Event organizer, the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA), staged a press conference on the second day of the show, in which Hal Vandiver, executive vice president, business development, rejected claims that the industry is threatened by a double-dip recession and was, in fact, encouraged by certain key indicators that lead the materials handling marketplace.

The Overhead Alliance (below, OA), an MHIA group entity, exhibited for the second time at an MHIA trade show.  It attracted visitors to its booth all week.
The OA was formed to serve member companies organised under certain MHIA affiliated trade associations: CMAA (Crane Manufacturers Association of America), HMI (Hoist Manufacturers Institute), and MMA (Monorail Manufacturers Association).

The three groups faced common opportunities and challenges, and determined they could compound the results of their efforts by joining forces and pooling resources.

Next year’s MHIA show, ProMat, will take place March 21-24 at McCormick Place South, Chicago, Illinois.

Gorbel (below, left) showed its ‘augmented reality station, where cranes will literally come to 3-D life in your hands’. In a nutshell, that’s basically what they do.

A camera recognizes boards, which are placed on an area representing a factory floor, as different kinds of lifting equipment and tools.  A screen displays a 3D image of how the scenario will look in real life.

It shows how overhead and jib cranes interact with, say, ingot storage or machining devices and how they might enhance the production process.
The idea is that where it is difficult and costly to transport large jib cranes, for example, to a trade fair, and impossible for customers to envisage the application as it will work in their facility, augmented reality brings it to life.
The tool can also demonstrate the advantages of overhead lifting equipment over alternative forms of materials handling, for example, forklift trucks.

Overhead Crane & Hoist, which exhibited opposite the OSHA and Overhead Alliance booths, used the show to meet friends old and new and welcome a host of new subscribers, including many from the end user fraternity.

Demag Cranes & Components highlighted its status as the first manufacturer to receive HMI certification for its DC range of electric chain hoists.

HMI, the Hoist Manufacturers Institute, is a trade association affiliated with the MHIA.  HMI-Certified approval requires evaluation of the product’s technical design and specification by an independent third-party professional engineer.
The HMI website details the purpose of HMI-Certified as a means to instill confidence in the product bearing that mark and in the licensee providing that product.  It adds HMI-Certified is a certification program indicating that the marked products meet one or more recognised standards.
Product design and test data was reviewed and certified to ensure Demag’s DC chain hoists conform to North American standards, including the Performance Standards for electric chain hoists ASME HST 1-1999 reaffirmed (2004), Safety Standards for overhead hoists ANSI B30.16, and National Fire Protection NFPA 70 Article 610.
Demag also gave visitors the chance to win prizes with a fair ground-style grabber, in the guise of an overhead crane.

OCH editor Richard Howes (right, centre) visits the MGM Electric Motors booth.