Inside Logistics

MHI reveals innovation award winners


April 16, 2021
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MHI announced the winners of its 2021 Innovation Awards at the ProMat DX virtual trade show, which runs from April 12 to 16, online.

After receiving 92 submissions for this year’s awards, judges from the material handling and supply chain industry completed the initial vetting process.

Ten finalists were previously chosen and announced as the most innovative products in each category based on concept, value, and impact. The categories are: Best New Innovation; Best Innovation of an Existing Product; and Best IT Innovation.

Best new product

The best new product award went to ThruWave, Inc. for its X2 mmWave Imaging System.

The 3D millimeter wave (mmWave) imaging technology provides automated inspection capabilities.

ThruWave’s mmWave sensors see through opaque packaging, like corrugated boxes and plastic totes, to measure and count items, and detect anomalies, all without opening sealed packaging. High throughput sensors and software automatically scan items at conveyor speeds up to 600 ft/min.

A typical e-commerce package may contain up to 40 percent void space, leading to at least 15 percent excess corrugated usage, 60 percent excess filler material usage, and up to 20 percent excess transportation cost. ThruWave’s imaging lets customers measure cube utilization and adapt to an ever-changing product mix, enabling cost savings and increasing customer satisfaction through reduced packaging material usage.

For operators of automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), improving cube utilization leads to increasing ASRS capacity, without increasing ASRS system size.

IT innovation

The best IT innovation award went to 4Front Engineered Solutions for its Connect Digital Gate.

Warehouse and DC dock operations typically face several activity management challenges every day such as drivers arriving early, late, or without an appointment, docks becoming backed up as a result of poor scheduling, and even a lack of, or breakdowns in, direct driver communication. And if such operations even use a dock scheduling process, it’s most likely manual in nature and disconnected, involving multiple people across several departments.

By using 4SIGHT Connect Digital Gate’s software, facilities will be able to schedule appointments; provide self check-in/check-out for drivers with/without an appointment; view an interactive dashboard across all departments to track performance today, last week, and last month; manage arrived shipments with/without an appointment; view shipment status: scheduled, arrived, turned away, departed, and deleted; view arrived alert status: early, on time, or late; configure custom real-time alerts, notifications, and KPIs as well as receive alerts and notifications and view performance KPIs.

Best product update

Packsize International LLC won Best Innovation of an Existing Product for its X7 Automated In-line Packaging and Fulfillment Solution.

The Packsize X7 is designed to create and pack right-sized boxes at fast and reliable speeds. This automated packaging workflow results in material reductions as well as financial savings by consolidating pack stations and solving for labour challenges while also significantly reducing DIM inside the box.

New features include customized document insertion, inline scales for capturing weight, and a smaller footprint. A new easy-open tear strip improves the end-customer experience, producing a box that can be recycled or used for returns.

The MHI Innovation Award serves to educate and provide valuable insights on the latest manufacturing and supply chain products and services to MODEX attendees. MODEX 2021 exhibitors were called to submit a new product, product line, technology or service or new application of existing products or technology that create quantifiable and sustainable results in terms of ROI, cost savings, customer satisfaction, etc.