Investment in Supply Chain Technologies to Increase Dramatically in 2019 as Hiring Qualified Workers Continues to Be Biggest Challenge

Investment in Supply Chain Technologies to Increase Dramatically in 2019 as Hiring Qualified Workers Continues to Be Biggest Challenge

MHI supply chain technologies

MHI presented the sixth in a series of MHI Annual Industry Reports developed in collaboration with Deloitte Consulting LLP at ProMat 2019.

Chicago, IL – MHI has released the sixth in a series of MHI Annual Industry Reports developed in collaboration with Deloitte Consulting LLP. The 2019 MHI Annual Industry Report, titled “Elevating Supply Chain Digital Consciousness” provides new insights into trends and technologies that are having a dramatic business impact on supply chains and the people who run them.

Eight out of ten survey respondents believe digital supply chains will be the predominant model within just five years. The survey results also suggest that investment in supply chain innovation is at a critical inflection point, with a trend of declining investment from 2015 to 2018 being more than countered by a 95% increase in projected spending for 2019.

  • 57% of respondents are planning new technology investments totaling more than $1 million over the next two years (up 10% over last year’s survey)
  • 34% plan to spend more than $5 million
  • 22% plan to spend more than $10 million.

Manufacturing and supply chain professionals are facing many challenges but, according to the report, the top one continues to be hiring qualified workers (65 percent).

This year’s report provides updates on the innovative technologies MHI predicted would have the most potential to transform supply chains. The report also covers the potential of these technologies to disrupt the industry as well as their adoption rates and common barriers to adoption. The eleven technologies covered in the report are:

  • Blockchain
  • Robotics and automation
  • Predictive analytics
  • Internet of Things
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Driverless vehicles and drones
  • Wearable and mobile technology
  • Inventory and network optimization
  • Sensors and automatic identification
  • Cloud computing and storage
  • 3D printing

These eleven technologies work together to create next-generation supply chains that can meet these challenges because they are digital, on-demand and always-on.

“The pace of supply chain innovation over the six years of our survey is truly astounding, creating real and measurable competitive advantage for early adopters,” said George Prest, CEO of MHI. “With supply chain complexity showing no signs of slowing, the risk of inaction is only growing. Leading manufacturing and supply chain executives agree that technology is the key to future success.”

Potential to disrupt and create competitive advantage

The top technologies respondents say can be a source of either disruption or competitive advantage are:

  • Robotics and automation (64 percent)
  • Predictive analytics (59 percent)
  • Artificial Intelligence (55 percent)
  • The Internet-of-Things (IoT) (52 percent)
  • Driverless vehicles & drones (51 percent)

Adoption Rates

Cloud computing and storage has the highest current adoption rate (56%). Adoption is expected to grow to 79% over the next two years, and to 91% over the next five years.

Over the next five years, Predictive Analytics is expected to reach an 87 percent adoption rate, followed by IoT at 80 percent, Robotics and Automation at 72 percent, Artificial Intelligence at 55 percent and Driverless Vehicles and Drones at 51 percent.

Top Barriers to Adoption

The top three barriers to adoption of these technologies are:

  • Tackling the supply chain skills gap and workforce shortage (65%)
  • Customer Demands for lower prices (56%)
  • Customer demands for faster responses times (54%)

Supply Chain Talent Gap

A highly-skilled and increasingly digital supply chain workforce is needed to implement these technologies. This has been a theme in all six annual reports and the talent gap is growing as the adoption of these technologies increases.

The top critical skills needed to compete in the next-generation supply chain according to the survey and consistent with previous years; analytics/modeling/visualization (40%), strategic problem solving (37%) and general business acumen and cross-functional knowledge (31%).

Four Stages of Digital Adoption and the Supply Chain Digital Consciousness Index (DCI)

It is clear that data and technology will empower supply chains in the future, but it’s not a single technology-it will be a combination of the 11 highlighted in the survey.

The report defines a pyramid of digital adoption that has four technology stages, starting with the collection of data through digital connectivity, and then moving up the pyramid to generate increasing supply chain value and insights from that base data through automation, advanced analytics, and ultimately artificial intelligence.

