The warehouse revolution is in progress. Did you know that Amazon employs more than 200.000 robots in its warehouse network? Statistics like this prove that developments in warehouse technology are not only theory. They are being applied in real-world situations and proving to be cost-effective solutions.
Warehouse managers everywhere are looking to improve the efficiency of their warehouses. Often their goal is often to reduce driving staff or increase the hours a warehouse can work.
What forklift technologies are available in 2020? Can you apply automated forklift technologies for the benefit of your company?
Why not read our in-depth article below to find out.
1. Green Forklifts
In 2020 the carbon footprint of every industry is under the microscope. These industries now see the need to act to reduce their impact on the environment. Enter the lithium forklift battery. This one of the most effective alternative power sources for engines.
Forklifts that use Lithium Iron Batteries can run longer than previous models. Further, they are a cleaner source of energy. Lithium forklift batteries do not only benefit the environment alone. Lithium batteries do not let off fumes. They also reduce the danger of acid spill hazards in the warehouse location.
There are many myths regarding battery power. One myth is that you need specialized charging locations to charge lithium batteries. This is not the case. They can plug them into a standard wall outlet. In fact, regarding charging times, these batteries generally outperform other batteries.
2. Device Mounts
The use of devices and computers onboard forklifts was a game-changer. Now drivers did not have to rely on printed out materials but could work with access to realtime data.
However, forklifts are by nature constantly moving and receiving small impacts. Devices could easily become dislodged or damaged by the shock of these impacts. Device mounts directly solve this problem. They provide a location to securely mount your device on the forklift.
3. Remote Controlled Forklifts
Modern forklifts are easier than ever to use and maneuver. However, in 2020 technology is going one step further. Companies are starting to roll out remote-controlled forklift trucks.
There are many benefits to taking the driver out of the forklift truck cab. The controller is free to move around the warehouse. They can perform difficult maneuvers at ease. They can physically move around and view the maneuver from different angles. Further, removing the driver from the cab allows for the redesigning of the forklift.
4. Automated Forklifts
What is better than remote-controlled forklift trucks? Automated self-driving forklift trucks! We have all heard the news about trials of self-driving cars. However, this same technology is being applied to warehouse forklift trucks.
Sometimes these operate by means of warehouse mounted sensors that guide the forklift throughout its route. In other cases, designers have added AI technology. This allows the forklift to actually memorize its journey and surroundings.
Automation means that drivers will be available to care for less mundane tasks. Automation will remove human error as the forklifts work faithfully instructions. These forklift trucks connect directly to the warehousing software. This allows them to provide data to warehouse databases. This supports accurate and ongoing inventorying.
Automated forklift trucks will actually save money in the long term. They do not need extensive education, workplace safety training, or worker and pension benefits.
5. Smart Braking
Effective braking systems are very important to protect human life and the structures in the warehouse. In 2020 new technologies will allow for faster and smarter stopping of even heavy loads traveling at speed.
Manufacturers are fitting hydraulic valves to improve their braking systems. Hydraulic brakes react more quickly and more efficiently than traditional braking systems. Further to this, they are less harsh on the forklift. This means that the forklift has a longer life and needs less frequent maintenance.
Much like road going cars, manufacturers are increasingly fitting sensors to forklifts. These indicate hazards or situations that will require action, such as a sharp corner. The forklift can then adjust the speed and even in some cases the vector of the forklift to be able to pass the hazard without any danger.
6. Improved Maneuverability
New technology gives designers the flexibility to improve the design of forklift trucks. A design that improves maneuverability is the Sidewinder forklift.
Manufacturers do not fit traditional tires on sidewinder forklifts. They fit a series of rollers that are able to adjust to travel in any direction. This allows them to transport items through narrow passageways as they can do so while moving sideways. It also removes the need to swivel to begin driving in a new direction.
The fitted rollers are hardwearing. They can withstand traveling over objects in the road of up to 10cm. Drivers can traverse courtyards to bring items from truck deliveries into the warehouse even if small items are in their way.
Automated Forklift Technology and Much More
Global storage and merchandise movement technologies are developing at breakneck speed ever year. AI and Blockchain technologies are some other examples of technologies that companies are using. Companies are creating more and more efficient supply chain methods.
If you want to learn more about how automated forklift technologies can help your business, we are here to help. We leverage our years in business to provide reliable services and trustworthy advice.
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