With signs that the economy is strengthening at last, the UK materials handling industry is gearing up for its flagship exhibition, IMHX 2010, at the NEC from 16-19 November.
Taking place only once every three years, the show features all the major players in the logistics sector, with 300+ exhibitors expected to showcase their products and services. Co-owned by the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA), the exhibition is the event of choice for virtually every major forklift manufacturer and is naturally a Mecca for suppliers of ancillary products for industrial trucks.
Forklift supplier Jungheinrich will be demonstrating some of its huge range of fork trucks, which features over 600 model variations, on stand 19L100. In particular, it will be promoting its new compact powered pallet truck, the EME 114, and the Silent Drive feature available on its EJE 116 electric-powered pallet truck, designed to reduce truck noise to 59 dB(A) for use at sites where noise levels need to be kept to a minimum, such as retail outlets in residential areas.
As well as presenting its comprehensive range of Toyota counterbalance forklifts and BT warehouse equipment on stand 20F70, Toyota Material Handling will once again be sponsoring IMHX’s exclusive VIP valet parking service. VIPs will be able to drive directly to the door of hall 18 at the NEC, from where their vehicle will be parked for them and returned to the door on leaving the exhibition, ensuring a totally hassle-free visitor experience. The VIP guests will also have access to the IMHX Premier Club Lounge, which offers complimentary refreshments and Internet facilities.
Exhibitor Narrow Aisle Ltd (stand 19J75) will be demonstrating its award-winning Flexi range of articulated forklift trucks. The company will also be promoting the use of Flexi trucks in cold stores, arguing that growing sales of frozen foods are driving the need for more case quantity order picking rather than full pallet movements in cold stores. As a result, cold stores need to able to adopt the efficient storage and picking methods used by the chilled and dry grocery products sector.
Korean forklift manufacturer Doosan will be exhibiting a number of trucks from its extensive range on stand 19H120. Over 80 Doosan models are now available in the UK – from 1.0 to 5.0 tonnes for electric models and from 1.5 to 16.0 tonnes for IC models – within the higher specification Pro-5 series and the entry-level GX range. The dealer-based company has recently introduced six new IC engine models to its GX range, bringing the total number of GX models to ten.
Hubtex, a leading supplier of equipment to handle long and difficult loads, will be showing its range of electric-, diesel- and LPG-powered 4-way and multi-directional sideloaders on stand 18M125. The company also manufactures very heavy duty counterbalance trucks and specialist picking platforms for the handling of long loads. Hubtex has also recently extended its electric platform range from 80 tonnes to a massive 250 tonnes. Designed to run on rails or on road surfaces, these trucks can be offered with turntables, enabling very heavy loads to be turned 180 degrees or more in less than a few minutes.
Specialist materials handling equipment supplier Stanley Handling will be promoting its bespoke trucks for demanding handling applications on stand 18M165. Recent projects for the Hertfordshire-based firm include an 8-tonne powered pallet truck to handle massive skips filled with wet concrete for a pre-cast concrete manufacturer, a reel handler to move 2000kg paper reels for printing giant St Ives and a 12-tonne powered truck to move tooling for a plastics manufacturer.
Not all forklifts are manually driven, of course. For the first time ever, IMHX will feature a special pavilion for automated handling system suppliers, hosted by the Automated Material Handling Systems Association (AMHSA). AMHSA member JBT Corporation (stand 19K90) has recently delivered an automated guided vehicle (AGV) system that automatically loads delivery vehicles for the QTG business of PepsiCo in Atlanta, USA. The system features 11 laser-guided AGVs that pick up full pallets of finished goods and place them either in trailers, onto bridge conveyors or into storage lanes.
Also featuring prominently at IMHX 2010 will be a whole host of ancillary products and services to complement forklift trucks. Exide Technologies, one of the world’s largest producers and recyclers of lead-acid batteries, will be marketing its range of batteries for materials handling equipment on its stand number 19L120. The company’s monobloc batteries have been used to power the 30 boats at LEGOLAND Windsor’s Boating School for 14 years and Exide has recently installed a series of SP high frequency chargers to get the best from the attraction’s batteries and to reduce charging costs. The firm will also use IMHX to promote Power Gap, its recently launched traction battery rental solution that helps fleet managers to bridge any gaps in their energy requirements at peak times of the year – such as the run up to Christmas – without a major investment in capital equipment.
