I_Site intelligence powering safety
12 July 2017
Within the Toyota Production System, there is a Japanese expression ‘poka-yoke’ which translates into English as ‘mistake proofing’.
In practice, it means introducing fail safe devices into the production process that automatically stop the line in case of an error. In a broader sense, the term can refer to any behaviour-shaping constraint designed into a process to prevent incorrect operation by the user. An everyday example that we would all be familiar with is the UK mains electricity plug which can only be inserted in one orientation. This rigorous approach of using design to ensure correct operation , effectively building safety into a process, reflects the extent to which safety is a key design element and consideration of all of Toyota Material Handling’s products and processes.
From a hand pallet truck that requires less effort to lift a heavy load (the BT Pro Lifter) through to automated guided vehicles such as the TAE050 that detect people in their path and stop promptly, safety is built in to each and every Toyota truck and system. This is perhaps most evident with I_Site Toyota’s very own fleet management system. Whether your fleet consists of one truck or one thousand trucks, I_Site is a tool that enables you to have better visibility of your trucks, in real-time, and most importantly, improve the safety in your material handling operation.
So what exactly is I_Site? I-Site is a truck management tool that provides real-time information about your truck fleet and operator performance. The system uses 3G technology to transmit information directly from your trucks, in real-time, to a web portal that can be accessed using a PC or a dedicated app for mobile phones and tablets. The web portal offers a user friendly dashboard that makes the information you need to improve the efficiency and safety of your operation accessible and actionable.
The I_Site system immediately introduces a number of safety benefits to your material handling. Every I_Site enabled truck benefits from controlled access, via PIN code or smart card. This means that only authorised and trained operators can drive a particular truck. In addition, a customisable pre-operational check can be put in place where you select the questions that are asked before the truck can be started. Any negative response to a question means that the truck will not start and this is flagged on the I_Site system, giving an instant response to any safety concerns with the truck. Perhaps most importantly, I_Site records the who, what and when of all shocks to the truck and can respond to high impacts by putting the truck into creep mode or providing an audible alert – this persists until the truck is reset by a supervisor – either directly on the truck or remotely via the web portal.
I_Site increases safety not only through direct features like access control. It also provides a wealth of data that allows you to develop a greater understanding of how both your trucks and operators are performing. Analysis of this data allows the identification of any areas of concern that may be impacting safety in your organisation. For example, there may be a particular location where incidents keep occurring. This data may be highlighting an operator training issue or it could be that the physical layout of that area is causing a problem. Highlighting the issue through the I_Site system is the first step to resolving the problem. Perhaps most importantly of all, knowledge that performance is monitored and the opportunity to identify additional training needs for operators means that overall, it is possible to raise the safety standards in any material handling environment.
I_Site forms a key aspect of improving safety in materials handling. However, it only forms part of the safety picture and maintaining a safe environment, operator training and developing a safety first attitude are all key considerations. Toyota Material Handling produce a range of free safety resources which can be accessed via our website www.toyota-forklifts.co.uk