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  October 18th, 2016 | Written by

Automatic Truck Loading and Unloading Technology Coming to U.S. Market

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  • Three-minute trailer loading and unloading is now a reality.
  • Heico leverages its North American transportation experience with Ancra Systems’ proprietary technology.
  • Trucking, logistics, material handling, and manufacturing an benefit from automatic loading systems.

The Heico Companies LLC have acquired of Ancra Systems B.V.

Ancra Systems is a leader in the field of automatic truck loading systems also known as ATLS. Headquartered in Boxtel, Netherlands, Ancra Systems is one of only a few global specialists in its field. Heico is the holding company for 36 businesses involved in manufacturing, construction, and industrial services.

“This acquisition will bring advanced loading system technology to the North American trucking and material handling sectors and extend the advantages of automation throughout the warehouse, to the docks and into the trailers,” said Steve Frediani, president and CEO of the Heico’s Ancra platform. “The addition of Ancra Systems positions Heico as a global player in the automated cargo management, loading, control and unloading space.”

Loading and unloading a 53-foot trailer with palletized cargo can commonly take between 30 and 45 minutes using a forklift. By contrast, loading and unloading a trailer using one of several automated systems from Ancra Systems can be accomplished in about three minutes.

Traditional forklift-based cargo movement within a warehouse or on a dock can pose safety risks. OSHA statistics indicate that there are roughly 85 forklift-related fatalities and 34,900 serious injuries each year. With Ancra Systems, precision automation significantly reduces the opportunity for human error to adversely affect cargo movement within a facility, including its impact on the loading and unloading process.

“Automation and the efficiencies it brings has already permeated many dimensions of manufacturing and warehouse operations in Europe and North America,” said Marc Hezemans, managing director for Ancra Systems. “The difference is that many European operations have been enjoying the additional benefits of our automated truck loading and unloading systems for more than 20 years.”

Ancra Systems has helped many customers realize dramatic improvements in efficiency, equipment utilization gains and reduced product damage. The application of its automated systems has translated directly to cost reductions and increases in an average 18-month return on investment. Customers have also benefited from improved working conditions and safer working environments. The company offers six distinct systems with custom design capabilities that are constantly pushing the envelope of what is technically possible.

Solutions include a Chain Conveyor System and Skate System for palletized freight, a Roller Conveyor System for air cargo, a Slat Conveyor System for mixed and palletized freight, a Plastic Belt System for mixed and palletized freight, and a Belt Conveyor System for loose loaded parcels.

The company also offers two systems that require no trailer-mounted equipment interface. The Skate Loader and Load Runner Plus enable users to gain the advantages of ATLS without any need to upfit or retrofit trailers.

The most likely candidates for the company’s system applications are manufacturers or distributors of high-volume, relatively standardized products operating in closed-loop environments, just-in-time scenarios, and certain one-way loading applications. Industries include trucking, logistics, material handling, food, beverage, cold chain and a wide variety of manufacturers, particularly tier-one and tier-two suppliers in close proximity to customers.