Walmart Announces New High-Tech Grocery Distribution Center in California

Walmart Shafter

By Elizabeth Walker, Walmart Corporate Affairs

In the coming weeks, Walmart will be breaking ground on a new project, and the result will be, well, groundbreaking.

Shafter, Calif., will be the home of Walmart’s first high-tech distribution center for fresh and frozen groceries. What does that mean exactly?

A traditional distribution center, or DC, is the hub where products like eggs and strawberries are received. From there, associates load goods onto trucks and deliver them to your local Walmart store or Sam’s Club. DCs are a key part of Walmart’s supply chain. As Walmart transforms to better serve customers, the question is, what does the distribution center of the future look like?

Simply put, it looks more efficient, with forward-looking technology and engaging tech-focused jobs. Set to open fall 2020, this innovative DC in Shafter will use WITRON technology to process grocery perishables – produce, eggs, dairy, flowers and frozen goods. Here’s what else you need to know:

The new high-tech distribution center will move 40 percent more product than a traditional DC – and result in fewer crushed strawberries

“The high-tech DC in Shafter will allow us to move product to stores and clubs faster so that we can better serve customers,” says Tim Cooper, senior vice president of supply chain for Walmart.

How? Rather than manually stacking boxes and building pallets, the new DC will allow associates to use the new technology to do the (literal) heavy lifting. Cool story, but what if those machines put a watermelon on top of a case of tender, beautifully ripened strawberries?

Shayne Wahlmeier, one of the engineers on the project, described the plan to keep this from happening.

“Every product is measured and documented so that we know how to handle it,” he explained. “A computer algorithm shows all the cases ordered for a given store and determines how to palletize them to maximize the space on a pallet or trailer. It also takes into account density – what’s crushable, what’s not.”

Sort of like the game of Tetris, but with apples and ice cream.

This DC will result in savings that can then be passed on to customers

Because the technology is helping associates build a more flexible, dense pallet, more products will be able to fit onto a truck. This will reduce transportation costs, and those savings can be passed on to customers.

And remember those strawberries that aren’t getting crushed? Fewer damages mean a reduction in food waste. Customers can be more confident that a product is in stores when they come to fill up their carts.

The DC in Shafter will create hundreds of new jobs

And these are jobs people can get excited about. Many of the new positions will be technology-focused or STEM jobs.

“The order-filling position is an arduous one,” Tim explained. He went on to say that while the supply chain is the backbone of Walmart’s business, the jobs of the future might be less physically demanding.

From Online Grocery Pickup, powered by Alphabot, to an automated floor scrubber, Walmart is investing in technology to empower associates to do their jobs better and more efficiently. The high-tech Shafter distribution center is just one example of Walmart making big bets when it comes to the future of retail.

Damotech makes the 2018 Growth 500 list!

Canadian Business and Maclean’s has ranked Damotech No. 378 on the 30th annual Growth 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies.

Produced by Canada’s premier business and current affairs media brands, the Growth 500 ranks Canadian businesses on five-year revenue growth. Growth 500 winners are profiled in a special print issue of Canadian Business published with Maclean’s magazine and online at CanadianBusiness.com and Growth500.ca.

Damotech made the 2018 Growth 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 152%. The company ranked 41st in theMontreal region.

Founded in 1989, Damotech is the largest provider of rack repair solutions in North America. Dedicated to uncompromising quality in the name of safety, Damotech helps warehouse owners keep their working environment safe by inspecting, repairing and preventing damage to their pallet racking systems. The company manufactures custom repair products to address damage after it occurs. Damotech also performs rack conformity inspections and load capacity calculations through its engineering services arm, and offers the only truly dedicated rack inspection and management software in the industry.

“The companies on the 2018 Growth 500 are truly remarkable. Demonstrating foresight, innovation and smart management, their stories serve as a primer for how to build a successful entrepreneurial business today,” says Deborah Aarts, Growth 500 program manager. “As we celebrate 30 years of the Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies program, it’s encouraging to see that entrepreneurship is healthier than ever in this country.”

“For Damotech, which operates in a traditional industry, being part of the Growth 500 list for 2018 is quite an accomplishment,” says Eric Naaman, Damotech’s CEO. “Substantive investments were made in the last 8 years to fuel that growth. We invested heavily in a new LEED accredited manufacturing facility in Boisbriand, making the production process as automated and efficient as possible. We also substantially grew our dealer network in Canada and the US further accelerating our progression in those markets. But in the end, our exceptional growth wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing dedication and talent of the Damotech team and our endless focus on becoming a customer centric company.

Find out more at www.damotech.com.

 

JLT Mobile Computers Significantly Expands its US Service Capabilities to Simplify Customers’ Repair and Maintenance Management

Växjö, Sweden, October 2nd, 2018–JLT Mobile Computers, a leading developer and manufacturer of reliable computers for demanding environments – and renowned for its high-level of support and flexibility in addressing customer challenges – is expanding its customer service and support capabilities in the US market. With the strengthened service offering, JLT is set up to better support its growing US customer base today and in future.

The new JLT service site near Atlanta, Georgia, offers repair and maintenance services for third-party products, including barcode scanners and label printers as well as rugged computers and tablets from most manufacturers, including Honeywell, Zebra, LXE and Intermec. Customers benefit from a single point of contact through JLT and can manage their entire fleet of Auto-ID equipment in the new JLT RepairEngine™ online maintenance management tool, resulting in decreased overall maintenance costs and more effective operations.

JLT RepairEngine significantly simplifies repair handling and device maintenance for JLT’s customers and partners.The easy-to-use web tool gives users the ability to not only start and track repairs 24/7, but also manage all of their rugged IT products and related hardware. Customers will get detailed analytics that provide key insights into the health and status of their hardware deployment and that enable them to spot and rectify trends promptly. Other benefits and features include: easier and time-saving RMA handling; smart-search functionality, using serial number, model etc.; tracking of ongoing repairs with status and location; and reports and dashboards of device status and repair history.

