Technology Committees

Material Handling Technology Committee Activities

Tony Nath (left), MHTC vice chair, presented a plaque of appreciation to Hal Nowell (right), general sales manager, Taylor Machine Works, for hosting the MHTC’s meeting and plant tour.

The MHTC met 14–15 September 2016, Louisville, Miss., USA.
The MHTC reviewed the 2016 Steel Industry Fatalities report, followed by a roundtable safety discussion.
Bruce Zimmerman, papers chair, gave an update on the MHTC’s AISTech 2017 technical session development. Eight abstracts were selected for two joint sessions with the Transportation & Logistics Technology Committee. Session chairs were selected, and the roles of papers chair and session chair were reviewed.
The MHTC’s representatives at the AIST Leadership Conference will be Everette Davis, Tony Nath and Bruce Zimmerman.
Doug Niksch, education chair, discussed the 2017 Technology Training Conference. A possible third tour is being considered with UPS. The seminar program will be completed before 1 December 2016.
Bobby King of Greenfield Products  gave a presentation entitled “Barge Cover Lid Lifter,” and Hal Nowell of Taylor Machine Works gave a presentation on Taylor forklifts. The MHTC toured the Taylor Machine Works complex on Thursday, 15 September.

The MHTC service plaque was presented to Everette Davis
(left to right): Bruce Zimmerman, Larry Guinn, Davis, Tony
Nath and Doug Niksch.

The MHTC met 17 May 2016, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

The following officers were elected:

  • Chair: Everette Davis, Nucor Steel–Berkeley

  • Vice chair: Tony Nath, Nucor Steel Gallatin

  • Papers chair: Bruce Zimmerman, Nucor Steel–Indiana

The MHTC and TLTC met 16 September 2015, Canton, Ohio, USA. The MHTC and TLTC reviewed the 2015 Steel Industry Fatalities report, followed by a safety roundtable discussion. Fall protection for truck loading was the main topic of discussion.
Doug Niksch, education chair for both committees, discussed the 2016 Material Handling and Transportation Logistics Training Seminar, to be held 11–14 April 2016 in Nashville, Tenn., USA. Bridgestone Tire will serve as the host plant. Niksch reviewed the program outline for the conference and noted that a presenter is needed for the trucking regulations topic. George Price of Berg Steel Pipe and Mike Wheatley of Vallourec Star were added to the panel discussion titled “Moving Steel Safely, Effectively, Efficiently.” Members of both the MHTC and TLTC are encouraged to attend and support this training seminar.
The annual Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the Open Top Loading Rules Committee (OTLRC) Subcommittee joint meeting will take place following the 2016 Material Handling and Transportation Logistics Training Seminar on Thursday morning, 14 April 2016.
Bruce Zimmerman and David Haslar discussed the MHTC’s and TLTC’s AISTech 2016 technical session development. Four abstracts were selected to complete the Tuesday morning session. Additional abstracts will be scheduled for the Wednesday morning session.
The following presentations were given:

  • “Fall Protection at Nucor Steel–Nebraska,” by Mark Petracek of Nucor Steel–Nebraska.

  • “Bulk Loading Program at TimkenSteel,” by Matt Griffith of TimkenSteel Corp.

  • “High-Density Storage at TimkenSteel,” by David Haslar of TimkenSteel Corp.

The MHTC service plaque was presented to Gregg Bond (left to right): Everette Davis, Gregg Bond, Doug Niksch and Tony Nath.

The MHTC met 5 May 2015, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.
The following officers were elected:

  • Chair — Everette Davis, Nucor Steel–Berkeley

  • Vice chair — Tony Nath, Nucor Steel Gallatin

  • Papers chair — Bruce Zimmerman, Nucor Steel– Indiana

  • Education chair — Doug Niksch, Mi-Jack Products Inc.

