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Autonomous Forklift-A Promoter for Smart Logistics

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As industrial automation and intelligent manufacturing become the mainstream trend, the trend of logistics automation is irreversible. Ever since 2020, due to the epidemic, enterprises have faced many difficulties such as low resumption rate, shortage of personnel, risk of personnel concentration, and limited deployment of project sites, which make enterprises advance the pace of automation.

As one of the essential transportation equipment in industrial automation, the autonomous forklift can not only complete end-to-end material handling but also realize the logistics and transportation of multiple production links. There are three significant scenarios of district and production line transfer, and it also plays an irreplaceable role in scenarios such as heavy load and special handling. Through the application of autonomous forklifts, the problems of large logistics volume and high labor intensity of manual handling in industrial production and warehousing logistics operations can be solved.

The Advantage of Autonomous Forklifts

1.Safer. Autonomous forklifts are more efficient, stable, precise, and safer than traditional manual forklifts. The autonomous forklift has multiple protection devices, such as emergency contact safety devices, automatic alarm devices, emergency stop button devices, and object detectors, which can avoid injury to workers and damage to inventory, other equipment, and buildings and reduce workplace risks. The autonomous forklift drives strictly according to the prescribed route. When there are obstacles or pedestrians on the driving path, it will automatically stop or actively avoid them, which can reduce the bump damage related to handling, ensure that the materials are transported to the designated location in good condition, and significantly reduce the manual opening of the forklift and brings uncertainty. According to statistics, 100 workers are killed, and 20,000 are seriously injured in forklift-related accidents in the United States each year. The use of autonomous forklifts can significantly reduce the accident rate.

2.Cost saving. Relevant data show that the application of autonomous forklifts can reduce warehouse costs by 30% and increase gross profit by 7%. The autonomous forklift can be transported according to the routes and tasks set in advance without manual participation. It can continue to work 24 hours a day, thus significantly improving work efficiency and reducing personnel input. In addition, through the monitoring system, you can see the location and operation of each forklift. At the same time, you can issue instructions to direct the process and work of the forklift, and one person can realize the scheduling and use of multiple forklifts, saving the workforce.

3.Strong anti-interference ability, stable and reliable. The autonomous forklift is flexible and has no ground obstacles. It can make full use of the existing space and site. The line channel setting is adjustable, and the anti-interference ability is strong. Dust, noise, and small objects on the floor cannot interfere with the handling work. Large objects will activate the safety device and brake the truck or automatically avoid obstacles. This allows the autonomous forklift to operate continuously and reliably without causing extensive downtime. It is suitable for large-scale operations, multiple vehicles running simultaneously, automatic avoidance, accurate and standardized cargo placement, and adapts to the needs of automation, continuity, and flexibility of production.

Autonomous Forklifts Application Scenarios

According to different application scenarios of autonomous forklifts, the main categories of autonomous forklifts include pallet handling autonomous forklifts, autonomous stacker forklifts, counterbalanced autonomous forklifts, omnidirectional autonomous forklifts, reach autonomous forklifts, gripping trucks, etc., can be widely used in plane handling, high-level access, multi-layer stacking, loading, and unloading vehicles and integrated intelligent logistics systems in production workshops. The heavy-duty material handling function of the heavy-duty pallet stacker autonomous forklift is more advantageous and flexible than other autonomous forklifts are not.

Plane transportation: The autonomous forklift has the plane transportation function, which can adapt to various vehicles, such as 9-foot pallets, 3 Base pallets, storage cages, etc. There are also AGVs without forklifts that are suitable for cars, which are used for short, medium, and autonomous transport over long distances. The main application scenarios of autonomous forklifts are:

Vertical storage pick-up
Vertical storage pick-up

Vertical storage pick-up: High-level autonomous forklifts are mainly used for low vertical storage pick-up operations below 10 meters. Autonomous forklifts are used for vertical warehouses below 10 meters, such as three-way autonomous forklifts. The space utilization rate is higher than that of traditional stacking, with a better price offer.

Production line docking
Production line docking

Production line docking: With the rapid growth of intelligent manufacturing and flexible manufacturing, more and more autonomous forklifts are used in the connection and transfer of materials in the intellectual manufacturing process. According to the intelligent manufacturing process, autonomous forklifts communicate through the Internet of Things Real-time communication with all kinds of intelligent manufacturing equipment, realize instant material delivery and connection, realize the automatic flow of materials between various production equipment according to the whole process flow, help enterprises to greatly reduce the labor intensity of workers.

Loading and unloading
Loading and unloading

Automatic loading and unloading: Automatic loading and unloading are essential technologies in the intelligent warehousing and logistics process. The standard delivery and loading trucks use manual forklifts to stack and load the trucks. To solve the most matter problem of intelligent logistics, one of the essential solutions is to use AGV autonomous forklifts to load and unload to truly realize smart autonomous logistics.

Heavy-duty material handling: Light-duty logistics handling robots represented by KIVA are widely used, especially in the e-commerce industry. There are a large number of heavy-duty and large-sized logistics handling in the manufacturing industry. This scenario is also an essential application of autonomous forklifts.

Unique customized scenarios
Unique customized scenarios

For many particular application scenarios in the current manufacturing industry, such as material handling and delivery problems in outstanding intelligent manufacturing such as double-clipping, flipping, push-pull, etc., the use of specially customized forklift bodies and fork actuators can be very convenient. Good application to solve such problems.

In the future, autonomous forklift companies will provide more comprehensive solutions for companies within various industries rather than selling one or two independent forklift products alone. It is necessary to connect with the application company's complete production system and related software so that the boring industrial manufacturing can be genuinely improved through the autonomous forklift product, and the autonomous forklift solution can be continuously optimized.