IMHX 2013 predicted to be ‘the best ever’

IMHX 2013

If you only visit one logistics event in 2013, it has to be IMHX.

With over three months until the doors open, space sold already exceeds that of the last show, making the joint organisers of IMHX – Informa Exhibitions and the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) – confident that the 2013 show will be the best ever.

Visitors to IMHX 2013 will experience many added-value activities including an expanded conference programme and new feature areas. The IMHX ‘Logistics Excellence’ Conference will have two streams: a themed series of seminars at strategic level delivered by renowned industry experts – including Professor Alan Waller, visiting professor at Cranfield School of Management, and Professor Alan Braithwaite, visiting professor at Cranfield School of Business – plus an interesting choice of case study presentations at operational level to demonstrate examples of logistics best practice. Details of the seminars will be available on the show’s website at

For the first time ever, IMHX will have a Skills & Apprenticeships Zone in a bid to bring together talented young people and companies needing new recruits. Situated in Hall 17, the Skills & Apprenticeships Zone will be spearheaded by the BITA Academy, a dedicated apprenticeship training facility operated in conjunction with City of Bristol College. Established earlier this year to help find and train the next generation of materials handling engineers, the BITA Academy is supported by all the major manufacturers, suppliers and service firms. The Skills & Apprenticeships Zone will feature the winning vehicles from BITA’s ‘Enduro Challenge’ engineering competition for secondary schools, some hands-on engineering activities and a consultation area for employers. The prizes for Endurance (furthest distance travelled), Design/Innovation and Entrepreneurship – £5000 plus an expenses-paid visit to a European forklift truck manufacturing plant, £3000 and £2000 respectively – will be presented to the winning schools on the first morning of IMHX.

Also new at IMHX will be the UKWA 3PL Zone, hosted by the United Kingdom Warehousing Association, and the International Visitors’ Lounge, where visitors from overseas can relax in comfort or hold meetings with clients or suppliers. In addition, with many exhibitors using IMHX as the launch pad for new products and services and over 40 first-time exhibitors already confirmed among the show’s expected 400 stands, visitors are guaranteed to see a whole host of new technologies and innovative ideas for materials handling.

As well as the new activities, many features will be making a welcome return to the show. The heats of what promises to be another hotly contested RTITB Operator of the Year Competition will take place at IMHX 2013. Over the four days of the show, forklift operators from across the UK and Ireland will compete in a special arena designed to test their skills to the full, with the best then moving forward to the Grand Final – to be held at RTITB’s headquarters in Telford, Shropshire, in September 2013 – where they will have the chance to win a brand-new car. The show will once again feature the AMHSA Pavilion, hosted by the Automated Material Handling Systems Association. With a number of AMHSA member stands clustered around a hospitality and presentation area, the AMHSA Pavilion provides a focus for suppliers of automated handling systems. Members will be giving short ‘Meet the expert’ presentations in the pavilion to give visitors an overview of key automation topics such as AGVs and voice picking technology. Also returning to show are the Design 4 Safety Awards, which recognise the importance of product design in improving safety throughout the materials handling industry. Entry is now open – via the IMHX website – to all exhibitors in seven award categories: industrial vehicles & ancillary products; automation; goods-in/goods-out; racking & storage; technology; safety practices; and apprentices (a special category in which industry apprentices can submit their ideas for how existing products and procedures could be improved). Three entries from each category will be shortlisted early in 2013, with the winners in each category celebrated in the Design 4 Safety zone at IMHX 2013 and in the show catalogue; visitors to IMHX will then be invited to vote for an overall ‘People’s Choice’ award, to be announced at the exhibition.

IMHX to showcase innovative solutions for the retail sector

Many IMHX exhibitors have products and services specifically designed to meet the needs of companies in the retail sector, including e-commerce. For example, the Step Lift 500 tail lift from Penny Hydraulics (stand 20B62) is ideal for busy retail delivery routes with frequent stops, where only occasional items exceed the weight limits of manual handling regulations. Its unique folding tail lift design facilitates handling of maximum working loads of 500kg while providing continuous, full access to the rear doors and load compartment. Unlike conventional tail lifts, the Step Lift 500 folds away below door level to replace or provide a full-width rear step without obstructing the van doors. It does not need to be deployed to allow access to the vehicle and can be used when folded as an adjustable-height step or as a shallow tail lift for handling loads quickly and when space is limited at the rear of the vehicle.

Leading provider of automated materials handling equipment and integrated storage solutions SSI Schaefer(stand 18N100) recently won the contract to provide NBTY Europe Ltd – the parent company of the retail brand, Holland & Barrett – with an automated system at its distribution centre in Burton-on-Trent in order to serve its online customers. Significant growth in its e-commerce sales has put pressure on the DC’s manual system. The new automated system will operate at five to six times the current output of the manual operation, while removing the necessity for temporary labour and also ensuring increased picking accuracy. SSI Schaefer has recently completed a second major project for baby specialist, Kiddicare, now owned by Morrisons. The company has extended the system it supplied in 2008 at the client’s warehouse in Peterborough, increasing the facility’s footprint by 3180m². The expanded solution provides Kiddicare with thousands of additional pallet positions and pick faces to support its predominantly online business. To minimise disruption to daily operations, SSI Schaefer meticulously planned the project to ensure that Kiddicare remained fully operational throughout the entire period of installation.

