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August 2009



Top 20 lift truck
page 18
suppliers 25
• End-of-the-line
packaging 29
• Dunnage 38
• Palletizer products 44

( )
Tough times don’t last.
But tough lift trucks do.

Strong, efficient and built for the job—ants and Toyota lift trucks both symbolize productivity.
In challenging times, or in the best of times, they just keep working. Toyota. The world’s #1 lift truck. 800-226-0009 •

Reddwerks acquires SeayCo Integrators

ENHANCING ITS SOFTWARE ware. Reddwerks’ support teams
PRODUCT LINE and extending and online portal will be available for
its reach into complex conveyors both Reddwerks and SeayCo clients.
and sorters found in large-scale The company will retain key SeayCo
distribution facilities, Reddwerks customer support and development
(, a provider of resources to ensure continued success
warehouse performance management with the SeayCo product line and
(WPM) software and solutions, has services teams. The combined R&D
completed its acquisition of SeayCo team will continue Reddwerks’ focus
(, a on improving the WPM software, with
developer of advanced warehouse the 4.0 version scheduled for comple-
control systems and sortation soft- tion in 2010.

PMMI launches online

“Use Reusables” goes regional troubleshooting course
Region 9 to expand the “Use Reusables” campaign into MANUFACTURERS
communities throughout California’s Bay Area. The campaign INSTITUTE (PMMI,
helps businesses reduce costs and improve environmental
performance by replacing limited-use pallets, boxes and has launched
other transport packaging materials with reusable alterna- “Troubleshooting
tives. “Use Reusables” was launched in 2007, in partnership Packaging Machinery,”
with the Reusable Packaging Association (www.choosere- an online self-study, a non-profit trade association representing course open to all
manufacturers, dis- packaging profession-
tributors and others in als. The e-course is offered through PMMI U,
the reusable transport the institute’s training and development effort.
packaging industry. Developed in cooperation with the University of
The campaign pro- Florida, the course presents entry-level theory,
vides free educational process and logic of troubleshooting and applies
resources, training those ideas to packaging operations. It brings
workshops and principles to life with animation, video and inter-
expert advice to help active exercises, and teaches a logical approach
businesses transition to troubleshooting, so technicians understand
to reusable transport what questions to ask—and why—to locate the
packaging. most likely cause of a problem before making
adjustments or repairs.

Who has the oldest working bar

code device?
MAKE OLD BAR CODE technology new. Ryzex, (www. a mobile technology services company, has
launched a contest to identify the world’s oldest working
bar code data collection device. “The Big Upgrade”
( competition provides partici-
pants with a chance to turn old data capture equipment
into new technology. The winner will receive a new hand-
held computer from Psion Teklogix (www.psionteklogix.
com) to replace their legacy device. To be considered,
participants need to provide contact and device informa-
tion, including a photo of their equipment in action. MODERN MAT ERIA L S HA NDL ING / A U G U S T 2009 3

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VOL. 64, NO. 8



Sarah Carlson, Jervis B. Webb and MHIA’s

AGVS industry group, page 50


COVER STORY 3/ Conveyables
7/ This month in Modern
18 Affordable innovation 17/ Lift truck tips: Leasing
With the economy in the tank and end users reluctant to spend, the 44/ Product Focus: Palletizers
materials handling and supply chain software industries are coming
50/ 60 seconds with...
up with new ways to put innovation and automation within everyone’s
9/ Total RFID revenue expected to exceed
SPECIAL PACKAGING COVERAGE $5.6 billion this year
EQUIPMENT REPORT 10/ Sasaki named president of Toyota
29 At the end of the line Industrial Equipment
Here are three examples of best practices in end-of-the-line 11/ ISM says manufacturing up slowly,
packaging that might make a difference in your facility. positive PMI imminent
38 Safe travels; lower costs 13/ ID Label acquires Universal Label
Aviation equipment supplier uses a versatile packaging system to cut Technologies
expenses and protect products during shipping. 14/ Updated carousel and VLM planning
PRODUCT FOCUS tool now available
44 Palletizers 15/ From our blogs: How big is your (carbon)
footprint? Wal-Mart wants to know

FEATURES Modern Materials Handling® (ISSN 0026-8038, (GST # 123397457), is

SPECIAL REPORT published monthly by Reed Business Information, 8878 Barrons Blvd.,
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129-2345. Reed Business Information, a division
25 Top 20 lift truck suppliers of Reed Elsevier, is located at 360 Park Avenue South, New York, NY
10014. Tad Smith, CEO. Circulation records are maintained at Reed
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2345. Phone (303) 470-4445. Periodicals Postage Paid at Littleton, CO
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improving service levels while reducing the amount of inventory in the trademark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc. used under license.
supply chain. MODERN MAT ERIA L S HA NDL ING / A U G U S T 2009 5

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T HIS MON T H IN Mode rn
(781) 734-8000

Michael Levans
Group Editorial Director

Bob Trebilcock
Executive Editor

Noël P. Bodenburg
Executive Managing Editor
Fueling the pioneer spirit
Lorie King Rogers
Associate Editor
THERE’S A VERY succinct reason we feature their belts.
Sara Pearson Specter
Editor at Large progressive, innovative materials handling “The ‘Catch 22’ is that end users who
practitioners on the cover of Modern month want to take a leadership position in their
Roberto Michel
Editor at Large after month: We want to showcase the best industry have to innovate to stay ahead
of the best, but we also want to help push of the game; but in this kind of economy,
Tom Andel
Columnist the slow adapters over the fence. innovation may no longer be a line item
Jeff Berman There are a couple of common charac- on the budget,” says Trebilcock. “I wanted
Group News Editor
teristics that we find in these leaders. First, to find out what our industry is doing to
Robert Eckhardt
Senior Art Director they very rarely make snap decisions to keep materials and information handling
Daniel Guidera apply a new technology or to automate solutions within the reach of our custom-
Senior Art Director/
Illustration without weighing the ROI and measuring ers…and what I found is that there’s a lot of
Norman Graf the ultimate benefit to the company. affordable innovation going on.”
Director of
Creative Services In fact, these true visionaries have made We hope this new feature fuels your
advanced materials handling and distribu- pioneer spirit.
Brian Ceraolo
Group Publisher tion a core component of the company’s Editor’s Note: Like innovation, continuing
greater supply chain mission—or if they’re education is another critical element that
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD like Kroger, who graced our cover back in can’t take a back seat during these tough
Ron Giuntini May, they’ve set out to flip their vertical times. To help meet this need, Modern
OEM Product-Services Institute
market on its head starting with the process continues its series of educational events
John Hill
eSync inside their four walls. with the launch of our live webcast devoted
Susan Rider Second, true innovators never stop inno- to the results of the 2009 Lift Truck Usage
Rider & Assoc.
vating, not even during the worst economic Study on Thursday, August 27, at 2:00 p.m.
Ken Ruehrdanz
Dematic climate of their lifetimes. They’ve come to Eastern. You can register now at mmh.
Dr. John Usher realize that innovation doesn’t necessar- com/lifttruck09.
University of Louisville
ily come with a huge price tag; in fact, it’s Our lift truck blogger/columnist Tom
Col. Alan B. Will
2d Marine Logistics Group often done best on a shoe string or through Andel will lead a panel discussion on the
Brett Wood precisely targeted investment designed to results of the study and identify the char-
Toyota Material Handling USA
solve the most pressing problems first. acteristics of the fleet managers who have
BOSTON DIVISION Well, this month we’ve set out to keep optimized this vital piece of equipment and
Mark Finkelstein
President - Electronics &
that ambitious set on the fast track, but mastered the art of balancing productivity
Manufacturing Division we’re also looking to give a little push to and safety. The panel will also go behind
those managers who are still on the fence. the numbers to analyze the most common
Tad Smith On page 18, we’re offering the first in mistakes operators are making today.
Chief Executive Officer
our series of “Big Picture” features simply So, do you think your lift truck fleet is
John Poulin
Chief Financial Officer & titled “Affordable innovation.” Executive advanced? Attend this session and mea-
Executive Vice President
Editor Bob Trebilcock takes a look at how sure just how well you’re doing compared
FREE magazine subscriptions 15 companies representing automated to some of the best managed fleets in the
available at: systems, software, and the lift truck indus- business.
Send magazine subscription
inquiries to: try are approaching the market now that a
8878 Barrons Blvd
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129-2345 majority of their customers have tightened
Phone: 303-470-4445
Fax: 303-470-4280

Keep up with the latest industry Member Member of
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news and resources—sign-up for our Winner
FREE eNewsletters at: Jesse H. Neal Certificates of Merit for Journalistic
Excellence MODERN MAT ERIA L S HA NDL ING / A U G U S T 2009 7

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best of Modern’s blogs
Company Briefings | Bob Trebilcock
Cash for clunkers in materials
Takeaways | Tom Andel
Lift trucks and energy consumption


Total RFID revenue expected to

exceed $5.6 billion this year
ABI RESEARCH PREDICTS RFID systems revenue by primary application
STRONG RFID GROWTH FOR Traditional vs. Modernizing applications
SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT World Market Forecasts: 2009 and 2014


NEXT FIVE YEARS. 2009 $3.9 billion $1.7 billion
$5.6 billion


2014 $4.9 billion $4.3 billion
in the global economy, total rev-
enue earned from radio frequency
Traditional applications* Modernizing applications**
identification (RFID) transponders,
readers, software and services is * Includes: access control, automobile immobilization, AVI and ID documents
expected to exceed $5.6 billion in ** Includes: animal ID, asset management, baggage handling, cargo tracking & security,
POS-contactless payment, RTLS, supply chain management and ticketing
2009, according to the latest market
data from ABI Research (www. Source: ABI Research, a New York-based

market intelligence company spe-
experiencing an 11% compound • Point-of-sale contactless payments
cializing in global connectivity and
annual growth rate (CAGR) through (23.7%); and
emerging technology.
2014. Analysts expect the market to • Animal ID (22.8%).
“The recession has had an undeni-
reach more than $9.2 billion in 2014, Laird said the RFID market
able effect on deployment plans,”
or approximately $7.62 billion with continues to be worthy of cautious
said ABI research director Michael
consumer automobile applications optimism in the near to mid-term,
Liard, “but despite some project de-
excluded. particularly in the closely watched
ferrals and terminations, there will be
ABI Research’s “RFID Annual passive UHF segment.
market growth, albeit fragmented.”
Market Overview” cites that among “Although the RFID market faces
ABI Research estimates the RFID
the modernizing applications, they economic challenges, ABI Research
market was $5.36 billion in 2008.
expect the strongest five-year (2008- would not characterize it as being
Excluding consumer automotive ap-
2014) revenue growth to be realized in a state of despair or turmoil. We
plications, the market size is forecast
within five applications segments: do not anticipate near-term market
to be $3.71 billion, representing
• Supply chain management item- contraction based on economic
9.1% growth over 2007.
level tracking (22.9%); conditions. However, anticipated
ABI Research anticipates annual
• Cargo tracking and security growth rates may not be as robust
growth to remain steady over the
(22.7%); as in previous years,” Liard said.
next five years, with the total market
• Real-time locating systems (28.2%); “In fact,” Liard added, “many in- MODERN MAT ERIA L S HA NDL ING / A U G U S T 2009 9

New weekly dustry participants contacted by ABI Research feel cur-

e-newsletter rent conditions are challenging but may only represent a

small bump in overall RFID adoption. However, there is
a sense that vendor performance and end-user activity
Modern has launched “This Week in during Q1 and Q2 2009 will be critical bellwethers for
Modern.” Our editors created this new overall near-term RFID market growth within traditional
weekly editorial e-newsletter for the busy
and modernizing applications.”
materials handling and manufacturing
professional. The goal is to keep you up
to speed on the latest breaking news and
new products that are currently hitting INDUSTRIAL EQUIPMENT
the market. We’ll also be featuring our
most intriguing blog posts from the previ- Sasaki named president of
ous week to get you more involved in the
materials handling conversation. Sign up Toyota Industrial Equipment
TOYOTA HAS ANNOUNCED the appointment of Kazue
Sasaki to president of Toyota Industrial Equipment Mfg.