The report includes a Supply Chain Digital Consciousness framework, developed by MHI and Deloitte, to help organizations assess their digital mindset and gauge their progress on the journey to becoming more digitally conscious.

The Supply Chain Digital Consciousness framework characterizes a supply chain on four levels of awareness – from dormant to elevated – and across five digital categories
The five digital categories span all dimensions of supply chains, from leadership, talent development and workplace culture, to technology and innovation adoption, to customer experience.

This framework can help companies understand their current level of digital adoption and then identify gaps and next steps to boost digital consciousness and supply chain performance.

Within this framework, the report includes an assessment tool companies can use to measure where they are on their digital adoption journey via a Supply Chain Digital Consciousness Index (DCI).

The Supply Chain DCI measures progress regarding the five digital categories:

  • Leadership
  • Innovation/Technology
  • Customer Engagement
  • Talent
  • Workplace Environment

The Supply Chain DCI quantifies the current level of supply chain digital consciousness, as well as measuring progress made toward the desired end-state. It helps firms determine the current state of their digital consciousness, determine and prioritize gaps in order to develop a comprehensive strategy for digital consciousness that meets their unique business goals.

“Leading companies are elevating their ‘supply chain digital consciousness’ to drive the kind of innovation that enables them to gain competitive advantage and thrive in today’s always-on economy,” said Prest.

The report also provides real-world case studies of digital supply chain technologies and recommendations for leaders for developing strategies to implement these innovations.
“As digital capability fuels customer expectations to unprecedented heights, NextGen supply chains must be proactive, predictive and prescriptive, with all of its links interconnected and synchronized to the same drum beat of consumer demand,” said Scott Sopher, principal, and leader of the global supply chain practice at Deloitte Consulting LLP.

“As the pace of supply chain innovation escalates, so does the price of inaction. Leaders will outpace their competitors faster than ever,” added Prest.

The findings in this report are based on survey responses from over 1,000 manufacturing and supply chain industry leaders from a wide range of industries. Sixty percent of respondents hold executive-level positions such as CEO, Vice President, General Manager, or Department Head. Participating companies range in size from small to large, with 59 percent reporting annual sales in excess of $100 million, and 10 percent reporting annual sales of $10 billion or more.

Download the complete report at mhi.org/publications/report.

Zebra Introduces Flagship MC9300 Mobile Computer Ideal for On-Demand Economy

Zebra Technologies Corporation, an innovator at the edge of the enterprise with solutions and partners that enable businesses to gain a performance edge, today announced the ultra-rugged Android™-based MC9300 mobile computerTC8300 touch computer and ATR7000 RTLS reader. As the next evolution of the MC9000 series, the world’s best-selling enterprise-class mobile computer, the MC9300 enables businesses to modernize their mobile solutions to keep up with the growing demands of e-commerce while shortening training time, improving fulfillment speed and accuracy and increasing productivity by as much as 10 percent compared to competing devices.

Designed to give a performance edge to those on the front lines of business in warehousesmanufacturinglogistics and back-of-store retail environments, the MC9300 is ideal for inventory management, receiving/put-away, returns processing, cross docking, quality control, parts tracking and price audit applications. Its advanced scanning technology can read direct part marks (DPM), dot peen and laser-etched barcodes and quickly capture 1D or 2D barcodes in virtually any condition and from three inches to as far as 70 feet, providing the flexibility to scan items in small bins or pallets on the uppermost warehouse racks. In addition, the MC9300’s PowerPrecision™+ 7000mAh battery delivers the most battery power in its class, maximizing worker efficiency and productivity by reducing downtime.

The MC9300 is Zebra’s most powerful handheld platform and the most rugged device in its class. It is also virtually water-, drop-, dust- and tumble-proof. For challenging cold-storage environments, one MC9300 model features a system of heaters and a freezer-rated battery for frost-free operations. A Class 1 Division 2 (C1D2) model for use in hazardous locations is also available.

“With more than 3.2 million MC9000 mobile computers sold since 2003, Zebra took its best-selling and most trusted enterprise-class mobile computer and made it better by providing businesses with an easy migration path from Windows to Android,” said Joe White, Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Mobile Computing, Zebra Technologies. “We improved the ergonomics and added more than 20 new features to enhance application and accessory performance, user comfort, ease of use, ruggedness, data capture flexibility and device management.”

