Jervis B. Webb, a material handling solutions company based in Farmington Hills, Mich., believes its automated products can help US companies stay strong. “Certain products we offer can reduce costs,” said Brian Stewart, COO and senior vice president. “A company would not be getting rid of distribution jobs, but moving jobs to other parts of the company as it grows.”
The company’s SmartLoader, a trailer-loading and warehousing automatic guided vehicle, has already earned an ROI of 20% for a leading beverage company competing in an industry with razor-thin profit margins. The company has deployed more than a dozen SmartLoaders three shifts a day, five to seven days a week to reduce operating costs, particularly those associated with continuous trailer loading operations, down time, equipment maintenance, and damaged product.
“Any company with warehouse operations, if they’ve leaned up manufacturing, needs to look at distribution next,” Stewart said, “Because there are significant savings there.”
Another Webb product, the SmartCart automatic guided cart, can move materials from one production station to another with regularity and predictability. The SmartCart is available in three models that can be used with traditional conveyor systems. These systems represent “exactly the innovation that is needed to keep material handling in the US strong,” Stewart said.