MMH goes (TIEM, www.toyotaforklift.

com), the U.S. manufacturing

We know how busy you are. We know
plant for Toyota lift trucks. In
addition, he is now president of
Toyota Industries North Amer-
how sometimes all you have on the go is ica, a holding company, and a
your phone. Now, you can take Modern director of the Toyota Material
with you. Check our daily news and prod-
Handling U.S.A. (TMHU) board
ucts any time, any where. Bookmark our
new mobile site at: of directors.
As president, Sasaki is re-
sponsible for all aspects of the

Lift truck Columbus, Ind., plant, which

manufactures the majority of

Tune in for the live results of Modern’s
Toyota lift trucks sold in the
United States.
Outgoing president Susumu
Kazue Sasaki

2009 Lift Truck Usage Study. In this Web- (Sonny) Toyoda will remain active in Toyota Industries
cast entitled “So, you think your lift truck Corporation (TICO). Toyoda, who served a five-year
fleet is advanced?” Modern’s lift truck
blogger/columnist Tom Andel leads a tenure at TIEM, was influential in leading the plant to
discussion around the complete results of achieve numerous environmental and manufacturing ac-
this exclusive study. colades including a zero-landfill status and the production
Thursday, August 27 at 2:00 p.m. EST of the 300,000th lift truck.
Register: Sasaki brings more than 20 years of management
and engineering experience to the plant, most recently
serving as a senior managing officer of TICO. Prior to
Follow us on this role, Sasaki was a managing officer, director and led
TICO’s Engine Division, and was responsible for col-

Stay connected: Get breaking news,
laborations with Toyota Motor Corp. to produce environ-
mentally friendly diesel engine concepts, along with new
business development activities.
updates to our site, as well as special “Sasaki’s passion for quality and excellence showcases
industry announcements. Follow Modern
on Twitter at: @ModernMHMag. In addi- his leadership abilities,” said Shankar Basu, chairman and
tion, you can follow our sister publication chief executive of TMHU and a director of Toyota Indus-
Material Handling Product News at: trial Equipment Mfg. “It is an honor to welcome him as a
@mhpn. You can also find Modern’s page member of the team.”
on Facebook and become a fan. Sasaki has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineer-
ing from Kyoto University.

10 A U G U S T 2 0 0 9 / MO D E R N MATE RIALS HA NDL I NG

ECONOMY into “growth” territory. “It always seems to be some-
ISM says manufacturing where in that range,” he said.
In July, according to the ISM’s latest report, the PMI
up slowly, positive PMI was below 50 for the 18th straight month. In other words,
it’s due to climb above 50, and the past seven months
imminent have shown it trending in that direction. In January 2009,
MANUFACTURING, ON A WHOLE, is still going up, al- the PMI rose from December’s figure of 32.9 to 35.6%,
beit “slow and deliberate,” according to the Institute for and hasn’t looked back since. In July, it rose 4.1 percent-
Supply Management. age points to 48.9%.
The latest report from the Institute for Supply Man- “We’re on the right path,” Ore said.
agement (ISM) shows that the economy has been in At this rate, Ore said the PMI is poised to cross the
decline for 18 months straight. 50% threshold either this month or in September. This
And, according to Norbert Ore, chair of ISM’s manu- will mark the first step into positive territory since the
facturing business survey committee, that’s a good recession began.
thing. Of course, the real telling sign the economy is on the
ISM collects a number of statistics each month, and rebound will be if the PMI remains above 50, and doesn’t
the figure Ore watches the most is the Purchasing Man- lose any of the ground it’s gained. Ore said it is likely to
agers Index (PMI), which represents the manufacturing continue climbing, as other figures are also showing posi-
industry as a whole. On a scale of 1 to 100, anything tive change. Over the past four months, he said, custom-
below 50 is considered “in decline.” Whenever any kind er inventories have declined sharply, dropping one point
of recession has taken place in the past, Ore said the to 42.5% in July. Again, that’s a good thing, Ore said,
PMI slips below 50 to reflect tough economic times. because these inventories, typically referring to consumer
Typically, however, the PMI doesn’t stay below 50 for products and finished goods, are bound to lead to new
more than 17 to 18 months before climbing above 50 orders for those goods, which boosts manufacturing.

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Ore admitted that the inventory figure is a little lower
than normal—ISM prefers to see it hovering around the
45% mark, but in the current economy, lower than normal
is better than higher.
Other figures are on the rise, too. The New Orders
Index came in at 55.3% in July, which was 6.1 points
higher than June. The index has grown in two of the last
three months, according to the ISM report. In addition,
nine out of 14 reporting industries reported growth in
new orders in July. Prices, Ore noted, are also up, indi-
cating manufacturers are feeling braver. It all adds up to
a positive outlook for the coming months.
“All of them begin to feed on each other,” he said.
It will still take time, of course, before the effects of
the anticipated good news will filter down into the main-
stream economy. Employment, Ore noted, will always lag
behind everything else, whether the economy is in growth
or decline. ISM’s July report showed the Employment
Index went up 4.9 percentage points to 45.6%, but it still
remained in decline, for the 12th month straight, and Ore
said it will probably be among the last indices to recover.
But manufacturing, on a whole, is still going up, albeit
“slow and deliberate,” Ore said.

Non-manufacturing index slips in July

The latest non-manufacturing sector report from ISM
showed a slip in recent growth, but current predictions of LIFT TRUCKS
economic recovery are still on track, according to An-
thony Nieves, chair of ISM’s non-manufacturing business Crown to kick off LPG
survey committee. LATER THIS YEAR, Crown Equipment Corporation
While the manufacturing sector has shown steady ( will be introducing a new line of
growth for the past seven months, non-manufacturing has propane-powered lift trucks that will be the first-ever
fluctuated back and forth. Still, Nieves said he expected Crown-designed and built of its kind. Crown intends
to see more stable, level figures for July. to keep details of the new product secret until its
Instead, he said, the non-manufacturing index (NMI) official launch. But you can see a sneak preview of
slipped 0.6 points to 46.4%, and other figures also the lift truck hoisting Minnesota Vikings running back
dropped unexpectedly. Adrian Peterson on the cover of the July issue of
“This was a surprising report,” Nieves said. ESPN The Magazine.
Summer, as a rule, is a typically slow time for non-
manufacturing industries, but only seven out of 17
industries reported any growth in July. The business Nieves also looked to the manufacturing sector as
index, poised to cross the 50% mark in June at 49.8%, a positive sign. However fickle non-manufacturing has
fell to 46.1%. New Orders fell from 48.6 to 48.1% in proven to be, the steady growth in manufacturing is a
July, too. good sign that non-manufacturing will soon follow suit.
Some industrial declines, such as travel and tourism, Typically, Nieves said the manufacturing sector shows the
reflected the current consumer attitude still fueled by first signs of decline when the country falls into a reces-
the recession, Nieves said. “People are just keeping their sion, and eventually shows the first signs that the country
purse-strings tight,” he added. is climbing out of one.
But not everything is doom and gloom. Nieves said Right now, ISM is predicting both sectors will show
the real estate, rental and leasing industry has reported positive growth before the end of the year, and possibly
growth. So too has health care, of which Nieves said “it before the end of the fall. Nieves said the non-manufac-
has probably been the one sector that’s been most reces- turing sector is still on track with that prediction, despite
sion resistant.” the backslide recorded in July.

12 A U G U S T 2 0 0 9 / MO D E R N MATE RIALS HA NDL I NG

INDUSTRY NEWS niche applications in the bar code
ID Label acquires and variable image marketplace,”
added Jeff Chandler, chief operat-
Universal Label ing officer of ID Label. “Our exper-
tise in variable image label manu-
Technologies facturing provides us with a strong
A LETTER OF INTENT to purchase understanding of how we can utilize
has been signed by ID Label (www. an expanded customer base of cli- this equipment to the benefit of for the assets of Uni- ents that have an ongoing need for existing and future clients.”
versal Label Technologies (ULT, www. LPN labels, rack bin location labels, ID Label will continue to maintain ID Label manufac- retro reflective signs and installa- operations at the existing ULT facil-
tures a range of preprinted bar code tion services,” said William Powers, ity and employ a number of staff at
labels and signs. ID Label vice president of sales and its Attleboro Falls, Mass., location. A
“ULT has been a leader in the marketing. “The manufacturing and portion of the manufacturing opera-
variable image, bar code label man- service offerings of ID Label will tion will be transferred to the new
ufacturing for warehouse applica- significantly benefit ULT clients.” 21,000-square-foot facility ID Label
tions since it was founded in 2001. “The equipment we have ac- will operate in Lake Villa, Ill. This
We look forward to building on the quired with this transaction expands facility is scheduled to be complete
foundation that ULT has provided its our capabilities to service additional in September 2009.
clients for the past eight years, and
extending the product offering to
help them grow their business under
the ID Label banner,” said Neil
…there’s something new every day on the Modern Web site? Check out
Johnston, president of ID Label. the MHPN Product of the Day every single day at
“The acquisition gives ID Label MODERN MAT ERIA L S HA NDL ING / A U G U S T 2009 13

AUTOMATED STORAGE dustry Group of Material Handling
Updated carousel Industry of America (MHIA, www. announced the publication
& VLM planning of the latest version of the Carousel
& VLM Planning Tool. This space
tool now available requirement and throughput tool
THE AUTOMATED STORAGE/ for horizontal and vertical carousels
RETRIEVAL SYSTEMS (AS/RS) In- and vertical lift modules (VLMs) now

Ship Store

& has the capability to consider the tax
implications of the American Recov-
ery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
(including the Section 179 boost for
small businesses.)
The computerized tool was first
developed at Virginia Tech for the
Carousel/VLM Working Group of
the AS/RS Industry Group. The tool
covers three semi-automated order
picking technologies—vertical carou-
sels, horizontal carousels and VLMs.
The purpose of the tool is to quickly
determine space requirements and
throughput capabilities for various
system configurations suggested by
the user.
The tool also provides results for a
comparable manual shelving system.
Additional capabilities have been
added at the University of Arkansas
to facilitate an evaluation of a return
Protect Your Bulk Ingredients on investment (ROI) for the Carou-
With Buckhorn Intermediate Bulk Containers sel/VLM system configurations as
Buckhorn reusable plastic IBCs, made from FDA-approved materials, are the ideal choice compared to a comparable manual
to protect your bulk liquid or powder products. Perfect for a variety of industries to shelving system. The latest version,
reduce transport costs, maintain quality and increase productivity, Buckhorn IBCs are: version 5, adds the capability to
• Hygienic • Stackable & Collapsible • Durable • RFID Traceable • Recyclable consider the tax implications of the
Call Buckhorn at 1-800-543-4454 or visit American Recovery and Reinvest-
to get the facts and request a FREE on-site packaging assessment. ment Act of 2009.
The package contains an overview
of the program and a computer-
based program imbedded within an
Excel spreadsheet and is available for
©2009 Buckhorn, Inc./Myers Industries #09176
download at no cost at