BUILDING ON THE HERITAGE OF THE MC9000 SERIES

The MC9300 has a familiar and well-recognized design, improved performance supported by the Android operating system (OS), physical keyboards and a full touch screen. The MC9300 mobile computer features a 4.3-inch touch screen protected by ultra-strong Gorilla Glass™ and a choice of six keypads offering flexibility to run a diverse set of business applications that leverage both input methods. The device includes the latest Qualcomm™ chipset that supports an extensible platform for application development and assures a minimum of two Android OS upgrades for a significantly lower total cost of ownership (TCO). It also has an optional front and back camera to capture highly detailed photos and videos to document proof of condition and proof of compliance.

As Microsoft prepares to end support for existing Windows® Embedded Handheld/CE 7 devices in 2020 and 2021 respectively, the MC9300 provides the best path to transition from legacy Windows OS to Android. The MC9300 also comes pre-loaded with a Terminal Emulation (TE) application designed to take advantage of the graphical capabilities of the device while easily supporting traditional “green screen” use for seamless migration and reduced deployment times.

The MC9300 is available with Zebra’s Mobility DNA™ suite of end-user applications, application development tools and utilities that transform Android into an enterprise-ready OS. This allows businesses to maximize the return on investment of their Zebra mobile devices by increasing worker productivity, simplifying management, strengthening security and reducing training and adoption time. With a Zebra OneCare® contract, businesses can leverage Zebra’s LifeGuard™ for Android software security solution that provides predictable security/patch updates that match enterprise hardware lifecycles, simplifies OS transitions and extends the life of mobile investments.

Based on Zebra’s commitment to sustainability, the rugged MC9300 was designed to maintain its reliability through longer component lifecycles, longer lasting batteries as well as its survivability, availability, and support over many years. With the objective to re-use rather than to replace, the MC9300 is backward-compatible with existing charging infrastructure via an adapter reducing electronic waste.

ALSO ANNOUNCING THE NEW TC8300 TOUCH COMPUTER AND ATR7000 RTLS READER

Leveraging the same innovative design and form factor as the TC8000 to reduce muscle effort and increase productivity, the TC8300 is optimized for picking and new augmented reality (AR)-based applications. It also uses the same Qualcomm chipset as the MC9300 for an extended lifecycle and is available with the Mobility DNA software suite and LifeGuard for Android support as well as DPM capabilities.

Designed for asset tracking applications in warehouses, manufacturing plants and other large indoor facilities, the new ATR7000 RTLS reader identifies and analyzes the coordinates of all passive RFID tags in its coverage area, providing real-time visibility into the pinpoint location of all tagged assets. With the ATR7000, businesses can see where inventory, forklifts, equipment and even workers are located, if they are on the move and in which direction they are moving helping improve workforce productivity and operational efficiency. The ATR7000 is easy to configure and install and covers up to double the area of competitive readers, effectively cutting the number of readers and hardware costs in half and making it ideal to cover everything from a single dock door to every inch of a warehouse or manufacturing plant.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The new MC9300 is an evolution of the world’s best-selling enterprise-class mobile computer enabling businesses to modernize their mobile solutions to deliver on the growing demands of e-commerce while reducing training, improving fulfillment accuracy and increasing productivity by 10 percent compared to competitive devices.
  • The MC9300 provides the best path to transition from legacy Windows OS to Android offering the Mobility DNA software suite, LifeGuard for Android for extended security support and a pre-loaded TE app to support “green screen” apps for seamless migration and reduced deployment times.
  • Zebra also announced the new TC8300 touch computer and ATR7000 RTLS reader providing companies with a performance edge through improved worker productivity and increased real-time visibility into business operations in industrial environments.

 

Toyota Industries North America Formally Acquires Hoist

COLUMBUS, Ind.  – The assets of Hoist Liftruck Mfg., LLC, have been acquired by Toyota Industries North America, Inc., effective April 1, 2019. The name of the new company is Hoist Material Handling, Inc., and it will be managed directly by Toyota Material Handling USA in Columbus, IN. The acquisition adds to Toyota’s already robust forklift product line.

