IMAGES from IMHX
A strong contingent of visitors from the Irish materials handling equipment sector made their way to Birmingham’s NEC for the 3-day IMHX show held on 16-19 November 2010.
Most major global players in the industry were represented at the event, and machinery from Ireland – such as multi-directional and articulated trucks from the Monaghan-based Combilift Aisle-Master organisation, as well as Yale handling equipment built in Craigavon, Northern Ireland – featured prominently.
Notably absent from the show was excessive razzmatazz. Rather than gimmicks and give-aways, flashing lights and dancing girls, there was a sense that serious business needed to be done. That’s not to say that interesting exhibits were in short supply. Combilift’s “dancing forklifts” for example proved to be a great source of attraction, with Combi-CB compact multi-directional trucks putting on a spectacular display of fast-moving set-dance manoeuvres.
Not far behind Combilift in manoeuvring skill was a demonstration of the Kiva mobile storage and picking system. With this revolutionary system items are stored on mobile shelving units which can be raised off the ground by ground-hugging robots. The operator stands at his station, while the fleet of robots, dancing to his tune, deliver the required parts in quick-time. The US-based Kiva company has recently installed their robotic fulfilment system at a Boston Scientific facility in the Netherlands.
There were competitions galore at the show: at the Yale/Briggs stand there was the chance to win a trip into space on the Virgin Galactic spaceship; iPads from Jungheinrich; Kindle eBooks from Quartz Exhibitions; Mountain bikes from Dematic – and much more. In the meantime Toyota and OPS were offering valuable free tuition on how to improve logistics efficiency.
Most exhibitors were upbeat about the show. Traffic among the stands flowed at a good rate; leads were being collected – and on the face of it at least, some solid business was being conducted.