise a network and hand off information from one sensor to the next, like a bucket brigade, until it reaches a centralised gateway connected to a network. While the technology is marching forward, most experts still believe broadbased implementation of wireless sensors in automated materials handling will be some time off. Rockwell Automation www.rockwellautomation.com. Sick www.sick.com. Turck www.turck.com. Omron Electronics www.omron.com. Banner Engineering www.bannerengineering.com.

Upgraded scissor lift range

Improvements have been introduced across the range.

JLG has upgraded its ES electric scissor lift range to improve durability, safety and productivity. The improvements have been introduced as standard across the full model range. All scissor lift models are now fitted with an onboard Multifunction Digital Indicator unit which includes a battery level indicator and diagnostic code display. The indicator is installed in a protected position behind the right hand battery cover and can simplify fault finding to help minimise down time. Reference information for the diagnostic codes has been added to operator manuals, along with instructions for corrective action which can be undertaken without the need for tools. Safety and durability features have been enhanced by coiling the heavily protected cable connected to the control box and routing it around a bracket in the corner of the platform. The new cable path removes a tripping hazard when deploying the deck extension and also eliminates the risk of the cable being accidentally crushed or becoming entangled in materials and equipment. JLG Sales 131 554.


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Sorting out capital equipment returns on materials handling systems By Val Pavlovic NDUSTRIAL businesses specialising in sorting often take the piecemeal approach as needs arise, but large businesses find this is not enough today as they are more likely than smaller companies to engage in international trade or have a 24/7 operation. The international marketplace is a very demanding environment, and those not geared with the highest level of sorting and materials handling efficiency can easily suffer. Many businesses are handling materials which aren't of uniform size. Australian materials handling specialist - Industrial Conveying Australia - supplies capital equipment for materials handling to an export market. ICA MD Don Erskine, said materials handling equipment nowadays is top-end technology and those making investments must be mindful of setting a capital equipment platform for potential additions and ongoing integration. "Modern controls and software that manage materials handling systems are powerful, but planning the mechanical aspects of materials handling is also a challenge," said Erskine. “For those handling stock in various sizes and quantities, the key is to establish a system that handles everything from the smallest SKU, such as a letter or a parcel, to large items such as two-tonne pallet. "This positions the operator to accommodate varying sizes and quantities as they come along; anything from 20 letters of one size through to hundreds of different sized pallets. "This is the challenge posed by the modern market, especially in areas such as third party logistics and most of the time everything is urgent. "Therefore, a piecemeal addition to this type of capital equipment is not a viable option in many circumstances. Evidence strongly suggests turnkey design and setup better allows a business to capably handle its demands," he said. Accessing the right technology is one part of the solution. The first step however is to analyse the need and ensure both the technology provider and the eventual user are heading in the right direction. A partnership approach to planning and implementation is more likely to cover all the bases. Partnerships don’t exclude the supplier either. Since its recent global affiliation with FKI Logistex of Denmark to work as venture partners on projects around the world, ICA is in position

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For those handling stock in various sizes and quantities, the key is to establish a system that handles everything from the smallest SKU to large items such as a 2t pallet.

not just as a designer and manufacturer but also has access to draw on the global technologies developed by its Danish partner. "Materials handling can be described today as an industrial science where many unit disciplines are combined to provide the turnkey scenario essential for companies undergoing growth and those heading into export markets," said Erskine. "For instance, one of the recent challenges for which we drew on FKI technologies was a turnkey project that included a specific area for sorting all types and sizes of SKUs. "That sorting section was just the beginning. The next challenge was to minimise the length of time it took to store each and every item in the appropriate rack space. “So this sorting section fed into an internal logistics area where high-rise stacker cranes would allocate each item to a specific position in the racking. "This high-rise stacker technology works at the midpoint of the business so it also provides the retrieval service when items are due for dispatch. Software and control systems ensure plant managers know where each and every item is positioned during the process "Even a truck fleet can be used as part of logistics process. Setting up for optimised material flow patterns enables a company’s truck fleet to act as a means of mobile storage," Erskine said. ICA 03 5440 5100.

Pedal-operated tilt cart PALL Mall has added a Tilt Cart to its range of bins and carts for industry. To avoid the need to manually tilt the entire cart to empty, this cart has a pedal-operated tilt release. Lock the back wheels, depress the pedal, and the hinged cart can tilt forward with minimal effort.

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Using four nylon wheels, the back two lockable, the bin moves easily and is ideal for moving bulk materials. Its narrow enough to pass through standard doorways, has a large capacity and is easy to empty. It can be used for collecting waste or carrying spare parts in a production facility. Pall Mall 02 9584 8644.

The cart suitable for moving bulk materials.


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Wrapping machines cut costs By Kerry Braithwaite MANUFACTURER Pacific Brands sought to improve the efficiency of handling processes and OH&S at its distribution centres and by implementing CHEPStretch, the company was able to reduce capital outlay, ongoing maintenance and wrapping costs as well as improve safety and productivity. The company manufactures, sources and delivers more than 160,000 different products with items ranging from golf balls and underwear to mattresses and carpet underlay. Internationally, the company handles over 250 million units every year, with 625,000 units passing through their distribution centres every day. The company found inefficiencies in handling processes at their distribution centres where wrapping machines were using excessive volumes of film and machines were aging and maintenance costs increasing. Following an assessment of its needs,

There is no capital outlay for customers as they are billed per pallet wrapped.

the manufacturer trialled both automatic and semi-automatic CHEPStretch systems at the Tontine and King Gee distribution centres in Queensland and Victoria. Trial results showed a significant

reduction in the amount of wrap needed, plus safety was improved. In some distribution centres, employees had to climb out of their forklifts to activate the wrapping machines, making them exposed to risk of injury from other forklift drivers. Since the installation of the new wrapping machines, forklift drivers no longer have to leave their vehicles. They deposit the pallet, activate the machine, and drive away to collect another. This has increased productivity and reduced a significant workplace hazard. The system includes the wrapping machines themselves, a high quality prestretch film, and preventative maintenance. There is no capital outlay for customers as they are billed per pallet wrapped. To increase efficiency, CHEP makes predictions about the quantity of film needed in for each customer in each location based on operating data. Chep 02 9856 2437

ANSIR SYSTEMS

.................................................................................................... m   l    MATERIALS MATERIALS HANDLING SYSTEMS ....................................................................................................

Ansir Systems design, manufacture and install high quality conveyors and conveyor systems to move loads in a wide variety of industries for a multitude of applications. We offer a single point of contact as a turnkey solutions provider and supply complete control systems, including software design and PLC integration.

ANSIR

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32 NORTHGATE DRIVE THOMASTOWN VICTORIA 3074 PH: 03 9463 5244 FAX: 03 9463 5299 EMAIL: sales@ansir.com.au WEB SITE: www.ansir.com.au

| Materials Handling Guide | March 2008

   

BELT CONVEYORS ROLLER CONVEYORS CRESCENT PALLET CAROUSELS SYSTEM AUTOMATION


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Line control system FLEXLINK has introduced the X85 conveyor platform, X85 pallet system, line control, and Youtilize software in a step towards fulfilling its vision of becoming the first choice for production logistics. The X85 conveyor's capacity and speed sets new performance standards to what a conveyor system can do. It offers longest in class MTBF and lowest in class noise level. The company’s distributed line control allows dynamic speed control, with soft starts and stops. This enables gentle product handling, and efficient line balancing at considerably lower power consumption. The concept ensures easy engineering, installation and maintenance. The new X85 pallet system enables flexible routing, and full control of each product in process. There are different configurations in accordance with application needs, and the pallets are prepared for communication with machines, line control and MES solutions

The conveyor is said to be class leading in terms of low noise levels.

(Manufacturing execution software). The company’s MES product Youtilize, manages all resources available in the production: operators, machines and parts used; as well as all data and information needed for the production. It communicates in real time, enabling enhanced production efficiency and automatic quality assurance. Flexlink 03 9542 4400.