Hoist Material Handling’s headquarters and 550,000-square-foot factory are in East Chicago, IN., with sales offices in downtown Chicago. Hoist has nearly 25 years of experience manufacturing heavy-duty cushion tire and pneumatic forklifts, reach stackers, container handlers, and more, ranging in lift capacity from 7 to 57 tons.

Hoist Material Handling will be led by Dan Kossow, General Manager and Vice President; Bob Miller, Vice President of Engineering; Stu Jacover, Vice President of Sales; and Ryan Delaney, Vice President of Operations. Delaney, who spent the last six years as Director of Quality for The Raymond Corporation, will join the Hoist Material Handling team in East Chicago reporting to Tony Miller, Senior Vice President of Operations and Engineering for Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing.

“After 25 years, we are honored to send Marty off with a sincere thank you,” said Kossow. “His entrepreneurial spirit has driven Hoist Liftruck from a once small business to one that now has the distinction of joining the industry leader in Toyota.”

Toyota has had an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement with Hoist for the manufacture of large-capacity forklifts under the Toyota Heavy Duty (THD) brand since 2015.

“This is the perfect next step in the expansion of our big truck strategy,” said Jeff Rufener, President of Toyota Material Handling USA. “Hoist has been a great manufacturer of heavy-duty equipment for years and brings a group of passionate and talented associates that will help us expand our product offerings as a full-line equipment supplier.”

Advanced Charging Technologies (ACT) Launches ACTFIRST Industrial Battery Room Management System

La Mirada, California — Advanced Charging Technologies (ACT) has announced the launch of ACTfirst, an industrial battery room management system. ACTfirst is a state-of-the-art battery room management system that utilizes ACT Quantum chargers, BATTview battery monitors, ACTintelligent cloud-based asset management program and a proprietary Best-One-First-Out (BOFO) algorithm to select the best battery to use for a given type of forklift or truck battery change.

The Best-One-First-Out (BOFO) algorithm is an intelligent battery ranking algorithm that selects the best battery for use based on battery state of charge (SOC) at the end of charger cycle, total AHRs used during a preset period (i.e. 1 week), cool down time, battery temperature, and reported faults during charge cycles. Unlike conventional battery room management systems that employ a First-in-First-Out (FIFO) process, the new proprietary BOFO algorithm assigns scores to batteries using critical battery performance criteria to ensure equal utilization for all battery assets onsite.

“We are quite excited with the launch of ACTfirst as it reinforces ACT’s vision and leadership in cloud data management and controls,” comments ACT’s CTO, Dr. Nasser Kutkut. “ACTfirst leverages ACT’s deep cloud data management and analytics capabilities to select the best battery for each type of truck and ensures that all batteries are equally utilized,” adds Dr. Kutkut.

ACTfirst features wireless and remote monitoring and configuration identifies intentional mis-picks, separates batteries with issues (parked batteries), and generates in-depth battery room utilization reports.

To provide support for sites with non-Quantum chargers, ACT has developed CHARGlink, a smart accessory that enables ANY charger to integrate with the ACTfirst battery room management system. CHARGlink is an easy to install charger monitoring device and features Power Line Communication (PLC) and WiFi connectivity. It supports wireless and remote monitoring and configuration of any charger asset, seamless cloud integration with ACT BATTview battery monitor, and seamless cloud integration with ACTintelligent asset management program. CHARGlink provides detailed logs and reports of charger asset utilization and can be set up through a dedicated iOS and Android mobile app.

ACTENERGY- SMART GRID ENERGY MANAGEMENT SERVICES

ACT also announced the launch of ACTenergy, a suite of energy management services that allow manufacturing and distribution facilities to realize significant energy cost savings for their ACT Quantum charger fleets through automated peak shaving and dynamic demand response programs. By reducing electrical usage during periods of maximum demand through peak shaving or reducing electricity usage temporarily based on change in the price of power through demand response (DR) programs, facilities can benefit from charger fleet demand reductions in the range of 15% – 30%. ACTenergy is the industry’s first suite of smart-grid, cloud-based, energy management services for industrial battery chargers.

“As distribution and manufacturing facilities strive to reduce their energy usage and the associated energy costs, ACTenergy will streamline these energy savings programs through automation and remote control and configuration,” comments Kutkut. “ACTenergy represents the first step of leveraging ACT’s smart appliances- Quantum industrial battery charger and BATTview battery monitor to deliver more value to our customers.”