14 A U G U S T 2 0 0 9 / MO D E R N MATE RIALS HA NDL I NG

IBC SafeSecure ingred ad MMH.indd 1 7/16/09 1:38 PM
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The following is an excerpt from executive
editor Bob Trebilcock’s blog. Read the full
version here:
How green is your supply chain? It’s not an idle question if
you’re one of the 100,000 suppliers to Wal-Mart. The retail
giant announced a plan to have its suppliers calculate the full
environmental costs of making products. Wal-Mart will translate
that info into a label that will appear along with the price of the
product and other consumer information.
The idea is to let consumers make more informed choices
about the products they buy: Do they want the lowest pos-
sible price, damn our dependence on fossil fuel, or are they
willing to pay a little more for a product with a smaller carbon
When we’ll begin to see these new labels is anyone’s guess.
For the last several years, Wal-Mart has been focused on
meaningful reductions in its carbon footprint and selling more
energy-efficient products. The results are impressive, which
I’m sure is part of the reason that Wal-Mart wants to push its
efforts out to its suppliers. But Stephen Stokes, vice president
the name to trust!
of sustainability and green technologies at AMR Research,
wonders whether this is a good use of resources. For more than 65 years, RIDG-U-RAK has been
He gives Wal-Mart kudos for their internal sustainability the innovative leader in storage rack design and
efforts, but ultimately believes a supplier mandate will be production. Whether you need replacement beams
or a storage system covering 30 acres of warehouse
“unpopular, ineffective and unsuccessful.” Remember, Stokes
space, RIDG-U-RAK is the name to trust.
thinks the company is doing a great job internally.
Here’s the problem: “This has enormous supply chain im- Trust RIDG-U-RAK with your next project
plications,” says Stokes. “If suppliers are forced to spend their
resources to calculate their carbon footprint and slap a label on
• One of the largest rack manufacturers
everything, the compliance costs will be enormous.” To Stokes’ • Capacity in excess of 60,000 tons per year
way of thinking, that money could be better spent to drive • Project management and installation services
down the supply chain costs—and, an organization’s carbon • Customer-centric
footprint in the process—across an enterprise. organization offering
Take it one step further, and Stokes challenges whether the full array of
it’s possible to come up with a valid number. “A lot of groups
storage system
say this is just like creating a nutritional label and it’s not even Full Line
• Unparalleled Selection
close,” says Stokes. “If you want to challenge the label on a innovation, design
jar of baby food, you can send it to a laboratory and have it and application Guide
tested. When it comes to challenging supply chain costs, you experience
can’t do a reverse calculation the way you can on a nutritional
It does strike me that there’s a real opportunity for the ma-
terials handling and supply chain software industries. Wal-Mart Toll Free: 866-479-7225
suppliers that decide to compete on their carbon labels as well
as the price of their product will need to get more productive
and efficient in their operations. This is an opportunity for the REG
. #5150

industry to tie the benefits of our solutions not only to reducing

operational costs, but to driving top line sales growth as well.
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• Pick Modules • Cantilever • Stacker Cranes •
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It’s a buyer’s market

In this down economy, lift truck
providers are more willing than ever to
make a deal with a qualified buyer.

S I WRITE this column, the lift truck leasing market
is like the restaurant once described by the great
Yogi Berra: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too
Well, the market IS crowded—with inventory. The drop
in sales volume across ALL markets has led to more lift
trucks being parked—in end user facilities as well as at
dealer sites.
Dave Anderson, remarketing manager for Toyota
Financial Services (, the captive
financing arm of Toyota Material Handling, says these Typical lift truck leases are based on fair market value. The
conditions have prompted his company to do things it customer has the option of returning the equipment at the end of
has never done before—like sell to wholesalers. the lease or buying it at its fair market value.
“When we go to remarket lift trucks in an auction
atmosphere we don’t get a lot of activity today,” Ander- the equipment’s destiny at the end of the transaction.
son told me. “Eighteen months ago on our typical bid list However…
we’d have multiple units and most sold. Now we go out “Our leases are unique because we guarantee what
with hundreds with marginal sales results. They’re good the residual will be,” Anderson says. “If our residual is
prices, residual or lower, but the dealers are so loaded $5,000 we guarantee that residual will be $5,000 regard-
up on inventory and so cash starved they can’t buy at this less of the fluctuation in the value of that truck.”
point. That’s why we’ve had to get more creative in selling Bob Sattler, vice president of Hyster Capital (www.
our merchandise.”, the captive finance company for Hyster Co.,
says he’s seeing more refinancing
As inventory ages, it devalues. Providers are more activity than new-truck transactions.
“You want to keep that asset
willing to customize the terms to get customers to deployed as long as possible,” Sattler
sign on the dotted line. says, “so the lenders are willing to ex-
tend leases and even discount leases
Lift truck providers face the same reality customers at the end of the term to make sure those assets stay out
do: As inventory ages, it devalues. They HAVE to turn it there in the field as long as possible. At the back end of
over. That’s why leasing terms are more creative than ever. leases it’s a buyer’s market.”
Providers are more willing to customize the terms to get Let’s put it this way: it’s a qualified buyer’s market. The
customers to sign on the dotted line. size of a customer is no longer the determining factor in
how far a lift truck provider will go to please him or her.
It’s how credit-worthy they are. Yes, you’re in a better
Fair market value
position to get deals these days, but the price may be a
Typical lift truck leases are based on fair market value. The deeper dive into your financials.
customer has the option of returning the equipment at
the end of the lease or buying it at its fair market value.
Anderson explains that most of Toyota’s leases are
without option because the dealers want to control Contact Tom Andel at MOD ER N MATER IALS HAND LING / A U G U S T 2009 17

By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor

With the economy in

the tank and end users
reluctant to spend, the
materials handling and
supply chain software
industries are coming
up with new ways to put
innovation and automation
within everyone’s reach.

A ll talk and no action!
That best sums up the market for materials handling and sup-
ply chain software solutions in 2009. The industry’s customers
– that’s you, our readers – know they need to invest in innovation
if they’re going to continue to beat the competition and meet the expecta-
tions of customers. But given the only thing that most users know about the
near future is that they don’t know anything, few companies are willing to
pull the trigger on a new system, solution or piece of equipment.
“We’re getting more requests for quotations than get approved are those that deliver a return on invest-
last year,” says Scot Aitcheson, director of fleet man- ment this year.
agement for Yale Materials Handling Corp. (800- But let’s not forget that innovation is one of the
233-9253, “But even if we hallmarks of this industry. The best and the brightest
can prove the return on investment, there is a hesi- are turning on their creative juices to put affordable
tancy to take on any level of risk.” innovation in reach of even the tightest fisted CFO.
It’s not just lift truck customers who are holding In the following pages, we look at how 15 companies
tight to their purse strings. Talk to systems suppli- representing automated systems, software and the
ers or the technology industry and the story is the lift truck industry are approaching the market with
same: Lots of talk, no action. The projects that do their customers’ leaner wallets in mind.

Automated systems:
Taking the cost out of
Time for a tune-up the system with new controls and software; it may
“If you already have a system in place, you’ve probably involve energy-saving measures that put the system
invested a lot in that solution,” says Ken Ruehrdanz, in sleep mode when there’s no activity; or the addi-
business development manager for Dematic (877- tion of variable frequency drives that allow you to
725-7500, “But when is the last speed up or slow down the system according to the
time you had someone come in and tune up the sys- level of activity. If the audit calls for a more expan-
tem?” A Dematic team will perform an audit of your sive solution, Dematic can create a modular design
existing system, often at a very low cost, and then to the system. That may involve installing one-
recommend affordable steps to get more productiv- aisle of an automated storage and retrieval system
ity from the investment you’ve already made. Those to begin automating a slow-moving pick area, with
recommendations may be as simple as modernizing more aisles added later. M ODERN MAT ERIA L S HA NDL ING / A U G U S T 2009 19


ment ordered and placed in service during 2009, as

well as an increased Section 179 expensing for small
business equipment purchases. In the right circum-
stances, these credits can result in tax deduction
worth up to $119,000 on a 2009 equipment pur-
chase of $400,000. You may not need to be a rocket
scientist to figure out whether these tax credits
apply to your organization—and they won’t apply to
everyone—but you may need to be an accountant.
Remstar will work with your CFO or tax advisers to
provide the information they need to see if your pur-
chase would qualify for these savings.

Retrofit, rebuild and save

Doing more with less while getting the most out
of what you already have is an absolute necessity
when budgets are tight and cash is scarce. Rather
than replace a conveyor and sortation system or pal-
letizer, a user may be able to extend the life of the
Automate the conventional warehouse system and increase throughput with a rebuild or
An automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS) retrofit of an existing system, says Dennis Gates,
can deliver significant space and labor savings in a vice president of customer support for Intelligrated
full pallet warehouse. But it also represents a major (513-701-7300, “Over the
upfront investment. HK Systems (262-860-7000, years, we’ve developed expertise in rebuilding sort- is offering a more affordable ers, combiners and high-end conveyor systems that
approach for the warehouse with 30-foot racking we provide as well as systems implemented by other
and lift trucks for putaway and picking. “Instead of equipment providers,” says Gates. Intelligrated’s
putting in an AS/RS or man-up lift trucks, we have offerings can be as simple as a thorough audit to
a line of automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) with 30- report on the current state of the system, with infor-
foot plus reach capacity,” says senior vice president mation on the components that are wearing out, to
Mike Kotecki. “This allows you to introduce auto- a partial or complete rebuild of the system. Retrofits
mation in a facility with conventional push back or and rebuilds can be done at night or over a weekend
selective rack retrieval.” HK refers to this approach when a system is out of service so that it’s up and
as “automate the conventional.” The best candidate running for the next shift.
is the warehouse using three or more lift trucks
across more than one shift a day. The savings comes Get smart
from the reduction in labor if you don’t need a lift Anyone who attended ProMat last January couldn’t
truck operator on more than one shift. And, instead help but notice the proliferation of automatic guided
of purchasing AGVs that may cost $80,000 each, an carts (AGCs). In the right application, these carts
end user can pay a monthly lease and maintenance are an affordable alternative to AGVs and lift trucks,
fee. A typical lease term would be eight years, says with paybacks as short as three months. What’s the
Kotecki. right application? One with multiple shifts, loads
under 6,000 pounds, and simpler processes. A cart,
Get a tax credit for instance, isn’t sophisticated enough to load or
Everyone likes to save money on taxes, says Ed unload trailers. In the last year, Jervis B. Webb (248-
Romaine, marketing manager for Remstar (800- 553-1000, has introduced
639-5805, That includes users fast-charging battery technology that allows a user
of materials handling systems and equipment. The to purchase fewer carts since they don’t have to be
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act extends to taken out of service for a battery change, and has
purchases made in 2009 a 50% bonus depreciation increased the number of models to handle heavier
allowance for new machine tools and other equip- loads and more processes.



