Material handling, motion-related sensors
Trends and technologies in material handling were among the topics under discussion at ProMat 2007, Jan. 8-11, at McCormick Place, Chicago. Motors, drives, and motion control-related technologies—including proximity sensors, robotics, and conveyors—were among prime movers. The Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) organized the show, which had a conference, exhibits, and tech...
Trends and technologies in material handling were among the topics under discussion at ProMat 2007, Jan. 8-11, at McCormick Place, Chicago. Motors, drives, and motion control-related technologies—including proximity sensors, robotics, and conveyors—were among prime movers.
The Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) organized the show, which had a conference, exhibits, and technology demonstrations. ProMat is a U.S. Department of Commerce International Buyer Program event with more than 700 exhibits covering 300,000 sq ft. Attendees arrived from the U.S. and more than 80 other countries. Exhibits included manual equipment and computerized, automated systems in four sections: equipment and components for manufacturing; fulfillment and delivery; information technology (IT); and assembly logistics and support.
The Educational Conference featured a Keynote Forum with top executives from Buck Knives, New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc., and Ariens Co. They explained that the concepts of “lean” and “continuous flow” can transform the supply chain when combined with strong, visionary executive leadership, and teamwork, offering results. Among key advice:
Make a commitment at the top and effectively communicate that commitment through the organization;
Evolve from the old ways of doing business to new work processes;
Employ tools to support those processes;
Integrate process changes with fundamental supply chain changes; and,
Support workers who make it happen.
More than 70 show-floor educational seminars and three educational workshops outlined equipment and technologies. More than 25 companies held seminars in theaters on the show floor in the ProMat Knowledge Center, including Accu-Sort Systems, FKI Logistex, ifm efector, and Schneider Electric.
FKI Logistex discussed trends in integrated European material handling, automated replenishment, and selecting and integrating order-fulfillment methods and technologies for a distribution center.
MagneMotion , a developer and manufacturer of assembly automation, material handling, and transportation technologies, exhibited its new modular track designed for material handling and assembly automation, with movements possible in any direction, even vertical. The track uses linear synchronous motor (LSM) technology to create faster, more efficient, longer lasting, and more affordable automated manufacturing and transportation systems, including elevators. MagneMover DB 1.0 track has a 1 m turn radius.
MHIA gave its annual “State of the Industry” press conference covering the $125 billion material handling and logistics industry. Of that, the organization says, material handling equipment manufacturing accounts for more than $20 billion, 30-35% of the total, the group says. Begun in 1945, MHIA helps shape the movement, storage, control, and protection of materials and products throughout the process of their manufacture, distribution, consumption, and disposal.
Sick Inc . showed controllers and sensors. Recent introductions include a new UE410 Flexi Controller, which is modular and safety-rated. It provides configurable logic without using any software, saving time and simplifying setup. It can be used for interconnecting up to approximately 10 safety operations, with 50% reduction in the control cabinet, wiring reduction and communication with Profibus, DeviceNet, and CANOpen, with planned integration with Ethernet. The Sick CQ28 capacitive proximity sensor has a sleek design and two LEDs (tolerance and output). It is said to detect liquids and bulk materials reliably through non-metallic walls with sensing distances of up to 10 mm. The CQ28 is available as PNP or NPN switching output.