News story

MHIA deems industry healthy

Thursday, 6 May 2010 ( #460 ) - Cleveland, OH, United States
Combilift's new electric Combi-CB can turn in place.
Combilift's new electric Combi-CB can turn in place.
The state of the USD156-billion materials handling and logistics industry is healthy, says Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) CEO John Nofsinger.
He told the MHIA-organised NA 2010 trade show in Cleveland, on April 26-29, the outlook is for market growth in 2010 on a rate-of-change basis and in comparison to various leading indicators.
"As far as new orders, MHIA's forecast is for growth in the 6% to 8.5% range in 2010," he notes. The economic slowdown has led firms to reduce inventories that will need eventual replenishment.
But recovery will be slow. Nofsinger predicts shipments and overall domestic demand growing 1% to 2%. The demand figure is based on shipments plus imports less exports.
"Material handling and logistics, when thought of as a process, remain at the core of manufacturing, distribution, consumption and disposal activities - and the supply chain," he says.
Currently, the US industry employs about 700,000 workers.
Nofsinger views ongoing development of the website as an industry research tool. Industry initiatives for membership, education, publications, events and the web will work together to make MHIA more representative for the materials handling and logistics industry, he says.
MHIA executive Hal Vandiver discussed the MHIA Overhead Alliance marketing group's work on behalf of the Crane Manufacturers' Association of America Inc, the Hoist Manufacturers' Institute and the Monorail Manufacturers' Association Inc. Vandiver is an executive director of each of the independent trade groups.
Haitian earthquake relief work by the American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) was discussed by Jock Menzies, chairman of Baltimore, Maryland-based ALAN and chairman of the Terminal Corp, of Jessup, Maryland. At least 52 aftershocks followed the devastating magnitude-7.0 earthquake on January 12. MHIA is a founding member of ALAN.

ProMat and Automate
MHIA and the Automation Technologies Council (ATC), of Ann Arbor, Michigan, say the ProMat and Automate exhibitions will co-locate in Chicago's McCormick Place on March 21-24, 2011. The event will host the 42nd international symposium on robotics, a technical conference.
ATC is an umbrella group for the Robotic Industries' Association, the Automated Imaging Association and the Motion Control Association. Previously, the three associations held an event called the International Robots, Vision & Motion Control Show.
"The decision to co-locate ProMat 2011 and Automate 2011 was made for several reasons," Nofsinger says. "Co-locating the events will allow manufacturing, distribution and supply chain professionals unparalleled education and networking opportunities [and give them] exposure to the largest equipment and technology display of any show of its kind in North America."
ATC president Jeffrey Burnstein says: "Robotics, vision and motion control are important components as companies strive to reach their productivity goals."

New products for Combilift
Combilift USA gave premiere demonstrations of the electric-powered turn-in-place Combi-CB and the electric Aisle-Master very-narrow-aisle articulated forklift.
The multi-direction-operating Combi-CB is available with a lifting capacity of either 5,000 or 6,000 pounds (2,250 or 2,700 kg) and has "advantages to customers who today may be using standard conventional counter-balance forklifts, reach trucks, side loaders or electric four-way forklifts," says Gearoid Hogan, vice president of marketing.
The Aisle-Master is available powered by AC electric or liquid propane gas, has a lifting capacity of up to 4,400 pounds (1,980 kg) and can replace a counterbalanced or reach forklift.
Combilift USA, of Greensboro, North Carolina, has 60 North American dealers with more than 200 servicing locations. Manufacturing occurs at Combilift Ltd, in Monaghan, Ireland, where the Aisle-Master production line is moving now ( News #455).

Landoll introduces new models
Landoll Corp introduced an AC-powered Bendi three-wheel/front-wheel-drive model articulated narrow-aisle forklift and a Drexel three-wheel AC-powered very-narrow-aisle model, says Ed Campbell, sales manager.
Landoll also displayed AC-powered and liquid-propane-gas tier III four-wheel, rear-wheel-drive articulated narrow-aisle forklifts and a very-narrow-aisle version of the Bendi four-wheel model.
Landoll products are manufactured in Marysville, Kansas.

Seegrid Corp on the move
Industrial mobile robot supplier Seegrid Corp reports progress on its expansion and move to a 30,000-square-foot (2,700-sm) facility in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The headquarters facility will house design and engineering, sales, assembly and implementation functions. Plans for the move were disclosed on December 16.
Seegrid operates an office and production facility in Lowell, Massachusetts, and markets a GP8 robotic pallet truck with a capacity of 8,000 pounds (3,600 kg) and a GT3 robotic tugger with a capacity of 3,000 pounds (1,350 kg).

Kollmorgen and Knapp partnership
Kollmorgen Corp, of Radford, Virginia, has established a strategic partnership with a unit of Knapp AG, of Hart bei Graz, Austria, and touted early orders in Austria and Slovenia.
The subsidiary, Knapp Systemintegration GmbH, licences and integrates Kollmorgen's NDC Suite technology globally for automated order-picking, under Kollmorgen's Pick-n-Go brand, and automated standard forklifts for operator-less transport applications.
Major retailer Spar Österreichische Warenhandels AG, of Salzburg, Austria, acquired a system to automate picking-area-to-loading-dock transport of roll containers containing fresh and chilled goods at a St Pölten, Austria, distribution centre. Knapp supplied the system, which consists of four standard warehouse forklifts automated with Kollmorgen NDC Suite technology.
Supermarket retailer Engrotuš dd, of Celje, Slovenia, acquired a Kollmorgen Pick-n-Go solution that the Knapp subsidiary installed. The Engrotuš distribution centre uses Knapp automated forklifts with Kollmorgen technology for moving fresh and chilled products.
"With a market share of 30% and an installed base of more than 15,000 vehicles, Kollmorgen is the industry expert in control solutions for driverless vehicles and forklifts," says Benny Forsman, Kollmorgen product manager. "Partnering with Knapp ... gets our complete, scalable and field-proven solutions into the hands of a leading warehouse automation specialist, while allowing them to focus on their core competency of automating warehouses." Kollmorgen's applications-independent and scalable control NDC8 module works with all automated guided vehicles.
Danaher Corp, of Washington, DC, acquired Kollmorgen in 2000 and operates the motion control business line within its industrial technologies segment.

Bruce Dickey joins Narrow Aisle Inc
Narrow Aisle Inc, of Dallas, Texas, has named Bruce Dickey as national sales manager for the Flexi very-narrow-aisle and Navigator truck-mounted forklift lines, effective from April 16. He succeeds Jeff Fisher, who needs new opportunities after 11 years with Sunbelt Industrial Trucks and Narrow Aisle and whose "parting was truly amicable", says Warren Cornil, Narrow Aisle president.
Dickey comments on NA 2010: "Compared to recent shows, attendance was down but quality was up. People who took the time to attend were on a mission to find solutions to their problems. Those who visited us were very interested in how our Flexi will solve their problems."
Previously, Dickey held production and marketing positions with Clark Equipment Co, sales positions with Miami Industrial Trucks & Clarklift of Fort Worth, Texas, management positions with Clarklift, Fort Worth, in parts, the Wichita Falls branch and rental and sales positions with Sunbelt Industrial Trucks.
Wholesale firm Narrow Aisle has manufacturing and marketing rights to the Flexi product for North, Central and South America, and retailer Sunbelt Industrial Trucks sells Komatsu forklifts, parts and service in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston markets in Texas.
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