All Stories
3 min

Closing gaps to open new opportunities

The process solutions and new technologies introduced at this year’s ProMat by the KION Group were all about closing gaps for our customers, providing them with new options on their respective paths to Industry 4.0.


Whether it involved discussions about Dematic’s innovative micro fulfillment systems or a chance to view KION North America’s new hybrid mobile automation vehicles, a digital twin virtual facility app using virtual reality, or a robotic piece picking solution enhanced by the latest imaging and perception software, there was something for everyone interested in closing assorted gaps in their journeys to grow their businesses and reach Industry 4.0.

“What we have been showcasing here in Chicago at ProMat are fulfillment solutions for any size company and any size budget – everything from modular goods to person-to-robotic picking – no matter where our customers find themselves on the automation journey, we have a solution for them,” declared Hasan Dandashly, CEO at Dematic, on the opening day of the mega-exhibition.

Monday saw a record number of exhibitors welcoming estimated 45,000 attendees streaming in throughout the first day to watch demonstrations and listen to presentations from opening to close of day. It seemed as if the professionals from Dematic’s Robotics Center of Excellence were on a non-stop tour of their piece picking technology.

Meanwhile KION North America colleagues were proudly showing their new line of solutions custom-made for the Americas – North and South – to the throngs of customers who stopped by to see what was new out of Summerville, South Carolina.

“Linde has engineered and produced a full warehouse line specifically designed for the North American market, said Vincent Halma, President and CEO at KION North America (NA). He explained that this has been a vision for the last six years which has now become a reality and will provide companies with operations in the Americas with not only options but solutions to close important gaps in their intralogistics strategies.

Together with fellow brand Dematic and a global leader in AGV technology, Linde introduced a hybrid mobile automation vehicle – the VNA (very narrow aisle) truck as well as software technology designed for warehouse management. In addition, they unveiled the 5195 Reach Truck and Series 5215 Vertical Order Picker.

“These customized solutions should really help to strengthen our presence in several Latin American countries who are looking for solutions that are unique to their respective markets,” noted Mathias Papenburg, Sales and Services Director for Latin America.

The future and global growth of our industry is being driven by shifts in the demand for labor, speed and accuracy, not to mention warehouse and vehicle safety.

Susanna Schneeberger

Tuesday, Day 2 at ProMat, was incredibly crowded and the noise level at the exhibit space shared by both KION NA and Dematic never seemed to wane, a point not lost of KION CEO Gordon Riske. “I am really impressed at the level of intensity our professionals have shown in their discussions today, especially when you consider how busy it has been here all day,” he noted. Both Riske and new CDO Susanne Schneeberger spent the two busiest days lending their support to discussions with customers and to presentations and demonstrations given by subject experts.

“The future and global growth of our industry is being driven by shifts in the demand for labor, speed and accuracy, not to mention warehouse and vehicle safety, and our key differentiator as an organization is not only how we can react to these trends and challenges our customers face, but in our ability to define and drive new trends in the market,” stated Schneeberger.

By the end of the final full day of ProMat, many of KION’s senior management were busy assessing what the take-aways were of this year’s exhibition.

Mike Khodl, Vice President of Global Solutions Management, said he could not stress enough how often customers told him they wanted to learn more about the new micro fulfillment system. “We really made an impression with our solution,” he beamed. And his colleague over at KION NA, Halmas, could not have agreed more, adding that he and his colleagues came to Chicago to let their customers know they were now armed with solutions to help close some important gaps in their markets.

“This is just the beginning of what we have to offer and we will continue to focus on – and develop - the best solutions possible to respond to our customers.”