International Materials Handling Exhibition IMHX 2010 has the answers for distribution loading or lifting

In this press release for the International Materials Handling Exhibition - which takes place from 16-19 November at the NEC - we highlight some key solutions for the distribution sector, as well as showcasing lifting products and ideas for the loading bay. Plus, discover why you should pre-register for the UK's leading logistics event.

The UK logistics industry is estimated to be worth more than £74 billion per annum and employs a staggering one in twelve of the nation's workers. The supply chain links manufacturers, distributors and retailers with their markets. Distribution is therefore at the forefront of the country's economic recovery. Many of the products and services displayed by the 300+ exhibitors at IMHX 2010 will be aimed at the distribution industry. Here we highlight just a handful to whet your appetite for a visit to IMHX this November.

Forklift manufacturer Jungheinrich (19L100/142) has recently supplied pallet racking and forklift trucks to Crawley-based based distribution specialist, Eezehaul. A partner in both the APC and TPN overnight pallet delivery networks, Eezehaul offers a broad range of storage and distribution services, handling around 3,000 shipments a day. As well as the racking system, which provides over 5,000 pallet locations, Jungheinrich supplied a fleet of electric-powered counterbalance, reach and stand-on pallet trucks. The forklifts were chosen because Eezehaul needed to operate the trucks for two shifts on one battery charge for the intensive unloading of double deck trailers and cross dock loads in the early hours of the morning and again in the evening.

IMHX exhibitor Narrow Aisle Ltd (stand 19J75) will be demonstrating its award-winning Flexi range of articulated forklift trucks at the show. The firm recently supplied Telford-based third party logistics provider (3PL), Simmonds Transport, with two Flexi HiMax trucks and one Flexi G4 articulated forklift. With their ability to operate in aisles as narrow as 1.6m and lift pallet loads to heights of over 12m, Flexi trucks can save warehouse operators at least 30 per cent of their storage costs. In Simmonds' case, this meant that a racked area capable of providing some 12,000 pallet locations could be built while leaving plenty of room for block stacking. Other 3PLs that have recently placed orders with Narrow Aisle Ltd include Bowker Group, which ordered a dozen Flexi trucks, and Store-It-All, which took delivery of three.

Car, cycle and leisure retailer Halfords has awarded automated handling systems integrator Dematic (stand 18N110) with a contract to help distribute small parts to its stores nationwide. The order includes an innovative picking system that combines pick-to-light, pick-to-voice and a Dematic Multishuttle Consolidation Buffer at Halfords' new 310,000 sq ft Small Parts Picking Centre in Coventry. Dematic has devised a clever solution to make the best use of what is typically wasted space above the marshalling area of a distribution centre. This involves installing a small parts picking system on a two-level mezzanine that runs the entire length of the building. The system features pick-to-light for fast- and medium-movers and a pick-by-voice system with 60 terminals from Vocollect for the slower movers. Picked totes will be sent to a Dematic Multishuttle Captive Buffer, which will enable sequencing of orders into store-friendly deliveries.

Handling supplier AMH Group (19L146) has secured significant savings for newspaper and magazine distributor, Menzies Distribution. Savings of around 70% have been achieved in the cost of maintaining and servicing conveyor equipment across Menzies' distribution network. Says AMH Managing Director, Spencer Roberts, "Taking a 'value driven' approach to maintenance enables us to achieve an optimised use of resource, ensuring each hour of maintenance time results in a tangible benefit whilst reducing breakdowns. Too often maintenance is delivered on a purely 'time-based' interval, regardless of the condition of the plant. This inevitably leads to wastage in maintenance time with no visible benefit."

Leicester-based Transmon Engineering Ltd (stand 20D45) has supplied the latest forklift fleet management system to UK palletised goods distributor, Palletways. The solution has helped Palletways, the largest pallet network in Europe, to enhance efficiency and reduce costs. Forklift supplier Briggs Equipment worked with Transmon to implement the Data Savure system across the new fleet at Palletways' UK hub near Lichfield in Staffordshire. Transmon's TDS1 Data Savure offers password-controlled driver access, which means that only authorised, qualified drivers are able to operate the trucks' ignition. This, together with an impact monitoring and measuring feature, pinpoints driver responsibility and enables accountability, which together promote careful, safe and efficient driving.

Warehouse automation specialist KNAPP will be running a live demonstration of its OSR Shuttle™ sorter on stand 20D30. This new type of dispatch buffer is a modular solution, installed in the goods-out area, and uses technology from KNAPP's proven OSR Shuttle™ system. Totes ready for distribution are fed to flow-rack channels by a shuttle, with each customer order assigned to one or more channels. Channels are selected so that the driver can load his vehicle according to the sequence of his route, with visual guidance on a large monitor minimising errors.

