Ultimation Industries, a conveyor technology and automation company in Roseville, has launched a new range of specialty automated delivery systems for the automotive and e-commerce industries.
The systems build on Ultimation’s success in providing conveyors for sequenced tire and wheel assemblies that can be unloaded from the trailer directly to the plant’s assembly line.
The first application for the systems is a fleet of trucks that deliver oversize and performance-style tires.
“These mud-style tire and wheel assemblies are enormous and don’t fit inside existing delivery systems,” says John Daugherty, vice president of engineering and projects for Ultimation. “We had to develop a new, automated delivery solution that would protect the wheel surfaces at all times.”
The system uses a continuous loop of conveyors inside the trucks. Motor driven roller conveyors move the tires during loading and unloading. When Ultimation’s truck system is backed into a delivery dock, the conveyor inside connects with the supplier’s shipping conveyor.
The tires enter the truck, and loading continues with the required number of tire and wheel assemblies for each delivery. Once the truck arrives at the assembly plant, it backs into the dock and the unloading process begins. The entire process is automated.
“Avoiding forklift movements for loading and unloading wheel and tire assemblies has major value for the auto companies as well as suppliers,” Daugherty says. “Each forklift movement in a busy assembly environment carries safety risks. The efficiencies and productivity gains are significant, as well.”
The company is also working on motorized driven roller systems for automated loading and unloading of commercial vehicles. These systems can load and unload individual carton or package loads or alternatively mini-container or tote loads of products.
The systems can provide motorized or gravity (hand-push) loading systems.
Ultimation works to improve the efficiency of last-mile delivery.
“We have decades of experience understanding the lean manufacturing methods and just-in-time processes of the auto companies,” Daugherty says. “Now it’s time to bring lean supply chain conveyor technology to the mobile parcel and freight delivery industries.”