Supply chain
across the
supply chain
WMS for the rest of us
“The traditional software model is fundamentally
broken,” says Jim Burleigh, chief executive officer
of SmartTurn (888-667-4758,
“There are so many costs associated with imple-
menting, operating and maintaining the system.” approaches to this market. One is to take a compo-
SmartTurn provides a warehouse management sys- nent of the company’s package, like labor manage-
tem (WMS) in a software-as-a-service model (SaaS). ment, that can be delivered as a standalone applica-
The company’s solution is loaded on its own servers tion. A second is for RedPrairie to implement and
and is accessed over the Internet by users who pay manage the system on a dedicated server at its host-
a monthly subscription fee as low as $500 a month ing center, much like a 3PL managing order fulfill-
for basic inventory management, $800 a month for ment services for a company. The customer gets the
what SmartTurn defines as a full-blown WMS. The benefit and security of having its own system, while
company, in turn, is responsible for maintenance paying a subscription fee.
and upgrades. SmartTurn isn’t right for everyone.
For instance, the company doesn’t offer labor man- Slotting software as a service
agement, companies with sophisticated picking Slotting software helps customers save money by
strategies will find it lacking, and it isn’t designed relocating products in the DC to reduce the travel
to work with automated materials handling systems. time for picking. Rather than purchase the soft-
“Our sweet spot is warehouses of less than 150,000 ware, SI Systems (800-523-9464, www.siingenuity.
square feet, which is the majority of the facilities com) offers it as a service that users can access over
out there,” says Burleigh. “For the most part, they the Internet. A customer provides SI Systems with
don’t need that functionality.” a layout of its facility, the type of conventional and
automated picking systems it uses, the location of
WMS as a 3PL products within that layout and the orders that are
In warehousing, third party logistics providers, processed at any given period of time. With that
or 3PLs, make their money by turning the capital information, the system creates a baseline, deter-
investment of creating and operating a transporta- mining for instance how much travel it takes to
tion department or distribution center into a man- fill those orders and replenish locations. Once the
aged service provided by the 3PL. RedPrairie (877- baseline is created, the system can create alternative
733-7724, is doing something plans for slotting and picking, and compare them to
similar for the WMS and transportation manage- see if the savings associated with the new strategy
ment system (TMS) user with the kind of sophisti- is enough to off-set the cost associated with reslot-
cated warehousing and transportation requirements ting. “Typically, we can show a customer a payback
that can’t be handled by an entry-level WMS, says of less than a year, including the cost of using the
RedPrairie’s Chris Hickey, executive vice presi- service,” says chief operating officer William Casey.
dent of sales. RedPrairie is taking several different MODERN MAT ERIA L S HA NDL ING / A U G U S T 2009 21


Lift trucks:
Flexible supply chain
Supply chain collaboration platforms allow compa-
nies pursuing an outsourced manufacturing or dis-
tribution strategy to collaborate with all of its trading materials
partners. While other collaboration providers offer
their software over the Internet as a service, Amitive
(650-212-1415, is taking it one
step further, by offering a solution that automatically
scales to a company’s computing needs, says chief Lowering the cost of ownership for
executive officer Amar Singh. “Traditionally, a com- pre-owned lift trucks
pany plans its hardware structure for peak capacity,” Crown (419-629-2311, is work-
says Singh. “But that means that most of your serv- ing closely with dealers to help customers under-
ers are idle 80% of the time.” Instead, Amitive has stand that Crown pre-owned lift trucks offer more
developed a load-balancing technology that moni- than simply a new set of tires and paint job. Crown’s
tors the load on a customer’s database servers. If the Encore series assures each pre-owned lift truck
system senses that a customer is using a lot of com- undergoes an extensive rebuild process including
puting resources and maxing out a server, it will add original parts. A comprehensive warranty includes 90
another one to pick up the slack. If the usage goes days on all wearable items and 180 days on all major
down, it will remove a server. “If you have a business components. On average, 85% of the components
that runs on 10 servers all day long, you won’t see on Crown lift trucks are engineered and manufac-
much of a savings,” says Singh. “But if you have a tured by Crown. This enables the company to take
business with seasonal demand and peaks, we think a number of steps during the manufacturing process
you’ll see significant savings because you’re only to ensure the trucks can provide the same level of
paying for capacity as you use it.” performance in a second life. The Crown Encore
series features exclusive use of Crown Integrity Parts,
Get your programming which have been designed selected, built and tested
software for (almost) free to meet specific performance goals. Crown says its
Programmable logic controllers (PLCs) are the Integrity Parts typically last two to three times longer
brains behind an automated materials handling sys- than aftermarket alternatives.
tem. These processors receive orders from a ware-
house management or warehouse control system and Right-sizing your fleet
make sure that the wheels, gears and motors on the One of the first places to save money on lift trucks is
equipment do what they’re supposed to do, when to analyze your fleet to ensure that you have the right
they’re supposed to do it. Rockwell Automation number of trucks in the first place. “The majority of
is taking steps to reduce the cost of the software customers I talk to with fleets of 100 or more trucks
used to program its MicroLogix line of micro- and have about 15% more equipment than they need,”
mid-sized PLCs, says Rick Sykora, product market- says Scot Aitcheson, director of fleet management
ing manager for component software for Rockwell for Yale Materials Handling Corp. (800-233-9253,
Automation (414-382-2000, “As a fleet management
“We’ve designed the program to ease the cost of service, we will spend time with those customers to
acquisition for these processors, which are used analyze how they’re using their equipment by model
in applications like a conveyor system or a pallet- and location to make sure they have the right num-
izer,” Sykora says. “If you want to experiment with ber of trucks at each location.” The result: Instead of
a processor and see what it’s like, you can down- replacing 20 trucks, a customer may find that they
load the software for free. If you decide you need only need to replace five and that they can reassign
a larger PLC, we’ve created two packages at $129 the other 15 from one location to another. That not
and $500.” A similar package used to list for $1,200, only frees up money in the budget for other purposes,
Sykora says. the customer also saves on labor, parts and mainte-



nance that would have been spent on those trucks.

“The larger the fleet, the more opportunity there is to
save through right-sizing,” says Aitcheson.

Optimizing lift truck maintenance

The greatest opportunity to save money on the total
cost of operating a lift truck is after the sale. “When
you drill down, you’ll find that the purchase price is
about 11% of the cost of a truck over five years,” says
Joe LaFergola, marketing manager of business and
information solutions for the Raymond Corporation
(607-656-2311, “The other
89% is the labor, maintenance and energy costs asso-
ciated with operating the truck.” Raymond has devel-
oped its iWarehouse program (it stands for intelligent
warehouse) to help customers reduce total operating
costs. This is a wireless device that plugs into the
central computer onboard a lift truck to collect key Toyota’s long-term rental business has grown. This
metrics about how many hours a truck is being used is especially important for businesses that need a
and how it’s being used. One module can look at forklift to move their product and can carry the cost
the repairs being made to a truck and at root causes of a monthly rental, but can’t get capital expenses
to see if there are any systemic issues driving up approved right now for a purchase or lease.
maintenance costs. For instance, if one warehouse
has higher costs compared to other warehouses, Flexible fleet management
Raymond can drill down into the models and serial Maintenance agreements typically involve a fixed pay-
numbers driving up costs. It could mean a truck that ment over the life of a contract, typically five years.
needs to be replaced or overhauled, or it could mean But in a difficult economic climate, it’s more difficult
the driver on that truck needs training. By capturing for companies to predict their lift truck usage. For
the actual number of hours the truck is in operation, that reason, Hyster (888-358-7827,
a company can perform maintenance based on an is offering maintenance by the hour. “Instead of a
interval of hours rather than a calendar date, which fixed monthly payment, it’s variable and based on the
could result in significant savings over the year. actual run time hours on a truck,” says John Russian,
manager of Hyster fleet marketing. “This allows our
Smarter financing customers to align their maintenance costs with their
Companies focused on conserving cash and credit revenue stream.” In some scenarios, Russian says, a
lines can finance their Toyota lift trucks (800-226- customer can save 7% to 15% over the cost of a fixed
0009, through the com- maintenance agreement. Who is the ideal candidate?
pany’s captive finance company, Toyota Financial “It’s the customer that has peaks and valleys in their
Services (TFS). “By funding through TFS (800- usage.” To make its full fleet management services
541-2315,, a company more attractive, Hyster is providing performance
will have the ability to leverage its relationship with guarantees with its fleet management agreements.
Toyota Material Handling and its dealer network “With some customers, we’re delaying and/or reduc-
to remarket their used lift truck equipment,” says ing the monthly admininstrative fees to remove the
Richard Pipenhagen, national sales and market- upfront burden and demonstrate program savings,
ing manager for TFS. “This option may have special and with others we’re proposing a monthly adminis-
financing linked to the equipment, providing the trative fee for a fleet management program, with a
customer a more competitive pricing structure.” For guarantee to reduce their spending by a certain per-
small businesses, TFS offers subvented rates with centage over the year,” says Pat DeSutter, director of
Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A. (TMHU), and a Hyster Fleet Services. “At the end of the year, if we
myriad rates, based on the customer’s financing goals haven’t delivered the on savings commitment, we’ll
and the amount of the loan. In addition to leasing, refund the administrative fees they paid us.” MODERN MAT ERIA L S HA NDL ING / A U G U S T 2009 23

material handling

with spans in excess of 500 feet

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needs, nothing will get in the way of productivity,
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Lift Truck Usage Study Webcast
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TOP 20
For the first three
fiscal quarters of 2008,
worldwide lift truck
sales rolled right along.
In the fourth quarter, it
was a different story.
By Lorie King Rogers, Associate Editor

L ift trucks are such an important component

in the materials handling industry. Without
them, we’d be at a standstill. Literally.
During the first three fiscal quarters of 2008,
worldwide lift truck sales saw modest, reasonable
Asia was down 5%. The only global region that did
not report a decline was Africa, which reported no
change at all. (For worldwide lift truck orders, see the
table on page 27.)
Don’t despair: The lift truck industry has taken a
growth, but the fourth quarter saw sales come to a hit before. In 2001, the global market declined nearly
screeching halt. 12% in terms of total lift trucks sold. The industry
“Sales didn’t just drift down a hill; it was much bounced back in 2003 with a 13% increase over 2002
more abrupt. Sales ran down the hill and stopped,” and reported strong growth up until 2008.
says Stan Simpson, current president of the Although sales were down in 2008, ITA is pre-
Industrial Truck Association (ITA, 202-296-9880, dicting a come back in 2009. According to Simpson, there are several positive indicators that show we’re
Blame it on the economic downturn. As was the turning a corner. “I’m not saying we’ll be back to 2007
case with nearly every industry around the globe, numbers soon, but I believe we’ve hit bottom and are
the lift truck industry saw purchases put on hold on the way back up again.”
and end users hunker down. How has this environment affected the ranking
According to the ITA’s statistics, worldwide of Modern’s Top 20 worldwide lift truck suppliers?
industrial truck orders were down 8% for 2008. Not much. Last year’s leaders remained at the top.
The Americas suffered the largest decline, down Toyota held on to the No. 1 position with $6.51
13%. Europe and Oceania were both down 9%, and billion in sales in 2008. While it was a drop from MODERN MAT ERIA L S HA NDL ING / A U G U S T 2009 25

Lift Truck Usage Study Webcast
LIVE Thursday, August 27 at 2:00 PM EST • REGISTER:

World’s top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers

Rank Company rank 2008 revenue* North American brands World headquarters
1 Toyota Industries Corp. 1 $6.51 billion Toyota, Raymond Aichi, Japan
2 Kion Group 2 $6.00 billion Linde Wiesbaden, Germany
3 Jungheinrich Lift Truck Corp. 3 $2.98 billion Jungheinrich Hamburg, Germany
4 NACCO Industries 4 $2.82 billion Hyster, Yale Cleveland, Ohio
5 Crown Equipment Corp. 6 $1.82 billion Crown, Hamech New Bremen, Ohio
6 Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift 5 $1.67 billion Mitsubishi, CAT Sagamihara, Japan
7 Nissan Forklift Corp. 8 $1.17 billion Nissan, Barrett, Atlet Tokyo, Japan
8 Komatsu Utility Co. 9 $1.15 billion Komatsu, Tusk Tokyo, Japan
9 Anhui Forklift Group 10 $857 million Heli Hefei, Anhui, China
10 TCM Corp. 7 $733 million TCM Tokyo, Japan
11 Nippon Yusoki Co. 11 $723 million Not available in North America Kyoto, Japan
12 Clark Material Handling 13 $495 million Clark Seoul, South Korea
13 Manitou 14 $485 million Manitou Ancenis, France
14 Zhejiang Hangcha Engineering 15 $414 million** HC Hangzhou, China
Machinery Co.
15 Doosan Infracore 12 $363 million Doosan Infracore Seoul, South Korea
16 Hyundai Heavy Industries 16 $224 million Hyundai Ulsan, South Korea
17 Rocla 17 $182 million Not available in North America Järvenpää, Finland
18 Tailift 18 $165 million** Tailift, World-Lift Taichung, Taiwan
19 Combilift 19 $130 million Combilift Monaghan, Ireland
20 Hubtex 20 $98 million Hubtex Fulda, Germany
*Fiscal year 2008 worldwide sales revenue
**Figure based on industry estimate
Figures are based on foreign exchange rates as of 12/31/08.