Meeting Highlights:
The joint MHTC and TLTC fall meeting was discussed. Presentations will  be  given  by  representatives from TimkenSteel Corp., United States Steel Corporation and Nucor Steel Tuscaloosa Inc.
Doug Niksch reviewed the 2016 Material Handling & Transportation Logistics Technology Training Conference program outline. The conference will be held on 11–14 April 2016 in Nashville, Tenn., USA. Bridgestone  Tire will host a tour of its facility.

The MHTC and TLTC met 12–14 April 2016, Nashville, Tenn., USA. 
The committees reviewed the 2016 Steel Industry Fatalities report in a  roundtable discussion.
The committees’ AISTech 2016 technical sessions were reviewed. Two joint sessions are to be held in the morning on Tuesday and Wednesday. The roles of session chair and papers chair were re-emphasized.
Nominations for MHTC and TLTC officers for the 2016–2017 term were confirmed.
The group discussed the 2017 Material Handling Transportation & Logistics Technology Training Conference. The conference was cancelled in 2016. The 2017 conference will be held on 3–5 October 2017 in Louisville, Ky., USA.
Hal Nowell of Taylor Machine Works Inc. and Doug Niksch of Mi-Jack Products Inc. gave technical presentations.
The Association of American Railroads (AAR) and the AIST Open Top Loading Rules Subcommittee held their annual joint meeting. The following items were discussed:


  • Recent beam load testing with Steel Dynamics Inc.

  • Impact testing at Nucor-Yamato Steel Co.

  • Impact testing continues with pipe load configurations for 200 series pipe.

  • Slab shipments are being tested.

  • AAR circulars will be made available to AIST so that they can be distributed in a timely manner to affected steel shippers.

  • Need to resolve issue for using stub stakes for plate shipments.

Myles Morgan (right) senior field engineer, Bridgestone Tire, hosted the MHTC’s and the TLTC’s tour of the Bridgestone LaVergne Plant facility. 

The MHTC met 21–22 January 2015, Ontario, Calif., USA. The 2014 Steel Industry Fatalities report was reviewed, followed by a safety roundtable discussion.
The AISTech 2015 technical sessions were reviewed, and it was noted that there are two vacancies.
Nominations for MHTC officers for the 2015–2016 term were confirmed and will be announced at AISTech 2015 in May.
Doug Niksch, MHTC education chair, reviewed several upcoming training conferences:

  • A specialty training conference for material handling and logistics in 2016. Several suggested topics were discussed to determine those issues with the most interest. Potential locations, tours and dates were also suggested. Niksch will discuss this seminar with the Transportation & Logistics Technology Committee (TLTC). Further discussions will take place during the joint meeting between the MHTC and TLTC at AISTech 2015. A joint planning committee will meet in Hazel Crest, Ill., USA, in June to finalize the program.

  • 2015 Safety & Health Specialty Conference agenda.

  • 2015 Mexico Safety & Health Specialty Conference.

 Past material handling specialty training conferences were also reviewed.
A joint meeting with the TLTC on 16–17 September 2015 was discussed. TimkenSteel Corp. has offered to host the meeting.  
The following presentations were given:

  • “Barriers and Process on Loading Pipe Into Railcars According to AAR Figure 124A,” by Mike Valencia, California Steel Industries Inc.

  • “Tire Preservation and Best Practices,” by Tony Femminella, Steel City Tire.

  • “Leading Safety — Making a Difference in People’s Lives,” by Malcom Dunbar, Edward C. Levy Co.

  • “Lifting Innovations in the Steel Industry,” by Peter Fulcher, Manitex LiftKing.

Next MHTC Meeting: Tuesday, 5 May 2015 during AISTech 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA

The MHTC Met on 29–30 March 2014, Charleston, S.C., USA. The MHTC reviewed its sessions for AISTech 2014.Session chairs were reminded of their responsibilities. MHTC members were encouraged to attend sessions for support. Three of the AISTech 2014 presenters gave a “trial run” of their presentations at the meeting.