Since establishing its US subsidiary at the end of 2014, JLT’s US business has significantly outpaced the industry. The new scalable service offering will enable JLT to fuel and support further expansion in the Americas.

The new service center and the investment in such a comprehensive service infrastructure – including the deployment of the JLT RepairEngine – illustrate and sustain a core ethos of JLT: its desire to increase business value and maximize ROI for its customers by leveraging its broad range of experience and expertise in integrated technology solutions.

Contact JLT Mobile Computers today for more information about the expanded service offering (available for the North American market) or visit www.jltmobile.com to learn more about JLT, its products and solutions.

 

Robotics company SLAMcore raises $5M to bring spatial AI algorithms to market

  • Financing led by Amadeus Capital Partners
  • SLAM technology market value to reach $8bn by 2027*

28 September – London, UK – SLAMcore, a UK company developing spatial artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms for robots and drones, today announced that it has raised $5m in funding led by global technology investor Amadeus Capital Partners. Existing investors Mirai Creation Fund and Toyota AI Ventures joined the round alongside newcomers MMC Ventures and Octopus Ventures.

“The robotics revolution may seem just around the corner but there is still a big gap between the videos we see on the internet and real-world robots,” said CEO, Owen Nicholson. “SLAMcore is helping robot and drone creators to bridge the gap between demos and commercially-viable systems.”

To be truly useful, robots and drones require spatial intelligence, including the ability to accurately calculate their position, understand unfamiliar surroundings, and navigate with consistent reliability. The fundamental algorithms that achieve this spatial awareness are often referred to as Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM). SLAMcore offers spatial AI solutions designed to easily integrate into existing platforms, allowing robotics companies to concentrate on delivering value to the end customer.

“It is a really exciting time for robotics,” said SLAMcore co-founder Dr Stefan Leutenegger. “We are seeing a convergence of geometric computer vision algorithms, availability of high-performance computational hardware, and Deep Learning. We are embracing this new world and will move quickly towards offering solutions for robots requiring an advanced level of understanding of their environment.”

Amelia Armour, Principal, Amadeus Capital Partners, said, “BIS Research estimates the global SLAM technology market to be worth over $8 billion by 2027. This funding round will enable SLAMcore to take its spatial AI solution to that growing market and we expect demand for its affordable and flexible system to be high. Having backed SLAMcore at the start, we’re excited to be investing again at this critical stage for the company.”

“Our initial product will calculate an accurate and reliable position, without the need for GPS or any other external infrastructure, but that is just the start,” said Owen Nicholson. “With this funding, we will also develop detailed mapping solutions capable of creating geometrically-accurate reconstructions of a robot’s surroundings in real-time, and understanding the objects within, utilising the latest development in Machine Learning.”

SLAMcore spun out from the Department of Computing at Imperial College London in early 2016 and closed its first funding round in March 2017. Headquartered in London (UK), the company has grown quickly to a team of 15 with a wide range of expertise in designing and deploying spatial algorithms for robots. For more information, please visit www.slamcore.com.

*Global SLAM Technology Market Anticipated to Reach $8.23 Billion by 2027, Reports BIS Research

Pick-by-Vision: Fiege Equips Another Location with Picavi Smart Glasses

The contract logistics pioneer Fiege is setting new standards in the field of pick-by-vision: The company, which already uses the Picavi solution, has now ordered 40 more pairs of smart glasses for its site in Worms. In addition, the Fiege branch in Großbeeren will now also be equipped with the smart glasses. Fiege has purchased more than a dozen from Picavi for its logistics center near Berlin. Picavi sees these projects as milestones in the company’s development.

Picavi’s Chief Sales Officer Carsten Funke puts a spotlight on the latest developments: “The new order for the warehouse in Großbeeren and the tripling of the number of glasses for the branch in Worms represent a huge step for our company,” he says. “There’s nothing better than when a satisfied customer backs up or expands the pick-by-vision solution to other locations. It is a clear signal that our product is working well in everyday life because it optimizes logistics processes.”

Fiege began to pick products such as power or garden tools with smart glasses for local customers in Worms almost a year and a half ago. Twenty pairs of Picavi smart glasses were recently in use there. “The efficiency gains achieved with the pick-by-vision solution have convinced us. For this reason, we are now equipping even more warehouse workers with smart glasses,” Michael Suden, Managing Director of Fiege Industry Logistics in Worms commented on the purchase of 40 more glasses.

The hands-free approach for order picking is also used in the Fiege branch in Großbeeren. “By using smart glasses, we want to reduce picking times and error rates through the visual guidance of warehouse staff,” says Martin Schacht, Branch Manager at Fiege in Großbeeren. “After the good experiences our colleagues in Worms had, we consider these goals to be realistic. We are pleased that smart glasses are becoming the second location in the Fiege world.”

“Because of the turnkey solution that we can offer, the integration phases are short-lived and so our customers can replace their old systems quickly. The training period needed for the workers is also very short due to the clear and always comprehensible display,” emphasizes Johanna Bellenberg, Director of Marketing and Communications at Picavi, who now has more than 50 successful pick-by-vision projects to her credit.

About Picavi GmbH

Picavi GmbH is an award-winning and well-recognised full-service provider with a 100 percent dedication of its intralogistics and wearable expertise to Pick-by-Vision solutions. By wearing smart glasses, a strict visual guidance through the complete picking process enables workers to maximize their productivity and minimize errors while working hands-free. Picavi is already being used by numerous logistics experts from a variety of sectors.

The German company is deeply rooted in the IT industry and in intralogistics. Picavi is an official Glass Partner, a Vuzix VIP Partner and connected to many other wearable providers, so the system works independently from the smart glass hardware. Clients worldwide can rely on a network of technology and sales partners such as DSA Systems in Northern America and WRH Global Australia for the Oceania region.