2007’s $7.80 billion, it was enough to revenue from all 20 companies on MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS
give the company a strong grasp on the Modern’s ranking list reached $28.99 In the merger and acquisition area,
top slot. billion. That’s a 8.46% decline over the there weren’t too many major breaking
The Kion Group (North American fiscal year 2007 total of $31.67 billion. news flashes. However, at the end of
brand: Linde) held on firmly to the No. 2008 Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift
2 position with $6 billion in revenue. MAKING THE LIST Europe (MCFE) took a controlling
That number was down from last year’s To be eligible for Modern’s annual top interest in the Finnish lift truck pro-
$6.3 billion, but more than double 20 ranking, companies must manufac- vider Rocla. As a result, Rocla has
the revenue from No. 3 Jungheinrich, ture and sell lift trucks in at least one of become a subsidiary of MCFE. Since
which reported $2.98 billion. the Industrial Truck Association’s seven the deal was completed toward the
NACCO Industries (North American truck classes: electric motor rider; elec- end of the year, the companies are
brands: Hyster, Yale) climbed from $2.7 tric motor narrow aisle; electric motor reporting separately this year, but are
billion to $2.8 billion, but not enough to hand trucks; internal combustion expected to report a combined 2009
move them out of the No. 4 position. engine, cushion tire; internal combus- figure next year.
Rounding out the top five is Crown, tion engine, pneumatic tire; electric
with $1.82 billion. Its 2008 revenue and internal combustion engine tow MOVING FORWARD
was enough to bring the company up tractors; rough terrain for lift trucks. Simpson predicts that the big players
from last year’s No. 6 ranking. As a Rankings are based on worldwide will get bigger and the small ones will
result, Mitsubishi Caterpillar moved to revenue from powered industrial trucks find it difficult to compete. “It’s my
the No. 6 slot with $1.67 billion. during each company’s most recent fis- belief that the large, full-service compa-
The combined industrial lift truck cal year. nies will continue to grow. It’s the Wal-



Mart scenario, and it’s alive and around very soon. When you talk
well in the lift truck industry.”
Worldwide lift truck orders 2008 to people in the business, the
Is that a good thing? Region Number of orders Percent change major players and ITA members,
“If you’re a small entrepre- Europe 367,000 -9% they’re not just sitting around
neur in a small town, you might Americas 200,000 -13 % saying ‘woe is me.’ Everyone fully
not think so,” says Simpson. Asia 267,000 -5 % accepts the fact that volumes
“But for the end users it’s more are lower and we have to make
Africa 16,000 no change
and more important as it relates tough decisions. Leaders all look
to the life cycle of a lift truck.” Oceania
22,000 -9%
at this as an opportunity to look
He explains that people who Total 872,000 -8% at what they do and do it better.
are making capital investments Source: World Industrial Truck Statistics We think the industry will come
in lift trucks or any mission- back as a better one than before
critical equipment are looking this happened.”
to buy from a stable company that can INDUSTRY GETS A LIFT
offer full service during the life of a lift During the first five months of 2009, ON THE HORIZON
truck. They can’t afford to buy some- industry numbers have not deteriorat- Last year Modern recommended
thing that isn’t fully supported and doc- ed; things haven’t gotten worse. That keeping an eye on emerging Chinese
umented when something goes wrong. means we’re closer to the end than the and Indian lift truck suppliers. It’s
“Buying a major brand may cost a lit- beginning of the economic downturn. still good advice. The worldwide
tle more up front, but if there’s a prob- “No doubt that 2009 started out economic situation affected every-
lem, you can make a call and it’s fixed. poorly,” says Simpson, “but I predict one. So once we’re back on track, we
The after sales support and service of our next report will show an increase. repeat, Modern will be keeping tabs
a product is more important than ever,” And many of us in the industry on emerging Chinese and Indian lift
says Simpson. believe we’ll be seeing a positive turn- truck suppliers.

Aigner Index, Inc.

218 MacArthur Avenue
New Windsor, New York 12553
Tel: 1.800.242.3919
Fax: 845.562.2638 MODERN MAT ERIA L S HA NDL ING / A U G U S T 2009 27

Free Online Lift Truck
Price Quotes is the industry’s
premier online lift truck database
representing over 3,500 lift truck
models from over 27 leading Original
Equipment Manufacturers.

The ‘search & compare’ database

contains more than 175,000 lift
truck specifications and provides
users with: side-by-side model
comparisons, customized product
specifications and reports, new
model introductions, resale and
residual value calculators, request
for quotes, and much, much more.....



At the
end of the line
Here are three examples of best practices in end-of-the-line packaging
that might make a difference in your facility.

Page 30
Rental giant Blockbuster installed
an integrated packaging line that
delivers the perfect order, but also
reduces product damage and rejec-
tion rates.

Page 32
Since the installation of a new auto-
mated palletizing line, Ventura Foods
has seen a reduction in labor and
eliminated workers compensation
claims due to heavy lifting.

Page 33
With a new stretch film system, auto
accessory manufacturer Ranch Hand
Truck Accessories increases produc-
tivity and yields savings in labor and
materials costs. MODERN MAT ERIA L S HA NDL ING / A U G U S T 2009 29


Print/apply labeling
enhances efficiency
Blockbuster installed an integrated packaging line that delivers
perfect order fulfillment and also reduces product damage and
rejection rates.
By Sara Pearson Specter, Editor at Large

E very day, thousands of movie and game

titles are packaged and labeled for deliv-
ery at Blockbuster’s distribution center in
McKinney, Texas. To ensure order fulfillment accu-
racy and just-in-time capability, the company rede-
signed a portion of its existing packaging equipment
to save time and money.
The entire automated rental packaging pro-
cess is managed by a suite of software applications
(Videojet Technologies, 800-843-3610, www.vid- developed for Blockbuster, explains Bill
Wissing, Blockbuster’s vice president of distribution
and logistics. Print and apply label machines print variable data
The software provides a data control and report- onto a label and apply it to the DVD cases.
ing system that handles real-time data flow between
Blockbuster’s warehouse management system (WMS) Near the end of the packaging operation, another
and DVD disc automation machines on five identical print and apply labeler prints a label with a unique bar
production lines. The lines are managed by a sepa- code. This ID label is applied to the side of a plastic
rate application that provides the real-time interface tote in which the cases will be loaded. As the DVD
to and from the DVD automation equipment and the copies are placed into the tote, the system synchro-
print and apply labelers. nizes the unique tote ID bar code with the copies
Each line starts with a machine that loads DVDs within. A task report containing the specific informa-
into plastic cases and inserts paper sleeves with the tion for up to 30 copies per tote is automatically sent
title information into the outer jacket of the case. Then to the packaging software application and the WMS.
the DVD cases are closed and conveyed to three label- “If an error occurs, the system enables workers
ing systems that apply the new release rental stickers to locate a tote and its expected contents within a
to the bottom right front corner of each case. database by simply scanning either the tote bar code
Next, print and apply label machines print vari- or one of the copy bar codes,” Wissing says. “Tote or
able data onto a label and apply the label to the oppo- copy labels that are missing or damaged in the con-
site front left corner of the case. Each label contains veying process can also be reprinted.”
unique information such as copy number, store name To prevent re-labeling, Blockbuster’s system requires
and address, the title of the movie/game, the original 100% fulfillment of each and every task. Should even
release date and rating, and a unique copy bar code. a single copy of a DVD be rejected prior to placement
Labels are printed and applied at a rate of up to 110 into a tote, the entire tote is sent to a rework station.
pieces per minute through two labelers used back to The resulting integrated packaging line delivers not
back, each labeling every other case. “Each label is only perfect order fulfillment and improves process
unique—with the production system sending the cor- efficiencies, it has also yielded a reduction in product
rect number of serialized copies to each store—so con- damage and has cut rejection rates from 0.5% to less
trol of the product and data is critical,” says Wissing. than 0.01%, says Wissing.


eseerving th
thee env
m nt
an d your busin
e pal
alllet at a tim

Thanks to its customers, CHEP saved 2.5 billion pounds of solid waste from ending up in landfills
in one year alone*. To see just how, and to calculate how CHEP can help grow your company's profits
and environmental profile, visit /onepallet.
© 2008. CHEPUSA. All Rights Reserved.
* Study by Franklin Associates. Based on 2007 total CHEP network volume versus one-way whitewood.

Automated palletizing
improves bottom line
Since the installation of a new automated palletizing line,
Ventura Foods has seen a reduction in labor and eliminated back
injury insurance claims.
By Sara Pearson Specter, Editor at Large

T o better compete in their mar-

ket, Ventura Foods consolidat-
ed three west coast manufac-
turing facilities into one strategically
located plant in Ontario, Calif. The
new, 650,000-square-foot facility pro-
vided a more cost-effective location for
shipping the company’s shortenings,
oils, margarine, salad dressings, may-
onnaise, sauces and syrups through-
out the United States.
Prior to making the move, Ralph
Freda, regional engineering manager
for Ventura Foods, spent time evaluat-
ing which pieces of existing equipment
would make the move, and which
items would be purchased new—while
staying within budget constraints.
“One of the main goals was to keep the layout sim- All of the palletizers within the facility needed to
ple, with as much floor space available to allow for easy be able to run many different package types.
access to the machines and conveyors,” says Freda.
All of the palletizers (Columbia Machine, 360- The new case conveyors run from the cool envi-
694-1501, within the ronment production area that is separated by a
facility needed to be able to run many different pack- firewall to the palletizing area on each of the eight
age types. To meet this requirement, the company packaging lines. In addition, each of the floor level
selected and installed four floor-level case palletizers and robotic palletizing systems includes a pallet
running on dedicated packaging lines, two robotic dispenser, tie sheet dispenser and gravity discharge
palletizers, and case conveyors. conveyor.
“The control system is equipped with software that Since the installation of the new line, Ventura
permits easy machine changeover of the 13 different Foods has seen a reduction in labor for the lines that
case patterns, with each line running two to eight dif- were not previously served by automated palletizing
ferent patterns or package sizes,” Freda says. equipment. Not only has the company saved because
The two robotic palletizers serve different func- of a reduction in labor, but it has also eliminated
tions in the new setup. The first robotic palletizer worker compensation claims due to heavy lifting,
stacks cases coming from two lines and places prod- says Freda.
uct onto two pallet stacking stations. The second Further, the plant has experienced improved pal-
robotic palletizer is equipped with an end effector letizing efficiencies due to the automated equipment
that stacks cases and pails from two independent providing stable and consistent loads for shipping,
packaging lines. and easier machine changeovers for new products.


