February 5, 2019

ProMat 2019: A showcase for the latest equipment and solutions

The nation's largest exhibition of material handling, supply chain, and logistics equipment, systems, and technologies takes place at Chicago's McCormick Place from April 8 to 11. The event is expected to draw more than 1,000 exhibitors as well as attende

By DC Velocity Staff

The nation's largest exhibition of material handling, supply chain, and logistics equipment, systems, and technologies returns to Chicago just as the city welcomes the arrival of spring. The every-other-year showcase, sponsored by MHI, the nation's biggest material handling, logistics, and supply chain association, will take place at McCormick Place from April 8 to 11. MHI expects the show will draw more than 1,000 exhibitors as well as attendees from around the world.

In addition to the exhibition, ProMat will include an educational conference that features four keynote addresses and over 100 sessions covering industry issues like supply chain visibility, sustainability, and a shortage of labor as well as state-of-the-art equipment and technology solutions that address these and other concerns. The sessions, which run concurrently with the show, take place in specially designed theaters constructed on the show floor. This format allows attendees to learn about various material handling and logistics solutions in the educational sessions and then actually see the equipment and systems that can implement those solutions.

For ease of navigation, the exhibit space will be divided into solution-specific centers: manufacturing & assembly solutions, fulfillment & delivery solutions, information technology (IT) solutions, emerging technology solutions, and sustainable supply chain solutions. Exhibitors from across North America and around the world will be on hand to showcase the following technologies and services:

Material Handling Equipment and Systems: Automated storage and retrieval systems, automatic guided vehicle systems, casters/wheels/tires, hydraulic and electrical components and controls, robots, personnel/burden carriers, racks, forklifts, batteries, flexible manufacturing systems, unit handling systems, conveyors and sortation equipment, ergonomic and safety equipment, scissor lifts, order picking, carousels, modular drawer storage, tool handling, shelving, and workstations.

Packaging, Containers, and Shipping Equipment: Box and carton makers, packaging machinery, wrapping, systems for inspection of products by weight or scanning, pallets, wire baskets, plastic and metal containers, and palletizing equipment.

Inventory Management and Controlling Technologies: Computers, controllers, software programs, systems integrators, manufacturing execution systems, warehouse management systems, supply chain and logistics execution systems, wireless and remote control systems, order management systems, and enterprise resource planning and transportation management systems.

Dock and Warehouse Equipment and Supplies: Dock levelers, dock pads, doors, forklift trucks, racks, flooring, handling systems, forklift attachments, conveyors, hoists, cranes, monorails, and below/hook lifting devices.

Consultants and Distribution System Planners: Simulators, modelers, system designers, distribution consultants, and reverse logistics and third-party logistics services.

Automatic Identification Equipment and Systems: Bar-code printers and scanners, vision systems, voice recognition systems, radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems, and systems integrators.

Supply Chain Management: Alternative fuel systems, parcel management and distribution, reverse logistics, third-party logistics, supply chain and logistics execution systems, enterprise resource planning and transportation management systems, and inventory security services.

Sustainable Facility Solutions: Alternative and renewable energy and fuel systems, recyclable and returnable packaging and shipping materials, energy-efficient lighting, high-volume/low-speed (HVLS) fans, energy-efficient equipment and sensors, daylighting technologies, sustainable facility planning services, and power-regeneration technologies.

Autonomous Vehicles: Automated storage and retrieval systems, automatic guided vehicle systems, driverless trucks, delivery and inventory drones, and automated cranes.

Also on tap this year are a "meet and greet" for young professionals, which will be held on Tuesday, April 9, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., and MHI Industry Night, an evening of live music, food, drinks, and entertainment by comedian Craig Ferguson. Industry Night will be held on Wednesday, April 10. Tickets to this event are on sale at ProMatShow.com/industrynight, and a portion of ticket sales will be donated to the Material Handling Education Foundation Inc. (MHEFI). The door prize for the event is a $30,000 trip to a location of the winner's choice.