Daifuku Webb's acquisition in 2013 of Wynright Corp., a multifaceted engineering design firm that has made a name for itself in material handling robotics, appears to be paying off in spades. According to Marketing Director Sarah Carlson, the division that encompasses factory and distribution automation has already signed $100 million in new contracts in just the first three months of 2014. The acquisition allows Daifuku Webb to offer customers a wide range of products, such as automated storage and retrieval systems, automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and carts (AGCs), conveyors, voice- and light-directed order-fulfillment systems, robotics, controls, and software, along with design, consulting, and systems integration services.
The two companies had a number of customers in common; one example is Frito-Lay, a 30-year Wynright customer that had been doing business with Daifuku Webb for the past four or five years. The firms also had collaborated on a number of large projects prior to the acquisition. Now, the company can offer comprehensive solutions as a single provider, making for more efficient and cost-effective project management, said Bruce Buscher, vice president, sales for the Smart Handling division. The expansion also gives the company greater breadth to manage the integration of large-scale, big-ticket projects. Buscher said Wynright will retain its name.
At Modex 2014, the company was showcasing several related products. They included the Model 100TT SmartCart AGC, which is designed for moving parts and finished goods in manufacturing plants, warehouses, and distribution centers; the System Automation Manager (SAM) control system for managing the movements of AGVs and AGCs; and the SmartPanel HMI, a touchscreen panel for communicating with automated vehicles. Currently under development is a smartphone app that allows users to control the movement of AGVs and AGCs.