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Innovative ideas at The International Materials Handling Exhibition IMHX 2010

The International Materials Handling Exhibition (IMHX), which takes place at the NEC from 16-19 November, is a must-see event for everyone with logistics responsibility. In this press release, we highlight some key exhibitor products and services aimed at the food & drink sector, as well as showcasing some of the latest software solutions for the warehouse including inventory control and data capture systems.

Food & drink logistics suppliers’ pavilion announced

Held only once every three years, IMHX is the undisputed leader in UK logistics events, giving visitors from diverse industries the opportunity to see thousands of handling and storage solutions from over 300 exhibitors, all under one roof. One of the key sectors whose executives can benefit from a visit to IMHX 2010 is the food & drink industry. With a turnover of over £72 billion, the food and drink production industry is the UK’s single largest manufacturing sector, employing some 440,000 people in over 7,000 companies. IMHX has historically attracted large numbers of visitors from this sector and, in recognition of this fact, IMHX 2010 will feature a special food & drink logistics suppliers’ pavilion, sponsored by the Food Storage & Distribution Federation (FSDF). The pavilion, which will feature a number of small stands arranged around a central hospitality area, will offer FSDF members a cost-effective way to exhibit and engage with IMHX visitors.

Explains Rob Fisher, Event Director for IMHX, "Food and drink is an incredibly important sector for the UK handling industry and – if we include third party logistics providers, wholesalers and retailers – decision-makers from this sector account for over 4,000 IMHX visitors. With this in mind, we’re very pleased to welcome the FSDF on board with this special pavilion for IMHX 2010." Says Chris Sturman, Chief Executive of the FSDF, "As the only UK trade body that supports the interests of the entire food and drink supply chain, our association is delighted to be working with the organisers of IMHX to promote the importance and needs of the food and drink distribution industry at the UK’s leading logistics exhibition."

Cost-saving solutions for the food & drink sector

IMHX exhibitor Narrow Aisle Ltd (stand 19J75) will be demonstrating its award-winning Flexi range of articulated forklift trucks. The firm recently supplied Norish, the temperature-controlled third party logistics provider, with Flexi trucks at the company’s site in Gillingham, Kent, which handles a variety of meats, seafood and raw ingredients. By reducing the aisle widths and turning areas, the solution resulted in a 50 per cent increase in pallet storage capacity. Narrow Aisle will be promoting its brand-new Flexi model – the first four-wheel articulated truck capable of operating in aisles as narrow as 1.6m – at IMHX.

Forklift manufacturer Jungheinrich will be demonstrating some of its huge range of fork trucks, which features over 600 model variations, on stand 19L100 at IMHX. Jungheinrich, which has a wealth of experience in the food and drink market, recently supplied an RFID-based solution to the cold store distribution centre of the German bakery firm, Stadtbäckerei Junge. This unusual solution allows the forklift operator, rather than the warehouse management system, to determine the storage location of each palletised load. In the UK, Jungheinrich recently supplied six counterbalance trucks to Carlsberg’s facility in Newport, Gwent, as part of a programme to update the brewer’s handling equipment at its Northampton NDC, its four RDCs and its 13 local satellite depots. Four of the six latest trucks to be supplied are fitted with Kaup keg clamps with stabilisers to enable barrels to be handled easily and safely.

Specialist materials handling equipment supplier Stanley Handling numbers famous brands such as KP Foods, Mars and Sara Lee among its clients. The Hertfordshire-based firm markets its ROBUR Inox stainless steel range of lift trucks to both the food and pharmaceutical manufacturing environments, where hygiene is key. The range includes hand-pushed, battery lift stackers and powered trucks that handle up to 3 tonnes, as well as special reel handlers that can handle a wide variety of reel sizes. Visitors can also get a taste of the bespoke equipment that Stanley Handling produces for demanding and unusual applications on stand 18M165.

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. Suitable for a wide range of products including boxed and frozen goods, glass and plastic containers, tinned products and plastic trays, Layer Master makes contact with the load on all four sides and so requires minimal force to lift, thereby reducing the risk of damage. Says John Lamberth, Operations Director for B&B Attachments, "Already in use within the fresh produce sector, the system is also being trialled by most major supermarket distribution centres."

