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Best Material Handling Products of 2020

Compiled by Maureen Paraventi, Chief Editor

American Sales Development’s table systems use hydraulic pumps operated by a hand crank or an electric drive unit to adjust heights for ergonomic comfort. Columns consisting of a guide with integrated cylinders and a pressure hose (4mm) connect the elements. The columns TA and TU consist of two steel tubes and the guide tube is supported on bearings. These are used when there are high load and stability requirements. The column TQ consists of an aluminum profile and a stainless-steel tube, which is mounted on slide guides. The column TT consists of two aluminum profiles which are guided in plastic gliders. The T-slots along the entire length of the column make the legs universally compatible. They are used for height-adjustable workbenches, assembly tables, desks and workstations.

AutoGuide Mobile Robots’ Max-N15 allows companies to safely and easily pull heavy payloads with autonomous robots. The configurable, autonomous mobile robot (AMR) tugger is capable of transporting up to 15,000lbs. Built on AutoGuide’s patent-pending modular design, the Max-N15 provides a common base that can be adapted for multiple manufacturing and warehouse material handling tasks with modular attachments to create lift trucks, tuggers or high bay pallet lift trucks. Customers can transform one vehicle or a fleet of vehicles to accommodate their ever-changing work environment. The Max-N15 combines a drive motor with sensor/steering/safety/communication features and a series of modular attachments that enable volume production of the base units more quickly.

Creform Corporation has rolled out a heavy-duty mobile flow rack that uses Creform 42mm pipe and joints for extra capacity and rigidity, flexibility and reusability. The flow rack also features a wide Creform Placon® roller conveyor for excellent flow characteristics and strength, while the low-friction skate wheel conveyors allow for shallow flow lane angles that are suitable for both plastic returnable totes, as well as cardboard boxes. The gravity flow rack assists in first-in, first-out inventory management.

The rack features two repositionable supply levels with one flow lane per level, while empty containers are returned up top. The rack is configured with a stair step design to improve access to parts in boxes presented at the two supply levels. The flow rack is also useful for general warehousing of pull-to-ship parts and point of use presentation rack within an assembly work cell.

Omron Automation Americas’ LD-250 autonomous mobile robot carries payloads of up to 250kg and has a sturdy structure that is optimized for items like transmission blocks, automotive seats and voluminous packaging materials that are bulky as well as heavy. Together with Omron’s Fleet Manager, the LD-250 can help manufacturers construct a more flexible and optimized autonomous material transport system, as Fleet Manager now enables the control of multiple mobile robots with different payloads through a single system. The system can manage traffic, battery charging requirements and vehicle navigation for a diverse fleet of up to 100 robots.

The Omron LD mobile robots can avoid people and obstacles while automatically calculating the best routes to transport material, thereby optimizing materials transport requirements while reducing labor requirements.

SICK’s ultra-compact safety laser scanner, nanoScan3, combines smart safety functions with excellent measurement data quality for accurate and reliable localization. With an overall height of just over 3in, this space-saving sensor can be used wherever machines and vehicles require maximum performance but have minimal mounting space. This enables manufacturers to use small AGVs or mobile robots equipped with SICK’s safety technology.

The nanoScan3 will hold up well even in harsh or challenging ambient conditions. It is impervious to interferences like dust, contamination and ambient light. Its design makes it suitable for industrial use and easy to integrate with standard M12 connectivity. It has up to 128 freely configurable fields and monitoring cases and direct static and encoder inputs for flexible monitoring case switching.

Universal Robots debuted Quick Deployment Kit (QDK), a collaborative, accurate and scalable solution for parcel induction, case packing and goods-to-person tasks. The QDK, which was developed by MDCI Automation, a Universal Robots Certified Systems Integrator in partnership with Plus One Robotics, utilizes a powerful vision engine powered by PlusOne’s PickOne Software and Universal Robots’ UR10e cobot arm. It identifies the pick points for items in a pick zone and sends the points to the UR cobot that picks and places each item onto a place zone/conveyor. The QDK can keep up with fast-moving conveyor speed and is able to “learn” to pick targets via human assistance through a remote alerting technology.

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