A breakthrough in safety
03 November 2014
When it comes to operating fork lift trucks, human error is the most common cause of accidents at work.
A unique electronic driver assistance system from Linde Material Handling(MH), the Linde Safety Pilot, is now on hand to offer support. Via an 8” LCD screen in the operator’s workstation, the Linde Safety Pilot helps the operator to control the work equipment safely and helps to avoid dangerous situations, minimising the risk of an accident and improving occupational safety. The innovative product from Linde has also become a finalist in both the Innovation and Safety categories for the FLTA awards 2015.
In line with the relevant accident prevention regulations set out by the employers' liability insurance associations, industrial trucks must be operated in a manner that ensures that stability is maintained. For this reason, the operator is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the load lifted on the fork arms does not exceed the approved load capacity, that the load centre of gravity is taken into account and that the maximum lift height is not exceeded. However, operators are often faced with the challenge of balancing three unknown factors, whose values can only be roughly estimated. However, without a detailed knowledge of the informationa specified by each manufacturer in the load capacity diagram, operators may expose themselves and others to serious danger.
The Linde Safety Pilot offers excellent support in this situation because in future operators can simply look at the display mounted at eye level to find the answer to these three questions. The operator is not only shown the load centre of gravity; the load weight currently placed on the fork arms, the current lift height, the tilt angle of the fork arms and the maximum lift height up to which the load may be raised are also displayed. To help operators quickly identify all of these values, the display features a clear design, it shows information in image format and the volume of numbers shown is kept to a minimum.
"The innovative product from Linde has also become a finalist in both the Innovation and Safety categories for the FLTA awards 2015.”
The Linde Safety Pilot is not just an indicating instrument though: If operators are working in critical areas or if operating errors occur, they receive a visual and acoustic warning, and the truck control unit also actively intervenes and regulates the truck functions. For example, if an operator wishes to place a load on the shelf and is approaching the load capacity limit, the lifting speed is reduced. If the operator continues to lift the load and reaches the maximum load capacity, the truck is deactivated and safety-critical lifting and tilting functions are disabled. The driving speed is managed in the same way, according to the load, lift height, tilt angle and load centre of gravity distance. In other words, the speed of the truck is decreased continuously if the operator lifts the load while driving.
The technology behind the driver assistance system relies on sensors that measure data at different points on the truck and then forward this information to the truck control unit. An electronic load capacity diagram – the cornerstone of the Linde Safety Pilot system – is thus created.
Greater protection against operating errors is just one of the advantages of the innovative Linde Safety Pilot system. The system also provides various comfort features that assist operators with their work and offers them significant added value. The sub-menus detailed below can be called up via a rotary push-button mounted in the armrest underneath the operating lever:
• Lift height pre-selector for precise control of the lift height at the touch of a button.
• Lifting limits for preventing collision damage to ceilings or gates.
• Lowering limits for preventing noise and for protecting the fork arms against wear.
• Load scale with a practical load addition function — for identifying the
payload on a truck, for instance.
• Driving dynamics settings that can be changed independently by the operating company.
• Energy consumption display showing the current kWh consumption value.
• Speed limit that can be applied when driving with a trailer, for instance.