Stretch packaging
protects truck parts
With a new stretch film system, an auto accessory manufacturer
increases productivity and yields savings in labor and materials costs.
By Sara Pearson Specter, Editor at Large

A s one of the largest manufacturers of accesso-

ries for heavy-duty truck and sport utility vehi-
cles in the United States, Texas-based Ranch
Hand Truck Accessories added more automation to
meet growing demand. The company had been produc-
A stretch wrapping system replaced kraft paper and
twine with scored corrugated sheets.

them back.” With a MSRP on grille guards of about

$575 and front bumper replacements about $1,300, the
ing approximately 160 grille guards and front bumper margin could be eroded quickly with product returns.
replacements a day, sold primarily by new car dealer- The company turned to a faster, more efficient and
ships and aftermarket truck accessory retailers. When protective packaging method, implementing a stretch
output grew to more than 200 pieces per day, the com- wrapping system (Lantech, 800-866-0322, www.
pany installed a robotic powder coating line. and replacing the kraft paper and twine
“When we put the new powder line in, we start- with scored corrugated sheets to hold the pads in place.
ed seeing a bottleneck in packaging,” recalls Greg Mounted on a 40-, 60-, 75- or 90-inch ring through
Chumchal, general manager. “At the time, we were which product passes, the machine’s film delivery sys-
hand packaging everything. Even with six people tem wraps both product and conveyor simultaneously
working the packaging line, we couldn’t keep up.” while the product is moving or stationary. After wrap-
Both the grille guards and bumpers are large and ping is complete, a cut-and-clamp device cuts the end
oblong—measuring roughly 7 x 3 x 3 feet—and weigh of the film, which recovers against the product as it exits
an average of 130 and 270 pounds respectively. the machine. Wrapping parameters, including con-
“These things are tough to wrap because of their veyor speed and number of wraps, are adjustable with a
shape and sharp corners,” Chumchal explains. touchscreen programmable logic controller (PLC).
Packaging consisted of foam-in-place pads, over- “The versatility of the system lets us handle almost
wrapped with kraft sheets. The kraft wrapping was held any shape or size we put through it, so we now wrap
in place with bailing twine, tied by hand. Packaging 95% of our products with it,” Chumchal says.
workers often wrestled with the paper and twine while In addition to increasing productivity, the stretch
handling product coming off the paint line. Further, film system has yielded substantial savings in labor and
the kraft material was not holding the padding in place materials. Annually, labor costs were reduced by 17%
consistently, compromising product protection during (about $19,000) and packaging materials costs were
shipment and outdoor storage at customer locations. reduced by 12% (about $25,000). Chumchal estimates
While the foam-in-place pads reduced shipping that labor and material savings alone will pay for the
returns by 80%, it wasn’t good enough. “We can’t have machine in less than three years. Further, bonus savings
the products getting banged around and scratched up come from a 50% reduction in product returns due to
in transit,” says Chumchal. “The distributors just send shipping damage.
NDLING 00 99 33
A UU GG UU SS TT 22 00
Getting more from less with
inventory optimization
Early adopters of inventory optimization management systems are improving
service levels while reducing the amount of inventory in the supply chain.
By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor


is the hot potato of the supply chain. No
one wants to hold it for longer than they have to, and
no one wants to own more of it than is absolutely
manufacturer pursuing a just-in-time strategy has
turned all the storage space in the plant into more
productive work cells. But that same manufacturer
still counts on its suppliers to hold and deliver the
raw materials, parts and components needed to run
necessary. the lines. Big box retailers that have eliminated back
At the same time, many of today’s manufacturing rooms still expect suppliers to make smaller and more
and distribution strategies mean that someone some- frequent deliveries to keep the shelves stocked. The
where is going to end up holding that potato whether inventory hasn’t gone away; it is just being held by
they like or not. Take lean manufacturing. Sure, the someone else.

3434 A UAGUUGS UT S T2 020090 9/ MO D ED


Inventory optimization
Supplier Factory Warehouse Store

Software Software Software Software

Multi-echelon inventory optimization

Supplier Factory Warehouse Store


The challenge for the supplier left location, or echelon, at a time, a multi- 7900, www.manufacturing-insights.
tossing the hot potato from hand to echelon optimization solution uses com) and the co-author of “The Modern
hand is: Figure out just how much sophisticated algorithms that can assess Supply Chain: Inventory Optimization
stock to keep and where to warehouse demand and inventory positions across Competitive Assessment,” adding that
it to minimize a company’s investment a network, and then set inventory lev- inventory optimization fits that bill.
in inventory, and still meet the service els at multiple locations, or echelons, “These tools are driving some pretty
levels demanded by customers. No one simultaneously. Better visibility allows a significant savings, and in the current
benefits from stock outs, manufactur- company to improve service levels while environment, more companies should
ing lines that grind to a halt, or an air- reducing the total amount of inventory be taking a closer look,” Ellis says.
plane sitting on the ground because a in the supply chain. While this is still
critical part isn’t on the shelf. an emerging supply chain software New approach
The old fashioned way to avoid those area, these applications are delivering The catalyst for the adoption of these
outcomes was to load up on safety measurable value to early adopters, new systems is simple: With traditional
stock at each storage location in the including paybacks of less than a year inventory planning systems, users often
network. The smarter way is to use a set in some instances. ended up with too much inventory at
of software tools known as multi-ech- “Any company that’s going to invest one location, and too little at another,
elon inventory optimization to set and in technology in 2009 wants that says Ellis. A company with multiple
monitor inventory levels. investment to be cash flow positive warehouses, for instance, might place
These applications take a holistic in 2009,” says Simon Ellis, practice a replenishment order when it runs
approach to inventory management. director for supply chain strategies at low on a specific item at one facil-
Instead of setting inventory levels one Manufacturing Insights (508-988- ity, even though another facility might MODERN MAT ERIA L S HA NDL ING / A U G U S T 2009 35


have more than it needs of that same tions like: What’s the impact of holding the day, the replenishment system can
item. “When you factor in the little bit inventory in a semi-finished state versus compare the inventory position in a
of excess inventory that ends up on the a completely finished state?” says Lizza. facility against the policy created by the
shelf because of a reorder or as safety “I can model the impact of pre-building optimization system.”
stock, it really adds up,” says Fred Lizza, some of inventory I might need to meet When it’s time to reorder, the sys-
CEO of Optiant (781-238-8855, www. seasonal demand.” tem can look first to see if stock can “That’s the inventory we And, like an event management and be transferred between facilities. If
want to eliminate.” visibility tool, an optimization applica- so, an order can be sent to the WMS
Multi-echelon inventory optimiza- tion can be used to highlight excep- and transportation management system
tion, on the other hand, looks at the tions to inventory levels or demand. “If (TMS) in the facility with extra stock,
supply chain in three dimensions—it’s everything is flowing according to the just like any other order. It’s all auto-
a little like playing three-dimensional plan, and this week’s safety stock target mated, so it can happen without some-
chess compared to the traditional board for an SKU is the same as last week’s one intervening.
game. Instead of optimizing each loca- target, nothing hits the radar screen,”
tion separately, these applications can says Lizza. “But if there is a spike in Managing spare parts
see the whole supply chain at once. demand or something changes in pro- One of the first adopters of multi-ech-
“Instead of looking at your inventory duction and a part is being consumed elon inventory optimization was the
in a silo, a multi-echelon system can faster than was planned, the system repair parts industry. It faces a unique
look at all of the inventory drivers for will alert an inventory planner that the set of issues: A machine or piece of
the network: from the forecast, the stock level needs to change.” equipment may have to be supported
amount of safety stock you might need At that point, the system can run a for decades, the demand for specific
to meet a customer’s service level, your new plan and set new stock levels for parts is unpredictable, and contracts
inventory positions, and everything you a part. may require delivery of some parts to
have on hand,” says Rod Daugherty, Most importantly, because the sys- a maintenance organization in as lit-
senior director of product strategy for tem is tracking inventory across the tle as two hours. “Typically, what you
Manhattan Associates (770-955-7070, supply chain, it can work with supply find is that 80% of your parts will be “It sees those up and chain execution systems, like ware- used less than one time a year,” says
down the network.” house and transportation management Tim Andreae, senior vice president of
What’s more, like a supply chain systems, to transfer stock between marketing for MCA Solutions (215-
network design tool, an optimization facilities rather than order additional 717-2180,
tool allows a user to perform what-if stock. “As you’re picking in a distribu- “Deciding whether you even need to
scenarios that incorporate variability tion center, a warehouse management stock one or two of those parts to meet
and uncertainty into the planning pro- system (WMS) is keeping track of the a service level is an important deci-
cess to come up with an optimal plan. inventory on hand,” says Manhattan sion—both from a service and a finan-
“The system allows me to answer ques- Associates’ Daugherty. “At the end of cial point of view.”
A multi-echelon optimization tool
allows maintenance organizations
to balance financial considerations
Inventory optimization in action and service-level requirements, says
COMPANIES ARE USING inventory optimization to solve a variety of inventory Andreae, by factoring in the variability
problems. Some examples include:
• A CPG company in the cosmetics business uses inventory optimization to and unpredictability associated with
determine the right mix to stock of the season’s hottest shades while still service parts into the inventory plan-
meeting demand for the basics. ning equation. They do this by look-
• A manufacturer with off-shore manufacturing operations uses the tool to set ing at everything from the design of
inventory levels that will meet service levels without holding so much inven- the network to the parts required for
tory that the carrying costs off-set the savings from moving manufacturing
to a low-cost country. scheduled maintenance programs to
• A candy manufacturer with its own brand and private label customers uses a multi-year history of unscheduled
the tool to decide how much product can be manufactured in advance, how maintenance for every part. In addition,
much of that can be wrapped in advance, and how much can be kept in a the system can be tied into a product
semi-finished state to meet demand. lifecycle management system (PLM) to
• A maker of electronic games uses the tool to determine how to phase out
the inventory of a discontinued model while ramping up the production and factor in any changes to the product or
introduction of a new model. to be notified when a new part can be
used to replace a prior part. “The sys-



tem takes all of that information in to Having optimized inventory levels, going to use to meet demand,” Najmi
set stock levels for every part, and to says Najmi, companies are now using says. “In the last two years, we have
determine where in the supply chain to the tools to answer questions like how seen companies review their network
locate those parts,” says Andreae. to optimize the total net landed cost designs and their optimization plans on
The payoff: By bringing both intel- associated with a product. “Given the a fairly regular basis.”
ligence and discipline to the inventory volatility in fuel costs and the globaliza- Najmi calls this optimized perfor-
planning process, service parts cus- tion of the supply chain, the problems mance. One company he works with
tomers “have been able to reduce their today are much more complex,” he has a network of small DCs close to its
inventory by anywhere from 15% to says. “The visionaries are determining markets that are used to distribute pro-
40% while still providing the same level whether they are better off using fast motional items. “They’re changing how
of service,” says Andreae. What’s more, modes of transportation, like air cargo, they utilize those facilities and what
by automating the process, supply chain to get frequent deliveries and carry less stock flows through them every week,”
planners are much more productive. inventory, or using cheaper but slower Najmi says. “They’re using these tools
transportation methods and carrying to get much more agile about their sup-
The next echelon more inventory.” ply chain.”
Now that some early adopters have Increasingly, inventory optimiza- While most companies are still trying
mastered the basics of multi-echelon tion is working hand in hand with sup- to go from a single- to multi-echelon view
optimization, they are taking the sys- ply chain network design applications, of their inventory, performance optimi-
tems to a new level of planning, accord- and doing so on a more regular basis. zation is where the industry is heading.
ing to Adeel Najmi, vice president of “It used to be that a company would do “Today, it’s the visionaries that are going
product strategy and planning for i2 a one-time design to optimize where to the next level, but other companies
Technologies (800-800-3288, www. the factories and DCs were going to be will have to get there sooner or later in located and what strategies they were order to compete,” Najmi says.