CEO Dirk Franke has over two decades of experience in the development and sale of software systems for paperless order picking. Alexander Voss, professor of applied informatics in Aachen, supports strategic product development and software quality assurance at Picavi as a consulting shareholder. A wide network of service, integration, technology and sales partners provides additional expertise.

Thanks to its practicality, the pick-by-vision solution was also awarded the IT Innovation Prize in the industry & logistics category by the Initiative Mittelstand association in 2016. In the same year, the IT and logistics specialist was one of three companies to be awarded the “Hidden Champion” prize in the “Vision” category by German news broadcaster n-tv.

Steel King Announces SK2000® Closed-Tube Roll Form Rack Systems

Fully welded tubular uprights give rack system superior impact and torsional resistance

Steel King Industries, Inc., a leading manufacturer of material handling products and systems for improving operational efficiency, announces the availability of SK2000 closed-tube roll form rack systems. The SK2000 features a fully welded tubular upright, giving the racks superior impact resistance over open-back style uprights and is ideal for a wide range of warehouse applications and markets including food and beverage, retail, agriculture, and automotive. Because the SK2000 is roll-form steel, it is cost-effective for small storage applications, and has the strength and durability to provide the framework for a multi-level pick module/distribution center.

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, when compared to open back column, SK2000® pallet racking has 250% greater frontal impact strength, 68% greater side impact resistance, and 44 times greater torsional strength (resistance to twisting).

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, meaning that it can be assembled without tools. Easy, boltless assembly of the system enables more flexibility for any future adjustments. “Depending on future needs, with boltless assembly you can add the pick module, move it, or build another as needed,” explains Kyle Arndt, a Werner Electric Supply project manager.

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. The SK2000’s three-rivet connection offer 26% greater strength than a two-rivet connection. In addition, the SK2000 is made with 100% U.S. steel.

Steel King also offers additional safety and durability accessories for the SK2000 rack systems, such as factory-installed Column Core inserts that can stand up to even the most demanding applications with frequent forklift loading and unloading, and therefore the greatest risk of collision.

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/.

Forklift/Lift Truck News Briefs

Lift truck/forklift news and other MHE information.

RELiON Battery Announces New Online Store

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — RELiON Battery, a leading global manufacturer of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries, announced today the launch of its new online store. In a continued effort to strengthen the brand’s accessibility, enhance customer interactions and increase consumer product knowledge, the RELiON website offers e-commerce functionality for the first time.

Online shoppers in the U.S. looking for high performance LiFePO4 batteries for recreational vehicles, boats, electric vehicles, solar energy systems and more can now not only access in-depth technical information on RELiON’s products, but also shop from the comfort of their home. The online store stocks many of the company’s standard LiFePO4 batteries, including a range of 12V, 24V and 48V products. RELiON also offers free shipping on all orders, making sure that customers can take advantage of quick delivery.

“Launching our online store is a direct response to requests from consumers for an online shopping experience. Our goal is to offer a seamless customer experience by blending the convenience of ordering standard items in smaller quantities online with technical support to ensure customers get the right solution for their application,” said Paul Hecimovich, CEO, RELiON Battery.

RELiON will continue to increase product offering within the online store as the company’s product lines expand and new innovative technology is released into the market. With an assortment of products larger than most online lithium battery retailers, shopping at relionbattery.commakes it easy and convenient for consumers to order a LiFePO4 battery for their high powered applications.

“For anyone looking to quickly find an alternative to lead-acid or other traditional batteries, the RELiON online store will streamline the customer buying experience and save valuable time,” added Hecimovich.

RELiONBattery.com conveniently accepts all major credit cards and products purchased can be shipped anywhere within the continental United States. For more information on their new online store, visit https://relionbattery.com/products/lithium.


Forklift Accident Kills Man at Campbell’s Soup Plant

July 16, 2018. An accident involving a forklift and a dumpster at the Campbell’s Soup plant in Maxton, NC on Sunday left one man dead and another person with injuries., according to Powder & Bulk Solids.

Plant employees told local ABC News affiliate WPDE that a dumpster being moved by a forklift fell, fatally injuring one man. Another worker was injured in the incident and transported by helicopter to a local hospital. The Robesonian reported that the person received injuries while attempting to assist the man who died.


Doosan Industrial Vehicle unveils eco-friendly, smart forklifts

Doosan lithium ionJuly 16, 2018. Doosan Corporation Industrial Vehicle (DIV), celebrating the 50th anniversary of its foundation, introduced a high-tech forklift model BS7 running on lithium-ion batteries. Read more.


Poorly Maintained Propane Lift Trucks Send Workers to Hospital with Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

https://www.ien.com/safety/video/21012680/bad-forklifts-sent-workers-to-the-hospital


Forklift slips off truck after it hits I-5, I-84 overpass

PORTLAND, Ore. — A truck carrying a forklift hit the the underside of an overpass while traveling north on interstate-5 on Monday afternoon, causing delays as crews work to get the forklift back on the trailer.  Read more.


RPA 2018 EXCELLENCE IN REUSABLE PACKAGING AWARD SUBMISSION DEADLINE EXTENDED TO JULY 30

The Wide World of Forklifts

May 15, 2018 – There are said to be roughly 400 forklift manufacturers in the world, of all types and varieties of equipment. No single trade show, no matter how big, could possibly include all of them, but CeMAT 2018, held in late April on the sprawling exhibit hall campus outside of Hannover, Germany, included a couple dozen forklift suppliers from the continents of Europe, Asia and North America. Read more at MH&L.


LEEA and IPAF working together to the benefit of members 

May 15, 2018 – The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) CEO, Dr Ross Moloney, recently met with Tim Whiteman, CEO of The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), and Richard Whiting, UK Market General Manager for IPAF, to discuss shared approaches for supporting members as well as exploring opportunities to work closely together in the future across the sector.