ACTenergy supports static (manual) and dynamic (automated) demand response (DR) programs via SMS and/or email DR dispatch services. ACTenergy features intelligent and adaptive energy management algorithms based on battery State of Charge (SOC) to minimize the impact on operations. Wireless and remote load control or web-browser based cloud configuration and control allow for seamless integration with the Quantum and BATTview smart appliances and ACTintelligent cloud-based asset management program. Detailed energy analytics, reports, and charts are readily available within the ACTenergy platform.

EXPANDS PORTFOLIO OF UL CERTIFIED, OUTDOOR GROUND SUPPORT EQUIPMENT CHARGERS

ACT also announced the addition of the Quantum GSE- Q12 Charger to its portfolio of Quantum GSE Chargers – a line of UL Certified, Type 3R Outdoor Chargers designed specifically for Ground Support Equipment. The new Quantum GSE- Q12 doubles the output of the current product offering and extends the charging capabilities from 150A to 300A at 80V. Furthermore, the new Quantum GSE-Q12 Charger supports openCAN communication protocol enabling support for Li-Ion battery charging applications.

“The expansion of our Quantum GSE product line with the introduction of the Q12 will allow ACT to meet the charging needs of a variety of GSE equipment powered by lead-acid and Li-Ion batteries, thereby opening up new market opportunities,” comments ACT CEO, Bob Istwan.

The Quantum GSE chargers feature a rugged UL Certified, Type 3R rated cabinet designed for outdoor installations. Like the Quantum series chargers, the Quantum GSE chargers feature modular technology, built-in redundancy, plug-n-play operation, and scalability through field expansion thus offering the highest reliability and the simplest serviceability in industrial charger technology. The Quantum chargers offer high energy efficiencies with peak efficiencies greater than 94 percent and full-cycle efficiencies greater than 93 percent.

One of the unique aspects of the Quantum charger is the integrated wireless communication that allows for seamless cloud integration, where real-time data is automatically uploaded to ACT’s cloud-based data management platform, ACTintelligent. End users can centrally manage their charger assets, analyze operational data, optimize battery and fleet performance, generate performance reports, and troubleshoot charger issues. In addition, wireless cloud integration allows for remote firmware and software updates enabling new functionalities to be added to the Quantum chargers with minimal effort.

The Quantum GSE chargers feature conventional, opportunity, and fast charge capabilities all integrated into a single charger design, targeted towards FBO, regional, and non-hub maintenance and logistics companies.

The Quantum chargers are UL/cUL certified, CEC compliant, and are backed with a 5-year warranty by ACT.

Adrian’s Safety Solutions Adds Modular Pallet Rack Safety Netting to the Innovative Pallet Rack Safety Line

Adrian pallet rack netting

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.  – Adrian’s Safety Solutions is pleased to announce the launch of their new Modular Pallet Rack Safety Netting. The latest addition to their pallet rack safety line is designed for walkway and work area product fall protection. The modular design allows for overlapping or tiling, so any space can be easily protected right out of the box.

Modular Safety Netting keeps loose items or cartons from falling into a workspace or aisleway. Like all Pallet Rack Safety products from Adrian’s Safety Solutions, the Modular Safety Netting is designed to be installed easily and quickly without retrofitting, tools, or long periods of downtime needed for complicated installation. This new industrial netting will be manufactured with the same premium hardware connectors that Adrian’s uses in their existing no-tools-needed products including the Rack Safety Strap and Rack Safety Net. In addition, optional carabiner hardware assemblies are available for even more protection, depending on your application.

“We are really excited to bring the new Modular Safety Netting to market,” says Steve Dew, President of Adrian’s Safety Solutions. “Initial reactions from our material handling partners have been overwhelmingly positive, with most saying that this product is an impressive and simple solution to offer to warehouse users who have items that could fall into an area where people could be working or walking.”

About Adrian’s Safety Solutions

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tenn., Adrian’s Safety Solutions is a division of Adrian’s, Inc. Its mission is to make the workplace safer by engineering affordable solutions that center on safety and simplicity of use, always with the end user in mind. For more information about Adrian’s Safety Solutions, visit www.adrianssafetysolutions.com.

