Going Wireless: Crown Equipment Revolutionizes Low-Level Order Picking by Allowing Remote Operation of Pallet Truck

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Crown Equipment, one of the world’s leading forklift manufacturers, has revolutionized low-level order picking with today’s release of the QuickPick™ Remote Advance system. With the simple press of a button on a wireless transceiver glove, order selectors in warehouse and distribution centers can remotely advance trucks to the next pick location without having to return to the operator’s compartment – allowing them to instead remain in optimum position for picking.

Crown Equipment Quick Pick Remote Advance Glove

Market Trends and Issues

  • As the U.S. economy continues its rebound, many in the material handling industry are taking a renewed interest in task automation and looking to technology as a means for deriving competitive advantage, reducing costs and making their existing workforce more productive.
  • A September 2010 survey of manufacturing and warehousing/distribution professionals, conducted by Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA), found that nearly 90 percent of respondents planned to undertake process improvements during the next 12 months.
  • Of those 90 percent, 54 percent of respondents plan to make a capital equipment investment in material handling and logistics equipment, systems and software; more than half voluntarily associated automation with the types of solutions that would improve the performance of their facilities.
  • Warehouse and distribution managers continue to search for ways to enhance operational efficiencies and reduce labor costs.
  • Low-level order picking is a fast-paced, physically demanding job where operator fatigue has a significant impact on productivity. In typical picking cycles, up to 75 percent of tasks take place off of the truck; as much as 45 percent of these tasks involve walking.
  • There is significant opportunity for warehouse and distribution centers to leverage new task automating technologies that heighten the performance of their operators and forklift fleet.

Core News Facts

  • The QuickPick™ Remote Advance system from Crown Equipment uses task automating technologies to simplify workflow and improve the picking process, thereby increasing productivity and reducing operator fatigue.
  • Order selectors simply press a button on a wireless transceiver glove to remotely advance the forklift to the next pick location, virtually eliminating the need to return to the operator’s compartment while picking.
  • Crown field studies show that the technology helps reduce the number of steps order selectors take on and off the platform by up to 70 percent, as well as reduce the number of steps in the picking process which lowers operator fatigue.
  • Customers can choose between two different wireless remotes: a transceiver glove or transceiver trigger. Both remotes feature a conveniently-located, thumb-actuated button that operators press to advance the truck to the next pick slot.
  • A wireless transceiver module that snaps into a holder on the back of the glove periodically transmits and receives RF signals from an RF tower located on the truck.
  • QuickPick Remote Advance utilizes lasers to detect obstacles in the path of the truck. If an obstacle is detected, the brakes are automatically applied.
  • The lasers can also detect proximity to racks, enabling the system to utilize Crown’s Access 1 2 3® Comprehensive System Control to initiate minor corrections to travel path to keep the truck moving down the aisle.
  • A pairing procedure using patent-pending technology ensures that each module operates one truck at a time – the one with which it is paired. The module also includes horn and brake buttons for safety and control.
  • The QuickPick Remote Advance system operates independently of warehouse networks, which means it is easy to set up and does not consume valuable bandwidth or require costly IT investments.
  • The technology is currently available with the Crown PC 4500 Series center control rider pallet trucks.

Quotes Attributable to Rod Squires, product manager, Crown Equipment

  • Low-level order picking is a fast-paced, physically demanding job where operator fatigue has a significant impact on productivity. It’s also an area that has experienced limited advancements in the way order picking is performed through the years. In fact, customers tell us that any improvements in the picking process would contribute to noticeable operational gains.
  • Crown’s QuickPick Remote Advance, the first system of its kind, increases productivity by allowing operators to maintain consistent rhythm and pace, making the most of every second in the picking process.
  • Crown believes that there is significant opportunity for our customers to leverage new task automating technologies that heighten the performance of their operators and forklift fleet. The QuickPick Remote Advance system has the potential to redefine the way order pickers do their job.

Related Links
QuickPick Remote Advance Video
Images of QuickPick Remote Advance

About Crown Equipment Corporation
Crown is one of the world’s largest lift truck manufacturers. Crown’s award-winning line of lift trucks maintains a reputation for exceptional product design, engineering and manufacturing. From the smallest hand pallet truck to the highest lifting turret truck, Crown seeks to provide users with safe, efficient and ergonomic lift trucks that lower total cost of ownership and maximize uptime. Headquartered in New Bremen, Ohio, Crown manufactures lift trucks that are sold throughout the world. For more information, visit http://www.crown.com.

Media Contacts
Dave Helmstetter
Crown Equipment Corporation    
(419) 629-2311
dave.helmstetter(at)crown(dot)com        

Aaron Brown
Fahlgren Mortine Public Relations
(216) 298-4677    
aaron.brown(at)fahlgren(dot)com

Suggested Tags
forklift, forklifts, forklift truck, lift truck, order picking, order selector, pallet truck, automation, material handling, warehouse, distribution center, Crown Equipment

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