“It was a pleasure to welcome Tim and Richard to LEEA’s office. This meeting is part of our determination at LEEA to work across the sector to deliver more benefit for our members,” says Dr Moloney. “We see this as the start of an exciting period of cooperation between our two organisations.”

IPAF promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide through technical advice and information, influencing and interpreting legislation and standards, and safety initiatives and training programmes.

The not-for-profit organisation is owned by its members, which include manufacturers, rental companies, distributors, contractors and users. IPAF members operate a majority of the Mobile Elevating Work Platfrorms (MEWP) rental fleet worldwide and manufacture about 85% of platforms on the market.


Toyota Forklifts Expand Product Line with Marina Truck

 April 5, 2018 – Toyota Forklifts, a leading forklift manufacturer in North America, announced a new marina truck option for select models of its THD pneumatic forklifts. The fully-customizable marina truck option helps lift boats out of the water or transfer them from one location to another more efficiently than traditional methods. It’s a great solution for marinas, boatyards, dry stack facilities and any customer who launches watercraft.

The marina truck option boasts a lift capacity up to 55,000 pounds with load centers designed for the unique balance of watercraft and mast options with a negative lift of down to 20 feet. Equipped with features designed for marine environments including galvanized epoxy coated carriages and padded rotating forks to protect boat hulls, the marina truck option makes lowering and lifting boats out of the water and moving them in and out of storage a smoother process.

Toyota’s latest marina truck option also features a 7-inch touch-screen multi-function display with a capacity estimator and an optional wireless remote control for operating the forklift outside of the normal seating position. The new marina truck option is available now to order. For more information, visit ToyotaForklift.com.


CLARK MATERIAL HANDLING COMPANY APPOINTS PACIFIC MATERIAL HANDLING SOLUTIONS INC. AS AN AUTHORIZED DEALER IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA MARKETS

Lexington, KY – April 2, 2018 – CLARK Material Handling Company today announced it has appointed Pacific Material Handling Solutions, Inc. (PMHSI) as an authorized distributor of CLARK products in the San Francisco Bay and Northern California markets.

“Pacific Material Handling Solutions, Inc. is part of the Pacific Solutions group of Companies that provides Material Handling, Commercial Truck, Rental & Leasing solutions to their customers while focusing on long-term customer relations by providing cost-effective solutions. We are excited to have them join our dealer network,” commented Dale Guckian, CLARK’s Director of Dealer Development.

“We are extremely excited about our new affiliation with CLARK Material Handling and its rich tradition to the material handling industry. The CLARK organization provides Pacific the opportunity to bring increased value to our customers and aligns with our 24-7-365 commitment to our customers, associates, and partners,” commented Ralph Logan, Pacific’s President/CEO.

PMHSI will support its CLARK new equipment, aftermarket parts, and service efforts out of its facilities located in Union City, Sacramento, Stockton, and Modesto, California locations. Additional information can be found on the web at www.pmhsi.com or by calling (510) 429-0303.

Holt of California remains an authorized distributor of CLARK products in the Sacramento, CA markets with facilities in West Sacramento, Stockton, Yuba City, and Redding, CA. Holt is a full-service material handling dealer featuring full sales and service departments.


April 5, 2018.  Storage Equipment Safety Service returns to MODEX and the North American Market

Storage Equipment Safety Service returns bringing its 31 years of expertise in Rack and Shelving Safety Inspections and Training to the North American Market.  SESS states it is the market leader in independent rack safety inspections covering the UK, Ireland, Europe, North America and the Caribbean.

Many warehouse users are unaware of the requirements of the RMI codes and guidelines or even the manufacturer’s requirements for installation and use of racking systems.  They are therefore unaware that they are in fact operating in conditions that are unsafe.

SESS USA LLC is passionate about ensuring that all warehouse users operate in a safe environment, which allows them to return home safely to their loved ones. Years of working with warehouse and health and safety personnel have identified a need to educate and raise the awareness of end users on the correct and safe use of racking and shelving.

SESS USA LLC works closely with its customers to ensure that:

  • Annual Inspections are done and damaged racking is identified and classified according to risk level as well as to identify operational issues such as pallet condition, clearances, housekeeping, general conformance to RMI Codes, etc
  • Employees are properly trained to perform in-house monthly inspection
  • Post-Installation inspections are done to ensure that racking has been installed according to manufacturer specifications.

SESS USA LLC  will be participating in Modex 2018 where it will showcase its rack inspection and training services. We look forward to meeting with attendees to discuss their rack safety needs.

Post-Modex will see the re-introduction of the company’s online store and our safety blog which will assist in raising the awareness for rack safety and assist in educating their customers on information pertinent to rack and warehouse safety.


InterrollApril 5, 2018.  Sant’Antonino, Switzerland. Interroll, leading global provider of material handling solutions, announces today that Dr. Ralf Garlichs, Executive Vice President Products & Technology and member of Interroll Group Management, has decided to leave the company by the end of June.

Garlichs, 55, joined the Interroll Group in 2006 as Executive Vice President Drives & Rollers. Since 2011, he has been Executive Vice President Products & Technology and a member Interroll Group Management.

“Ralf Garlichs has been highly successful in advancing Interroll’s technological development and innovation over the past few years, especially with regard to our platform strategy and the digitalization of our company,” says Paul Zumbühl, CEO of the worldwide Interroll Group. “He also directed the successful expansion of our production capacities and pushed forward the implementation of lean manufacturing as part of our globally oriented Interroll production system. We are convinced that on these very good foundations we will successfully speed up our further expansion. On behalf of the entire Interroll Group Management, I would like to thank Ralf Garlichs and wish him the very best for the future.”

The successor of Garlichs will be announced at a later date.


