One of the highlights of the recent ProMat 2013 trade show was the announcement of show sponsor MHI's inaugural ProMat Innovation Awards. The material handling industry association received more than 75 entries from ProMat exhibitors seeking recognition for both new and existing products. The contest defines innovation as a new product, product line, technology, or service—or a new application of existing products or technology—that creates quantifiable and sustainable results in terms of return on investment (ROI), cost savings, and customer satisfaction.
The award for Best Innovation of an Existing Product went to Fox IV Technologies Inc. for its TwinPrint shipping label system. The TwinPrint printer-applicator prints both the shipping information and a confidential packing slip onto a single label—with the shipping information on the label's top, and the packing slip on the label liner. Because both the shipping label and packing slip are printed and applied at the same time, the information is guaranteed to match. Fox IV says the TwinPrint system reduces waste generated during the shipping process by an estimated 33 percent compared with traditional methods.
Other finalists in the Best Innovation of an Existing Product category were Bishamon Industries, Daifuku Webb, Dematic, Digital Lumens Inc., and Jungheinrich.
Packsize LLC won the Best New Product Award for its IQ Fusion corrugated converting machine. The device, which produces custom-sized boxes for every shipment, has a working footprint of just 48 square feet. It can be placed in just about any pack line, requires no additional capital investment, and uses z-Fold, a proprietary 97-percent recyclable corrugated material, for the box-making process, according to the manufacturer. The system saves users an average of 35 percent on carton costs, Packsize says. (To read more about Packsize's technology, see "That was easy on the planet".)
Other Best New Product finalists included Blickle Casters, Engineered Lifting Systems, Intelligrated, Kuka Systems, and Opex Corp.