Dual angle flow rack THE new Creform CRE-166 is a compact yet multi-functional flow rack that provides process station container storage. Gravity feeds containers to their point-ofuse, and then angles the container to a part presentation orientation making component retrieval easy and ergonomically efficient. The rack system is suitable for use at workstations, assembly points, machine loading positions, kitting locations, and other point-of-use part offloading locales. The unit has a rack, and part presentation stand, featuring an angled conveyor-type aisle that slopes lengthwise to allow containers to flow from the load end to the picking end. Then a second angle tilts the container to lower one end of the box. The dual angle flow rack is constructed using the Creform system of adaptive components that allow users to detail custom design and configuration. Unit designs can incorporate multiple supply lanes plus empty container return lanes as needed and can be constructed to a specified, fixed height to accommodate one person or multiple personnel. Industrial Conveying 03 9544 7474.

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Foster’s toast successful robots By Amanda Price NEW robotic palletising system has been installed at one of Foster’s Australian breweries. The two IRB4400 robots from ABB Robotics provide flexibility through simple changeovers between products and pallet patterns. Making beer and getting it to millions of thirsty Aussies is a serious business. Australia makes about 2 billion litres of beer a year, and the country consistently ranks in the top 10 of beer consumers in the world in terms of litres drunk per person. In the Foster’s brewery pack house, the palletising lines stack the cartons of freshly bottled beer onto pallets, ready for warehousing and eventual distribution. The pallets typically hold 70 cartons (seven layers of 10 packs, each containing 24 x 375ml bottles), which need to be stacked precisely. Only the interlocking pattern of the

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Having sensed where the products are located, each robot will pick a carton and place it into position according to the pattern their operators have asked them to build.


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FACTORY MATERIALS HANDLING

stack and a small dab of glue on each box create the cohesion to keep everything in place for transport. Creating the interlocking pattern at speed is a crucial part of the palletisers. Three of the palletisers are conventional, employing technology largely unchanged for decades. They use rollers, dividers and rotators to position cartons for their arrival onto the pallets into a pre-ordained pattern designed to maximise stack stability. It is fast and effective, but if the pattern needs to be changed, it can take two hours to reset the equipment. Many moving parts mean a lot of noise; potential danger to workers; and high maintenance costs. However, the fourth palletiser is robotic. The two robots work in tandem, one behind the other. Having sensed where the products are located, each robot will pick a carton and place it into position according to the pattern their operators have asked them to build. The robot operators - electrical packaging/projects coordinator Kevan Morgan and site services project manager Geoff Gould commissioned and now

The two robots work in tandem, one behind the other.

supervise the robotic palletising line. “Conventional palletising systems are a thing of the past,” says Gould. “They

have been around forever, but their days are numbered. This robotic system will become the norm.” Although the robots aren’t quicker, they are simpler and more reliable than conventional methods. Since its installation, the robots have been in operation for nearly 9,000 hours, stopping only for routine maintenance. When the robot system was tested, Foster’s stipulated to system integrator Foodmach, the criteria that reliability, flexibility, gentle product handling, low maintenance, low noise, unmanned operation and no time for extended commissioning, were top priority. They set a target of 99.5 % compliance and the robots subsequently provided 100% compliance. “A lot can go wrong with conventional palletisers,” says Morgan, “But the reliability of the robots has caused us no problems. The advantage of not having to maintain high-speed line dividers and carton rotators is a substantial cost benefit.” Maintenance for the two robots costs no more than $2,000 a year and requires just one day of downtime. ABB Australia 1800 222 435.

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Exhibition celebrates 25th in new venue By Nerida Kelton AUSTRALIA’S materials handling and warehousing exhibition, Matex, is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2008 as a stand-alone event in a new venue at the Sydney Showgrounds. The exhibition will include live forklift demonstrations, the inaugural two-day supply chain conference and the grand finals of the Great Fork Off. The exhibition’s event organiser Michael Nissen, said it will be a valueadded event designed specifically for the materials handling industry in Australia. The exhibition will be held as a threeday exhibition at the Sydney Showgrounds, Sydney Olympic Park, from the 15th to the 17th of April. “Confirmed exhibitors include: Century Yuasa Batteries, Hyster, Hubtex Australia, Karcher, Yale Asia Pacific, Schaefer Systems International, Red Australia, Metalsistem Australia and Manhattan Associates,” he said.

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Matex 2008 exhibition will be held at Sydney’s Olympic Park.

Nissen added that the Supply Chain & Logistics Association of Australia have partnered with MATEX to provide a twoday conference alongside of the exhibition, which will culminate in the Grand Finals of the SCLAA national forklift competition – the Great Fork Off.

Great fork off The Great Fork Off - run by the SCLAA - commenced in January and will conclude in April 2008. The finalists of each heat will compete at the Grand Final which will be held

during the exhibition on Thursday the 17th of April 2008. The competition is designed to improve forklift awareness, load shifting knowledge, OH&S in the Supply Chain & Logistics industry and, to have some fun along the way. Schaefer Sydney will be hosting all of the NSW based semi finals. Hyster will provide the forklifts for the Grand Final.

Supply chain conference SCLAA will be running a two-day conference designed specifically for the materials handling industry along side the exhibition. Topics on the agenda for day one include management & strategy, skills shortage management, contract management, labour management, waste management, freight management, global supply chains, carbon trading, offshoring, safety management, casualisation of the workforce, and strategic procurement. Matex 02 9556 7999.


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Vacuum gripper systems PIAB’s new VGS series of products is comprised of three gripper system sizes: 2010, 3010, and 5010. Each system utilises an integrated Coax cartridge, designed to position vacuum power precisely where it's needed, making maximum use of energy and increasing speed by eliminating line losses and inefficiencies. The compatible suction cups are Duraflex of varying sizes, ensuring a strong and reliable seal on difficult to handle materials like plastic bags and cardboard boxes. Using Coax technology means vacuum flow levels are dependent on the size of the cartridge integrated in the system. With varying levels of vacuum flow, the units provide a range of flexible material handling solutions that reduce energy consumption, have faster response times and improve reliability. The VGS series is ideal for applications throughout the whole production line, such as pick-and-place, injection

moulding, packaging, and palletising. The VGS series can be utilised in each step of the manufacturing process to improve efficiency. Providing the lowest level of vacuum flow, the VGS 2010 is ideal for high-speed handling of small, leak-free or non-porous materials, such as blister packs in pickand-place applications. The carton erecting process is improved with the VGS 3010, which provides a flexible design that eliminates the need for multiple end effecters. This enables quick and easy changeover and reduces downtime when handling different shapes and sizes, such as materials removed from an injection-moulder. For challenging applications, handling porous materials such as cardboard, carton and bag handling, the VGS 5010 provides maximum vacuum flow and can be mounted directly onto large Duraflex suction cups. Piab Vacuum Technologies 03 9761 7731.

Reflection scanners THE new series 46B reflection light scanners from Leuze electronic is said to offer greater performance reserves and ranges coupled with an increased setting range. High-speed commissioning with the aid of brightVision and UltraLock, reliable detection of wide-ranging different objects and a long service life even under adverse environmental conditions guarantee low costs over the entire life cycle of the product. Scanners offer Enhanced transmission detection of wideranging different performance and improved objects. sensor technology in the HRT 46B from Leuze opens up scope for operating ranges of up to 2500mm. Characteristic of this scanner, is also reliable detection of dark and shiny objects even where long working distances are involved. Special versions are available. Balluff-Leuze 1300 653 893.

• WAREHOUSING • TRANSPORT • CROSS-DOCKING • UNLOADING/LOADING TRUCKS/CONTAINERS • FACTORIES • PRODUCTION LINES

• Increase productivity • Increase efficiency • Improve morale

• Reduce workplace injury • Reduce lost work days • Reduce damage to products

email: sales@longreach.au.com

www.longreach.au.com

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WAREHOUSING EQUIPMENT

The multi-modal warehouse Warehouse management and data collection are converging into one system that can scan a bar code, read an RFID tag or communicate instructions using voice technology, Bob Trebilcock reports from the US.