December 5, 2017.  HANNIBAL INDUSTRIES PROVIDES RACKING SOLUTION FOR WESTERN WINDOW SYSTEMS

Pallet Rack News
Hannibal Industries, Inc., a world-leading manufacturer of steel pallet racks for the material handling industry, today announced its cantilever racking system has been successfully installed in Western Window Systems’ new warehouse through Handling Systems.
Based in Phoenix, Western Window Systems designs and manufactures door and window systems that bring indoor and outdoor spaces together. As a preferred choice of architects, builders, and homeowners throughout North America, it’s inspired by modern living with unlimited design possibilities in residential, prefab, retail, commercial and educational projects.
Western Window Systems and Handling Systems worked closely with Hannibal to obtain permits, design concepts and development to complete the installation ahead of schedule. Hannibal Industries Cantilever Racks are ideal for storage of long, bulky products and are available in heavy-duty structural or medium duty roll-formed design.
Additional information on Hannibal Industries is available at http://www.hannibalindustries.com.

December 4, 2017. Chamberlain Group acquires Systems, Inc.

Automated dock-levelers now a part of CGI’s product suite

Warehouse equipment news
Oak Brook, IL-Chamberlain Group (CGI), a global leader in access solutions and products, has acquired Systems, Inc. (SI), one of North America’s leading dock-leveler manufacturers.

“Online retailers are driving growth in the warehouse space and that growth has increased the demand for integrated and efficient access solutions,” said JoAnna Sohovich, CEO of CGI. “We’re very excited about this acquisition because it expands the scope of solutions CGI provides by adding dock-levelers to our product offering and expanding our brand portfolio to meet the diverse needs of warehouse managers. It will also allow us to offer enhanced efficiency to end-users through the integration of automated solutions on our connected platforms.”

Sohovich noted that Sl will continue to operate as they do now, with their President, Mike Pilgrim continuing to lead the dock-leveler business.

“We’re very excited to be a part of the CGI team now,” said Pilgrim. “A family-owned company of their caliber has the kind of resources and values-driven culture that any organization would want to be a part of.”

“SI has excellent strength in manufacturing, they have great customer service and a very robust network of independent dealers, installers and national accounts,” Sohovich added. “We’re looking forward to the great things Mike and his team will do as a part of CGI.”


December 4, 2017. Eberspaecher Vecture: Intelligent battery solutions for Industry 4.0 and logistics.

Forklift news
In logistics and warehousing forklifts are the driving force. Eberspaecher Vecture’s Battery Management Systems (BMS), digital acquisition systems (DAQ) and battery chemistries ensure their optimal functioning. One year after Eberspaecher acquired the majority stake in Vecture Inc., the company further develops its expertise for industrial purposes.


December 1, 2017.

Forklift news
Woman injured after forklift tips and falls from dock.  A woman was taken to hospital after her forklift tipped over, falling five feet from a dock. She was restrained by the use of her seatbelt.


November 29, 2017.

Forklift news
Buffalo Forklift to Consolidate in Amherst.


November 27, 2017

Dr. Thomas Toepfer, CFO of KION GROUP AG, will be leaving the company on March 31, 2018. He will be joining Covestro AG in Leverkusen, one of the world’s leading polymer material manufacturers, in the same role. On Monday, the Supervisory Board of KION GROUP AG agreed to Dr. Toepfer’s request to have his contract – which would have run until August 31, 2020 – terminated early. The Supervisory Board will decide on his successor very soon.

Dr. John Feldmann, chairman of the Supervisory Board, stated: “It is with regret that the Supervisory Board has accepted Thomas Toepfer’s resignation, but we respect his decision to pursue his next career step outside our Group. Thomas is a very experienced CFO and Labor Relations Director and we are sorry to be losing him. Under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer Gordon Riske, he has worked closely with his colleagues on the Executive Board and has played a crucial role in our success and in shaping the positive development of our Group over more than five years. He has placed the financial structure of the Group on a sound long-term footing and will be handing over the finance function in very good shape. Dr. Toepfer has played a crucial role in ensuring that the KION Group has enjoyed the confidence of the capital markets and of its shareholders in recent years.”

Gordon Riske, Chief Executive Officer of the KION Group, said: “I would like to thank Dr. Toepfer for the successful and collaborative working relationship and for the substantial contribution he has made to the trajectory of profitable growth and our transformation into an integrated supply chain solutions provider. We wish him the best of luck and every success in his new role.”


November 7, 2017. Wajax celebrates 50 years as Hyster distributor.

2017 marks the 50th year of the business relationship between Wajax and Hyster Company, who celebrated the occasion with a series of events across Canada as well as with the introduction of new warehouse products and the latest Class V internal combustion pneumatic forklifts.


November 6, 2017. Researchers work on autonomous forklift trucks.

The European consortium behind the Iliad Project is working on the development of autonomous forklift trucks.  The team, which consists of robotics specialists from the UK, Sweden, Italy, and Germany, has been working on the project for four years and believes the machines can support tasks such as packing, palletizing and transporting goods.


October 29, 2017.  Forklift battery technology is a top priority for the future.

Battery technology has emerged as the top technical challenge for the future by forklift truck operators, dealers and the wider industry according to early results from a new national survey being undertaken by FLT manufacturer TCM.


October 23, 2017.  Smart Glasses Make the Difference in Food Logistics Order Picking

Warehouse logistics needs to run quickly when goods rotation is high, especially when it comes to perishable food products. Belgian third-party logistics provider Weerts Supply Chain S.A. therefore relies on the pick by vision solution from logistics IT developer Picavi. In its central warehouse near Liege, Weerts currently uses fifteen pairs of Glass Enterprise Edition to pick orders for American food giant Mondelēz.


October 19, 2017. KION North America Supports Breast Cancer Awareness

Forklift news briefs

This month, KION North America Corporation made a donation to Susan G. Komen South Carolina in support of their mission to “save lives by meeting the most critical needs in our communities and investing in breakthrough research to prevent and cure breast cancer.”

In addition their financial contribution, the company is displaying a pink forklift in front of their facility and employees have been encouraged to wear pink on each Tuesday throughout the month of October.

