Welcome to the Warehouse & Logistics News IMHX 2019 Exhibitor Focus, our selection of the leading suppliers at the show, each with a strong offering combining products, customer service, technical expertise and experience.

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As the pressures grow on businesses and non-commercial organisations to achieve ever higher performance, warehousing and logistics continues to be fundamental to their success and a key point for investment and expenditure. Hence the need for buyers and decision makers in this area to have the maximum information when making their choices.

All our companies in the Exhibitor Focus are well qualified to help you achieve your development ambitions and look forward to meeting you at the NEC and discussing your requirements. Here are a few of the highlights we have picked out.

IMHX is an excellent platform to engage with new and existing suppliers and spark turnkey projects. During the last IMHX, says Justin Saw, Sales Director at Logistex Ltd (18L110), they obtained a number of high-quality enquiries and met with a particularly memorable client, resulting in a multi-million-pound contract for a Pallet Shuttle project. IMHX is a good place to plant the seeds of change in customers’ minds. AvantiGas, on Stand 6E190, are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of LPG to business. AvantiGas is showcasing its Complete Forklift LPG Solution, responding to growing demands for safer, more efficient LPG forklift refuelling. Chris Georgiou, area sales manager, says Avanti are committed to transitioning the LPG industry by 2040 to 100% bio-LPG, offering carbon reductions of up to 95% versus conventional LPG. IMHX doesn’t only attract visitors from large organisations: “The majority of our work focuses on retail, ecommerce, fashion, 3PLs, dry grocery and automotive suppliers,” says Adrian Carter, Sales Director at AMH Material Handling (Stand number 18M22). Thanks to IMHX, AMH have helped a number of clients graduate from a simple transport conveyor to a 24/7 fully automated warehouse, and welcome all enquiries.

IMHX isn’t only about major projects. The inhouse integrator of EuroSort’s mechanical sorting machines, DistriSort (19K22) handles the smaller dedicated sorting projects larger system integrators often neglect, providing turn-key sorting solutions. “If you’re picking 10,000 units or more per day,” says Philippe Sanders, DistriSort Marketing & Sales developer, “our solutions offer a real option to save labour costs, without large investments in mechanisation.”

IMHX is the perfect place to find out about products that need space and time to get to know and understand. John Maguire is Managing Director of Narrow Aisle Flexi, on 20E120, who pioneered Flexi Articulated Reach Trucks 30 years ago. At this year’s show, Narrow Aisle are taking the opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of their new Flexi ACiON and LiTHiON products. Also on the stand, Flexi‘s Warehouse Systems Division are exhibiting their capability to develop customers’ projects, including compressing the project timeframe to accelerate implementation and make payback earlier, a concept which is very important in the fast-growing e-fulfilment and 3PL sector.

Visitors to IMHX come from all industry sectors and Jim Smith, Director of Rite Hite UK, (stand 19J85), welcomes the variety this brings: “From DHL installing our Global Wheel Lock System at various sites to Southampton Hospital installing a series of our Dok-Guardians, anywhere with a loading dock can be a customer. We also offer in-plant safety equipment, so potential customers can be anywhere with a warehouse.”

Businesses of all sizes are buying high-speed doors from EFAFLEX UK (stand 19J20), says MD Darren Turrell. Last year they introduced the Materials Transport and Logistics door, a fabric roll-up door that can operate at 250,000 cycles per year. For sheer smartness, it’s hard to beat EFAFLEX’s Sales App, showing your design in 3D at the click of a button.

IMHX attracts exhibitors who are on a growth trajectory. German-owned battery maker Triathlon on stand 6D205 is “almost unrecognisable compared to 2016,” says John Wells, the company’s Sales Director. Since the last IMHX, they have hired more engineers than anticipated. Their customer base and order intake have increased dramatically and they have introduced new, state of the art technology throughout the business. They have also achieved various accreditations including ISO9001 for Quality Management, ISO14001 for Environmental Management and the OHSAS 18001 for Health and Safety Management and are now Safe Contractor approved.

Another company on a growth trajectory are regular exhibitors at IMHX, Combilift’s (stand 18 L125) annual output has risen over 60% in the UK and worldwide since last time, says Martin McVicar, Managing Director. E-commerce’s relentless rise is fuelling demand for Combilift’s warehousing trucks, including Aisle-Master articulated forklifts, whose 15m lift height makes them a popular ‘pick’ for UK warehouses, which continue to work to new heights.

Another exhibitor on an upward path, BYD Europe on stand 20E147 has been active in the UK for a few years but is making its IMHX debut this year. Part of Chinese technology company BYD, they are exhibiting their counterbalance trucks and second-generation warehouse equipment, powered by BYD’s Iron-Phosphate battery technology. Gary Winter, Country Manager – UK & Ireland says BYD have grown in the last three years to a network with 8 UK dealers.

If you want to hear about spectacularly big projects, IMHX is the place for you. A major recent success for KNAPP UK (stand 10D128) was securing Shop Direct’s order for the intralogistics in its new, automated distribution centre at East Midlands Gateway, one of KNAPP UK’s largest orders ever. KNAPP’s UK MD Craig Rollason will be at IMHX to talk about this project and launching KNAPP’s new Pick-it-Easy Evo workstation. Pick-it-Easy Evo enables warehouse staff to work smart, not hard, minimising the strain from stretching, stooping and lifting, while the LED displays touch screens and easyUse interface to ensure error-free, rapid and efficient processes. You can experience KNAPP’s virtual reality warehouse first hand with the Pick-it-Easy Virtual system, moving around in the virtual warehouse.

Operations of all sizes can come to IMHX and find out how to THINK : LIKE : TOYOTA. “What we mean by that,” says Jon Buckley, Commercial Director, Toyota Material Handling, who are on stand 20D90, “is that through Toyota’s lean and detailed approach it’s possible for everyone to become very efficient and make the best use of data, new energy solutions and the increasing levels of supply chain digitalisation technology.”

Speaking of new energy, the writing is on the wall at IMHX to help your warehouse staff stay safe, thanks to Durable (UK) on stand UK15. Sean Starkey, the company’s Managing Director, is spreading the message about the importance of good signage with Durable’s products. The DURAFRAME signage solution’s magnetic panel lifts away from the frame so information can be inserted and replaced quickly and easily, while the DURAFRAME SECURITY system is the easiest way to clearly display safety and warning information.

Finally, the future is flexible. Joshila Makan, CEO of WCS (stand UK12), the suppliers of growing flexible and scalable warehouse management solutions, makes it clear that in today’s uncertain environment, flexibility is a highly sought-after quality for successful UK businesses: “The ease of use and configuration of our warehouse management solutions, facilitates the rapid deployment of configuration changes to the WMS supporting an agile and dynamic business environment.”

Joshila says listening to customers is crucial to meeting their needs and IMHX is the perfect time: “This event will be a great opportunity to provide valuable insight from existing customers on how our product can significantly support businesses today, and tomorrow.” We’re sure everyone in our Exhibitor Focus agrees with that.

Charles Smith

Feature Writer