Bar codes no longer rule the day. End users now have a variety of technologies to choose from to execute the processes managed by a warehouse management system (WMS), including voice, RFID and camera-based imaging.

NYONE who's bought a mobile phone lately understands the idea of convergence. Where we once made calls on a phone, listened to tunes on a portable disc player, snapped pictures with a camera, and surfed the Web on a laptop, we can now do it all on one device. Something similar is beginning to happen in the warehouse and DC. Bar codes no longer rule the day. End users now have a variety of technologies to choose from to execute the processes managed by a warehouse management system (WMS), including voice, RFID and camera-based imaging.

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For the most part, different devices and software interfaces are required to manage these technologies. But ADC technologies are beginning to converge onto one multi-modal device that can handle them all. Want to talk to the WMS system? No problem. Need to scan a bar code? Sure thing. Need to read an RFID tag? You can do that, too, without carrying a separate device. Just as importantly, the next generation of WMS is being written to include core functionality to manage those technologies without middleware.

“The idea behind a multi-modal warehouse is one of making data collection and WMS technology serve the operator,” said Dick Sorenson, director of RFID products for LXE. “You want the option to choose the technology that minimises data collection time, reduces errors and naturally improves that particular process.” While this is the vision for the future, it's not quite there yet in most cases. “One of my industry contacts pointed out that WMS were architected years ago around bar code scanning because that's all there was,” said Steve Banker, service continued on page 18


Materials Handling Solutions for a Safe, Productive & Efficient Workplace... Safe Access & Order Picking Platforms Tracker • Mobile - relocates quickly • Large Wheels - travels easily over most surfaces • Tilt and Steer control - minimizes operator effort to move ladder • Two Handrails - assists safe and easy climbing • Platform with Safety Railing - provides a secure working position • Industrial Standard - designed to comply with authority requirements With both Tracker and Navigator, weight shift as the operator moves about the platform has no effect on stability. With the control handle actuated, the operator is set back from the ladder, allowing a normal walking gait. Fitting of the optional shelf places a tool box or clip board at the ideal working height. An optional auto Actuation of the Tilt/Steer closing safety Control raises the ladder to the Tracker is a great help for safe access during gate is available. mobile position and provides easy steering for repositioning. maintenance

A

C

B

Code SSMT3 SSMT4 SSMT5 SSMT6 SSMT7 SSMT8 SSMT9 SSMT10 SSMT11 SSMT12 SSMT13 SSMT14

A mm 860 1145 1435 1720 2005 2295 2580 2865 3155 3440 3725 4015

B mm 840 895 935 975 1015 1055 1095 1135 1175 1215 1255 1295

C mm 1225 1355 1485 1615 1745 1875 2005 2135 2265 2395 2525 2655

These platforms are shipped in knocked down condition for economical and easy transport

Navigator • Lift and Steer Control - minimizes operator effort to relocate ladder • No Springs - eliminates rocking or swaying resulting in a safer ladder • Four Swivel Castors - relocates quickly and handles tight spaces • Two Handrails - assists safe and easy climbing • Can be retrofitted to accommodate manual or electric lift tables. Navigator - The original, totally stable mobile platform ladder Navigator features an ergonomically designed control handle to raise the ladder to the mobile position and provide easy steering for repositioning. Release of the control handle automatically returns the unit to the default position. In the default position, the ladder is completely stable with all four feet in floor contact. Navigator is also available with a manual or battery operated winch lift table. An optional auto closing safety gate is available.

Code SSMN4 SSMN5 SSMN6 SSMN7 SSMN8 SSMN9 SSMN10 SSMN11 SSMN12 SSMN13 SSMN14

sfjh ;k kz hl fh lhl; jghh

Navigator with actuated control handle.

A 4 step Navigator with one high & one low rail makes stock picking a breeze

A mm 1145 1435 1720 2005 2295 2580 2865 3155 3440 3725 4015

B mm 755 795 835 875 915 955 995 1035 1075 1115 1155

C mm 1295 1425 1555 1685 1815 1945 2075 2205 2335 2465 2595

These platforms are shipped in knocked down condition for economical and easy transport

Supplied in knocked down condition,for safety & economy of transport. A fee may apply if they are required assembled.

Our website: www.materialshandling.com.au Phone us: 1300 65 00 35 Fax us: 1800 68 68 96 Email us: result@materialshandling.com.au MHG0208


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continued from page 16 director of supply chain management for ARC Advisory Group. “If you were building a system today, you would build it to be multi-modal. WMS vendors recognise that and are moving in that direction, but it's not an easy process.”

Voice and RF The adoption of voice is the first step most facilities are taking toward using multiple data collection technologies. And adoption is happening at a fast pace. Five years ago, if a warehouse was choosing between voice and pick-to-light technology for each picking, the choice was usually pick-to-light. Today, the choice is more often than not speech recognition. Most often, voice is being adopted as a stand-alone technology that replaces bar code scanning, especially in order picking applications. “The benefit is increased productivity and accuracy,” said Scott Yetter, CEO and president of Voxware. Yetter says productivity improvements of 10 to 25% are not uncommon, as are error reductions of 50%, especially for users moving from paper-based picking to voice. But voice is also the first data collection technology being combined with bar code scanning to create new, multi-modal processes. “We have customers picking products to a pallet,” said Mike Glatz, director of business development for Vocollect. “But they also have to capture a lengthy lot number. Voice will direct them to a location and tell them what to pick. Then they will scan the lot number because that's faster than speaking a nine digit lot number.” Other users rely on a combination of voice and scanning to verify order accuracy. “We have a retail customer doing voice-directed picking that still uses bar code scanning for order verification and quality control,” said Kevin Prouty, senior director of manufacturing solutions for Motorola. “What they have found is that there is still that 1% of the time that for whatever reason, the voice command didn't work.” However the technologies are combined, going multi-modal changes the way you approach operations. You can now look at your warehouse and determine which method or combination of methods makes the most sense for a process.

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| Materials Handling Guide | March 2008

Where the WMS fits Still, there are hurdles. While the device might be multi-modal, there are typically separate software solutions for the bar code scanner and the voice technology. An operator can't arbitrarily choose between speech and scanning in most WMS, at least not without getting out of one system and into the other. And that takes time, which could nullify the productivity benefits of a multi-modal approach. That's because there have traditionally been different approaches to WMS and voice technology. Approach 1 - Simply bolt a voice solution onto the WMS, rather than integrate the solution. This might be the case for end users with legacy or best-of-breed systems implemented before voice became

With a multi-modal WMS, the application allows you to make any kind of input you want without having to manually switch from the voice application to the scanning application. common. In that instance, the voice system receives order instructions from the WMS, then updates the WMS in batch mode after the tasks are completed. The downside: “With a bolt-on solution, you lose some of the efficiency you would otherwise get from a systemdirected RF system that is integrated with the WMS,” said Tom Kozenski, vice president of product strategy for RedPrairie. “For instance, if the WMS isn't directing the operator, it won't know in real time that a slot is empty and needs replenishment.” Approach 2 - WMS providers, like RedPrairie and others, partnered with a supplier and integrated their voice software system with the WMS. That overcomes the integration issues and results in easier configuration. If you've integrated a speech engine and have a workflow-based WMS, you can define whether a specific task is going to interface with a bar code scanning device or a voice device. Approach 3 - Just coming to the market

are WMS suppliers that have built their own voice engines and incorporated those into the architecture of their WMS solution.

The result A true multi-modal WMS. “You now have software for mobile workers that runs on a mobile device,” said Mike Markham, vice president of sales for Cadre Technologies. “You can capture data or communicate with this device in as many ways as you want without deciding ahead of time in a workflow configuration what input method you want to use. I can key it in; I can speak it; I can scan it—all without making any changes.”

