60 seconds with Shana Relle, MHIA, Intralox

Modern spends 60 seconds with Shana Relle, chair of the ISCC for MHIA and marketing for Intralox
By Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor
May 01, 2012 - MMH Editorial

Shana Relle
Title: Chair of the Integrated Systems & Controls Council (ISCC) for the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA); marketing for packaging and materials handling for Intralox
Location: New Orleans
Experience: Six years in the materials handling industry
Primary Focus: The goal of the ISCC is to bring together suppliers of system components and controls with companies that put together an entire materials handling system. The focus of the automation alliance is to put a public face on the group’s efforts and educate end users on materials handling.

Modern: Are you and your colleagues in the integrated systems group seeing a rising interest level in automation
Relle: We are. And while the members within the group offer a variety of automated solutions, we’re seeing interest from customers of all sizes, across all industries and with a wide set of problems. We’re seeing customers who want to put in a large, comprehensive system, but there’s also interest in islands of automation. They may want just a small piece of automation, like putting in a piece of live conveyor to move a tire down an assembly line rather than a worker having to push it across a gravity conveyor.

Modern: Your group has a campaign to bust the myths around automation. What are some of the myths around automation?
Relle: The myths persist, but I’d say many of them are going away. For instance, people used to think that only large companies could automate. Now, according to our research, 52% believe that automation is for companies of any size, and 78% agree that automation can be retrofitted into an existing facility. We’re making headway on those two. However, 56% still believe that these systems are hard to support and maintain, even though I think that’s no longer true. Only 56% think automation is safe, yet we don’t hear reports about people being injured as a result of automation.

Modern: If myths are really being busted, what does that say about automation?
Relle: I think you’re just seeing more of it. Consumers are comfortable with the idea that goods come from Asia, and they have to be moved around a warehouse. The press about Amazon buying Kiva brings a certain amount of attention to the industry from people who haven’t paid attention in the past—a good percentage of the population is buying products from Amazon.

Modern: What does the ISCC see for the future of automation?
Relle: There are a lot of reasons for customers to automate going forward. For instance, you’re seeing more green packaging. That has to be handled very gently and precisely, which is something that automation can do. Where facilities are at capacity or want LEED certification, you’re going to see more automation. I think you’re going to see a mix of automation and non-automation, and I think that’s going to grow more and more. I also think as young people become more comfortable with personal technology, they’ll be more comfortable with robots and automation.



About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Executive Editor

Bob Trebilcock, executive editor, has covered materials handling, technology and supply chain topics for Modern Materials Handling since 1984. More recently, Trebilcock became editorial director of Supply Chain Management Review. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.


Subscribe to Logistics Management magazine

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your
entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Recent Entries

The 'Internet of Things' or IoT is a term that has rapidly taken center stage in business and consumer technology circles, with tremendous amounts of hype in both. Don't be distracted if some of the hypothetical consumer examples of the IoT seem far-fetched; the trend has serious implications for businesses. This complimentary whitepaper takes a look at some of the opportunities afforded by the Internet of Business Things.

Of special interest to readers of Logistics Management will be “Americas Update,” which will look into the future of the market in the Americas and assess how firms will be able to favorably position themselves to compete and win market share.

After 20 years, two congressional mandates and countless lawsuits and lobbying efforts, safety advocates and the Teamsters union still say there are too many inexperienced rookie truck drivers hitting the road without sufficient behind-the-wheel training.

Congested U.S. port terminals, harbor and over-the-road truck and driver shortages, slower trains and longer rail terminal dwell times due to increased domestic rates have not only disrupted service but also driven intermodal rates and cargo handling costs up sharply.

Southern California shippers are getting a break on container dwell expenses for the next ten days as the Port of Long Beach announced that it had added an extra three days to the time that overseas import containers can remain on the docks without charge.

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.