Material Handling

Click the above link to see Product of the Year finalists in this category.


Note to our readers: Product of the Year finalists are listed below. To view the products, please download this pdf file this file .

Flapper diverter reduces wear and downtime

Seal Tite Gravity Diverter is a flapper design that handles dry bulk material. Features include: channeled flow; access door for flapper and seal replacement; live-loaded, wear-compensating polymer shaft seal that eliminates leakage between the flapper shaft and valve body; precision fit tolerances; and an optional clean-in-place panel for quick access to the valve interior for inspection, cleaning, or sanitation. Salina Vortex Corp.;


For more information, write 24 on card

Forklift goes in very narrow aisles

DV8r is a front wheel steered, front wheel drive, very narrow aisle forklift. The 4000-lb capacity unit is only 47-in. wide. Features include automotive-type steering that turns the front axle/mast assembly 180 deg, not the entire chassis, resulting in operating aisles reduced to only 6 ft.-7 in. wide. The unit maintains the front loading characteristics and performance of conventional forklifts. Narrow Aisle North America, Inc.;


For more information, write 52 on card

Wheel chock improves safety

Smart Chock is an electronic wheel chock safety system that enhances loading dock operations and helps industry comply with OSHA regulations. The chock keeps both drivers and dock workers alerted to the loading status of any truck parked at the dock. Photo eyes sense if the wheel is safely choked. A lighted panel indicates the status of the chock. DL Mfg.;


For more information, write 63 on card

Crane control is cordless

Pendant Station radio remote controller features a removable electronic key that stores frequency, address, personality, and other programming information. Each key is color coded and labeled for a specific machine; otherwise, controllers are identical, minimizing the need for spares. Hand-held, push button controller has a tough metal housing to withstand harsh environments. They are designed to provide message security, quick response time, and accurate control of overhead cranes. Cattron-Theimeg, Inc.;


For more information, write 71 on card

Control limits forklift speed

Speedtroller is a digital speedometer for forklifts with an overspeed signal and alarm. When an operator reaches a threshold speed set by a supervisor, an LED flashes, and a buzzer goes off. If the speed is held for 10 sec. a 120-dB siren/alarm blasts until speed is reduced. Distance traveled, distance traveled while speeding, and percent overspeed can be reviewed by supervisors. Installation is easy on inplant vehicle. Keytroller, Inc.;


For more information, write 90 on card

Grid belt replaces wire belting

Series 1500 Flush Grid belt was developed as a replacement for wire belting in a variety of applications. The belt is capable of nosebar transfers as small as 0.5 in. and has 48% open area for drainage or airflow. Its open hinge design and half-round link barrels expose the hinge rods for fast, thorough cleanup. Intralox, Inc.;


For more information, write 133 on card

Rack column moved away from forklifts

The Defender rack frame design moves the front column back 9 in. from the aisle, which reduces the amount of forklift contact. Additionally, the bottom front column is made of tubular steel, with a 3/16-in. thick wall, which is much thicker and more abuse resistant than ordinary rack. In extremely abusive applications, column protection can be added. New frame can be retrofitted to existing installations. Interlake Material Handling, Inc.;


For more information, write 103 on card

Dock seal saves energy

Insulator dock sealing system is a 4-sided sealing system. It is comprised of the Firefighter header seal with heat dissipation technology, long-lasting vertical-motion side pads, and energy-saving Insulator bottom seal. Together, these components provide safety, durability, and environmental control. Rite-Hite Corp., Frommelt Products Corp.;


For more information, write 104 on card

Trolley controls overhead rail systems

iTrolley is an intelligent rail system that minimizes the starting and stopping strain associated with movement of heavy loads with bridge cranes. The operator simply begins pushing the load in the intended direction and the system responds as quickly as the operator moves. The DC, servo-driven unit masks the momentum and inertia of the overhead crane. The unit works with existing rail systems. Cobotics, Inc.;


