Efficiency at your fingertips
13 April 2018
Typically, order picking applications would not be the first thing you would associate with health and safety risk, but order picking is a labour-intensive process.
Operators of traditional order picker trucks are frequently stepping on and off their trucks in order to pick goods and to move their trucks to the next picking location. This is a tiring and time-consuming activity for the operator and increases the risk of slips, trips and falls, particularly when stepping on and off the truck.
Add to this the challenges with the changing labour market and the demands for intense order picking and companies who operate in the area are looking for different ways to boost their order picking process, and keep their operators safe. There have been a number of advances in sensor technology and remote control systems recently and Toyota Material Handling have developed these concepts with the introduction of their latest remote drive order picking solution called t-mote.
With t-mote the operator can simply advance the truck in a picking aisle with a small finger-operated remote control. This easy and efficient hands-free solution enables them to walk behind or next to the truck, always ready to pick goods from the racking to the load carrier on the truck, providing efficiency gains of up to 14 percent.
So how could t-mote support boost your order picking operation?
Productivity & flexibility
The remote drive concept has a number of clear benefits in the right application; it can shorten the cycle time, increases picking productivity and creates a smoother picking flow. Controlling the truck can also result in up to a 10% reduction in energy consumption and enables longer picking between battery charges.
Operating the truck in remote drive mode increases the time an operator can spend picking goods as they are not having to repetitively step on and off to drive to the next picking location. If there is a longer distance between picking locations, the truck can be operated normally in order to reduce travel times.
Minimising the need to step on and off the truck benefits the operator by reducing the risk of injuries and fatigue. Operators experience a more natural picking flow, which is less stressful compared to traditional order picking operations.
Safety in the workplace
To ensure that the t-mote OSE250 order picker can be operated safely in remote drive mode it is fitted with a laser scanner. This scanner works in two ways; it automatically stops the truck or allows the truck to manoeuvre around an obstruction detected in front of it, but also maintains the truck’s distance away from the racking it is moving alongside. Along with this scanner, there are also visible beacons which warn other people that the truck is being operated in remote drive mode and like all of Toyota’s automated warehouse trucks; it can be operated as a standard truck too.
By enabling operators to walk alongside the truck when picking, you are reducing the number of steps on and off the truck. Not only does that limit the amount of time spent travelling between the machine and the pick locations, it can also limit the likelihood of slips, trips and falls occurring when stepping on and off the operator platform.
Cost reduction and efficiency
Along with the above improvements in safety, productivity and flexibility, the use of the OSE250 remote can help to provide reduced costs for servicing and maintenance of the machine. By operating the truck in remote mode, the controlled acceleration and speed results in less wear of key components. This extends their life and can contribute to reduced service costs.
Operating the truck in remote drive also has a positive impact on energy consumption, increasing the trucks operational cycle and reducing the frequency of battery charges.
T-mote is a great solution to increase order picking efficiency, whilst reducing operators’ fatigue and contributes to a safer work environment.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of operating the BT Optio OSE250 remote order picking truck please visit www.toyota-forklifts.co.uk or call 0370 850 1409 today.