If you really need to

cut costs...

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look. IFCO’s programs eliminate: pallet supply, online reporting, and
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pallet storage costs. fees. No hassles. No kidding. | 877.430.IFCO


Aviation equipment supplier uses
a versatile packaging system to cut
expenses and protect products during

By Lorie King Rogers, Associate Editor

A IRPLANES GET PEOPLE where they need

to go. For more than 30 years, Tronair prod-
ucts have been getting airplanes where they need
to go. Tronair is a supplier of aviation ground sup-
port equipment that offers more than 1,000 prod-
ucts and equipment replacement parts, including
wheel chocks, hydraulic service units and more.
Tronair’s warehouse supervisor, Don Baldwin,
was looking for an inflatable packaging system to
provide cushioning for a variety of products.
Each year, the company ships hundreds of
parts from their 90,000-square-foot warehouse
in Holland, Ohio, to airports worldwide. Since
the parts range from 12-foot tow bars to 2-inch
replacement parts, Tronair needed a versatile
packaging system that could protect all shapes and
sizes in transit. It landed on an inflatable pack-
aging solution (Sealed Air, 708-482-3389, www. that provides the flexibility, reliabil-
ity and protection Tronair demands.
“When we ship tow bars we need a lot of air
cushions at once, so the speed with which the
system creates cushions was also attractive,” said cushions and foam cushions. To produce the cus-
Baldwin. tomized foam cushions, the system dispenses a
The inflatable packaging system creates cus- mixture of two components that are mixed and
tom-sized, air-filled cushions that provide cush- result in a high-quality polyurethane packaging
ioned protection, blocking and bracing for prod- foam.
ucts throughout the shipping cycle. It allows Other key factors in the decision to change
operators to select the length and height of the over to the new packaging system were its smaller
cushioning material at the touch of a button. And footprint, faster speed and resistance to summer
for heavier items, the new system uses a heavier humidity. Humidity in the warehouse had been
film that makes for stronger seals that keep cush- adversely affecting the old packaging system, caus-
ions inflated through the rigors of travel. ing frequent downtime for machine repair. Since
To ship oddly shaped products, the company incorporating the new system, the company has
requires a combination of packaging techniques. seen less downtime in the warehouse and cut the
It uses a hybrid solution that includes inflatable average shipping time by 45 minutes per shift.

38 A U G U S T 2 0 0 9 / M ODE RN M AT E RI ALS H AN D LI NG

Welcome to
Leading The Turnaround,
a special sponsored
section of Modern Materials

Keeping with the theme of the cover

story, companies from throughout
the materials handling industry, listed
here alphabetically, tell you about how
they’re helping their customers beat a
bad economy.

This section is designed to provide you

with information and insight into
companies that can help you meet your
materials handling challenges. MODERN MAT ERIA L S HA NDL ING / A U G U S T 2009 39

Aigner Label holders pay you in time saved—over and over
Simple and quick designation or location holder system rarely exceeds 4% of the total warehouse
changes. Insertable plastic label holders make it easy to cost, yet no other single function contributes more sav-
change a label or location. Simply re-mark the insert and ings. Whatever the initial investment is for a Label Holder
slide it into the holder. System, payback in materials, labor and overall efficiency
Better Organization of Storage. Every efficient stor- will be justified by:
age facility must know where everything is: All of the time. • Ease of normal label changes.
Protecting Bar Codes is a Must. Bar codes must be • Cost savings of 50% in label materials; eliminating
protected from dirt, moisture and chemicals to prevent an expensive, hard to remove, adhesive labels in favor of
inaccurate scan. This would obviously create an inventory plain paper labels.
discrepancy or possibly even a lost customer. • 65% minimum savings in labor to apply and remove
Little or No Cost for Printing Labels. self adhesive labels: No more clean up time.
Label Holders for Every Storage Solution. Years • ROI in 12 months or less
of consumer demand for new product development has
resulted in a wide selection of label holders with a choice
of backings. Permanent self adhesive for permanent ap- Aigner Index, Inc.

plications or removable self adhesive, magnetic and fabric New Windsor, NY

hook and loop fasteners.
Cost Justification is Easy. The total cost for a label

Make the most of what

you already have...with Dematic
Your material handling system has given you years of Many of these solutions offer a fast payback of often
service, but now it may be that it simply can’t perform less than a year.
at the required level or your business model may have
changed. During these tough economic times, investing Learn more at:
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• Improving system uptime 507 Plymouth Ave. NE

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• Maximizing system throughput
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• Improving ergonomics and safety


Diamond Phoenix: Automated
systems integrator and industry experts
Diamond Phoenix is a leader in the design, manufac- Our commitment is demonstrated by our people. Cover-
ture, integration and installation of innovative automated ing every management discipline, our team of core manag-
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Throughout our history, one key aspect of our philoso- Phoenix today to schedule a tour of our campus and
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Using less space, labor and inventory levels while 2009 Programs designed to help organizations:
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Ridg-U-Rak commitment to quality
continues through challenging economy
At Ridg-U-Rak, we’re continuing to do the things that outstanding service at the lowest possible cost for our
have made us a leader in the industry for over 65 years. customers.
We persistently make significant reinvestments in our plant This isn’t our response to difficult economic times: It’s
operations and commit resources to research and develop- our way of doing business. At Ridg-U-Rak, we believe this
ment. This commitment maximizes our efficiencies and philosophy has provided great stability for our company
minimizes downtime. This allows us to maintain our high and has served us, and more importantly, our customers
standard of quality and provide flexible storage rack solu- very well. We will continue to operate in this way, through
tions at the lowest possible cost to our customers. good times and bad.
Our production processes are state-of-the-art and
second to none in the industry. The experienced sales and
engineering staff work directly with our customers to en-
sure that the most efficient and cost-effective storage rack
solutions are provided. From standard selective systems North East, PA
to highly specialized storage systems, Ridg-U-Rak has and 866-479-7225

will continue to provide the best engineered systems and

Span Tech conveyor rebuild program

Span Tech announces a new reduced pricing offer on
conveyor rebuilds for popular MultiSpan® and Super-
Tight™ conveyor chain. In this challenging economic
climate, contact your Span Tech distributor and have your
existing conveyors rebuilt at a 50 percent savings vs.
replacement cost. This includes replacing all outside links,
any other significantly worn links, rebuilding your drives
and idlers with new sprockets and bearings, and thorough
cleaning of all components. You will receive a clean, rebuilt
system that will operate for many years to come, at half
the cost of full replacement. Conveyor commissioning
activates the standard Span Tech warranty. Call your local
Span Tech distributor today, or call Span Tech direct for Span Tech

more information. 1115 Cleveland Avenue

Glasgow, KY 42141 USA
Phone: 270-651-9166
Fax: 270-651-7533


Toyota: Helping you lead the turnaround
Keeping Costs Down Beyond the Purchase Charged with Productivity
It’s essential to demonstrate savings throughout lift truck Toyota dealers now offer PosiCharge™ fast charge systems.
ownership, particularly when you consider the majority With PosiCharge™, electric lift truck customers can reduce
of the costs associated with a lift truck occur after the the number of batteries required, and eliminate battery
purchase. Obviously, buying a quality product is the first changing and battery changing rooms. PosiCharge™ fast
step in lowering your overall cost of ownership. Beyond charge systems help to maximize vehicle run time through-
that, Toyota Industrial Equipment dealers help you manage out the day. The PosiCharge™ system enables drivers to
work orders, track repairs and alert you when lift trucks are charge during regularly scheduled breaks and shift changes,
due for general maintenance. With comprehensive support allowing vehicles to operate all day, every day,* on only one
from factory-trained service technicians, strong service battery that remains in-vehicle.
coverage and parts inventory levels, Toyota dealers help *Weekly equalization and cell balancing ensures maximum battery health.
increase your uptime and drive down unnecessary costs.

Contact your Toyota Industrial Equipment Dealer

today to start saving today! Toyota Material Handling
1 Park Plaza, Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92614
1-800-226-0009 MODERN MAT ERIA L S HA NDL ING / A U G U S T 2009 43

Flexible configurations for infeed direction with minor adjust-
limited palletizing spaces ments and re-bolting. Brenton
Engineering, 888-852-6993, www.

Palletizer builds load,

wraps concurrently
other moving parts. Upon comple-
tion of the inspection, a formal
report documents the audit findings
and outlines a recommended course
of action. Intelligrated (formerly
FKI Logistex), 866-936-7300, www.

Low-level infeed palletizer

The small footprint SP4000 pallet- easily reconfigured
izer offers high-level, high-capacity The fully automatic Currie LLP-21
pattern configuration to meet cur- low-level infeed palletizer enables
rent palletizing rates and adapt to all operations to be seen from The automated TT series palletizers
future needs. Flexible, the unit can perform concurrent stretch wrapping
stack a variety of product types, while the load is being built, at rates
including shrink film only, display of up to 50 per minute. Concurrent
packs, small cases, bags, bales, trays, wrapping yields higher throughput
bundles, totes and plastic containers. rates and improved load stability.
Configurable in a range of layout Offered in low- and high-product
options, the system is ideal for new infeed models, the palletizers handle
and retrofit applications, particularly up to 50 cases per minute, measur-
where layout constraints are present. ing from 6 to 24 inches in either
Columbia Machine, 800-628-4065, dimension. The system’s controls include 50 different patterns stored
the floor level, and runs up to 21 and quick changeovers between pat-
Optimize equipment cases per minute. The modular terns. Layers weighing 300 pounds
performance system is offered in six configura- are standard, with an option to
To restore original operating perfor- tions to accommodate different increase capacity up to 1,000 pounds
mance levels and identify potential plant layouts. To withstand high per layer. TopTier, 503-353-7388,
upgrades, a professionally conduct- fatigue situations—including con-
ed audit program is offered for the stant feeding, palletizing and dis-
supplier’s line of palletizers. Audits charging of product—the system’s Palletizer eliminates pallets
are performed by certified engineers modular structure is constructed For lower freight costs when trans-
trained in palletizer maintenance and without welding. For fast installa- porting goods internationally, the
supplier specifications. Included is a tion, the unit is delivered in two Paletpac palletless stretch packag-
review of operating and maintenance sections and is field reconfigurable. ing system ensures that every cubic
practices and infeed-to-discharge Relocating a palletizer to another meter of container loading space
inspection of all components, includ- plant or another area of a plant is used by eliminating the pallet.
ing wear points, chains, rollers and requires only repositioning the Suitable for bagged bulk contents,