For more information, write 118 on card

Portable tag locates assets

WhereTag ID II/WherePort is a system that tracks the location of assets throughout a plant. The tag transmits alternate blinks when it is within range of the WherePort. WherePort uses a magnetic exciter for the tag. It can be located indoors or outdoors and can call for tags to act differently, depending on the location in the plant. WhereNet Corp.;


For more information, write 179 on card

Ergonomic welding station

ErgoWeld workstation, a wide-base scissors lift, features support brackets to securely hold a welding platform that allows welders to raise and lower their work to the proper ergonomic height and then safely off-load heavy loads in the lowered position. Models are available with 4000-lb and 6000-lb capacities, both with 36-in. vertical lift. Presto Lifts, Inc.;

TO VOTE, WRITE 231 ON Ballot

For more information, write 231 on card

Vibrator uses long-life bearings

LH-Series heavy-duty hydraulic vibrators are designed to eliminate the constant failures and short life associated with needle bearings. The units use large roller and needle bearings to provide longer, trouble-free life. They offer a compact design and handle pressures up to 3000 psi. The adjustable force feature generates centrifugal force from 1000 to 5000 lb. Vibco, Inc.;


For more information, write 203 on card

Shaft seal retains powder and bulk solids

Air Mizer-PS was developed specifically for equipment where dry particulates, powders, and bulk solids are handled. It utilizes compound labyrinth technology, enhanced with a wall of air, to function as a barrier for particulates. The design features extremely low air consumption, eliminates the need to constantly rebuild seals, and reduces the cost of unscheduled maintenance. Inpro/Seal Co.;


For more information, write 191 on card

Conveyor pulley internally motorized

MXP motorized conveyor pulleys have an internal motor and gear drive and significantly lower installation time. The AGMA Class 10, hardened and ground helical gearing reduces power consumption and noise levels. The lubricant has no recommended oil change. A magnetic particle trap reduces the risk of damage to bearings and gears. Emerson Power Transmission Corp.;


For more information, write 208 on card

Heavy-duty casters available in stainless steel

Heavy-duty, stainless steel casters are rated up to 1600 lb. Swivel and rigid models offer a broad variety of hard and soft tread wheels from 4 to 8-in. dia., including CNC-machined solid stainless steel wheels. Standard bearing selections include stainless steel precision ball bearings, plastic sleeve type, and plain bore. Hamilton Caster & Mfg. Co.;


For more information, write 216 on card

Smart crane reduces operator effort

G-Force Intelligent Crane Device is a servo-powered crane system that combines human control with technologically enhanced mechanical power to move large, awkward loads across the X and Y-axes with minimal human effort, helping to reduce operator injury, production downtime, and worker compensation costs. The unit can lift up to 1000 lb and operate at speeds to 275 fpm. Gorbel, Inc.;


For more information, write 137 on card

Conveyor control prevents product damage

E68 Series Integral Sensor Valve is an easy solution to prevent product damage and mishandling caused by outdated mechanical sensor rollers. The package comes complete with all needed components including sensors, air valves, pre-measured connectors, power supplies, and accessories. The compact power supply includes an integral junction box. Eaton Corp.,Cutler-Hammer Industrial Controls;


For more information, write 168 on card

Drum transport includes tools

Lo-Profile Drum Caddy transports 30 or 55-gal plastic, steel, or fiber drums or two 5-gal pails that weigh up to 1000 lb. The unit rolls easily on two 6 in. x 2 in. rigid and one 3 in. x 1 in. swivel rubber casters. Straddle width is 26 in. and depth is 16 in. The handle easily detaches and features a bung nut wrench, seal remover, and drum-tipper. T&S Equipment Co.;


For more information, write 234 on card

Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
GAMS preview, 2018 Mid-Year Report, EAM and Safety
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
August 2018
Choosing an automation controller, Lean manufacturing
September 2018
Effective process analytics; Four reasons why LTE networks are not IIoT ready

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
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Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
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