Going multi-modal Markham makes a distinction between a multi-modal WMS and a multi-modal device that can scan a label, read an RFID tag or communicate with speech. “With a multi-modal WMS, the application allows you to make any kind of input you want without having to manually switch from the voice application to the scanning application,” he said. “Because the solution is part of the core WMS functionality, picking instructions, for instance, are delivered via speech and the screen at the same time.” The first truly multi-modal applications using multi-modal devices, like a PDA with voice and bar code scanning functionality, are just beginning to be developed, adds Donald MacDaid, product marketing manager for Aldata, one of the other suppliers to create a multi-modal WMS. “We have a customer in Europe that sends a pick list to the operators' screens,” said MacDaid. “But an operator can reorganize the pick list using voice technology as she is picking.” For one, you have just one terminal to purchase and maintain. Beyond that, it creates opportunities to more fully integrate data collection throughout a facility. “It's opening up the possibility of developing new processes and rethinking the traditional WMS environment,” said MacDaid. LXE www.lxe.com. ARC www.arcweb.com. Aldata www.aldata-solution.com. Cadre Technologies www.cadretech.com. Voxware www.voxware.com. Vocollect www.vocollect.com. Motorola www.motorola.com. RedPrairie www.redprairie.com.


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A fortune hanging on a thread Spreaders require extremely robust connectors Their technological quality is the robust locking of their screw connection. The asymmetrical principle - 'Easy to fasten and difficult to open! ensures sealing with long-term stability. This is important for thousands of sensor signals every day. No tools are required for installation, which is a further advantage of the technology. In October last year alone, the Port of Melbourne on average handled more than 6,500 containers per day. Therefore, everything in container handling must be done quickly, safely and reliably, otherwise even the fixed timetable of the container carriers is at risk. It is good for the users that they can rely on the safe function of ecolink M12 connectors from ifm efector. Gantry cranes with top spreaders loading a container ship.

International container shipping is booming. More and more locations for tran shipment are required. Special grippers for container spreaders are used for handling containers. They are used where containers with a partly high value of goods on board change the means of transport: When loading and unloading container ships or for the transport with carriers or AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles) from the ship to trucks or trains. Complex electronics and the numerous sensors used ensure the correct functioning of the spreaders. For the reliable transmission of the sensor signals, ifm efector pty ltd developed an M12 connector that functions reliably under these harsh operating conditions.

For more information on the new connection technology from ifm efector, please visit: www.ifmefector.com.au/connect

ifm is a global leader in German engineered and manufactured sensor and control products for automation. Product areas include position sensors and object recognition, fluid sensors and diagnostic systems, bus systems and identification systems, control systems and connection technology.

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The system is permanently exposed to temperature fluctuations, moisture, dirt, corrosion, shock and vibration. The unique ecolink M12 connectors operate reliably in this difficult application.

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Tired of expensive shut downs due to poor connection? ifm efector offers reliable connection technology in harsh environments

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Can withstand excessive force Due to special installation of mechanical endstop, the O-ring is always correctly compressed, therefore permanently maintains its sealing function. This prevents water ingress and chemical penetration.

Vibration protection ensured The saw-tooth type contour ensures the nut is securely positioned. The contours steep edge protects the nut against unintentional loosening, therefore the connector remains securely positioned to the unit even in cases of extreme vibration and impact.

Clearly visible LED’s Innovative design and transparent black housing ensure LED’s are more clearly visible even in bright lighting conditions than with clear transparent versions. The advantage of this unique feature is it enables you to keep a close eye on the plant process and respond quickly should problems arise. LED off

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Chep reinforces pallet ownership By Kerry Braithwaite CHEP Australia and West Australian Jason’s Pallets have reached an agreement over the use of Chep’s distinctive blue pallets. Following extensive but failed negotiations, Chep commenced legal action and has now settled the matter out of court. As a result of the settlement Jason’s has acknowledged Chep’s ownership rights, and undertaken not to acquire, sell, dispose of, trade in or otherwise deal with any Chep pallet. This is the third pallet dispute the company has resolved in the last 12 months. In March 2007, a local court in Sydney ruled that Chep was entitled to the immediate possession of pallets in their case against a fruit and vegetable retailer, and in May the NSW Supreme Court handed down a similar ruling against two food wholesalers. The Terms of Hire state that the company remains the owner of its

Issue resolved out of courts.

equipment at all times as part of a managed, reusable, returnable packaging solution. The only people legally entitled to use Chep equipment are its hiring customers and their respective agents. The equipment cannot legally be bought, sold, modified, thrown away or exchanged for

non-Chep equipment. President for the Asia-Pacific region Howard Wigham welcomed the latest outcome, which reinforces the company’s commitment to maintaining equity for all customers. “Customer feedback has identified the importance of our company maintaining a firm and consistent approach to the use of our equipment, particularly pallets. “We are resolved to pursue organisations which engage in conduct that affects our customers and our supply of equipment,” he said. Wigham said the company would continue to pursue businesses and persons who improperly used its pallets and other equipment. “By outsourcing the management of returnable, reusable packaging solutions, our customers add value to their business. Unauthorised use of these assets erodes the value of that system, and creates unnecessary control burdens,” he said. Chep Asia-Pacific 02 9856 2450

Tallships Solutions Pty Ltd Barfoot Road (PO Box 64), Mirboo North VIC 3871 Tel: (03) 5668 2203 Fax: (03) 5668 2205 Freecall 1800 813 508

Solving the puzzle of Warehouse Management

with Powerhouse/WMS The Warehouse Management Solution that fits. For an obligation free warehouse evaluation contact:

TallShips Solutions Ph: 02 9807 6077 Email: sales@tallships.com.au or visit our web site at: www.tallships.com.au

SOLUTIONS for today INNOVATIONS for tomorrow

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| Materials Handling Guide | March 2008

When you stack Kiel’s food grade plastic pallets up against others in the marketplace, you can see why Kiel pallets are used by some of Australia’s foremost food companies. They’re rotationally made so there’s no “nooks and crannies” for germs to get a free ride. They’re easily disinfected. They don’t rust. They can hold up to 2 tonnes when racked. They won’t fracture when put under load. There’s no nails or splinters for OHS issues. Plus Kiel Industries have 46 different designs, sizes, shapes and colours to suit your particular warehousing requirements.


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Pallet dimensioning system SCALE Components’ new PalletScan dimensioning system, designed for transportation, distribution and logistics installations where pallets are weighed, cubed, and tracked, has been approved for legal trade measurement by the Australian National Measurement Institute (NMI). The company believes it’s the first trade approval of a pallet dimensioning system by an internationally recognised measurement authority anywhere in the world. The machine is an automatic data capture system that dimensions pallets and other oversize items and is typically used with a generic floor or pallet scale, barcode scanning and other peripheral equipment to provide a pallet identification and measurement solution. The system can process multi-piece shipments, pallets of the same or random size, initiate pallet tracking tasks and transfer the collected dimensional and weight data directly to the customers host

The system can process multi-piece shipments and pallets of the same or random size and transfer the collected data directly to the customer’s processing system.

processing system. Appropriate dimension-based shipping charges can then be applied. Scale Components 07 3274 197

All-purpose pallet turntable INDUSTRIAL Conveying has designed its own customisable pallet turntable for materials handling applications in warehouses and factories. The RP Pallet turntable is part of the company's standard range of equipment which allows various means of transporting empty or fully laden pallets with weights of up to 2500kg. The turntable frame is manufactured from pressed or structural steel sections. Rotation is via a slewing ring rotated by a SEW motor driven worm box with integral disc brake. Horsepower of each unit is made to suit load requirements, application and service factor. Industries that will be well served by this equipment range from packaging, manufacturing and food production though to general materials handling and transport. Various configurations of conveyors such as chain driven live roller conveyors, twin, and triple chain conveyors, can be fitted to the turntable top to execute the required function. ICA 03 5440 5100.