Leicester-based Transmon Engineering (stand 20D45) will be showing visitors its Speed Savure range that limits the maximum road speed of a forklift truck to enhance site safety, especially in operating areas that also have pedestrian access. The latest digital version of its Speed Savure 6 enables a fixed speed to be implemented on ramps and allows control over acceleration. The company has also automated the speed-limiting device with the Zone Speed Savure system, designed to prevent forklift operators from exceeding a pre-defined speed limit within a specified zone.
American forklift protection specialist Sentry Protection Products will be showing the benefits of its impact-absorbing column and racking protectors on stand 19H127. Over the past 10 years, hundreds of thousands of Rack Sentry protectors have been installed on rack uprights worldwide using a unique hook-and-loop strap system that avoids the need to drill into the floor. At IMHX the company will be promoting two new products – Rack Sentry Cut-out, designed to protect rack uprights where beams are installed close to the ground, and Park Sentry, a low-profile column protector manufactured using ARPRO, the same high-tech material found in car bumpers.
Explosion protection company Pyroban (stand 18M140) is set to show visitors to IMHX a range of the very latest equipment compliant with ATEX 94/9/EC for use in potentially explosive atmospheres. The firm converts all models of forklifts and other types of equipment to ensure that they cannot be the source of an ignition and are safe for operation where flammable material is being handled or stored. Pyroban will also be promoting its consulting and training services to help businesses manage their explosion risk effectively.
Mobile weighing specialist RAVAS will be introducing its new generation of scale forks for lift trucks – iForks – on stand 20B70 at the exhibition. The product is the first completely wireless scale forks system for forklift trucks, using Bluetooth technology to communicate with the cab-mounted weight indicator. With all components fully integrated in the forks, the iForks have no external cabling whatsoever. Dubbed ‘plug & weigh’ by RAVAS, iForks can be installed onto any truck in a matter of minutes to provide instant and accurate weighing of all loads.
Meanwhile, the UK’s leading supplier of forklift truck attachments and masts, B&B Attachments (stand 18M90), will be demonstrating its newly launched Layer Master solution for splitting palletised loads. This revolutionary new clamp, which can be static or fork-mounted, eliminates manual handling for loads that need to be split. Layer Master can lift a third of a 2.4m-high pallet at a time or, alternatively, just a single layer of boxes, enabling the load to be quickly broken down or built up.
Cooper Specialised Handling (stand 20G120) will be promoting a new terminal and yard safety system at IMHX. NearGuard is an alert system that locates both the direction and proximity of objects in hazardous operating areas by using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. Each lift truck is fitted with four sensors, one in each corner, which continually search for RFID tags. The tags can be fitted to a variety of items including compulsory clothing, such as hard hats, or other mobile equipment. Once a tag is located, a radar-like screen gives drivers a clear visual indication of its direction and proximity and a combination of screen colours and alarm sounds warn drivers of imminent danger.
Motive power specialist EnerSys Motive Power will be promoting its four-tier battery bank on stand 20F30. The new system significantly reduces the footprint of lift truck battery change and charge operations, facilitating easy maintenance and maximising operational safety. The battery tiers are serviced by an innovative, electric-powered battery changing cart – the EnerSys Pro-Series Battery Bull BBE – that runs on concealed rails. With the system in place, changing batteries is a one-man job that can be accomplished in around 90 seconds.
IMHX visitors will be able to discuss capital financing options for new handling equipment with specialists in this field including Bibby Leasing Ltd (stand 20G111), Rivermore Asset Finance (stand 19L141) and IMHX’s main sponsor, Albury Asset Rentals Ltd (20G70). They will also be able to compare a number of forklift truck fleet management solutions that reduce the cost of using handling equipment by preventing unsafe driving practices and thereby minimising damage-related incidents. Fleet management solution providers at IMHX 2010 include Transmon Engineering (stand 20D45), Crown (stand 19J90), Traka (stand 18M185) and Davis Derby (stand 18M175).
Exhibitors to present e-commerce solutions
A number of IMHX exhibitors have special expertise in supplying materials handling solutions for the growing e-commerce sector. Dynamic storage specialist Interroll (stand 20C112) recently extended the storage and handling system for the German heating and plumbing supplies specialist, OEG. The company markets its products to tradesmen through on-line and catalogue sales and its paperless picking system ensures next-day Europe-wide distribution for all orders placed before 8pm.
