Meet the newest member of the Otto Family – An Autonomous Forklift

Otto Motors is introducing its newest member to the autonomous family, the Otto Lifter. By implementing current technology with a staple of many warehouses, Otto is bringing to you the Autonomous Forklift known as the Otto Lifter!

Being Introduced as the “World’s Smartest Autonomous Forklift,” The Otto Lifter is helping companies overcome productivity issues caused by lack of workforce. It will also help companies optimize their workforce by utilizing the human labor elsewhere. It is estimated that there will be 2.1 million job openings in the US manufacturing market. Its goal will be to reduce material handling costs while also increasing the throughput in the workplace.

The Otto Autonomous Forklift is also here to help overcome another issue brought upon by the traditional Forklift, which is workplace safety. It will provide the consistency of the standard Forklift while also eliminating serious or non-serious injuries. According to statistics provided by OSHA, there are nearly 100,000 injuries per year involving forklifts. On average, there are also 85 deaths per year due to forklift accidents. Otto is backing its Lifter with 3 million hours driven in production, while providing 400,000 deliveries while allowing zero safety incidents.

By incorporating autonomous technology into the forklift, you are not sacrificing the capabilities of what the Otto Lifter is able to provide. It can lift up to 1200 kg (2640 lbs.) while being able to lift up to 30 in autonomously, or 106 in. with human operation controlling the lift. It can also operate at max 3.2 mph when in an open environment.

“Otto’s Autonomous Lifter complements our existing range of conveyors and material handling products” said Ultimation product specialist, Cory Meisel. “Many of our customers have been looking for this type of product to help optimize their warehouse layouts and provide flexible, fast to implement automation solutions. With its impressive payload, this new Otto product is well suited to pallet loads and larger items. We can provide docking stations where the forklift can load and unload from our conveyor systems, resulting in a totally automated warehouse operation.”

The Otto Autonomous Forklift is easily introduced with other Otto AMR vehicles to completely optimize productivity in the workplace. The Fleet Management system allows you to control all AMRs in the workplace. Keep in mind, AMRs do not require modification to the workplace. They analyze their surroundings and can maneuver its environment using Lidar technology. Traditional AGVs require sensors in the floor or some sort of path to follow, so the AMR is going to be easier to implement with less upfront work.

Is Vertical Farming the Future?

This story is courtesy of the Visual Capitalist. You can read the entire article here.

Advantages of Vertical Farming

Is Vertical Farming the Future?

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), half of the Earth’s topsoil has been lost over the past 150 years. This issue is known as land degradation, and it’s caused by natural and human forces such as droughts, overfarming, and pollution.

In this graphic sponsored by Global X ETFs, we’ve illustrated an innovative solution to land degradation known as vertical farming.

Advantages of Vertical Farming

Vertical farming is best defined as growing food indoors and on vertically stacked layers. It utilizes technologies known as controlled environment agriculture (CEA):

  • Aeroponics: Plants are suspended in the air and sprayed with nutrient-rich solvents
  • Hydroponics: Plants are cultivated in a nutrient-rich water-based solution
  • Aquaponics: Plants are cultivated in an ecosystem which also houses fish

Vertical farms can grow 1 ton of lettuce with just 17% of the space needed for a traditional farm, meaning they are much more space efficient. This is a direct solution for land degradation, but the benefits don’t end there.

Farming in a controlled environment cuts down on chemical usage because there is no longer a need for pesticides. A recent U.S. study found that in 71% of usage cases, pesticides have contaminated soil and reduced biodiversity.

Furthermore, vertical farms can reduce water use by up to 90% thanks to recirculation. This is a massive improvement when considering that traditional farms account for 70% of global water consumption.

What’s the Trade-off?

Like most things in life, vertical farms also have their drawbacks.

The first challenge is high energy consumption due to the lack of natural sunlight and water. Both of these inputs must be provided by using electricity, which may not be ideal depending on location. The second challenge is costs, not just because of energy consumption, but also due to the equipment needed for CEA systems.

The table below compares a traditional outdoor farm with a theoretical vertical farm. These estimates illustrate a clear trade-off between i) greater output and less water usage; and ii) a larger carbon footprint.

