Prepare to automate at IMHX 2022


The UK’s largest supply chain event is the perfect destination for companies preparing to automate. Matthew Jones, Administration and Events Manager for AMHSA, explains why.

Prepare to automate at IMHX 2022

The Automated Material Handling Systems Association (AMHSA) will be showcasing the very latest in warehouse automation at IMHX 2022. With over 60 members, including MiTek Industries Ltd, AMHSA is the voice of the automated intralogistics industry and provides a programme of training workshops and networking events throughout the year for members in order to facilitate the sharing of best practice.


With 6 of the world’s top 10 system integrators being members of the trade association, AMHSA is uniquely placed to showcase the leading edge of the supply chain sector. And, with 30 AMHSA members exhibiting at IMHX, the exhibition is the perfect place to find the best in automated material handling solutions and potential suppliers. 



AMHSA Pavilion: the hub for automation

IMHX will once again feature the AMHSA Pavilion, which will be the prime focus for promoting logistics automation at the show. Located in hall 5, adjacent to the main Logistics Conference theatre, the AMHSA Pavilion will enjoy a high footfall. Nine AMHSA members will exhibit on stands around the perimeter of the pavilion indluding MiTek at stand 5AM20, while a further 21 will be based on larger stands around the exhibition. As at previous IMHX shows, the central area of the AMHSA Pavilion will feature a lounge for members to offer hospitality and light refreshments to clients, other guests and potential members. There will also be two meeting rooms for the exclusive use of members wishing to hold private discussions with customers and other visitors. 


AMHSA will be well represented at the show again because there is really nothing to compare with IMHX in terms of providing opportunities to meet prospective buyers and network with existing clients. This is why AMHSA invests heavily in its presence at the exhibition and seeks to educate as many visitors as possible about the benefits of automation. What are those benefits? Well, automation solves some of the most pressing issues in the supply chain today: labour availability problems, how to deal with e-commerce volumes and the need for resilience.


Labour shortages

The result of a combination of factors including labour migration out of the UK due to Brexit and perceived unattractiveness, labour availability is a real headache for warehouse operators today. Investing in automation can circumvent this issue and enable a step-change in productivity. Wage rises, demanded by many in the face of inflationary pressure, also help to shift the economics of the decision to automate.



The rise of e-commerce is another significant driver of automation. Online sales as a proportion of all retail sales stood at over 26% in May 2022, substantially above its level of almost 20% in February 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic. With global market research company, Forrester, predicting that online retail will account for 35% of all retail by 2025, retailers need to plan for increases in labour-intensive e-com fulfilment. Automation can deal efficiently and cost-effectively with e-com’s challenges in terms of singles picking and high return rates.



Another driver of the trend to automate is the need for supply chain resilience. Following the complications of the pandemic and Brexit, companies want to ensure that they are better prepared for potential disruption in the future. With its lower reliance on labour, its capacity to handle peak volumes and its focus on avoiding single points of failure, automation is an increasingly attractive option.


Automation for SMEs

The combination of these three factors – labour issues, e-com challenges and the need for resilience – mean that many firms are not viewing the decision to automate as a purely financial one but more as a way of creating competitive advantage, ensuring a high-quality customer experience or simply surviving as a business. Even small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which have traditionally shied away from automation, are realising that they need to adopt digitalization and automation to retain existing customers and win new business. As larger organisations create efficient supplier networks that leverage digitalization, there is a trickle-down effect to not only their larger tier 1 suppliers but also to the SMEs in tiers 2 and 3. Fortunately, SMEs looking to implement automation are finding that there are now many scalable solutions on the market, along with more creative financing options.


Conference sessions

Automation, digitalization and artificial intelligence are just some of the topics that will be covered in the packed conference programme across two presentation theatres at IMHX. AMHSA has three conference presentations booked. One will be a panel discussion at the main stage on Wednesday at 10 am. This will cover one of the organiser’s key themes, Sustainability Through Technology. The other two AMHSA conference sessions form part of the Logistics Solutions series of presentations and take place from 11.30 am on Tuesday and Thursday. In addition, several AMHSA members are planning to deliver 5-minute Power Pitches to highlight an innovative product, service or solution.


Automation skills

AMHSA will also use its presence at IMHX to champion the recruitment of diverse talent into the logistics industry. Given the current rate of growth in logistics automation, handling system suppliers need to prioritize recruitment in order to develop the skills needed to design, install, maintain and upgrade these technologies. A key tool to help bridge the skills gap is apprenticeships and AMHSA operates its own apprenticeship programme – now in its eighth year – in association with car manufacturer, Toyota.


Meet our members

The AMHSA members exhibiting in the AMHSA Pavilion at IMHX are Actemium Automation, Diamond Phoenix Automation, ek robotics, Elmleigh Electrical Systems, Engelmann & Buckham, Invar Integration, IPL Global, Kardex Remstar,

MiTek and Warehouse Control Solutions. Members taking larger stands elsewhere at the show will be Bowe Systec, BS Handling Systems, Conveyor Units, Daifuku, Ferag, Gebhardt European Conveyor Systems, Go Plastic Pallets, Hi-Level Mezzanines, ifm electronic, Interroll, John Bean Technologies, KNAPP, Korber Supply Chain, Logistex, Narrow Aisle, Nerak-Wiese, S&S Plastics, Swisslog, Wise Robotics and Witron.


“AMHSA will be well represented at the show again because there is really nothing to compare with IMHX in terms of providing opportunities to meet prospective buyers and network with existing clients.”



As the UK’s leading authority on automated material handling with over 60 members, AMHSA seeks to accelerate the adoption of world-class intralogistics automation across the UK supply chain. Visit, call 07517 610514 or email



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