Steel King Highlights SK2000® Closed Tube Roll-Form Pallet Rack Systems at ProMat 2019

Steel King SK2000 racking

Steel King Industries, Inc., a leading manufacturer of material handling products and systems for improving operational efficiency, will be highlighting its SK2000 closed tube roll-form rack systems at ProMat 2019, to be held April 8-11, 2019 at McCormick Place, Chicago, Illinois. Visit Booth # S2434 to talk with experts about the SK2000 product line, which offers the strength and durability to provide the framework for multi-level pick module/distribution centers. The SK2000 line is ideal for a wide range of warehouse applications and markets, including food and beverage, retail, agriculture, and automotive.

Steel King works with customers to analyze their unique pallet racking needs and customize each SK2000 rack system configuration to meet operational goals. In addition to providing the rack system, Steel King offers engineering services to ensure the system works with conveyor and robotic systems.

Featuring a fully welded tubular upright, the SK2000 racks on display offer superior impact resistance over open-back style uprights. Use of roll-form steel makes the SK2000 cost-effective for small storage applications. The strength of the SK2000’s closed tube beams and upright rack frames make each rack system safer and more functional. Independent engineering tests have confirmed that SK2000 pallet racking has 250 percent greater frontal impact strength, 68 percent greater side impact resistance, and 44 times greater torsional strength (resistance to twisting) than the open-back column style.

SK2000 columns have a unique 90 degree bend and no corner holes. The SK2000 is a boltless rack system with teardrop connections and auto-engaging safety locks, so it can be assembled without tools. Easy, boltless assembly of the system enables more flexibility for any future adjustments. Columns are available in multiple sizes and thicknesses according to application needs. The system’s braces and step beams are made from the same high strength closed tubing as the columns and are available in many profiles and lengths. Bracing is secured with full fillet weld, which in many cases is four times more weld than competing rack systems.

Steel King also offers additional safety and durability accessories for the SK2000 rack systems, including factory-installed column core inserts that can stand up to demanding applications with frequent forklift loading and unloading.

For more information about Steel King and the SK2000 closed-tube roll form rack system, visit: https://www.steelking.com/products/pallet-rack-boltless-closed-tube/.

Vecna Robotics Expands Product Line with Fifth Generation Pallet Jack

Vecna Robotics pallet jack

 

Vecna Robotics (Vecna), a leader in autonomous logistics solutions, continues to keep their customers one step ahead of the competition by unveiling fifth generation autonomous pallet handling. Vecna’s new Pallet Jack will be the first self-driving vehicle to include autonomous pallet identification, lifting, and pickup. The model also features an OEM agnostic base. Vecna’s Pallet Jack is the latest self-driving vehicle in an extensive fleet that features mobile tuggers, conveyors, storage and retrieval systems.

The enhanced software delivers faster, smoother pickups across a broader variety of pallets and goods, including pallets with bottom boards and partial pallets. This new technology is a further extension of Vecna’s cutting-edge Autonomy Stack. Vecna’s Autonomy Stack instills independence in all its vehicles with dynamic obstacle avoidance, topological reasoning, local decision making, high-confidence navigation, and self-learning capabilities. The Autonomy Stack enables Vecna vehicles to learn new skills as they work through diverse levels of demands, seasonal needs, and market changes – creating a constant cycle of improvement and maximizing productivity no matter the situation.

The fifth generation Pallet Jack is the latest of many innovations Vecna has pioneered over the last year, including Pivot.al – the world’s first AI-driven orchestration engine.

Pivot.al coordinates workflows and tasks in real-time based on the capabilities, location, and availability of both humans and robots in operation. Pivot.al reallocates human and vehicle assignments based on the level of demand and shares information across people, robots, and associated systems.

“The improved Pallet Jack is the newest product in our plan to advance warehouse automation,” said Daniel Theobald, CIO of Vecna Robotics. “This is another step on our roadmap to fully automate pallet handling, to include vertical operations and unloading as we expand our industry-leading capabilities and commitment to providing customers sustained long term solutions to all their material handling needs.”