Storage solutions specialists SSI Schaefer will be showing their innovative storage systems on stand 18N100, including the new ‘Orbiter’ deep pallet storage and retrieval device and the company’s latest ‘Silent Conveyor’ system. Visitors will also be able to take an interactive stroll through the firm’s ‘House of Technology’ for a glimpse into the future. SSI Schaefer has completed many projects for clients in the food and drink industries, including a recent 40m-tall, rack-supported high-bay warehouse for Carlsberg in Fredericia, Denmark. SSI Schaefer provided the facility, the fourth largest brewery in the world, with 76,000 pallet storage positions, an integrated pallet conveyor system with monorail and eight Schaefer compact cranes, plus a sophisticated warehouse management system.

Independent supply chain management consultancy, Total Logistics (stand 19L72), recently provided design and vendor selection support for the largest soft drink bottling plant in Europe – the new Coca-Cola facility in Ploiesti, Romania, which is part of the Athens-based Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company. The Romanian plant engaged Total Logistics to examine the feasibility of building a storage facility at the site in order to expand capacity and meet its planned volume growth. The new, automated high-bay system enables the facility to handle 24,000 returnable glass bottles per hour, 120,000 plastic bottles per hour and 71,000 cans per hour, across its six production lines.

Data capture and inventory control solutions at IMHX

IMHX exhibitor Psion Teklogix specialises in making mobile workers more productive. The company’s stand, number 18M95, will showcase its rugged, hand-held computers and voice recognition solutions. Featured on the stand will be the most recent additions to the Psion Teklogix range, Ikôn and NEO. Ikôn is a rugged powerhouse, which integrates data capture, voice and data communications in one compact device. Its wireless capability includes WiFi, cellular 3G HSDPA and Bluetooth® connectivity. A GPS feature enables Ikôn to harness the power of location-based applications. NEO is a robust and stylish handheld PDA designed for retail, light industry and logistics. Although it is ideal for situations where a lighter and smaller data collection tool is required (it weighs just 275g), it compromises neither power nor functionality.

Among many exhibitors showcasing warehouse management solutions at IMHX will be Delta Software Limited (stand 18P20). Provider of the graphical, windows-based warehouse management system DeltaWMS, Delta Software recently acquired the key assets of PLW Associates Limited, including the DWMS AS/400 warehouse management system and associated contracts. DWMS is a high transaction, radio frequency warehouse management system, operating on the IBM AS/400 platform. Delta will also be demonstrating its Sage Line 50 fully integrated solution, showing how Sage users can benefit from a fully featured WMS. In addition, Delta’s latest KPI monitor will be on display, demonstrating how a WMS can help to manage a warehouse.

WMS and supply chain track & trace solutions provider ATMS plc will be exhibiting on stand 20F130 at IMHX. With solutions designed for both third party logistics providers and dedicated in-house operations, ATMS systems are designed to improve warehouse efficiency and stock accuracy, through automated data capture and electronic communication of supply chain information. The company has extensive integration, interlacing and e-commerce expertise, and also offers project planning, training and support services.

Chess Logistics Technology Ltd (stand 20G30) is a software specialist providing WMS and integrated real-time solutions to clients in the distribution, 3PL and manufacturing sectors including DHL Exel, Kuehne-Nagel and BHS. Chess products include the Empirica WMS, a modular system suited to own account or shared user operations, which supports wireless mobile and voice-directed warehouse technology and offers in-built connectivity tools for seamless exchange of supply chain data. Other products in the range include Empirica Lite, a robust and scalable solution, and Empirica Mobile, a development tool for mobile solutions that utilise wireless LAN and mobile phone communications.

At IMHX 2010 Proteus Software (stand 20C20) will be demonstrating its dynamic suite of warehouse software, designed to integrate with any existing ERP or supply chain solution or with the full Proteus suite of application software including inventory management, sales order processing, purchasing and financial accounting. The firm will be giving special emphasis to its Voice Solution. Says Linda Rodway, Market Development Manager, "In the context of warehouse management systems, two strategic upgrade options are available to deliver significant improvements relative to paper-based stock management processes. Many organisations have already successfully migrated from paper to wireless systems, which utilise screens and handheld barcode readers, eradicating the use of paperwork. The actual efficiency gains through using this type of technology will differ for each company, although typical users have reported efficiency increases of greater than 50%. By upgrading from wireless to voice-driven systems, users report up to a further 25% increase in warehouse throughput."

Toyota to sponsor VIP parking

The exclusive VIP valet parking service returns to IMHX in 2010, sponsored by Toyota Material Handling UK. VIPs will be able to drive directly to the hall door, 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.

For further information on exhibiting at IMHX 2010, contact Rob Fisher on 01895 454600 or visit www.imhx.biz.

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