March 2008 | Materials Handling Guide |

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High-volume strap chopper THE Sweed Model 510 strap chopper is designed to speedily reduce strap to saleable waste. The sale of this waste often offsets industrial bin charges. Designed with a heavy duty, automatic feed works and easy-feed throat the strap is easily reduced from a threemetre (large) industrial bin to a mere 200-litre drum. For easy maintenance, the Model 510 For easy maintenance the chopper has been has been designed with a designed with a heavy duty, automatic feed works heavy duty, and easy-feed throat. automatic feed works and easy-feed throat, making it a suitable choice for in-line placement. A heavy duty flywheel construction makes it ideal for continuous scrap conversion of strapping. The hi-speed units can be rented or purchased. AWS 1800 023 890.

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| Materials Handling Guide | March 2008

Extendable flexible conveyors INDUSTRIAL Conveying has developed its own extendable conveyors - unique, flexible equipment that expands and contracts and can be made into a straight, curved or bent configuration according to requirements. They are quick and easy to set up and have legs for adjustable height, on lockable castors. The skate wheels or polypropylene rollers are designed to ensure self-tracking. Extendable conveyors are ideal for moving goods in warehouse and storage situations as well as loading or unloading trucks. They can be easily moved to give flexibility and multi-use functionality in an organisation. The units can be manufactured to almost any desired length or width to suit the application. Models available as standard are zincplated mild steel or stainless steel components giving a rigid and sturdy construction that will continue to perform in most industrial environments with minimal maintenance.

The legs are adjustable for height, on lockable castors.

These economical expandable gravity conveyors are for multi-sized packages in low, medium, and high volume applications. Standard models come in widths of 350mm to 610mm and lengths of 1.8m to 8.8m. They have a carrying capacity up to 250kg and come with either polypropylene roller or steel stake castors. ICA 03 5440 5100.


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WAREHOUSING EQUIPMENT

Telescopic conveyors reach 23m ADEPT Conveyor Technologies has announced the company will be launching its new "X-10der" telescopic conveyor range in Australia this year with a longer term strategy to supply the system to a wider market in the Asia Pacific region. Standard X-10der telescopic conveyors reach fully extended lengths ranging from 5m to 23m, with a maximum belt width of 2m. The X-10der's telescopic stages are manufactured from a single piece pressed steel section that extends by means of a patented combination rack/geared tooth and chain system. This makes for a sturdier and more reliable system that does not suffer from stress failures occasionally experienced by other designs constructed from multiple pre-fabricated sections. It is designed to reduce the amount of maintenance work needed which results in a longer operational service life of the telescopic conveyor.

The conveyors reach fully extended lengths ranging from 5m to 23m

Maintenance down time is also reduced if servicing is required to the end mounted control panel. It can be removed and replaced with a cassette style module which is easily plugged in within minutes. An integrated barcode reader enables the operator to stop and start the conveyer to suit the rate of packages being fed, ensuring the control is with

the operator. The X-10der range provides a number of optional capabilities to suit particular situations which include an angle adjusting hydraulic mechanism that enables the operator to adapt from loading a semi-trailer to a smaller delivery van at a lower level on the same dock. Adept Conveyor 02 9771 4655.

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Free advisory service available in Australia and overseas

March 2008 | Materials Handling Guide |

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FORKLIFTS & LIFTING

Fuel cell forklifts not too far away By John Allen RAYMOND Corp in the US has unveiled the early findings from its two-year research program on hydrogen fuel cell powered forklifts, developed with funding from the New York Energy Research & Development Authority. Last year, Raymond converted its Greene, New York, manufacturing site into a “living lab” with hydrogen fuel cell powered Raymond forklifts and an indoor hydrogen refuelling system working in the facility. The program’s goal is to evaluate the performance of hydrogen fuel in electric forklifts and demonstrate the safety of a hydrogen-fuelled forklift environment. The study’s early findings show that, compared to battery-powered forklifts,

A fuel cell-powered Raymond reach truck being refuelled.

hydrogen fuel cell forklifts maintain comparable performance. The braking distance and maximum travel and lift speeds of the forklift are said to be equivalent to that of an electric forklift. When it comes to refuelling, the fuel cell forklift consumes a few minutes

compared to the 20 minutes needed to remove and replace a battery from the same forklift model. However, the battery in electric forklifts contributes to the counterweight.Extra weight must be added to the fuel cell unit and the weight distributed within the fuel cell system so the centre of the gravity is the same as that of the battery. The company is also testing hydrogen consumption and frequency of refuelling, operation of the hydrogen infrastructure and refuelling, reliability, maintenance and repairability of the fuel cell systems, and the voltage delivered and how it compares with specifications for all the electrical components and options on a forklift. The forklift manufacturer says it will disclose further results of the research when they become available.

Local container handler sold into the UK Portable electric MOBICON Systems delivered its first flexible container handler into England recently, solving UK distribution company KKT’s congested yard problem. KKT was looking for a system to better manage on-site container handling and de-stuffing processes and was previously loading from container ramps. KKT’s MD Karl King said, “The restricted working yard and receiving locations at our Ipswich operations centre was becoming congested and containers were unable to be de-stuffed in a timely manner. “Trailers were required to be unhitched and left in the yard for de-stuffing at alternative times; hence more trailer assets were required to complete the freight task.” Warehousing and receipting operations were also being disadvantaged by poor trailer locations in the yard. Overtime, stress and extended working hours were also having its impact on security, safety, product damage, and demurrage and operating costs for the transport company. King said the load carrying capacity of the yard’s pavement was assessed and it was recognised that the pavement was unsuitable for the use of large fork lifts or the preferred reach stacker concepts in the UK.

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| Materials Handling Guide | March 2008

chain hoist The crane fits in its own durable travel case.

With its low axle weights and tighter manoeuvring ability, the handler has improved efficiency and reduced costs.

“The Mobicon, with its low axle weights and tighter manoeuvring ability, has improved efficiency and reduced costs by totally transforming the way we worked. This has allowed us to lay off expensive night shift, as the work can now all be done in the day. Forklift wear has been reduced and we all feel that it has improved safety in our yard,”King said. KKT sold their container ramps and reduced their trainer numbers by 50% allowing cost savings associated with container handling for the business. Mobicon Systems 0413 449 120.

PACIFIC Porta Hoists are a compact portable electric chain hoist. Being lightweight, these portable hoists conveniently fit in their own durable travel case making them ideal for anyone that has to lift, lower or handle heavy loads on the go. With 240V operation, the hoist can be used wherever there is single phase power source and a suitable support from which to suspend them. Available in two models, 125kg or 250kg capacity, the hoist features an overload limited clutch plus upper and lower limit switches, a durable travel case, and an ergonomic low voltage IP65 pendant with 2-speed control. Other features include variable low speed of 0 to 3.4m/min, high speed of 12m/min with emergency stop, standard 6m height of lift, 5m pendant control, chain bucket, and compliance to CE and AS1418.2 Pacific Hoists 02 8825 6900.


