Company: Yale Materials Handling Corp.
Equipment Snapshot: E-commerce and SKU proliferation pressure operations to provide access to vast inventories, but labor shortages can leave them scrambling for resources to handle critical storage and retrieval tasks. At ProMat 2019 in booth #S3603, attendees can view the brand-new Yale robotic reach truck, an industry-first dual-mode pantograph robotic lift truck capable of autonomously depositing and retrieving loads from locations as high as 30 feet and reaching into double-deep storage.
The high-lifting capability of the reach truck makes it an ideal fit for distribution centers facing a shrinking labor pool and pressure to maximize vertical storage space to accommodate inventory growth driven by e-commerce. The JBT-intelligent robotic reach truck uses a combination of sensors and 3D cameras for maximum precision and effectiveness at higher-level storage locations, capable of exceeding the productivity of operator-driven trucks.
“At ProMat, attendees expect the latest, most advanced solutions to help them cope with labor challenges and the realities of an e-commerce-driven supply chain,” says Mick McCormick, vice president, robotics and automation, Yale Materials Handling Corporation. “The robotic reach truck’s ability to go as high as 30 feet opens up a wide range of new tasks for automation, enabling operations to maximize utilization of robotic solutions and achieve return on investment faster than ever.
The robotic reach truck is the first model to come to market through Yale collaborating with JBT to push the frontier of advanced robotic solutions in warehousing and manufacturing. The dual-mode pantograph robotic reach truck is the first such model available in North America and joins Yale’s well-established dual-mode robotic lift truck lineup. This includes robotic tow tractor, end rider and counterbalanced stacker models, all of which are fully commercialized, available for purchase and deployed in the field for end users.
The full line of Yale robotic lift trucks uses infrastructure-free navigation technology, which requires no installation of wires, magnets or tape. Instead, they use existing structural features like walls, pillars or racking for navigation to enable easy route adjustment and faster startup at reduced cost compared to traditional automated guided vehicles. When necessary, operators can switch Dual-Mode Yale robotic lift trucks to manual mode to handle excess volume or other unexpected demands. Local Yale dealers provide service and support, just as they would standard lift trucks.