In today’s increasingly contactless world, automation is set to play an increasingly critical role in warehousing and operations. At Toyota Material Handling Australia we have a number of different automated solutions to help optimise your operations.
We have found that sometimes operators feel overwhelmed by automation. Sometimes they are expected to learn a completely new system when working with an autonomous forklift.
One particular forklift that we are presently seeing an increase in interest in is our Toyota RAE Autopilot Reach Truck.
The RAE Autopilot looks and feels like a regular Toyota reach truck, giving operators a sense of familiarity when they work with it for the first time. This is a great benefit as in fact it is a hybrid manual/automated forklift and can be used in either fashion.
A further benefit of investing in a hybrid forklift is if an operator comes across non-conforming pallets or loads. Usually, this would present a problem for an entirely automated forklift as it may not be able to handle them, resulting in a delay in operations. However, with the Toyota RAE Autopilot Reach Truck, operators can override the system and step in when needed.
There’s greater flexibility with a forklift like this. You can troubleshoot and solve errors in a very timely manner by switching to manual if needed.
The RAE Autopilot provides the opportunity to run a 24/7 operation, something which we predict to see an increase as demand for e-commerce and online shopping continues to increase.
Furthermore, the forklift offers safety benefits. The forklifts have a personal protective system, enabling 360-degree personnel protection. They feature safety sensors that detect if anyone is walking around the forklift.
Compared to relying on a human reaction to stop or manoeuvre a forklift, the automated safety sensors offer a higher level of accuracy. The forklifts also all connect with each other, and know where they all are at all times to help remove the risk of a possible collision.
Royal A-ware case study – please see video link of this customer
In Heerenveen, Netherlands a company specialising in the production, ripening, packaging, and transportation of cheese has deployed 12 Toyota RAE reach trucks.
Royal A-ware now runs a 24/7 operation with the help of Toyota’s automated forklifts. The 12 forklifts take care of the cheese transport between the production lines, the ripening rooms, and the expedition area.
The forklifts feature a laser scanner that reads the reflectors on the wall so that they can follow the layout that is programmed in the system manager from Toyota.
Each forklift is equipped with Lithium-ion battery technology. Ordinarily, batteries require a charging room, which takes up costly space. Alternatively, lithium-ion charging stations can be placed in the working area. So, if a forklift has no assignment, it can charge itself.
Royal A-ware runs its warehouse 24/7 with 12 Lithium-Ion Toyota Autopilot Reach Trucks. The Autopilots take care of the cheese transport between the production lines, the ripening rooms and the expedition area. The entire operation practically demonstrates the way humans and machines can collaborate, rather than compete.