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FORKLIFTS & LIFTING

Remote vehicle monitoring system By Geoff Hoddinot WNER of IGA Supermarkets and Campbell’s Cash and Carry – Metcash - has recently implemented a remote vehicle monitoring system in its distribution facility in Crestmead, Queensland. The IGA Crestmead facility is one of nine distribution centres carrying around 18,000 items serving the dry, chilled and frozen grocery requirements of over 2,500 independent retail grocery stores in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, SA and WA. Metcash distribution manager for Queensland Glenn Sutcliffe said the company had grown to a point where it was necessary to gain extra visibility around how its fleet of lift trucks were being utilised and, how maintenance and repair costs could be minimised. “We have an incredibly high number vehicle movements running over various shifts. Knowing which trucks are working the longest, which shifts work the most efficiently and which of our approximately 250 drivers could benefit from extra training, has been a growing challenge,” said Sutcliffe. InfoLink is a system that monitors and wirelessly communicates truck usage and performance information to a base station that allows for a myriad of reports and intelligence to be presented showing everything from vehicle location and vehicle abuse, to maintenance indicators. “We have fitted InfoLink to 67 of our Crown trucks to date and, on the figures and savings to date, are now doing a feasibility study where we are investigating the possibility of rolling the system out to the rest of our fleet,” said Sutcliffe. The wireless system will not let an operator start a unit without an identification number that confirms his or her training is current. The unit still will not start until the operator has carried out a ten point onboard vehicle safety questionnaire. The benefits include better planned maintenance based on actual hours rather than calendars, component-level hour meters including log-on, idle, travel and hydraulics, on-board text messaging to locate and communicate with operators and automatic reporting of impacts when they occur.

O

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| Materials Handling Guide | March 2008

The system’s wireless communications can utilise existing wireless networks within facilities.

The system’s wireless communications can utilise existing wireless networks within facilities. Metcash reports the largest saving to date is the dramatic reduction in damage

from lift truck collisions with racking and other structures. According to Sutcliffe, this on its own can easily justify the investment. Crown Equipment 02 8788 0000.

Folding trolley WAREQUIP has introduced the latest German-designed Wolfcart folding trolley. Ergonomic design allows for use as a standard upright handtruck unit or fold down into a barrow style trolley. The load capacity is 150kg in the handtruck position and 200kg in the barrow function. The Wolfcart folding system provides ideal storage with a fold-up nose and a high resting surface ideal for loading or loading. Ball-bearing wheels, with pneumatic tyres, provide easy and comfortable transportation. Warequip 1800 337 711. The cart in the handtruck position.


LIND010_MHG.pdf

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All forklifts can stack loads.

Ours will save you loads.

When it comes to total cost of ownership, Linde trucks have been designed from the ground up to save you money. Our unique hydrostatic drive is a superb example of industrial truck engineering. Linde hydrostatic forklifts average approximately 1200rpm, compared to the standard automotive forklifts average of approximately 2000rpm. With lower engine speeds, our forklifts reduce fuel consumption, engine wear and produce less exhaust and noise emissions. The hydrostatic drive also eliminates the need for a large number of components, like a mechanical differential, clutch packs, gearbox and brake pads. With this dramatic reduction in consumable parts and 1000hr service intervals, your business will continually benefit from lower servicing and operating costs.

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In pure economic terms, the advantages of Linde really stack up.

LIND010_MHG


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FORKLIFTS & LIFTING

Gas-powered forklifts keep freight moving By Kimberley Silva ONE of Australia's express freight companies, Star Track Express, relies on a fleet of gas-powered Nissan forklifts to deliver a high level of service to its customers in a demanding and competitive industry. The company has a policy of continual investment in advanced technology and integrated systems, designed to ensure customers receive the best possible service at the lowest possible cost, according to Michael Pritchard, director of operations – infrastructure. The freight company employs 2500 staff, has a network of 600 agents and manages 27 company facilities nationwide. Each of the company’s three east coast capital city hubs is an automatic highspeed sorting facility, supported by on-line scanning systems. “Over the years, the role and choice of forklifts has proved to be an important

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| Materials Handling Guide | March 2008

The transmission interlock fitted to each vehicle has proved to be an important adaptation, preventing operators from skidding and wheel spinning.

issue for this organisation,” Pritchard said. The company’s forklifts work two shifts of 13 engine hours a day, loading and unloading trucks and shuttling pallets around our 90,000 square metre site. The Sydney operation alone handles 80,000 items a day, totalling 1500t of freight. The day begins at 5am, when the

company has 30 operators and forklifts preparing for the busiest part of the day. Sydney-based workshop manger Scott Gardiner said, “Reliability is the key issue with forklifts in work of this nature. "If not, jobs are not covered the productivity and efficiency of the operation is negatively affected.” Each forklift on site is fitted with a transmission interlock. This has proved to be an important adaptation, preventing operators from skidding and wheel spinning, leading to reduced wear and tear on the forklifts' transmission, axles and tyres. "It also means less marking around the facility and no black tyre dust in the work environment,” said Gardiner. All units are also fitted with side shift and four have recently been fitted with fork positioners. "We hope these positioners will further enhance the efficiency of our forklift operation," he said. Nissan 1300 550 607.


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FORKLIFTS & LIFTING

Medium duty truck range has no clutch RECENTLY released F Series medium duty truck range by Isuzu provides truck buyers with significant enhancements in power, safety, and efficiency, while offering reductions in exhaust emissions across its 50 plus model variants. The range features ADR80/02-compliant engines that are rated to stringent Euro4 emissions standards. The new Isuzu SiTEC SERIES II engines are said to produce as little as one sixth the particulate matter (PM) of engines in competing trucks, while still providing considerable increases in power of up to 15.7%, and improvements in torque of up to 31.5% over preceding engines. All engines in the F Series range are turbocharged, air-to-air intercooled, and feature high-pressure common rail injection, advanced cooled exhaust gas recirculation systems, variable geometry system, turbochargers and a diesel particulate diffuser exhaust after treatment. Replacing the traditional clutch pedal and employing a wet clutch and fluid coupling, the trucks now have an AMT system so they can operate in automatic mode or manually by selecting the gears via the gear slot. Isuzu Australia 03 9644 6666. The range features ADR80/02-compliant engines that are rated to stringent Euro4 emissions standards.

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FORKLIFTS & LIFTING

Forklifts rising to the ‘green‘ challenge By Simon Courtice THERE is a lot of talk about “going green” and being more “environmentally friendly”. But what does considering “environmental aspects” actually mean when it comes to forklifts? It means tackling the full magnitude of this complex issue. It requires imaginative, tenacious engineers who can think on a complex level. It means having a command of all technical subjects – from a power train to a brake, from the basic design through to the materials. With these issues in mind Linde has developed PureMotion – a multi-faceted solution to increasing energy efficiency, cutting emissions and limiting or eliminating any kind of undesirable effects. The most important feature distinguishing a Linde internal combustion forklift is its hydrostatic Forklift manufacturer offers a multi-faceted solution to cutting emissions.

transmission which allows to-the-millimetre positioning, requiring less energy and thus emit less CO2. It’s a similar story with the company’s diesel engines; achieving low particle emission values. With the VDI work cycle on best time, the Linde H25D achieves a consumption advantage of 1.4L/h. Projected over two years, this equates to a total of 26.8t in CO2 emissions. For one of our competitors, under otherwise identical conditions, the data indicates 38.2t. A difference of almost 12t. A similar situation is true with the particulate matter generated by the brake pads. Linde forklift trucks brake without conventional brakes. Instead, the hydrostatic drive decelerates in a controlled manner as soon as the driver takes his foot off the accelerator pedal. This mechanism enables precise vehicle control and eliminates brake pad wear, thus eliminating the very fine particles generated through brake pad use. Over a two year period, forklift trucks featuring conventional brakes generate some 700g of particulate matter from brake pad wear alone. Compressed, this is equivalent to approx. 0.6L of dust. Linde’s PureMotion for the electric drive mirrors the achievement of the combustion engines. The electric forklift trucks feature a range of technical developments to achieve more pallets per charge. At the core of this energy efficiency is the fully encapsulated compact axle – available in Linde’s latest electric counter balanced fork lift range, E12 - E20. The newly developed axle delivers high output for extremely low input, combining compact dimensions with efficient performance and minimised maintenance work. Linde Sales & Marketing 1300 135 463.