Loading bay solutions

Edmolift UK Ltd - leading manufacturer and supplier of scissor lift tables, loading bay equipment, goods lifts, ergonomic lifters and work positioners - will use IMHX 2010 for the worldwide launch of its brand-new, pit-free MultiDock loading bay lift on stand 18M145. Requiring virtually no installation, the MultiDock can be put into operation within 15 minutes of delivery. With twin operator safety zones and a full perimeter safety edge, roll cages are offloaded in complete safety by one man in half the time, claims Edmolift.

Responding to the call for improved green performance, Transdek UK Ltd (20C30) recently launched the latest in its range of double deck loading systems: a 20-tonne-capacity dock lift. The new lift, which incorporates a number of innovative energy-saving and reliability-enhancing features, is designed for the loading and unloading of both fixed and powered double deck trailers at retail distribution centres, and has already gone into operation with one major supermarket chain. The new lift uses only a single ram to drive the lift platform up and down, simplifying operation of the lift and avoiding the problem of de-synchronisation of the rams. In addition, specially designed lift gates provide a wider lift 'mouth' to facilitate optional loading by powered pallet truck, enabling faster load movements with less manual handling.

Industrial door manufacturer Hörmann UK Ltd (stand 20F80) has supplied 23 loading bays for the Royal Mail's new distribution centre at Swan Valley, Northampton. Working closely with main contractor Winvic, Hörmann project managed the installation of the 23 bays which feature heavy duty dock levellers, dock shelters, sectional insulated loading bay doors, high speed bi-parting doors and high security doors. The heavy duty, 8000kg-load-rated dock levellers include a custom 600mm telescopic lip, while the dock shelters feature an inflatable head, with standard curtain sides, to accommodate the wide range of vehicles operated by the Royal mail.

Exhibitor AMH Group (19L146) has a solution for loading and unloading parcels without a dock when space is at a premium. The AMH mobile vehicle loader is a compact unit that penetrates into the back of the trailer and unloads goods via a built-in belt decline. As well as increased speed and efficiency, the system removes the risk of personal injury for staff. The unit, which can be connected directly to mobile conveyors, can be moved out of the way when not in use and can even be shipped to a different location to accommodate seasonal peaks.

Temporary buildings supplier Spaciotempo UK Ltd (18M190) will be explaining the benefits of using modular buildings for a variety of logistics operations, including unloading and loading vehicles. Functional, safe and cost-effective, Spaciotempo temporary buildings give crucial extra covered space to businesses operating in the price-competitive logistics industry. They can be specified with standard side heights up to 6m or 7/8m on special order to ensure they can accommodate the largest high-sided vehicles. The buildings or canopies can also be gutter-linked together, ensuring whole fleets can use the facility at any one time, with superior lighting allowing round-the-clock use.

Lifting ideas

Southam-based supplier of lightweight cranes, overhead conveyors and monorails, Niko Ltd, will be demonstrating its range of products on its stand 19H150 at the show. Niko's Daniel Upton explains, "Our stand will display our manual overhead conveyor system with localised power travel and our lightweight overhead crane with latching facility. Our experienced technical staff will be performing constant live demonstrations of these products to all visitors."

Advanced Handling (stand 18M171) takes pride in the design and manufacture of equipment that is custom built to customers' specific requirements. For example, the company recently supplied Coca-Cola Enterprises in Milton Keynes with 13 pit-mounted static scissor lift tables, each with a capacity of 1000kg and a lifting height of 1600mm. The company, which processes some 350 vending machines every week, required the lift tables to enable their engineers to work safely and comfortably on the machines.

The Mezz Lift from Penny Hydraulics Ltd (20B62) offers warehouse operators a simple, safe and efficient way to handle loads up to 500kg between floors, including ground and mezzanine level. It can be installed in virtually any location - indoors or out - where there is access to a standard 240V 13A power supply, without any need to excavate a floor pit. It is an ideal alternative to other forms of load handling equipment such as lift trucks or conveyors and allows the entire handling process to be undertaken by a single person without any manual lifting. The Mezz Lift is available in a range of standard models, with platforms large enough for a standard Euro pallet, at heights exceeding 4.0m. Custom-built versions are also available with platforms designed to suit the customer's individual requirements.

Reasons to pre-register

IMHX 2010 is the number one place to meet suppliers and network with new contacts. With over 300 exhibitors displaying their products and services and showcasing the latest technology, visitors to IMHX will learn what's hot in the handling industry and what future trends are likely to be. With hundreds of products on show and many featured in live demonstrations, visitors will gain hands-on experience and valuable insights. IMHX 2010 is the leading show for all your logistics, distribution and warehousing solutions. And, remember, it only happens once every three years - so don't miss out!

Visitors who pre-register for IMHX 2010 will receive a special Priority Pass pack by post before the event. This passport-style wallet contains everything you need to maximise the benefits of a visit to the show - a delegate name badge, the 'Little Black Book' of handling industry contacts, a fold-out exhibition floor plan and key details of the show's environmental zone.

Visitors wanting to pre-register for free tickets to attend IMHX 2010 can do so on-line by visiting the website at