The U.S. Patent Office has granted intralogistics company Dematic a patent for its autonomous mobile picking unit. The new invention is a robotic delivery system that works alongside warehouse staff to provide real-time control and reduced order processing time for e-commerce, distribution and warehousing applications. This system enables a plant to scale its operation quickly by adding trailers to the base unit. The picking unit does not require changes to a plant’s physical layout. Dematic, a KION group member, designs, builds and supports intelligent, automated solutions for manufacturing, warehouse and distribution environments.

Yale Materials Handling’s new high-capacity lift truck, the Yale GP155-170SVX, offers its owners several characteristics that are suitable for applications where space is tight. The truck offers increased maneuverability, good sight lines and short turning radius. Its wide range of vision enables the driver to work as effectively when a warehouse is tightly packed as when the facility is less full. Yale is offering the truck in 15,500 lb and 17,000 lb versions.

Yale’s robotic reach truck took home top 2020 Edison Award honors in the Autonomous Work Solutions category. This truck is the first of its type that can autonomously pick up and deposit loads up to 30 ft high. It can also reach into double-deep storage.

MHS, a single-source provider of turnkey material handling automation solutions, introduced two new products thus far in 2020. MHS Insights, an IoT-based predictive maintenance system, hit the market in March 2020. As with other predictive maintenance systems, MHS Insights combines sensors that monitor equipment operation with software that collects and analyzes condition information and recommends actions based on the analysis.

Figure 1: A typical mechanized material handling system. Source: U.S. Air Force photo/Jason Mintoe

In May, MHS won first prize in the materials handling division of Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year awards. MHS introduced the HC sorter in August 2019. This sorter features high throughput and the fastest speed of any closed-deck sliding shoe sorter. Additional advantages include easy scalability and configurability and adaptability to packages weighing 0.55 lb to more than 110 lb. HC Sorter can also cope with different types of packaging, including bubble mailers and corrugated cases.

Another award-winning product is Swisslog’s AcPaQ palletizing solution, which has won the German Innovation Award 2020 in the “Machines & Engineering” category. The solution combines robotics components from KUKA with Swisslog’s high-speed shuttle system and intelligent warehouse management software. Together, the system enables customers to scale operations dynamically in response to changes in demand.

On May 18, 2020, Underwriters Laboratory (UL) rolled out its Supplier Cyber Trust Level solution, a first-of-its-kind rating system that helps organizations minimize supply chain cybersecurity risk by focusing on the trustworthiness of suppliers’ security practices. The rating process takes into account a company’s practices across software and hardware development lifecycle, hosted systems, information management systems and their third-party management. Current security practices rely on a combination of national and international standards and best practices. UL’s solution integrates these multiple security choices into a comprehensive evaluation that unveils gaps and that informs continuous security improvement.