SSI Schaefer (stand 18N100) has a number of order fulfilment solutions to suit various sizes and complexity of e-commerce application – Mini Pick, Midi Pick, Mega Pick and Giga Pick. The firm recently supplied an automated order fulfilment system for Office Depot in Leicester that serves both the Viking Mail Order and Office Depot brands. SSI Schaefer also successfully double on-site storage capacity within the distribution centre of the UK’s largest television and Internet shopping business, QVC, by designing and building an extension for the storage and picking of over 25,000 household, electrical, jewellery and clothing products.
Automated handling systems supplier KNAPP (stand 20D30) has dedicated solutions for the e-commerce sector, which have featured in systems for blue-chip companies including John Lewis and Amway. KNAPP’s £25 million logistics solution for John Lewis incorporates picking for both retail stores and the company’s direct-to-customer business. With 8.4km of conveyors and over a quarter of a million bin storage stations, the system is KNAPP’s largest to date in the UK. Amway – the direct selling company that markets health, beauty and household products – operates an e-commerce operation at its site in Venlo, Netherlands. The system features a conveyor system with KiSoft Sort & Pack, KNAPP’s solution for fulfilling multiple small orders, using batch picking and then dividing goods into individual orders via put-to-light and pick-to-light techniques.
Green products and services showcased at IMHX
In a move unprecedented in UK logistics trade shows, IMHX 2010 will work towards being a carbon neutral event by offsetting the CO2 produced through staging the show and through visitor travel to the venue. The exhibition will feature a special Environment Zone, sponsored by Shell Gas (LPG), at which visitors can offset their show travel footprint – at no cost to themselves – using a web-based carbon calculator. Working with an accredited carbon offset partner, the show’s organisers will then offset the CO2 resulting from the exhibition by planting trees within the UK.
IMHX is the place to find a number of green solutions that contribute to a cleaner environment, energy efficiency or reduced waste. On stand 20B18, Shell Gas (LPG) will be explaining the benefits of LPG fuel for forklifts and other industrial vehicles – including quiet operation, versatile indoor and outdoor operation, fast refuelling and low operational costs. LPG from Shell can be stored in bulk tanks either above or below ground or in cylinders, making its storage extremely flexible.
Austrian firm BT-Anlagenbau GmbH & Co KG will be promoting the advantages of its sustainable Store Green concept on its stand 18N155. Featuring just one main transport aisle instead of several stacker cranes, the system uses elevators for vertical movement and low-weight trolleys in each level for horizontal movement. As a result, storage density is exceptionally high and Store Green consumes only 50% of the energy used by a conventional automated warehouse.
Responding to the call for improved green performance, Transdek UK Ltd (20C30) recently launched the latest in its range of double deck loading systems: a 20-tonne-capacity dock lift. The new lift, which incorporates a number of innovative energy-saving and reliability-enhancing features, is designed for the loading and unloading of both fixed and powered double deck trailers at retail distribution centres, and has already gone into operation with one major supermarket chain.
With sales, service and manufacturing facilities in the UK and the Netherlands serving international markets, exhibitor Pyroban Envirosafe (stand 18M140) provides an advanced range of diesel and LPG pollution and emission control solutions, stopping exhaust emissions at source. The products can be quickly and easily fitted onto diesel or LPG forklifts, immediately reducing emissions such as Carbon Monoxide, Hydrocarbons, Particulate Matter and NoX.
Pre-register now for FREE to attend IMHX 2010
IMHX 2010 is the number one place to meet suppliers and network with new contacts. With over 300 exhibitors displaying their products and services and showcasing the latest technology, visitors to IMHX will learn what’s hot in the handling industry and what future trends are likely to be. With hundreds of products on show and many featured in live demonstrations, visitors will gain hands-on experience and valuable insights. IMHX 2010 is the leading show for all your logistics, distribution and warehousing solutions. And, remember, it only happens once every three years – so don’t miss out!
Visitors who pre-register for IMHX 2010 will receive a special Priority Pass pack by post before the event. This passport-style wallet contains everything you need to maximise the benefits of a visit to the show – a delegate name badge, the ‘Little Black Book’ of handling industry contacts, a fold-out exhibition floor plan and key details of the show’s environmental zone.
Visitors wanting to pre-register for free tickets to attend IMHX 2010 can do so on-line by visiting the website at www.imhx.biz.