Forklifts have certainly come a long way since their evolution from hoists in the 1800s to primitive versions of our current-day lift trucks around WWI. The evolution continues, but where are we headed next? Many say that the Internet of Things (IoT) is the future. The IoT relies heavily on telematics, and telematics is driving the future of the forklift, and many other things.
By 2020, IoT will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion USD with 40 to 80 billion connected objects. It’s predicted that software is set to change much more than hardware. It’s the analytic capabilities to be delivered in the software that will allow customers to gain key insights to the “big data” coming from the IoT. Customers will make decisions and take actions that will have large scale impact to their business.
This week market-leading logistics and supply chain multi-media magazine, DC Velocity, profiled the future of lift truck data. TotalTrax has been in the IoT game for years, applying intelligent sensors that can monitor, report, communicate, and alter actions, improving and increasing safety, efficiency, productivity, and accuracy. Author of the DC Velocity article, Lift truck data: The next frontier, Toby Gooley, highlighted TotalTrax, allowing me to share some of our new capabilities with our SX/VX telematics platform which, as I shared with Ms. Gooley, “features an open architecture that allows easy integration of its own or third-party applications. Using a single hardware device, customers can choose only the features they need and purchase them via downloadable software packages. Users can also choose which individual functions to employ across different sites and vehicles, and decide whether to host the platform software locally or centrally, or have TotalTrax host it.”
Ms. Gooley also included TotalTrax in her future predictions about where lift truck telematics is headed. She highlighted the Skytrax RTLS system, “which places unique bar-code location markers in a facility’s ceiling and optical imaging devices on top of forklifts” allowing for the advance data capabilities which can “capture multiple images per second and translate them into real-time data about a vehicle’s location, direction, and speed.”
Here are other future predictions Ms. Gooley shares in her article:
- Battery data will be integrated with truck and operator information.
- More trucks will have factory-installed systems.
- Dynamic routing and resource allocation will become feasible.
- Telematics will play a greater role in inventory tracking.
- Software will become more important than hardware.
- Telematics will facilitate predictive maintenance.
- Task interleaving will become more effective.
TotalTrax is pleased to be included in the vision of the forklift’s future. To read more from the DC Velocity article please visit their site here.