Two weeks ago, CWI Logistics had the pleasure of attending the 2014 Georgia Logistics Summit and its partner trade show – MODEX 2014 Supply Chain and Manufacturing Expo. Founded in 2012 by the Material Handling Institute, MODEX provides a platform for hundreds of supply chain companies to discuss and exhibit their developments in state-of-the-art warehousing technology and equipment.
The expo’s showroom features about 200,000 square feet of supply chain innovations, ranging from material handling equipment and systems to inventory management. According to a review in Supply Chain Digest, materials handling and core logistics software were the most popular fields for development. However, they also acknowledged emerging trends in “goods to picker” technology and improvements in palletization technologies. Across the board, many inventions with the potential to drastically impact our industry made their debut.
This year, the MODEX Innovation awards went to Intralox and Product Protector LLC. Best New Innovation went to Intralox for their OMNI-Directional Sorter. THe OMNI-DIRECTIONAL Sorter can receive products from any direction as well as sort them in any direction at high speeds, without taking up much space. It was developed for “pick and pass” operations where products are first sorted into manual picking areas and then placed back onto the same conveyor belt. In addition to being cost-effective, it’s diverse sorting capabilities aggregate the functions of multiple devices into one compact machine.
Best Innovation of an Existing Product went to Product Protector LLC for their Product Protector, which has been recognized as the only forklift attachment to reduce damage to both pallets and products. By enlarging the forklift’s surface area, the attachment decreases the stress applied to the pallet’s lead board, maintaining the integrity of the pallet and the products it holds. The forklift extensions also protect products by creating extra space between the forklift and the pallet. A recent study performed by Virginia Tech Professor Dr. Marshal White indicated that using the Product Protector attachment could double the life of pallets and reduce product damage by a staggering 75-80%.
Overall, we’re excited about what the future holds. Every technological advancement in our industry is another way we can facilitate the most reliable end-to-end experience for our valued customers.