Nominations of MHTC officers were held, with final positions determined at the MHTC meeting at AISTech 2014.
Presentations given during the meeting included:

“Inventory and Yard Asset Management Systems for the Steel Industry,” by Aaron Newton, Mi-Jack Products.
“New Innovation in Pedestrian Detection Technology for Large Mobile Equipment,” by Matt Hillyer, Taylor Machine Works Inc.
“How Lift Truck Innovation Can Improve Your Bottom Line,” by Herman Klaus, Hyster Co.
The MHTC was given a tour of the BOEING South Carolina facility and Nucor Steel–Berkeley.

The MHTC Met on 23–24 October 2013, San Antonio, Texas. Doug Niksch of Mi-Jack Products presented the MHTC’s schedule of sessions planned for AISTech 2014, which in-cludes two joint sessions with the Transportation & Logistics Technology Committee (TLTC):

• The Tuesday afternoon session is titled “Material Handling & Transportation Innovations,” with six papers.
• Both committees’ chairs and papers chairs will serve as session chairs: Gregg Bond, Doug Niksch, Donnie Spencer and Larry Guinn.
• A panel discussion with both committees is scheduled for a Wednesday afternoon session, with participants including Nucor and Timken.

The MHTC nominated Doug Niksch for the Distinguished Member and Fellow Award. MHTC and TLTC members are encouraged to submit recommendation letters to Pat Philbin at

An update was given on the AIST Process Benchmarker® (APB). Six companies are participating, and each process module is being populated by the users. 

Presentations during the meeting included:
• “Lifting Magnet Material Handling Applications” by Paul Bean, Winkle Industries.
• “Mi-Jack Quick Connect AutoSpreader” by Doug Niksch. 

The MHTC met on 26–27 March 2013 in Mobile, Ala. The MHTC officers for the 2013–2014 term are: Gregg Bond, chair; Everette Davis, vice chair; and Doug Niksch, papers chair and education chair. Presentations included, “Mobile Equipment Tire Maintenance and Safety,” by Tony Femminella; “Bar Code Identification of Pipe and Tubes,” by David Anderson; and “Pipe and Slab Handling,” by Peter Fulcher. The committee enjoyed a tour of SSAB Alabama, Berg Spiral Pipe Co., and the Port of Mobile Authority. A fall 2013 meeting for the MHTC will be held on 6–7 November 2013 in San Antonio, Texas. A tour of the Toyota Truck Plant facility will be one of two tours arranged. Presentations for the fall meeting will include, “Railroad Safety at the CN,” by Phil Hornak; “North America Stevedoring,” by Stephen Mosher; and “Crane Lifting Applications,” by Paul Bean.

The MHTC met on 7–8 November 2012 in Houston, Texas. The MHTC will have a joint session with the Packaging, Shipping & Transportation Methods Technology Committee for the Wednesday afternoon session at AISTech 2013. Doug Niksch, MHTC chair, and Brad Bray, Safety & Health Technology Committee chair, discussed the 2013 Safety and Health Conference that will be held on 10–12 September 2013 near the Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta, Ga. The committee also had the opportunity to tour the Timken Boring Specialties LLC and the Port of Houston Authority – Ports America. The next MHTC meeting will be held on 26–27 March 2013, with tours of the Mobile Port Authority and ThyssenKrupp Steel USA in Calvert, Ala.

The Material Handling Technology Committee (MHTC) met on Wednesday, 9 May in Atlanta, Ga. The MHTC officers for the 2012–2013 term will be: Doug Niksch, chair and education chair; Robert Newman, vice chair; Nicki Taylor, papers chair; and Gregg Bond, safety chair. The MHTC has collaborated with the Safety & Health Technology Committee in planning this year’s Safety and Health Conference — A Critical Focus With Material Handling, which is being held on 28-30 August in Indianapolis, Ind., with Steel Dynamics Inc. – Pittsboro serving as the plant tour host.
The next MHTC meeting will be on 8–9 November in Houston, Texas. A tour of U. S. Steel Tubular Operations will take place. Contact Doug Niksch to make a presentation to the committee during this meeting.