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FORKLIFTS & LIFTING

Configurable lift trucks up to 7,000kg HYSTER has introduced the Fortis line of lift trucks representing a transformation in the way lift trucks are designed, built, and acquired. Incorporating proven design processes and systems, each lift truck is offered with multiple power train configurations to meet specific application requirements and business objectives and to optimise productivity, dependability, and cost of operations. The new family of lift trucks, which covers a capacity range of 900kg to 7,000kg, offers both cushion and pneumatic tyre classes, with multiple engine choices consisting of gas, LP, and diesel. The custom engineering of the series offers an advantage to lift truck users looking to maximise production for specific applications. In head-to-head comparisons with similar trucks, the manufacturing and design advances of the series are shown to decrease downtime by up to 30 percent and save on operating costs. The electronically controlled power train, CANbus system industrial strength electronics, advanced cooling systems, and reliable hydraulics all help to improve dependability and lower operating costs in all applications. The Fortis series includes a Pacesetter VSM industrial onboard computer for adjustable performance to maximise uptime. The DuraMatch transmission systems include such

Multiple power train configurations are available.

features as the Auto Deceleration System, controlled rollback on ramps, controlled power reversals and auto-speed hydraulics with automatic inching control. Innovations include repositioned foot pedals, fatigue-reducing operator compartments designed to isolate vibrations, and easily adjustable operator settings. Hyster 02 9772 3277.

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BULK MATERIALS HANDLING

Convey

a broad range of bulk solids to/from multiple discharge/ inlet points with Flexicon’s positive pressure or vacuum dilute-phase Pneumatic Conveying Systems. Fully integrated with your process.

Understanding metering screw feeders Mike Page* offers a detailed consideration relating to metering feeders

Feed

used to control the flow of powders into a process at a prescribed rate.

free- and non-free-flowing bulk solids from large pellets to sub-micron powders in any direction, around obstructions, over short or long distances, with no separation of blends, dustfree at low cost, with Flexicon Flexible Screw Conveyors.

Batch

multiple bulk materials by weight from nearby or distant plant locations, blend the batch and discharge/ convey it automatically with Flexicon Weigh Batching and Blending Systems.

Unload

free- and non-free-flowing solids from bulk bags automatically with Flexicon Bulk Bag Unloaders. Untie full bags, retie partially empty bags and collapse empty bags— all dust-free. Available with weigh batching controls.

Fill

bulk bags with free- and non-free-flowing bulk solids with Twin-Centrepost™, Rear-Post and Swing-Down™ Bulk Bag Fillers. Available with numerous performance enhancements for low to high capacity applications.

New CD ROM

U-0696

1 300 FLEXICON +61 (0)2 9482 4033 sales@flexicon.com.au ®

.com.au

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The handling and flow measurement of powders is not always straightforward.

HATEVER means are employed to actually control the powder, certain basic fundamentals need to be assessed and understood before a solution can be arrived at. Firstly, the terminology used to describe aspects of the equipment is universal and can be summarised as follows: Diameter of Screw – This is the nominal outside diameter of the screw not the diameter of the tube in which it runs, nominal, because a 40mm screw is in fact 38mm diameter; a 20mm screw is 19mm diameter etc. These differences only occur because the nearest available stainless steel tube schedule requires selection of these dimensions to give a proper running clearance. Pitch of Screw – The dimension from leading face to the next leading face of the screw. In metering screw feeder terms the pitch dimension relates to the nominal screw diameter, applicable on screws up to 100mm diameter. Above this size, the pitch will be smaller than

W

the diameter but is still referred to as full pitch. Box Loading – This refers to the level of material in the screw tube/casing and is usually quoted in % terms i.e. 50% etc. When box loading is related to the screw pitch then fractional terminology i.e. 1/2, 1/3 is invariably used. However, for long feed applications the screw may require an expanding pitch to reduce the box loading in the tube. Volumetric Feeding – Strictly based on a screw of a known diameter and pitch, metering powder at a specified speed. It must be noted that that any variation of material bulk density will have a direct effect on the ultimate feed rate. Gravimetric or Loss-in-Weight – A feeder usually identical in design to the volumetric feeder but mounted to a weigh platform to measure the weight lost from the feeder at intervals of time.

Principles Of Metering Screw Feeding These can be summed up as follows: Correct filling of the screw – Otherwise


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BULK MATERIALS HANDLING

known as entrainment. This process is enabled by the knowledge of the powder and critically, its handling characteristics, correct design of the storage hopper, and both the impact and necessity of flow aids. Each powder has an ideal speed range through which it will not adversely react to the process of changing direction and filling the pitches of the screw. Invariably this is determined by trials and typically the conclusion is, that the higher the screw feed the greater the potential for capacity and linear accuracy tail off problems. A typical hopper design usually incorporates the standard taper shape assisted by two or four blade agitators with intermittent or continuous running. For more difficult materials the tapered sided hopper is replaced with vertical walls to ensure a consistency of material flow to the screw. In extreme cases vibrator motors can be used. With larger hoppers, above 150L and up to 0.5m3 capacity it may be necessary to promote product flow by creating an unstable material bridge in the hopper by use of a vibrating discharge cone along with air evassers arranged asymmetrically in the hopper walls. In the case of assisted flow by either the above or larger vibrating cone bin activators, care should be taken not to mis-match the output from the discharger and the screw by too great a factor. This can result in compaction, causing material, which cannot get away to compact in the feeder causing it to bore or tunnel a hole without conveying smoothly. The solution to this process is to scale down the problem by batching from large hopper or silos into the feeder hopper using high and low level probes to control the refills from the silo. Screw Geometry and Metering Zone - Once the screw size and pitch have been determined it is important to realise that to be effective the pitch of the screw selected must enter the metering zone, namely the discharge tube for the first three full pitches of the screw. On extended length screws the pitch is opened out to reduce the box loading. This has two effects, it lowers the stress on the on the drive shaft of the screw and also the consumed power taken to drive it. Screw Design – Feeders are supplied in single and twin, screw configurations with variations on the screw design such as solid and wire screws Single Screw - The majority of Rospen applications use single screw with variations on pitch and diameter, this is generally found to be satisfactory due to the unique feeder trough profile and method of agitation on the Rospen style of feeder. Twin Screw – Twin, screw feeders are generally used where extreme flushing of powders can occur or the complete opposite with cohesive powders like pigments or those with a high resin content, which require a large entrainment area to enhance flow. The one main advantage of twin screws is the fact the faces run together and not edge to edge such that a self cleaning effect is the result. Also the pulsing effect is reduced at the outlet, particularly important with sluggish powders. Solid Screw – Solid screws take the form of a continuous Archimedean spiral with a shaft running throughout the screw. The vast majority of applications continued on page 36

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BULK MATERIALS HANDLING

continued from page 35 use this design principle. Even with the flavour powders usually associated with the snack industry solid screws are used, the only additional feature given to the screw are breaker bars set on to the screw in the trough area to break up any dead area that may form in the trough. Wire Screw - On occasions wire screws can be used, which take the form of a helix spring manufactured from square section material. This type can only be employed for very difficult fibrous materials, which need a larger entrainment area in the screw, i.e. minimum blade width and no centre shaft. It should be noted that wire screws have minimum surface area, which does not support serious build up of cohesive powders. Extended Length Screw – In the event the standard length of feed tube is insufficient and a further extension is required work on the following dimensions as a general rule for the maximum permitted tube length. 25mm diameter – 1000mm 40mm diameter – 1500mm 50mm diameter – 2500mm

75 and 100mm diameter – 3500mm (The above table is for guidance only and selection will depend on product characteristics and specific applications. There may also be a requirement to increase the motor power to provide additional torque. When considering long screws it may be advisable to reduce the box loading in the tube by sizing the screw diameter with a reduced pitch at the metering point, i.e. in the trough. Even a 90% pitch at this point, which will give a 10% reduction in the tube can have marked advantages on the consumed power.) Oversize Product - If the powder to be handled has a large particle size up to say 5mm, then problems will occur in either these particles jamming between the edge of screw and the tube, or if not jamming causing extreme increase in torque requirements preventing successful feeding. In such a case fit an oversize tube and/or reduce the metering pitch to ease the box loading. Cohesive Powders - The use of an oversize tube will assist in cohesive powders which, when compacted in the normal screw/tube clearance cause

