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Industry Tools -- May/June 2017

  • APICS partners
May/June 2017

Enterprise management

IBM partnered with Maersk in a pilot to bring blockchain technology to cross-border supply chain solutions in the shipping and logistics industry. Blockchain provides end-to-end visibility between global trading partners by allowing each party to see the progress of goods and documentation processes through the supply chain in real time. Data entered via blockchain cannot be modified or deleted by any partner. The solution, which is scheduled to go into full production later this year, the solution is intended to help businesses, shippers, customs authorities, and others reduce fraud and errors, cut the amount of time products spend in transit and shipping processes, improve inventory management, reduce waste and cost, increase security, and enhance transparency among trading partners.

upgraded its Infor CloudSuite Industrial (SyteLine) version 9.01 software. New features include support for finance and human resources management; global operations with multiple currencies for customers and vendors; advanced pick, pack, and ship capabilities; and improved industry-specific features for manufacturing. The subscription-based software, available through Amazon Web Services, can be deployed on premises or in the cloud. Customers may personalize and extend the solution through responsive design forms, contextual business intelligence reporting, and more. In addition, Infor Ming.le homepages can be incorporated into the system, customized, and personalized.

Inventory management

SupplyPro released SupplySystem, a modular inventory control solution for managing all types of materials and tools. The solution uses intelligent cloud software to combine automated, configurable technology with actionable insights. The modular design combines intelligent cloud software with automated technology that can be configured and reconfigured into 2 million potential arrangements. The software also delivers real-time business intelligence to distributors, detects issues and alerts distributors to potential problems, troubleshoots critical functions, and connects to SupplyPro’s inventory control experts.


Kenco Logistics collaborated with Smart Gladiator to create LoadProof, a logistics operations image-capture app. Warehouse workers, truck drivers, supervisors, and others involved in shipping and receiving can photograph shipments and upload photos to a cloud server with information about the date, time, and load. Data and images from the app can be used to support compliance and supply chain visibility, help determine responsibility for issues, and prove the condition of the shipment at each point of transfer. Photos are stored in a secured cloud repository, which can be integrated into numerous supply chain systems. LoadProof is available for download on Android and Apple devices.

Material handling

Wildeck Riderlift

Wildeck, a subsidiary of Holden Industries, unveiled its Riderlift hydraulically operated, rideable material lift. Designed for industrial applications, authorized personnel can ride with their cargo to a second level, instead of climbing stairs or relying on a coworker to off-load material when the lift reaches its destination. Its standard car size is 6 feet by 6 feet by 80 inches with a lifting capacity of as much as 2,500 pounds at lifting speeds as fast as 20 feet per minute. The lift is available in either a C or Z loading pattern and has a keyed enable switch in the car to ensure use only by authorized personnel.

Yale MO70T tow tractor

Yale Materials Handling expanded its robotic lift truck line with the addition of the MO70T tow tractor. Equipped with Driven by Baylo technology, the tractor can autonomously navigate through warehouse environments for sequencing in assembly operations and stock replenishment. Infrastructure-free navigation technology allows the tow truck to self-locate and navigate without the need for tape, wires, magnets, or guidance. Operators can engage the tow tractor in manual mode with the simple switch of a button or by grabbing the tiller. The truck will resume regularly assigned workflows when the operator leaves the vehicle.


DJI Matrice 200 drone

DJI introduced the new Matrice 200 (M200) drone series, which is designed for enterprises and professionals performing aerial inspections and data collection in multiple industries. The series features a foldable, weather-resistant and water-resistant body; an upward-facing gimbal mount; and a forward-facing first-person-view camera. It is compatible with DJI’s X4S, X5S, Z30 zoom, and XT thermal-imaging cameras. Dual batteries allow for up to 35 minutes of operation with the mounted camera. Built for safety and endurance, the M200 has an Ingress Protection 43 classification and more than 20 internal sensors including a compass, GPS system, dual inertial measurement units, three barometers, gimbal controllers, two stereo-vision systems, an upward-facing infrared sensor, and a redundant battery system.

Shop floor


Eaton added two products to its MTL GECMA human-machine interface (HMI) workstations—a Think Client (TC) and a personal computer (PC) version—that complement the existing MTL GECMA Remote Terminal’s modular design and offer interchangeability among workstations. The HMIs are approved for global hazardous certification Zone 1 environments and offer safe handling on-site in hazardous EX zone areas in chemical, pharmaceutical, and refinery industries worldwide. The TC version is designed for virtualization applications and works with a client server in the safe room across a local area network (LAN). The stand-alone PC version works across the LAN and includes a watchdog function that monitors the operating system.

Fonon Flexion

Fonon released its Flexion technology for the CleanTech laser product line used for surface preparation, paint removal, and surface cleaning. A motion-control stage operates along the X and Y axes, allows for movement in various directions, and cleans nested parts underneath the trajectory beam path. CleanTech systems offer Class 1 enclosures for Class 4 lasers and an integrated system for dust and residue collection. Users also have the option to add a 3D scanner for cleaning parts with complicated shapes.

HARTING PushPull connector

HARTING expanded its PushPull product line of communications connectors with two new offerings. The new HARTING M12 PushPull connector is made for high-vibration environments and locks with an audible click upon connection. It has an Ingress Protection 67 rating, withstands temperatures from minus 40 degrees to 185 degrees Fahrenheit, features 360-degree shielding, and uses crimp termination. The lightweight HARTING PushPull SFP XS connector has a durable housing and premounted transceiver that provide reliable communication connectivity in harsh outdoor environments. It also features an ultrashort cable connector combined with a receptacle that has a tolerance of 56–64 millimeters to accommodate different transceiver lengths.

SPX Flow FLEX compressed air dryers

SPX FLOW launched its new FLEX Series of refrigerated compressed air dryers by Hankinson. The dryer uses phase change material (PCM) for increased energy efficiency. A three-in-one heat exchanger uses the PCM to encapsulate the refrigeration and compressed air circuits, allowing for a more regulated temperature, fewer cycles, and energy savings. Compressed air loads automatically match maximum plant compressed air load demands without consuming additional material energy. An eco-friendly refrigerant, the PCM melts and solidifies above minus 32 degrees Fahrenheit without requiring glycol, pump, tank, or hot gas bypass. FLEX dryers also have an integrated controller with a clear LCD display for easy operation and monitoring.

Transportation management

C3 Solutions revamped its Dock Appointment Scheduling Return on Investment (ROI) Calculator, further expanding its yard management and dock scheduling systems. This online analysis tool can help businesses evaluate opportunities in dock appointment scheduling cost savings. A short, preliminary evaluation yields a full ROI Calculator Report that contains current estimated appointment scheduling costs and total estimated savings per year.

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