Daifuku North America's booth was a study in teamwork. The company paired up its Wynright division's unique, vision-guided robotic trailer loader/unloader and a low-profile version of SmartCart automatic guided cart (AGC), designed and manufactured by its Jervis B. Webb Co. division. The SmartCart followed magnetic tape on the floor to deliver a load of cartons to the robotic depalletizer, which looks like a giant, articulated arm topped with a square "head." The robot used its 3D-vision sensing technology and decision software to view, analyze, and determine how best to pick up cartons—even those that were skewed or incorrectly oriented—and placed them on Wynright's new energy-efficient Green Line Conveyor for reloading.
Daifuku North America also showcased its System Automation Manager (SAM), SmartPanel HMI display and mobile app. SAM is a robust control system for automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) and AGCs that manages the movement of all vehicles and provides comprehensive reports.
Daifuku Webb also announced that revenues in 2014 were 30 percent higher than in 2013. The company attributed that increase to its acquisition of Wynright and to growth in orders from automakers. Company officials also cited the $75 million spent on research and development, an investment that also helped to increase orders.