“We have employees and their families members who have personally been affected by breast cancer, or other types of cancer,” said Vincent Halma, President and CEO of KION North America. “We felt a responsibility to show our support of this critical mission.”

KION North America is a member of the KION Group, one of the world’s two leading manufacturers of industrial trucks and the world’s largest manufacturer of electric forklifts. The company, which employees an estimated 200 employees, has been in operation in Summerville, S.C. since 1985.


October 19, 2017. Hoist and Rigging Training Made Easier with Columbus McKinnon’s New Website

Whether you need to meet OSHA or ASME requirements, receive overhead crane and rigging certification or simply gain the peace of mind that comes from having a safer work environment, Columbus McKinnon can help. Columbus McKinnon Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCO), a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of material handling products, systems and services, launched its new training website, putting all of the information professionals need to get trained and do their jobs safely right at their fingertips.

“Promoting the safe and proper use of hoist and rigging products is a top priority for Columbus McKinnon,” said Paul Smielecki, marketing and training manager. “Our new website will allow Channel Partners and end users to easily find detailed course information and immediately register for training classes.”

In addition to comprehensive course information, Columbus McKinnon’s new training website provides information on the company’s professional trainers as well as its training locations, including the state‐of‐the‐ art Niagara Training Center and Rock Lititz entertainment center of excellence. There is even hotel and flight information available for easy and convenient trip planning.

The site also features downloadable safety resources, like a Hoist Pre‐Operational Inspection Checklist, that riggers, plant managers and safety supervisors can share and post at their facilities.


October 17, 2017. Worker dies in serious incident at Swift CaravansA UK worker was fatally injured in a collision involving a forklift.


October 13, 2017.  Newmarket Company Fined $135,000 After Worker Fatally Injured by Forklift. A temporary worker was critically injured and later died after being struck by a forklift in an area that was shared by both forklifts and pedestrians.

The Ontario Ministry of Labour’s investigation found that the walkway was a shared pedestrian and forklift aisle frequently used as a traffic corridor in both directions. There were no pedestrian crossways, stop signs, mirrors, walkways or barriers separating pedestrians from forklift traffic, and there were no identified crossing points along the aisle to make pedestrian movement more predictable and easier to anticipate.

A Ministry of  Labour ergonomist conducted a line-of-sight assessment and concluded that there had been an insufficient distance for the forklift operator to safely bring the forklift to a stop before the impact with the worker. Also, there was a ‘blind spot’ area, and the forklift operator had not been speeding.

Empty bins were stored two high adjacent to the yellow lines on the floor in the surface line area. The line-of-sight assessment indicated that the storage of empty bins adjacent to the yellow lines on the floor in the surface line area was a contributing factor to the incident. The location and height of the bins limited the sight lines available to the forklift operator by effectively blocking part of the view.


September 18, 2017. Silver Jubilee — Mitsubishi releases special edition warehouse and forklift trucks.


September 11, 2017. Pallet-Track to roll out cameras on its forklift trucks after successful trial. Leading logistics company Pallet-Track is rolling out more than 100 bespoke high resolution cameras for its fleet of fork lift trucks (FLTs) to help drive increased efficiencies and protect its unparalleled industry record of never losing a consignment during its 13-year history. The company moves more than 20 million pallets annually.


September 6, 2017. Tougher new test for UK fork lift operators comes into force.  From the 1st September, anyone training as a fork lift truck operator will find the test considerably tougher than ever before.


September 1, 2017. Forklift Foils Gravity’s Effects. Toyota’s System of Active Stability (SAS) was designed to directly improve vehicle stability by automatically stabilizing loads during high lifting and reducing the possibility of the forklift and its load tipping over as it turns.


August 29, 2017. Hyster lowers handling costs for paper recyclers.  The collection and recycling in Europe increased by almost one million tonnes of paper in just 5 years. As the industry continues to grow, Hyster Europe claims that it can help even the most intensive paper recycling operations reduce cost and maximise efficiency.


August 26, 2017. When Automation Doesn’t Bring Layoffs. UniCarriers Americas, a subsidiary of Kyoto, Japan-based Mitsubishi Nichiyu Forklift, employs 600 workers at its plant 75 minutes northwest of downtown Chicago. Though the plant has automated more and more production in the past five years, no workers have been laid off. In fact, headcount has doubled since 2012, and the company has spent $1.1 million to retrain employees for other jobs within the factory.


August 23, 2017. Massive Forklift Used to Steal ATM. Closed circuit television captures the heist.


August 18, 2017. Schoolboy who stole forklift truck and went on a two-hour rampage escapes a PRISON sentence.

The 15-year-old, who was also carrying a rifle, stole the industrial machine from a farm shop before setting off along country roads in the late evening last September, a court heard. He recklessly crisscrossed lanes around Sonning Common and Cane End near Henley-on-Thames in Berkshire at speed before maneuvering the prongs under the chassis of a blue Fiat Punto before tipping it onto its side, writing it off.


August 15, 2017. Hyundai Construction Equipment’s has launched the newest of its all-around heavy-duty diesel forklifts – the compact but powerful 160D-9L. The new truck fills the gap between the 160D-9 and 180D-9 and offers an increased load capacity, extra safety, cost-effectiveness and operator comfort.


August 7, 2017. Forklift Operators: Drivers of Change.


August 7, 2017. Delivery driver who had leg ‘crushed’ by forklift truck at work sues for £300k.


August 3, 2017. Man Heralded After Spotting Runaway Forklift.


Augusts 3, 2017. Food firm fined for forklift accident. A manufacturer of prepared meals has been ordered to pay more than £100,000 for safety failings, fter a worker fell 6m off the back of a forklift truck.


August 3, 2017. Ontario’s Concord Premium Meats Ltd. has been fined $55,000 for a forklift accident at its Brampton, Ont. plant.  The incident took place in May 2013 and involved a shipper/receiver operating a walkie forklift. According to the Ministry of Labour, the young worker was moving meat with the small forklift and collided with materials being moved by a co-worker. The worker suffered a broken ankle during the accident.