Among many models showcased on the stand of Toyota Material Handling UK (stand 20F70) will be the Toyota 7FBMF 80-volt electric-powered counterbalance forklift, which is now available in a limited Gold Edition with advanced features to help businesses drive down costs. Ideal for loading and unloading operations at retail and other distribution facilities, the special Gold Edition truck is available in capacities from 2.0 to 5.0 tonnes. Its digital multifunction display features an over-speed alarm for enhanced flexibility and on-site safety, while the low-maintenance battery reduces running costs. In addition, sideshift increases productivity by making pallet placement and retrieval faster and safer. Toyota is offering two additional packages for this model – the Safety pack and the Comfort pack – to enhance driver safety and comfort.

A new forklift truck battery rental scheme from Hoppecke Industrial Batteries (stand 19K95) is designed to guarantee power for as long as it is needed in demanding applications such as grocery distribution. The Hoppecke trak rent scheme allows users of materials handling equipment to rent batteries on short-, medium- and long-term contracts to suit the needs and budgets of their business. The rental offer is especially suited to retail businesses facing seasonal peaks. The company has also launched a flexible power provision scheme – called trak flex – with customers only charged for the power that they use. Just like conventional electricity bills, the user pays a monthly standing charge for the hardware then pays for the throughput of the battery. As well as overall flexibility, Hoppecke claims that customers can enjoy lower electricity costs and reduced charging costs. The trak flex package includes all servicing, giving users a fully maintained product throughout the contract.

Warehouse automation specialist Knapp (stand 20D30) recently won the contract to supply a shuttle storage system to fashion retailer, Hugo Boss, at its new 100-million-euro distribution centre in Filderstadt, Germany. With 400,000 storage locations, the OSR Shuttle system will be the largest system of its kind in the world. The solution was chosen due to features such as the ability to store full cases directly, the immediate availability of items after goods-in and high throughput. Another major retail project for Knapp is a new distribution centre for grocery retailer, SPAR, just outside Vienna. This solution will feature a brand-new solution – Pick-it-Easy Move – that enables ergonomic and shop-friendly picking of fast-moving products directly from pallets using the goods-to-person method. The system features a moving shuttle with integral operator platform that moves automatically between a dozen target locations – six on each side – featuring roll cages on lifts. Required goods are picked from the pallet according to instructions given on a computer screen, with cartons being pushed from the pallet to the roll cage without the need for any lifting.

Insulated container supplier Olivo (stand 20B105) provides solutions for retailers distributing temperature-sensitive products. With traffic congestion and parking restrictions making daytime deliveries ever more difficult, one answer is night drops. However, most delivery points do not have sufficient storage for chilled and frozen goods and this is where Olivo’s portable insulated containers – with their ease of handling plus high standards of insulation and totally silent refrigeration – come into play. The company cites Aldi, Palmer and Harvey, Londis, Selfridges and Ocado as users of its products.

As well as its wide range of brand-new trucks, leading forklift supplier Jungheinrich will be promoting its ‘Ready2Go’ range of reconditioned vehicles on its stand 19L100 at IMHX. Refurbished to the highest standards at the group’s Dresden factory, each machine is completely dismantled and all worn or defective parts are replaced before the trucks are repainted, reassembled and tested. Among the leading retailers to have realised the advantages of Jungheinrich’s ‘Ready2Go’ trucks is the grocery giant Sainsbury’s. Jungheinrich has recently completed the refurbishment of over 140 of the retailer’s forklifts – a mix of low-level order pickers, reach trucks and counterbalance models supplied by Jungheinrich as new in 2005 – for use at its distribution centre in St Albans. The overhaul process was completed in phases over six months, which included the busy Christmas period.

Mezzanine floor specialist Davicon (stand 17P6) will be showcasing its latest developments at IMHX 2013, showing operators – including retailers facing seasonal peaks – how they can best utilise their available warehouse space. Davicon manufactures its products in-house, using the latest 3D-CAD/NC technology, reducing lead times and ensuring complete control over quality and delivery. The company has supplied mezzanine floor solutions to many leading brands in the retail sector including John Lewis, New Look and Morrisons.

Transdek, the award-winning lifting equipment specialist, has installed double deck lifts to accommodate deliveries from double deck trailers at over 150 stores for major retailers including Tesco, TJ Morris and Boots. The company claims that its solutions have enabled companies to save over 510,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and make cost savings of over £340 million to date. Transdek has also installed its mezzanine floor lifts at more than 45 existing and new stores for one of the UK’s leading home furnishing retailers. Transdek will be giving live demonstrations of its double deck lifts and mezzanine floor lifts on stand 20D21 at IMHX.

TVH (stand 20F35), supplier of replacement parts for material handling and industrial vehicles, also markets a range of simple handling equipment that is ideal for retail delivery vehicles such as hand pallet trucks and trolleys, as well as scissor lifters, manual and electric lifting tables and manual or semi-electric stackers. For lift trucks up to 5 tons, TVH provides its wuBump, a unique and user-friendly shock absorber to protect drivers, trucks, loads and warehouse infrastructure in case of collision. The company’s range of hand pallet trucks includes steel, galvanized steel and stainless steel models in different sizes, heights and capacities.

Pre-register now for FREE to attend IMHX 2013

IMHX 2013 is the number one place to see new products, meet suppliers and network with new and existing contacts. Visitors who pre-register for IMHX 2013 will receive an exclusive Priority Pass pack containing everything needed 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 seminars. Pre-register now for free tickets to attend IMHX by visiting



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