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Diversified material handling systems offering end-to-end solutions at LogiMAT 2024

Diversified material handling systems offering end-to-end solutions at LogiMAT 2024

Material handling equipment manufacturers and systems integrators from around the world are using their presence at LogiMAT to highlight the current trend in the industry: offering end-to-end solutions that include robotics, mobile conveyor technology, and software from a single source. Hardware systems in the exhibit hall reflecting this trend will include new pallet shuttles and overhead conveyor technology for storing and picking small parts.

Manufacturers of material handling technology and intralogistics are showing strength in a difficult economic climate with a comprehensive range of products and services for efficient intralogistics. “Current conditions and the unrelenting pressure from digital transformation are fueling the sustained demand for automation solutions,” explains LogiMAT Exhibition Director Michael Ruchty from Munich-based event organizer EUROEXPO Messe- und Kongress-GmbH. “Many manufacturers and service providers are also adapting their intralogistics to the demands of multichannel operations. Achieving intralogistics processes of the necessary efficiency requires smart product innovations and automated warehouse solutions. The international exhibitors at LogiMAT 2024 in Stuttgart are showing what this can look like.”

The industry is continually integrating the latest technological developments such as robotics and sensor systems to create entirely new solutions while optimizing and extending the range of established technologies. Manufacturers of material handling and intralogistics systems, once again the largest exhibitor group at LogiMAT, are presenting a spectrum of solutions that reflects this diversity. Industry professionals can experience the latest innovations alongside optimizations of established material handling systems and equipment in Halls 1 (including the gallery), 3, 5, and 7 of the Messe Stuttgart convention center. Based on their inherent expertise in system control software, almost all leading system manufacturers are also expanding their software offerings as a standalone business segment. With the aim of offering end-to-end solutions, they have expanded in recent years beyond stationary conveyor systems, storage systems, and industrial robots to become increasingly involved in mobile conveyor systems, cobots, shuttles, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), and automated guided vehicles (AGVs). The international material handling technology manufacturers and systems integrators will reflect these current industry trends in their exhibits at LogiMAT 2024.

Hardware, software, and AMRs from a single source

In Hall 5, a European systems integrator will be presenting components of a modular conveyor technology program—including a new A-frame and a goods-to-person picking solution for up to 500 picks per hour—while also highlighting the newest features and multivendor AMR integration capacities in their software suite. Meanwhile, in Hall 1, a hardware system developer will be showcasing a new warehouse lift, overhead conveyor technology, and various components such as mobile racking and channel storage shuttles for scalable intralogistics solutions, along with AMRs and new applications for the company’s warehouse management system (WMS). Over in Hall 3, another leading manufacturer is presenting a combination of new automation and robotics solutions, AI-based software, and people as technology partners for smart value chains.

Most exhibitors in the field of material handling and automation, however, are focusing on individual hardware components and systems in the traditional product range—for handling and storing pallets, for example. In Hall 7, industry professionals can have a look at a new heatable pallet magazine for extremely cold environments. The version with an additional fan heater has been developed for pallet handling in cold store environments down to -25°C degrees for easier operation in cold environments. Hall 7 will also host the world premiere of a unique fire prevention and protection system based on fuel cell technology. Low-oxygen exhaust air, which is produced during the energy conversion of hydrogen for green electricity and heat, ensures a reduced oxygen content in storage areas and also creates a permanent protective atmosphere.

In Hall 5, a new 2D pallet shuttle will be on display—an AMR-based storage and transport solution that transfers the shuttle technology already established in container and carton conveyor technology to pallet conveyor technology. Visitors there can also experience the first live exhibition of a piece-picking system, whose gantry robot uses suction cups instead of finger-shaped grippers to grip items more quickly and reliably. Hall 3 features an end-to-end system for automated storage and fast picking of long goods. The cassettes and shelves of the honeycomb storage system can be specially tailored to the dimensions of the material to be stored, maximizing storage density. To avoid empty runs, the integrated automated storage and retrieval systems can alternately pick up two cassettes, each weighing up to 1.5 tons, and move them to a height of up to 25 meters. Various carousel station solutions simplify the transfer of long goods and ensure a quick cassette change.