Learn more about Vecna Robotics’ Pallet Jack and Pivot.al, as well as their entire fleet of self-driving vehicles at ProMat 2019. Vecna will be displaying a wide range of vehicles, including its autonomous Tugger and Pallet Jack at booth #S5483.

 

Steel King Announces Durable, Engineered Drive-In Pallet Rack Systems

Allows users to store up to 75% more pallets than with selective pallet racking

Drive in racking, Steel King

Steel King Industries, Inc., a leading manufacturer of material handling products and systems for improving operational efficiency, announces the availability of its Drive-In Rack Systems. Drive-In and Drive-Through Racking delivers cost-effective storage in high-density storage applications.

Requiring fewer aisles and providing better cube utilization than selective racks, drive-in and drive-thru racking allows users to store up to 75% more pallets than with selective racking. Forklifts drive directly into the rack, allowing storage of two or more pallets deep. Flared drive-in support rails helps forklift drivers enter the pallet rack by guiding the pallet into the bay. A Drive-In pallet rack system uses the same entry and exit point for each storage bay, providing last in, first out (LIFO) access. A Drive-Thru pallet rack system is loaded on one side and unloaded from the other for first in, first out flow (FIFO).

Drive in racking, Steel King

Because they are often used in high turnover areas and operated in close proximity to forklift traffic, drive-in, and drive-thru racks are subject to greater wear and tear than other rack structures. Steel King’s drive-in rack system is engineered and manufactured to better stand up to this wear, making it the market leader among drive-in racking systems.

Steel King’s drive-in racking features unlimited storage depth and is ideal for high-traffic and cooler/freezer installations. Additionally, Steel King offers an optional offset leg design for easier handling of pallets. The welded frame construction delivers high rigidity and strength, while other optional features, like protective railings and seismic-safe designs, deliver even greater safety and stability in demanding applications.

Advantages:

  • Maximum pallet storage
  • Virtually unlimited depth of storage
  • Limited aisles, resulting in more efficient use of space
  • Load rails constructed of durable structural angle steel
  • Flared rail entry ends allow easy bay access
  • Space saver, low-profile arms
  • Custom-designed for your pallets & forklifts
  • Cost-effective storage strategy
  • Welded aisle-side load arms and rail stops

For more information about Steel King and Drive-In Rack Systems, visit https://www.steelking.com/products/drive-in-drive-through-rack/

OneCharge Announces Aftermarket Sales Agreement with Hyster-Yale Group, Inc.

OneCharge lithium batteries are now available through Hyster® and Yale® dealer network

Irvine, CA February  – OneCharge Inc. (www.onecharge.biz), a leading provider of lithium motive batteries for the material handling industry, has signed an aftermarket sales agreement with Hyster-Yale Group, Inc. to sell OneCharge lithium batteries through authorized Hyster® and Yale® dealers.

“Since the communication integration of OneCharge lithium batteries with Hyster and Yale electric lift trucks was completed last year, it is the next logical step to make these batteries easily accessible to our dealers and customers,” said Sarah McLawhorn, Director Aftermarket Solutions for Hyster-Yale Group. “We take pride in our 20+ years of experience selecting valuable suppliers offering quality products to Hyster and Yale dealers and their customers through our one-stop shop philosophy and welcome OneCharge as our newest supplier.”

“We’re excited to join Hyster-Yale Group’s aftermarket program as it will allow us to offer our solutions to many new customers and to provide better support to many of our customers who already enjoy OneCharge lithium batteries in their Yale or Hyster lift trucks,” said Tim Karimov, President of OneCharge. “We have been focusing on promoting lithium batteries for use in the material handling equipment for over 6 years and are happy to see the growing acceptance of this technology in this market.”

OneCharge lithium batteries have full communications integration with Hyster® and Yale® electric lift trucks. The plug-and-play configuration allows a lithium battery to integrate seamlessly into the truck, retaining full functionality of the battery state of charge indicator and low battery warning system. “We see rapidly growing interest in and adoption of lithium-ion solutions among our dealer network and valued customers,” said Steven LaFevers, Vice President, Motive Power & Telematics.   “Offering this plug-and-play solution supports our vision and provides robust and advanced methods of motive power in the industry,” continues LaFevers.

