The majority of rack damage in warehouses is caused by industrial trucks. The operators need to focus fully on the pallet, especially when storing and retrieving goods in the higher rack levels. This makes it difficult for them to stay aware of the distance to the rack at the same time. This often results in collisions and damage, affecting the rack system as a whole structure and generating high repair costs. Expensive skirting and support protection devices are often fitted to rack columns aimed at minimising these risks. However, over time these also tend to get damaged by collisions and also provide no protection for the goods stored at ground level.
Fitting trucks with the Linde Rack Protection Sensor is a much more efficient solution. The innovative rack protection system acts as the operator’s eyes at ground level and automatically slows down the reach truck before it collides with the rack. The assistance system can therefore prevent accidents involving the rack columns and goods stored at ground level, thereby improving safety in the warehouse and saving on repair costs. At the same time, the Rack Protection Sensor makes the operator’s job easier, enabling them to concentrate fully on storing and retrieving goods with precision and helping to increase handling capacity in the process.
Linde came to me and asked if we would be able to test something like this: a rack protection system which is mounted on the truck to prevent the operator from colliding with the rack frame and damaging it with the support arm. We trialled it and found it worked very well.
Manfred Martens, Finished Products Warehouse Operations Manager – Sopro Bauchemie GmbH, Wiesbaden
The features of the Rack Protection Sensors at a glance
Intelligent braking assistant
The Rack Protection Sensor is activated at a driving speed of less than 5 km/h. It can detect obstacles within a radius of 5 m – whether it’s a rack column or a pallet stored on the bottom level– and measures the distance to the truck. If the driving speed of the reach truck is too high at the measured distance, the truck’s Rack Protection Sensor slows down the truck automatically.
The Rack Protection Sensor slows down the truck in proportion to the distance to the obstacle and the current driving speed. This prevents the truck from coming to an abrupt stop, which could endanger the operator or the load. It is still possible to push pallets using the support arms, however, if the sensor identifies a consistent distance to the pallet, the Rack Protection Sensor does not brake.
Perfect visibility thanks to polarised light
The Linde Rack Protection Sensor uses polarised light sensors to measure distances. These sensors impress even in difficult visibility conditions, thanks to their high level of precision. Regardless of the colour of the artificial or natural light, the sensor’s red LED point is highly visible and provides the operator with an additional point of orientation for challenging warehouse manoeuvres.
The reach truck operator needs to store several pallets on the fourth level here, so they look upward and cannot see below. This is where the majority of accidents happen. This is why we need an assistant that automatically brakes the truck.
Khalil Miri, Warehouse Manager and Safety Officer – RUG SEMIN GmbH, Langen