Area: Conveyor technology

New innovative equipment options for reach trucks

A sensor that prevents start-up damage to the rack and a multifunction lever that provides efficient control of travel, push and lift functions that is easy on the joints. Learn more about the two new innovative equipment options for reach trucks from Linde Material Handling.

innovative shelf protection for more safety in the warehouse
The new innovative rack collision protection from Linde ensures greater safety in the warehouse
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Multitasking is required when storing and retrieving loads. After all, the driver must not only concentrate on placing the load, but at the same time always keep an eye on the distance between the forklift and the racking. Just a brief moment of inattention is enough to cause minor to severe collision damage to racks and goods.

"What then happens on the ground is lost from focus," says Alexander Schmidt, Senior Product Manager Reach Trucks at Linde Material Handling, describing the situation. Market research has shown that damage is mainly caused by the wheel arms. Damage with the load, forks or chassis occurs less frequently, he adds. "Even a little carelessness can lead to massive disruptions in warehouse operations," says Schmidt.

Collision damage, such as crushed rack supports and demolished posts, is not only a major nuisance for warehouse managers, it can also result in considerable time and financial expenditure.

The new Rack Protection Sensor (RPS for short ) from Linde Material Handling provides a remedy here. Two special light sensors located above the wheel arms in a protected housing detect obstacles in front of them in the light beam.

If an obstacle is detected, the assistance system brakes the truck in proportion to the travel speed and the distance to the obstacle, which can prevent damage. The sensors become active at a travel speed below 5 km/h, which corresponds to the typical speed when maneuvering in front of the rack. If the vehicle is accelerated to a speed above this set limit, for example to cover a longer distance, the system is automatically switched inactive. The technology is particularly well suited to the conditions in the warehouse because it works in artificial light as well as in daylight and sunlight, explains Schmidt.

In addition, the RPS proves particularly beneficial for companies with a high proportion of new or temporary employees. "These people often lack experience and misjudge the dimensions of the reach truck," outlines the Linde product manager. As an "additional eye at ground level," the RPS provides valuable support in maneuvering the heavy equipment quickly but safely.

The RPS is available as an option for the performance models of the Linde R14 to R25 reach truck series in the payload range from 1.4 to 2.5 tons. The assistance system will soon also be available as a retrofit solution for these trucks.

In addition to the Rack Protection Sensor, Linde Material Handling is presenting yet another new equipment option for the Linde reach truck in the form of the multifunction lever. This not only makes the truck much more comfortable to operate, but is also designed to help maintain the driver's concentration and health and increase productivity.

The new multifunction lever was developed in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute (IAO) and Porsche Industriedesign on the basis of an ergonomics study. The result is a smooth-running joystick that can be moved to all four sides, as well as a wing extended to the right at the side that gives both small and large hands additional grip. This allows all travel, push and lift functions to be controlled intuitively and with little effort. In addition, it is now no longer necessary to put the hand up and down, as all hydraulic functions are combined in one control element. This increases productivity and enables intuitive operation.

For example, the complete lever is moved back and forth to raise or lower the lift mast. Movements to the left and right control the mast feed. The two wing switches placed in the center of the large joystick can be used to adjust the tilt and horizontal position of the fork carriage or the alignment and centering of the sideshift. The left side of the multifunction lever also houses the horn and the direction switch.

This expedient arrangement of elements has a major advantage. This means that all control commands can be executed intuitively, even when wearing gloves, keeping the driver's attention on load handling at all times.

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