Continuous weight scale THE new X96 continuous weight scale measurement system from Ronan is suitable for weighing materials on belt conveyors, screw conveyors, drag chain conveyors, and metal plate conveyors. Measurements of the processes are made without contact with the process material. Since all system components never contact the process; extreme temperature, corrosive, toxic, or abrasive materials do not affect the continuous on-line weight measurement. The non-contact gamma weight scale is not affected by belt misalignment, changes in belt tension, or hostile conditions. Each system consists of a gamma source, detector, microprocessor, and a frame assembly for mounting the system around a conveyor. The gamma source, typically mounted over the top of the conveyor, emits energy through the process collimated in a direction towards a detector, mounted under the conveyor. The maximum possible gamma energy reaches the detector when the conveyor is empty. As the weight of the process increases on the conveyor, the gamma energy reaching the detector will decrease in an inversely

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As the weight of the process increases on the conveyor, the gamma energy reaching the detector will decrease in an inversely proportional relationship to weight. proportional relationship to weight. The detector measures this changing gamma field and sends a proportional signal to the microprocessor. The X96 microprocessor line arises, filters, and correlates this signal to a weight measurement. A graphic LCD display and outputs are then generated to meet the application requirements. AMS Instrumentation 03 9017 8225.

extreme increases in power requirement. The increased clearance allows material to run on material in an un-compacted state. Consistent Bulk Density – A necessity for volumetric feeding is a consistent product bulk density but it can be overlooked if it is assumed the same chemical from different suppliers will have the same characteristics. Note! when obtaining density figures be aware that the specific gravity approach relates to solid powder with no air gaps between the particles of powder. Therefore, if in doubt take a sample and pour loosely into a measured container and weigh it. Feed Rate Calculations – There are no feed rate tables accompanying this paper for the reason that they can be open to mis-interpretation and it is advisable to approach the manufacturers or competent agents with any project details or specific sizing problem. However, for reference purposes, tabular information on Metering Screw Feeders, Feeder Sizing can be found at www.rospen.com * Mike Page is senior Sales Engineer with Rospen Industries.

Blow-through sieve INSERTED directly within vacuum or pressure pneumatic conveying lines, the new Russell Blow Thru Sieve check-screens dry, free-flowing powders and granular materials without disrupting processing lines. The design of the sieve conveys product in one single operation. Product is conveyed under pressure into the sieve through a tangential inlet ensuring high throughput rates are achieved with minimal pressure losses. Good product is allowed to pass through the vibrating mesh screen, while oversize material remains on top where it can be removed at the end of a batch. Nupac has identified three specific applications where the sieve can prove to be effective in the manufacturing process. The first application is check-screening incoming ingredients during tanker unloading to ensure down stream processes are free from contamination. Secondly, the sieve can be used to screen materials while they are pneumatically conveyed at any point throughout the production process. The final application, screening product before it is dispatched, is the one that is the most important according the Nupac. It ensures customers receive contamination free products. Nupac 03 9584 8111.


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BULK MATERIALS HANDLING

Bulk materials elevator KOCKUMS has released the Olds static screw Elevator described as a revolutionary new method for vertically elevating bulk materials. The elevators have only one moving part and as the casing rotates bulk material is picked up and efficiently elevated vertically. Said to be smooth and quiet in operation, the metered delivery rate is infinitely controllable from zero to many hundred rpm with the variable speed drive. The elevators are said to gently lift even fragile and difficult to handle materials with negligible damage. According to the company, the elevator has been successfully tested on products such as peas, beans, bread crumbs, coal fines, dried food, flour, plastic powder, wet and dry sand, rice, coffee beans, granulated coffee, nuts, steel shot, peanut kernels various grains and seeds, sugar, wet sulphur slurry, dry sulphur and molasses. Performance is said to be more

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The elevator has only one moving part.

predictable, more reliable, more product friendly, more product tolerant and much less maintenance prone than conventional elevators. The pick up height is at the lowest point of the elevator, and can be at virtually floor level. The transfer rate is volumetrically proportional to speed, so the machine can be used as a variable rate feeder. Kockums 03 9457 8245.

Vibratory feeder controllers ACCURATE control of vibratory linear feeders and bowl feeders can be achieved with the new R3 and R5 stabilised, fully enclosed The controllers are built to controllers. ISO9001 certification and The controllers conform to CE standards. present internal trim pots for sweep adjustments, provision for no voltage OP switching, current limiting overload control and a choice of ramp times for acceleration changes. These standard models are available for up to 6A loads, in 50 and 60Hz versions with 240V power, external power light indicator, on/off switching, and a 0 to 100% nonstepped sweep control, all on the enclosures. A number of more sophisticated versions are available: frequency adjustment models, multiple function types; automatic "feed back" control systems, which incorporate constant monitoring of the feeder's amplitude . Enmin 03 9753 3633.


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HANDLING HAZARDOUS GOODS

Fire extinguisher training BULLEX Digital Safety has introduced a live fire extinguisher training simulator called the ITS Xtreme, for use by fire departments, emergency responders, companies, and other organisations. The simulator is a prop-enabled livefire training system, which challenges trainees with three available stainless steel props: Class A (trashcan), Class B (stovetop) and Class C (motor). These stainless steel training props create realistic flame patterns that respond directly to the trainee's actions with the air/water training extinguisher. Users need to demonstrate the proper technique based on the class of fire they are fighting to successfully extinguish the flames. The simulator produces a controllable, variable flame, allowing users to learn how to effectively operate a fire extinguisher without the cost and clean up associated with traditional drychemical or CO2 extinguishers. Use of the simulator translates into

Users need to demonstrate the proper technique based on the class of fire they are fighting to successfully extinguish the flames.

reduce training costs while simultaneously improving trainee proficiency in putting out a variety of fires. Aveling 08 9379 9999.

Floor degreaser cleaner NEW foam-activated scrubbing technology the FaST 965 heavy duty degreaser cleaner has earned the National Floor Safety Institute of USA (NFSI) high traction certification. NFSI high traction certification is applied to walkway materials, floor maintenance products, and floor coatings and produces higher traction for floors and increases slip resistance to at least 20%. The cleaner was developed for industrial use on petroleum grease and oil. It has also been found to be effective in cleaning animal fats and vegetable oils such as those found in food processing and manufacturing facilities. The cleaner can be used as a general cleaner on all surfaces in and around food processing areas, which means it neither exhibits a noticeable odour nor leaves a visible residue. The cleaner is said to use 70% less water, require 90% less detergent than traditional cleaners, and remove both soil and old detergent residues, to create safer floors that help reduce the risk of slip-and-fall accidents. The cleaner also has Green Seal Environmental Standard GS-37 certification. Tennant Australia 02 8718 9718.

Ready access padlock stations BRADY Australia has extended its range of lockout tagout products with new ready access padlock stations. These stations hold up to 10 padlocks, 6 hasps and 10 tags and ensure that lockout devices remain easily accessible and ready for use whenever needed. The padlock stations are 177mm high, 336mm wide, and 63.5mm deep, almost half the size of other 10padlock stations on the market. The semi-transparent The semi-transparent hinged cover hinged cover allows the allows the contents to be viewed at a contents to be viewed at a glance. glance while protecting the lockout devices from exposure to harsh environments. The stations can be locked to prevent unauthorised access and come with an attachable handle for easy portability, and screw slots for wall mounting option. Brady Australia 02 8717 6352.

New asbestos removal regulations WORKCOVER NSW has issued a reminder to factory owners, builders and contractors out changes to regulations around licensing of asbestos removalists. WorkCover CEO Jon Blackwell said that from the January 1 this year the threshold for the removal, repair and disturbance of bonded asbestos has been reduced to 10m2. WorkCover NSW 131 050.

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Materials Handling  

Materials Handling Mar 08

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