August 2, 2017. Hydrogen-powered vehicles are finally taking off—inside Amazon and Walmart warehouses. In the last few months, Plug Power has struck two $600-million deals. One with Amazon for forklift fleets in 11 warehouses, and another with Walmart for the same in 10 warehouses. (Walmart is already using Plug Power forklifts in 22 warehouses).


August 2, 2017. E Instruments has introduced the F900 Carbon Monoxide Exhaust Analyzer. This device is designed to accurately measure CO from forklifts and small engines for CO safety testing, pre-compliance testing, and engine tuning and maintenance.

The F900 is now available with a wireless Bluetooth printer, which allows users to print on-site exhaust analysis reports.


July 28, 2017. Top 6 Forklift Mobility Trends. In case you are wondering, these include alternative power, low resistance and non-marking tires, safety, lift scales, Internet of Forklifts, and compact platform.


July 26, 2017. Winnebago plant in Middlebury fined $10,000 following worker’s death. The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration has fined the Winnebago plant in Middlebury $10,000 for workplace violations after a 54-year-old employee was run over and killed by a forklift in April. Two serious violations were noted: A windshield was installed on a forklift, which affected it’s operation, and the forklift wasn’t operated at a safe speed.


July 23, 2017. Teen Worker Run Over by Forklift.


July 22, 2017. Plug Power shares jumped as much as 19% in response to an announcement that the company had expanded its relationship with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.


July 21, 2017. Port of Tilbury is London’s major port and operates on such a large scale it needs its own on-site, resident engineers to ensure the continual running of vital equipment. FSDF member Briggs Equipment is able to offer a 3 hour response time to breakdowns thanks to its nationwide fleet of service engineers, however the expectations of a busy port are even more immediate and the Port remains one of the company’s longest standing examples of providing a resident team to help a customer achieve their productivity goals.


July 19, 2017. A worker at a UK building site was potentially seriously injured when he was crushed between a forklift and a post. He was airlifted to a London Hospital.


July 18, 2017. The AC-powered forklift market is expected to grow at 6.5% CAGR through 2021. The new BCC Research report also notes the major applications of forklift trucks are distribution centers and warehouses, accounting for 27.5% and 25.2%, respectively, of the 2016 global market. In response to consumer desire for ever-shorter delivery times, e-commerce companies are seeking warehouse spaces near urban areas. As the demand for distribution centers increases, the demand for forklifts is expected to jump during the forecast period.

BCC Research projects that the global forklift truck market will grow from $41.9 billion in 2016 to $56.3 billion in 2021 at a 6.1% CAGR.


July 17, 2017.  EnerSys® NexSys® TPPL (Thin Plate Pure Lead) technology batteries have been chosen by Kuehne+Nagel to power vehicles at a new warehouse in Turkey, eliminating gas emissions and thus increasing safety and reducing time loss on battery change.


July 13, 2017.  Brazen cash machine thieves use a forklift to smash through building society wall and escape with the loot.  CCTV footage captured a Bobcat telehandler ramming a building three times before lifting free an ATM and placing it onto a pick-up truck. Click image to watch.

forklift news briefs


July 12, 2017.  A Mississippi man was fatally injured while pressure washing a building. He was standing on a forklift platform when the forklift tipped.


June 27, 2017.  Drunken Rampage. A 20-year-old man Ontario man is facing numerous charges after allegedly stealing a forklift while drunk and taking it on a destructive drive, according to the Toronto Sun. When police arrived they found damage to property and trees, as well as overhead wires which were pulled down.


June 25, 2017.  Forklift safety training is critical. An article from the National Safety Council stresses the importance of forklift training.

Vecna Robotics Robotic Lifter 3600kg Engineered for Precise Autonomous Pallet Transport

autonomous pallet transporter,Vecna Robotics

Vecna Robotics, a leader in scalable, next generation order-fulfillment solutions, offers the RL3600 self-navigating lifter. Ideal for horizontal transport of any palletized payload, the RL3600 is engineered for precise, autonomous pallet transport, including fully-automated pick-up and drop-off. Consisting of an OEM pallet truck integrated with Vecna’s platform-agnostic autonomy package, the RL3600 retains all the functionality of the original material handling equipment but is now capable of self-navigating in dynamic environments.

The RL3600 includes options for multiple fork lengths and pallet types. Whether transporting from receiving to storage, end-of-line to shipping, or building and delivering mixed pallets, the RL3600 provides safe, reliable, and precise automated pallet handling.

The RL3600 can be reverted to manual operation like a conventional lift with the flick of a switch. In self-driving mode, the RL3600 can be assigned to pick and place pallets from any location, including staging areas or specific aisles and bays.

To learn more, go to: http://bit.ly/2xohyj8

Vecna Robotics also provides a leasing option including both materials handling equipment and revolutionary disruptive IIoT monitoring. The leasing program ensures a rapid ROI and an affordable way, beyond already competitive pricing, to automate manufacturing, warehouses, and distribution centers. Get pre-approved for leasing at: http://bit.ly/2smfgMA

Damotech Now Ready to Ship Rack Repair Solutions in 10 Days or Less

Damotech, a North American leader in rack repair and damage prevention solutions, announced today at MODEX 2018, the industry’s shortest production time for custom-built repair products. As a result of significant investments in its production facility, Damotech is now able to ship made-to-order units in 10 days or less. Damotech’s top repair products, the Damo Pro and Damo Flex, repair and protect pallet rack from forklift damage that is prevalent in warehouses all over North America.

Damotech has made considerable efforts and investments to speed up the production process in recent years, including the construction of a brand-new LEED certified facility with state of the art technology & automation.

