Technological innovation was prominently displayed at Yale Materials Handling Corp.'s booth at Modex. Interestingly, one new product is designed to improve the way human operators drive lift trucks, while the other eliminates the operator altogether.
The first was the Yale MPE080VG end rider Driven by Balyo, a self-guided vehicle with a laser-based navigation system developed by Balyo Corp. The infrastructure-free navigation relies on existing structural features such as walls, racking, and columns to self-locate and navigate. The self-guided truck can pick up, transport, and drop off pallets and is equipped with both manual and automatic modes for operating alongside employees and manually operated trucks. The built-in management system helps the truck anticipate and react to its immediate environment. Its advanced obstacle-detection feature controls truck speed in real time. The Driven by Balyo can interface with a facility's warehouse management system. However, for quick installation before the WMS integration is complete, operators can use the laser scanning capability to identify where loads are located and pick them up.
Yale also was showing Yale A-Ware, a location-based performance control solution that uses radio frequency identification (RFID) tags to enforce travel speed, acceleration, and lift restrictions for very narrow-aisle trucks. The system works through RFID tags deployed in warehouse storage aisles that are read by a truck-mounted RFID sensor. When the sensor reads a tag, it automatically triggers traction and lift settings, permitting the truck to operate only at predefined speeds, heights, and other operational parameters. The RFID tags enable users to set parameters for specific zones and locations. For example, the system could force trucks to stop at intersections with pedestrian walkways or slow down when entering an area with an uneven floor.
For more information, see the Yale Materials Handling Corp. website.