Currently, an employee is required to operate the forklift and load the pallets into the LaborSave loading dock, or onto the loading conveyor belt. One of the projects we have considered is integrating is an automatic forklift that knows to automatically locate, lift and load pallets into the LaborSave loading dock.
Automated forklifts are already operated in the world's largest warehouses and ports. On a recent trip to Japan, I visited the port of Yokohama; one of the world's largest ports that is almost entirely automated.
The automated forklifts combine spatial tracking with optical sensors to coordinate movement while preventing accidents. The cost savings are substantial as they improve efficiency, reduce wear and tear and prevent accidents.
Would the cost savings or prevention of accidents in the case of LaborSave be enough to justify the cost of the system?
As far as we can tell, probably not. The labor cost would likely remain the same, as there would still be an employee overseeing the operation.
Regarding accident prevention, the only action which we are aware of that can cause damage to the LaborSave is placing a pallet on top of a pallet inside the loading dock. When this happens, the sensors are not able to know that there are two pallets and the gripper picks up the pallet to be cut and emptied into the hopper.
While we don’t believe there is a justified need for this development, it is a project that we would be happy to do with one of our clients.