Ergonomic lift order picking in very narrow aisles

The new Linde V modular medium-lift order pickers feature a range of sophisticated features to support the operator.

With its new modular medium-lift order pickers, industrial truck manufacturer Linde Material Handling is expanding its product portfolio for very narrow aisle solutions. The current range of Linde V trucks, with a load-bearing capacity of 1 or 1.2 tonnes, a battery voltage of 24 or 48 volts and picking heights of up to 12 metres, boasts exceptional ergonomics, performance and safety. Thanks to their modular design, their configuration can be tailored to each customer. The optional RFID or barcode-supported aisle safety assistant is a particularly useful aid for the operator. At the same time, the transponders or barcodes can be used to ensure efficient, semi-automated navigation within the warehouse.

The current range of Linde V trucks, with a load-bearing capacity of 1 or 1.2 tonnes, a battery voltage of 24 or 48 volts and picking heights of up to 12 metres, boasts exceptional ergonomics, performance and safety. Thanks to their modular design, their configuration can be tailored to each customer.

The development engineers have redirected their attention to driver comfort on account of the processes that are typical of order-picking applications. The picking tasks performed by operators take up a large proportion of their working day, and they spend significantly less time actually driving. Driving is required in the phases before and after order picking, for example when the operator drives the truck from the battery charging station to the high racks or navigates to the next storage area. The developers have therefore focussed on ensuring that the driver receives as much support as much as possible when picking and storing goods. For this purpose, the internal length of the cab has been increased to 740 millimetres, giving the operator greater freedom of movement. The stable floormat on both sides of the cab enables the operator to maintain a secure foothold when order picking, and the anti-vibration mat with soft padding in the centre of the cab, featuring a large dead man switch, absorbs shocks while the truck is moving. Optionally, the fork arms on the truck can also be equipped with an auxiliary lift of 740 millimetres. This makes it faster and more comfortable for the operator to place goods removed from the rack onto the pallet. Another feature is the tilting order picking barriers on the sides. If the operator leans against these barriers, they move outwards by 15 degrees and increase the operator’s reach by some 50 centimetres, allowing the operator to reach goods that are stored further back in the racks more easily. Further optional auxiliary equipment includes a load-side operating panel or two operating panels, a cab design with a platform or pallet that can be walked on, a third barrier and protective cage, an additional push button for the auxiliary lift, mast-side or load-side mirror units and a modular fastening system for a terminal, printer and scanner.\

The new modular medium-lift order pickers are controlled by a console that is integrated into the cab and fitted with touch sensors, enabling the console to be operated with either hand. Depending on whether the truck will be driven freely or used in a very narrow aisle, the operating panel is fitted either with a steering wheel or a steering knob. What’s more, with its clear layout, the LCD multifunction display provides the driver with all key information at a glance, such as driving speed, operating hours, lift height, steering position, battery status and, optionally, load weight.

The powerful, fully enclosed traction and lift motors supply Linde V trucks with the potential for high productivity levels. While a 4-kW AC motor drives the 24-volt truck variant at a driving speed of 9 km/h with load, the 48-volt variant is fitted with a 6.5-kW AC motor that allows the truck to travel at a driving speed of 11 km/h with load. With the “Heavy” service package, which includes an enhanced cooling system and a larger electro-mechanic brake design, and is adjusted to ensure optimum performance, the truck can accelerate to speeds as high as 13 km/h with load. Further performance-enhancing features include the electronic Linde Curve Assist system, which adapts the driving speed in relation to the steering angle, and the Linde System Control truck control unit, the basic version of which measures the lift height and adapts the driving speed, while the high-performance version additionally detects the load weight and controls the driving and lifting speed accordingly. Easy access to all components reduces service times.

Safety and variety
When using trucks in very narrow aisles, safety is a key factor, which is why the optional aisle safety assistant is now available to support the operator. For this purpose, the truck is fitted with an RFID reading device or barcode scanner that detects tags or labels installed in the warehouse and triggers the corresponding driving commands, such as lift stop, lowering stop, driving stop or speed reduction. Using this system, obstacles in the warehouse such as speed bumps or floor beams can be negotiated safely. Once installed, RFID tags and barcode labels can also be used to navigate within the warehouse. Once an order-picking job is received, the truck, which is connected to the warehousing system, drives through the very narrow aisles to the designated storage location, finding the quickest possible route that requires the least energy consumption. This saves time by up to 25% and leads to a significant increase in handling performance.

Further optional safety equipment includes load wheel brakes, the BlueSpotTM travel path warning unit and a collision protection sensor on the overhead guard, which prevents the truck from striking the ceiling of the hall.

To ensure that the trucks are equipped as effectively as possible in order to meet the requirements in the warehouse, they have been developed with a modular design. Four cab variants are available in ten different cab widths and with three different interior designs. Various load pick ups and battery capacities are also available, as well as standard and triplex lift masts.