Many companies in North America use OneCharge batteries. These clients work in food, manufacturing, distribution, 3PL, consumer packaged goods, and other industries. Every OneCharge battery features data processing module tracking numerous operational parameters. These data gathering capabilities coupled with highly-efficient communications infrastructure allows to acquire and analyze significant volumes of data further enabling value-adding services for the customers. Such services can range from daily usage reports to Energy as a Service (EaaS) offering, which is sometimes referred to as “power by the hour”.

OneCharge is working towards securing full UL Listing in Q1 2019. OneCharge batteries will be listed under UL standard 2580, which makes them also conform to the requirements for the UL583 standard for electric lift trucks.

About Hyster-Yale Group, Inc.

Hyster-Yale Group, Inc., designs, engineers, manufactures, sells and services a comprehensive line of lift trucks and aftermarket parts marketed globally primarily under the Hyster® and Yale® brand names. Subsidiaries of Hyster-Yale Group include Nuvera Fuel Cells, LLC, an alternative-power technology company focused on fuel-cell stacks and related systems, on-site hydrogen production and dispensing systems, and Bolzoni S.p.A., a leading worldwide producer of attachments, forks and lift tables under the Bolzoni Auramo and Meyer brand names. Hyster-Yale Group, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc. (NYSE:HY). Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc. and its subsidiaries, headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, employ approximately 7,700 people worldwide.

About OneCharge Inc.

OneCharge is one of the largest developers, manufacturers, and integrators of lithium-ion batteries for lift trucks in the United States. The company sells large quantities of industrial batteries for warehouse equipment. It successfully collaborates with several OEM market leaders.

While competition is mainly focusing on R&D activities, OneCharge is commercializing lithium-ion battery technology. The company’s aim is to create easy and ready-to-use solutions for a wide range of industrial clients. This strategy has allowed the company to enter several markets quite rapidly.

OneCharge acts as a ‘change ambassador’ in relation to new technologies implementation. The company is continuously investing in technological development. It has been exploring new chemical compositions for batteries that could reduce the cost of the product while improving the operational characteristics. New developments are quickly implemented in the production process and are gradually becoming new benchmarks on the market.

The company does a lot to ensure that the maintenance of its batteries is as simple as possible. It has developed a special modular component system that allows streamlining service department training in order to accelerate the lithium batteries’ acceptance on the market.

For more information, visit www.onecharge.biz.

Systems Introduces New IoT Software for Loading Docks

Germantown, WI (March 1, 2019) – Systems LLC, a leading manufacturer of loading dock equipment, has announced the release of its new iDockTM Connect solution, online software for loading dock analytics.

Many warehouse and distribution centers utilize software and IoT technology to manage their daily operations, but data and resources often fall short of including a facility’s loading docks. IoT technology is being incorporated throughout the industry, and now iDock Connect brings it to the loading docks.

Once a facility installs iDock Controls and powered dock equipment from brands of Systems (Poweramp, McGuire, and DLM), they have the option to add various sensors to track activity and send that data to the cloud through iDock Connect.

Facilities can log in to their online account at iDockConnect.com from any device with internet connectivity. From there they can view visual reports with current dock activity, review efficiencies of loading/unloading, and compare operation analytics of their docks between two different time periods.

iDock Connect can also be set up to send email and text notifications of events at the loading docks, such as truck arrival/departure, maintenance past due, after-hours activity, doors left open, and more. These alerts, along with dashboard reports, will help a facility’s loading docks boost productivity, simplify maintenance, prioritize safety, and tighten security.

IoT technology continues to grow in every aspect of the material handling industry. It allows facilities to improve their operations, and in the case of iDock Connect, continuously analyze their efficiency to ensure they’re maintaining a safe and productive work environment.

iDock Connect will be showcased for the first time live in Booth #1171 at Promat in Chicago, April 8-11.

About Systems
Under the brands of Poweramp, McGuire, and DLM, Systems has been a leading manufacturer of loading dock equipment since 1961. With its headquarters and manufacturing in Germantown, WI, Systems also has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Malvern, AR. All products manufactured by Systems are made in the USA.

Contact
Brett Lindstrom
brettlindstrom@loadingdocksystems.com
1.800.643.5424
www.LoadingDockSystems.com