“The quick turnaround and high-level efficiency in our production is unequalled in the rack repair industry” announced Damotech’s President, Eric Naaman. “Our new facility was conceived and built from the ground up to optimize every step of the production process and, ultimately, better serve our customers. A 10 day or less production lead-time is a very significant milestone for our industry.”

“Being able to guarantee an industry leading 10-day lead-time is an amazing competitive advantage for our customers” mentioned Marc Rousseau, VP of Sales at Damotech. “Clients tend to operate in extremely competitive markets and being able to repair their rack system in a couple of weeks instead of months, means they can operate their facilities more efficiently and gain that competitive edge.”

More Information

  • Damotech strives to put an end to the endless cycle of upright replacement with its lines of rack repair and damage prevention products. Because Damotech repairs can generally be executed with minimal to no unloading, it is the most time-efficient and cost-effective solution to repair damaged racks.
  • Damotech’s leading repair product, the Damo Pro, can be manufactured in 10 days or less and comes with a lifetime warranty against impact.
  • Damotech’s rack repair products can be installed anywhere in North America through our network of accredited dealers. Please contact us for product and pricing information.
  • • Download the Damotech Product Brochure or read the Damo Shield case study.
  • All of our products are certified by engineers. They have been subjected to rigorous testing and meet CAN/CSA S16-01 & CAN/CSA A344.2-05 and MH16.1 (RMI) standards.
  • Damotech’s Damo Pro, Damo Pro DBRS, Damo Flex, Damo Flex DBRS, Damo Can, Damo King, Damo Shield and Damo Easy Lift, are all protected under the following patents.
For more information on Damotech and to view the impact test video, visit www.damotech.com.

Camp Out With Frazier! – at Frazier Booth #5055 – MODEX 2018

Long Valley, NJ – April 4th, 2018 – Hike on over to visit Frazier’s Camping Themed Booth #5055, the place to be at MODEX 2018! Come enjoy complimentary snacks, games and prizes! While you’re there don’t forget to check out Frazier’s showcase of storage innovations and order fulfillment solutions; the Ergo Deep Reach, semi-automated high density Pallet Mole® and SelecDeck® Carton Flow, to name a few. Ongoing booth demonstrations will highlight strategies to maximize space, improve productivity and increase order picking efficiency.

Frazier showcase systems include:

The Ergo Deep Reach – The Ergo Deep Reach is an alteration of the Ergo-Label Beam, part of Frazier’s line of ergonomic products . Developed in response to customer needs for an advantage when picking heavy cases, Ergo Deep Reach’s pallet locations sit at a low level while also enabling workers to walk through the racking – from one row to the other.

The Pallet Mole® – With the latest technology in high-density storage, the Pallet Mole maximizes floor space, storing up to 6-high and 50 pallet positions deep, while increasing productivity and maintaining SKU selectivity. Since its launch in 2011, Frazier has completed several successful projects, including Premium Waters of Elwood, KS, which was subject of a Frazier case study.

SelecDeck® Carton Flow – The ideal solution for rising SKU counts and slow moving items. By converting lower pallet rack levels to SelecDeck, users can increase floor pick locations by 25%. SelecDeck’s universal shelf bed accommodates cases of all shapes and sizes and provides quick and easy product mix changes.

Hi-Rise AS/RS Systems – The trend toward automated storage technology continues as manufacturers and distributors seek improved productivity with maximum space and order efficiencies. Frazier will feature some of their hi-rise AS/RS installations along with a video presentation showing the step-by-step construction process of a recent high-rise rack supported building project.

Structural Steel Pallet Rack – Selective pallet rack began FRAZIER’s reputation as the leading global manufacturer of structural steel storage systems. Both its High Quality and ability to be depended on have upheld that reputation for over 60 years. FRAZIER’s Sentinel® is designed, manufactured and installed with the same standards of quality that we use for a custom racking system. There are no unique tools or clips necceassary for assembly and all of the components are fully interchangeable.

Glide-In® Push Back – Combining the high density of Drive-In racking with greater selectivity, Glide-In® “Push Back” storage is FRAZIER’s patented system of enveloping wheeled carts that glide on sloping rails. Made from 100% Structural Steel the Glide-In® racking works by placing the first pallet on the top cart and pushing it back. This exposes the next cart for loading. When the second pallet is positioned and pushed back, the third cart is ready. This continues until all the pallet positions are filled. The last pallet sits on the rail itself. When unloading, the front pallet is removed. Gravity moves all the pallets forward to the front for easy access. As each pallet is removed, the remaining pallets move down into position until completely unloaded and all carts are again in position for reloading.

Glide N’ Pick Cart® – Experience simple order selection with just the touch of a lever using FRAZIER’s Glide N’ Pick Cart® Upon rolling out, rear items being stored on the Glide N’ Pick® are now easy and safe to reach. With the ability to hold up to 3,000 lbs of weight, a Glide N’ Pick Cart® can be installed directly on existing shelf beams increasing available pick faces, simplifying slotting, reducing worker injuries while also reducing damaged products.

Drive-In / Drive-Thru – Drive-In and Drive-Thru storage systems are FRAZIER’s free-standing, self-supporting racks that allow a vehicle drive-in access to products being stored. Drive-In provides a greater capacity in an existing cubic space, more than any other storage method. It eliminates the need for warehouse expansion and allows major cost savings utilizing existing lift equipment. With Drive-Thru, vehicles can access the rack from either side. Pallets can be stored from one side and retrieved from the other, enabling a First-In, First- Out (FIFO) inventory control system.

About Frazier Industrial Company
Frazier Industrial is a large producer of structural steel pallet rack systems in North America, with 10 manufacturing plants located throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. Frazier’s rack systems are quickly recognized for durability and custom engineered design. From standard pallet rack to complex pick modules and AS/RS installations, Frazier’s expert team of engineers will help each customer design the best, most cost-effective material handling solution. All systems are manufactured using 100% hot-rolled structural steel, the most durable and abuse-resistant material available.