May 5, 2010

VisiblEdge system tracks lift truck location, orientation in real time

By DC Velocity Staff

Rush Tracking Systems says its VisiblEdge software provides real-time visibility of lift truck status and location, including the direction of travel. The solution uses data-collection devices, load sensors, and optical position readers to determine the vehicle's location and follow its movements without bar-code scanning.

VisiblEdge reports which load is picked up as well as its origin and destination locations in real time. An "ArmorPak" that holds an RFID or optical reader, antenna, and proximity sensor is positioned between the truck's forks. The reader identifies the tag on the load and transmits the data via an electrical cord to the "PowerPak" on top of the vehicle, which contains the optical positioning camera, a global positioning system (GPS) sensor, and various communication components, explained President Toby Rush. As the truck travels through the warehouse or DC, a camera reads optical positioning markers overhead and the software reports the location in real time via wireless communication. On arrival at the put-away location, VisiblEdge reads and reports RFID or optical tags at the rack location.

According to Rush, the system provides accuracy to within a few inches and can report the vehicle's orientation in any direction. In addition to typical warehouse tasks, VisiblEdge is being used in manufacturing facilities to track delivery to production lines, among other applications. Most users have fleets of 10 to 30 trucks, Rush said.

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