Scalable shuttle technology

Other new pallet solutions are on display in Hall 1, where several exhibitors are presenting new shuttle technology for the automated storage of standard and semi-pallets in high-bay warehouses. The new shuttle technology for standard pallets is designed to help improve storage density and operating speed, reduce manual workload, and lower operating costs in automated storage systems. The solution is scalable for various scenarios ranging from small, low-volume applications to extra-large, high-performance warehouses. A new semi-pallet shuttle, also presented in Hall 1, uses high-precision sensor technology to distinguish between plastic pallets of various colors and can be deployed in a wide range of temperatures and ambient conditions.

Even though e-commerce is currently lagging somewhat behind the peak volumes of previous years, several equipment manufacturers are continuing to focus on small parts and single items in their automated storage, picking, and conveying systems in everything from overhead conveyor technology to the integration of robotics. Several exhibitors are presenting innovations in the field of AutoStore systems, for example. In Hall 1, visitors can experience a new system robot with a lithium-titanium-oxide battery designed to accelerate charging and boost productivity up to 15 percent. A systems integrator will also be showcasing an extended product portfolio for enhancing small parts storage strategies on a project- and process-specific basis. Also on display: special transfer cells for transferring storage and retrieval processes from warehouse grids to material handling equipment or AGVs. Other options range from a robot picking solution to software with coordinated process control and individual prioritization strategies from the company’s own WMS.

Hall 1 will also feature a newly developed intralogistics tower with up to 1,000 container storage locations as a cost-effective entry-level automation solution. The tower consists of a static rack arranged around a rotating container lifter, the heart of the system. The solution, which allows storage of articles up to three deep and automated goods-to-person or bin-to-person picking, is designed for the needs of small companies that want to streamline their manual container storage systems. Hall 1 will also feature a new fully automated high-performance picking system for frozen goods down to -25°C designed to achieve throughput rates in both storage and retrieval of up to 12,000 packages per hour.

Overhead conveyor systems trending

Overhead conveyor technology, used in e-commerce and omnichannel business models to handle as many items as possible in the smallest possible space, will be among the dominant themes at LogiMAT 2024 in the alignment of warehouse processes, from automated storage and picking to the requirements of e-commerce. Hall 5 will host several exhibitors presenting new and improved designs in this product group. A new overhead conveyor technology including sorter pouches uses autonomous robots that move independently to their destination on a rail system with crossings, making the pouch sorter a game changer in e-commerce. The solution, exhibited for the first time anywhere in the world, offers maximum flexibility in system design and operation and can be scaled precisely to the customer’s evolving needs. Another novelty is an overhead conveyor system, designed as an alternative to totes, for product groups weighing up to 5 kg that easily become entangled or simply occupy too much space in totes. A second scalable bag sorter for sorting, sequencing, and intermediate buffering covers the maximum bag capacity of 7 kg, serving workstations with up to 10,000 bags per hour and a wide range of items, including clothing on hangers. Besides overhead conveyor sorters, exhibitors in Hall 5 will also present the latest developments in conventional sorter technology, including new loop sorters and innovations with a vision feature and package contour control designed to reduce sorting jams by 99.9 percent.

More innovations in diversified material handling hardware and process automation will be presented in nearly every hall of the Messe Stuttgart convention center. One focus here will be the linking of material handling equipment and technology with mobile transport devices such as cobots, AMRs, and AGVs. Hall 3, for example, will feature the live presentation of an end-to-end transfer station for loading and unloading AGVs designed to work with both containers and pallets. Hall 5 will feature an active loading and unloading system that allows either a standalone or integrated connection of AGV fleets to material handling systems.

LogiMAT Stuttgart will once again offer industry professionals from around the world an unparalleled overview of the latest products and solutions from material handling technology manufacturers and systems integrators,” concludes Exhibition Director Ruchty. “The diversified trade show, offering a direct comparison of the latest products and systems plus an accompanying program with a total of 16 Expert Forums, three recurring live events, the career and networking event LogiMAT Campus, and the Exhibitor Insights will once again leave everyone with a clear path for investments in future-proof solutions. Anyone working in intralogistics won’t want to miss it.”

LogiMAT also has a presence in various international markets. Upcoming events:

LogiMAT India, February 28 to March 1, 2024, IEML, Delhi NCR, India
LogiMAT China, May 8–10, 2024, SZCEC, Shenzhen, China
LogiMAT Southeast Asia, October 16–18, 2024, BITEC, Bangkok, Thailand

LogiMAT.digital is the platform that brings together top providers of the world’s best intralogistics solutions with high-quality leads, bridging the time and space between on-site events.

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