Metric Traditional Outdoor Farm Vertical Farm Percentage Difference
Lettuce output per 1 acre 16 tons 126 tons +787%
Kg CO₂ emitted per ton of lettuce 160 kg 540 kg +337%
KL of water used per ton of lettuce 118 kL 6 kL -95%

Traditional farm yields are based on the U.S. 2020 average. Source: Global X ETFs

With global population expected to reach 10 billion people by 2060, more efficient methods of farming are needed. Vertical farms, alongside other innovations in agriculture and food, could be the answer.

 

 

Ultimation named one of “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch”

ROSEVILLE, Mich. (Mar. 18, 2022)— Ultimation Industries has been recognized as one of the 2022 awardees for the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch Award, presented by Michigan Celebrates Small Business. Ultimation will be acknowledged on stage at the in-person awards ceremony during the 18th annual Michigan Celebrates Small Business Gala on May 3, 2022.

Ultimation is the leading direct-to-consumer conveyor manufacturer, specializing in solving productivity challenges with fast-to-deploy solutions. In addition to major automobile manufacturers, Ultimation Industries’ customers include those in the sectors of food processing, vertical farming, heavy equipment, warehousing, fulfillment and delivery.

Companies nominated for the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch Award must be second-stage companies, defined as having six to 99 full-time-equivalent employees and generating $750,000 to $50 million in annual revenue or working capital from investors or grants. Additionally, the companies must be privately held and headquartered in Michigan.

“This award recognizes the success of Ultimation’s strategy to grow by expanding into new markets through e-commerce while continuing to innovate for mainstay automotive customers,” said Jacqueline Canny, CEO of Ultimation Industries. “Michigan’s great manufacturing hub has been integral to our success and we are honored to be chosen as one of our state’s top growth companies.”

In 2021 alone, Ultimation has:

  • Continued increasing revenue at more than 30 percent year over year as it has done consistently over the past five years.
  • Expanded its product line-up to include Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) or warehouse robots that allow companies of all sizes to transform their facilities into fully integrated warehouses.
  • Been awarded the contract to design and build the conveyors and material handling system for the world’s largest indoor vertical farming facility.

“MCSB has always prided itself on its spirit of collaboration and celebration,” said Jennifer Deamud, MCSB Board Chair. “We love seeing our awardees celebrating one another’s success and sharing in this amazing moment is each awardee’s journey. It’s true— success is best when it is shared.”

Judges from economic and entrepreneurship development organizations annually select the winners. The judges evaluate the nominees’ demonstration of intent and capacity to grow based on the following:

  • Employee or sales growth
  • Exceptional entrepreneurial leadership
  • Sustainable competitive advantage
  • Other notable factors that showcase the company’s success

Michigan Celebrates annually receives over 550 nominations for the Michigan 50 Companies to Watch award. In addition to a competitive landscape for this award, the businesses selected by the judges go through a rigorous due diligence process prior to the final decision.

Additional information and ticket information can be found at MichiganCelebrates.org.

About Michigan Celebrates Small Business:

Michigan Celebrates Small Business (MCSB) is a collaboration of trusted statewide founding organizations who offer resources for small businesses. Since 2005, Michigan Celebrates Small Business awards gala has placed a spotlight on how small businesses positively impact our communities and state. The MCSB organization is focused on supporting, promoting and celebrating small businesses in Michigan. Kinexus Group is the Managing Partner of the awards gala.

About Ultimation:

Ultimation Industries, LLC is a woman-owned leader in the conveyor technology and automation industry. Founded in 1989, Ultimation designs, manufactures and installs machinery and equipment, automation devices, tire and wheel processing lines and conveyor systems for customers throughout the Americas. The company offers a line of proprietary automation systems and is also a leading integrator of Jervis Webb Conveyor Systems. Ultimation’s e-commerce channel sells Ultimation, Interroll, Itoh Denki, Jervis Webb, and a wide range of other conveyor equipment. In 2020, Ultimation was recognized as one of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing private companies in America. The company was a finalist for Amazon’s 2019 Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year and earned honors as one of “2019 Metro Detroit’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For®.” Visit https://www.ultimationinc.com/ for the latest product information and news about Ultimation.

 

###

For further information please contact:

Nancy Sarpolis at [email protected] or 248-219-5651

 

External coverage of this story at:

https://www.automation.com/en-us/articles/march-2022/ultimation-industries-earns-michigan-50-companies

https://www.thefabricator.com/thefabricator/news/materialshandling/ultimation-industries-earns-michigan-50-companies-to-watch-award