the technol- Rotate entire palletloads crushed, the unit’s clamping mecha-
ogy main- The PalletPal Inverter offers a fast, nism features user-adjustable pres-
tains space safe, easy way to rotate fully loaded sure control. Loads rotate 180˚ on
for forklift pallets. Ideal for replacing broken an anti-friction turret bearing and
handling pallets, the unit can also be used for can be stopped at any point dur-
while add- switching to or from in-house/ship- ing rotation. Southworth Products,
ing an addi- ping pallets, transferring loads to 207-878-0700, www.southworth-
tional layer slip sheets, and replacing damaged
of products goods at the bottom of a load with-
out the need for manual restack-
Small footprint, high-speed
to the load.
Items are ing. The inverter handles loads robotic palletizer
measuring 48 x 48 x 60 inches and Reaching speeds up to 20 cycles
capacities up to 4,400 pounds. To per minute, the EC-171 high-speed
up on an
ensure that lighter loads will not be robotic palletizer incorporates a
area the same size as a pallet with
Fuji robot and a collision detection
the top layer not filled out across its
system. The robot works in tight
entire width. Once complete, the
spaces and includes a 10.5-inch
stack is transported to the supplier’s
color touchscreen for human inter-
high-capacity stretch hood pack-
face control—no laptop required.
aging machine, which pulls a film
The system also features onboard
stretch hood over it. The wrapped
diagnostics, advanced programming
stack is then inverted with a turner
platform and up to 400 different
and stretch wrapped a second time
pre-programmed recipes. American-
for shipment. The BEUMER Group,
Newlong, 317-787-9421, www.
+ 49 (0) 711 9454161 0, www.

System Integration
Industry Experts
Service You Can Rely On
Integrated distribution and manufacturing systems by Diamond Contact us today to schedule a tour of our
Phoenix are backed by knowledge that comes from helping
campus and manufacturing facility.
organizations increase their customer satisfaction and profitability.
Partnering with our customers for mutual success is our way of doing 1.888.233.6796
business. Numbers that read 750% increase in throughput, two-
thirds reduction in labor costs, up to 100% order accuracy, and return
on investment in as little as nine months speak for themselves.
You’ll know us by our references!

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Where Smart Businesses Buy and Sell

A division of
Stretch wrap system locks recipe driven product changeover
in less than 20 seconds. Thiele
load to pallet
Technologies, 612-782-1200, www.

Automatic product
To automatically form the optimal
pallet configuration for each pal-
letized product, the high-speed
overhead orienter accepts items for
palletizing and turns them 90˚, 180˚
or 270˚. It can also be used to turn
The easily adjusted Pallet-Grip load bags to form pallets with “butts-out”
locking system for the supplier’s orientation, and to rotate cases and
straddle stretch wrappers secures the trays for specific panel orientation.
load to the pallet with a cable of film Servo-powered for smooth handling
rolled into the bottom, wrapped and and reliability, the unit quickly and
placed below the deck of the pal- gently grips and rotates products to
let. The system captures any style of the proper position during accumu-
pallet, from 4 to 6 inches high, while lation. Fully automatic operation is
also completely wrapping to the top pre-programmed with new orienta-
of the load. A rolled cable of film tions programmable by control panel
or remotely by modem uplink. A

Running out
is placed approximately 1.5 inches
below the pallet deck, while the touchscreen display enables one-
remainder of the film web captures touch operation. A-B-C Packaging
the load above the deck. By placing
the cable above the pallet fork-truck
Machine, 800-237-5975, www. of space?
entry points, containment force is not
compromised by the forks. Lantech, Custom vertical lifts:
800-866-0322, Unit palletizes, wraps • Efficiently access additional
space in your existing facility
Bag palletizer
• Engineered to order
• Guaranteed code approval
• Commitment to safety
• Nationwide factory trained
dealer network
The SPLX-MKII stack and wrap unit
combines a palletizer and a WCA- • Over 14,000 installations
100 stretch wrapper manufactured
Call 414-352-9000 for a custom
by Wulftec. The integrated wrap-
application assessment or visit:
The Master 3500 high level bag pal- per is located directly outside the
letizer offers consistency, ease of
operation and precision placement.
elevator to prevent impeding the
rated cases per minute while creat-
Features include servo controlled ing a small footprint. Depending on
layer pusher and pallet lift motors, the pallet pattern and case sizes,
advanced machine diagnostics with the machine reaches rates up to 60
HMI, full motor jog capabilities and cycles per minute. Options include
an integrated Allen Bradley control a touchscreen for adding patterns.
architecture. Using bar code scan- vonGAL, 334-261-2821, www.
ning, the palletizer can achieve Superior design. Better service. MODERN MAT ERIA L S HA NDL ING / A U G U S T 2009 47

Robotic palletizers handle Robotic palletizer stores, stages products

30 bags/cases per minute Ideal for high-SKU, low-rate palletizing, the Robotic
UL-listed Palletizing Matrix unit allows the gantry’s work envelope
Kawasaki to become a temporary storage and retrieval system for
robotic products that will eventually be palletized for warehous-
palletizers ing. With a single build position for unit load automation,
reach rates the system offers throughputs of more than 10 SKUs at
up to 30 rates of fewer than 10 cycles per minute. The unit’s com-
bags/cases pact footprint and automated functionality eliminates
per minute. extensive unit load handling equipment and personnel.
Running Complete unit loads are centrally discharged to an in-line
at 1,800 stretch wrapper. RMT Robotics, 905-643-9700, www.
cycles per
hour, the robot uses a simple direct coupled gearbox
with AC servo motors and absolute encoders on all Small footprint system uses gantry robot
axes. With a verified 96,000 hours mean time between Using a lighter
failures and 10,000-hour average maintenance interval, gantry robot
the robot is almost maintenance free. Layer and pallet to reduce
pattern programming is accomplished through block costs, a case
step teaching with a hand-held pendant. A 6.4-inch LCD palletizing/
color display with menu driven interface is included, order-build-
as are Ethernet and RS232 ports. Collision detection is ing system
standard. Conveying Industries, 303-373-2035, www. also includes a patented
drive system.
Fewer mov-
ing parts are incorporated to minimize maintenance and

.OBONDFAILURES cut downtime. Once cases arrive on a single infeed con-

veyor, they are organized in pallet quantities on the floor
under the robot. The cases are then palletized by layer
at a common pallet build location for a reduction in the
overall footprint of the system. Capable of processing a
).42/$5#).'4(%.%84'%.%2!4)/. high number of SKUs per gantry, the system is ideal for
/&,/!$7(%%,3&2/-350%2)/2 plants producing a high number of SKUs. C&D Skilled
4 Robotics, 409-840-5252,, www.
ORS h.O"OND&AILUREvGUARANTEE THE For case packing and palletizing of bag and case prod-
NEW#USHOTHANEš 8, TAKESTHEWORRYOUTOFHANDLING ucts weighing up to 50 pounds, the HL high-level robotic
DS ANDLONGRUNS palletizer is offered. Ideal for palletizing heavier products
that require taller unit loads—including pet food prod-
ucts, flour and grains, wood pellets and heavy industrial
cases—it palletizes at rates up to 45 products per min-
ute. Using an integrated Fanuc M710 or M20 robotic
arm, the system builds loads in a variety of patterns,
including interlocked, brick, spiral or column. The system
can be configured as a dual station one-in-two-out sys-
tem or as a single station one-in-one-out palletizer that
#!,, 53&/2!$%!,%2 .%!29/5 can be fully automated with pallet transport conveyor,
pallet dispensing and slip sheet dispensing.
   sWWWSUPERIORTIRECOM Schneider Packaging Equipment, 315-676-3035,
advertiser index

Page # Phone Page # Phone recruitment
Aigner Index Inc. 27 800-242-3919 Ridg-U-Rak, Inc. 15 866-479-7225
Big Ass Fans Company C-3 877-BIG-FANS SpanTech 13 270-651-9166 Label Holders
Buckhorn, Inc. 14 800-543-4454 4
BuyerZone 46 866-623-5565 Superior Tire & 48 800-289-1456
Rubber Corp.
Toyota Industrial EquipmentC-2 800-226-0009
Dematic 8 800-530-9153
University of San Francisco Online 6
Diamond Phoenix 45 888-233-6796
Vidir Machine Inc. 11 800-210-0141
HCI Steel Building Systems 24 800-255-6768

IFCO Systems 37 877-430-4326
Ergonomic Holster Systems
Pflow Industries, Inc. 47 414-352-9000

Remstar C-4 800-639-5805

Bumpy Rides?
Secure Your
This index is an additional service. The publisher does not assume any liability for errors or omissions. Terminal, and
Holster Your
Side Arm...

Follow Modern on with a LOGISTERRA ®

truck-mount Holder

...or a slinger,
right or left

UÊ i«œÞi`ÊܜÀ`܈`i

modernmhmag L O G I S T E R R A , I N C.
6190-K Fairmount Ave San Diego CA 92120
800-338-8759 or 619-280-9992


Sarah Carlson
Jervis B. Webb
TITLE: Marketing director/vice chair,
Automatic Guided Vehicle Systems
industry group
COMPANY: Jervis B. Webb (248-
Material Handling Industry of America
LOCATION: Farmington Hills, Mich.;
Charlotte, N.C.
EXPERIENCE: Four years in the
materials handling industry, follow-
ing marketing and promotional ser-
vices for the automotive industry
PRIMARY FOCUS: Manager of Web,
trade show and marketing efforts.
Recently became vice chair of the
AGVS industry group at MHIA, pro-
moting AGV technology to the public.

Modern: We don’t find a lot of

women in materials handling. What
attracted you to the industry?
Carlson: Being a woman in an industry
with a lot of men was not a big deal.
When I was in college, I spent the
summers working in the iron mines
where I grew up, and I was often one
of the few women on a 60-man crew.
I was used to that and an industrial
environment. What I was looking for
was stability. I came here from a com- online, but we’ve done all of those. Modern: What will you be doing on
pany that worked on large promotion- The industry is definitely changing and the AGV committee at MHIA?
al events for a variety of clients in the it’s exciting to be part of that.
automotive industry. I liked the idea Carlson: As vice chair, my role is to
Modern: Why do you think young learn the ropes because next year I
of working for one stable company
people should consider the industry? will be chair. But the thing we want
where I could make an impact.
Carlson: As with marketing, it’s the to get across is this idea that AGVs
Modern: Have you done that? chance to have an impact. I have and automatic carts are afford-
Carlson: Definitely. When I was hired, friends who are engineers for some able, flexible and reliable. You can
Webb wanted to do more public rela- of the automotive OEMs. They may automate a portion of your plant or
tions to raise their profile and take get assigned to work on one part, warehouse, and if your requirements
advantage of some new avenues to like a windshield, and that’s what change, you can change the solu-
make its products more available to they do every day. Working for a tion without having to renovate your
its customers. I don’t think you’d have company like Webb, you get to work entire building. That’s a concept
found anyone who could have imag- on an entire system. It’s constantly you’re seeing from the vendors at
ined that we’d have a Twitter page, be changing, and you can come up with trade shows, like ProMat, and not
on Facebook, or sell conveyor parts something innovative for a customer. just from Webb.

50 A U G U S T 2 0 0 9 / MO D E RN MATE R IALS HA NDL I NG

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