Posts tagged ‘productivity’
Do You Need a Facility Energy Audit?
A facility energy audit is when a knowledgeable and reliable person from an experienced material handling solutions provider assesses your energy use and facility layout. The goal is to find areas where you could potentially enhance efficiency and reduce operational expenses by utilizing forklift power options and optimizing facility power layouts such as storage and charging locations.
Performing a facility energy audit is helpful for two reasons:
- You get recommendations customized to your particular application and business operations, emphasizing practical solutions.
- You get ideas you can implement immediately or later when replacing existing equipment, providing an opportunity to prepare for the changes and budget for them in advance.
These recommendations typically include the following:
- Process enhancements
- Reorganizing your current fleet
- Investing in new charging systems, batteries, or other equipment
Through the implementation of the suggested solutions, you can potentially experience a return on investment in several areas, including:
- Energy conservation
- Reduced equipment costs
- Increased throughput
- Recovered storage or charging space that can generate income
- Improved operator productivity, comfort, and satisfaction
FACILITY ENERGY AUDIT PROCESS
Here are the seven areas typically evaluated during a facility energy audit:
1. Charging Stations: With the aid of an electrician or facilities manager, auditors will inspect your current battery charging station to evaluate several areas, including:
- Incoming line voltage
- Types and quantity of chargers employed
- Area occupied
- Position of the charging station to other operations and spaces
2. Battery Storage: The auditors will also assess your current battery storage facilities and practices, considering factors like:
- Quantity of batteries stored
- Method of storage
- Number of trucks supported
- Amount of facility space occupied by the batteries
3. Forklift Specifications: The auditors will evaluate your fleet, considering data including:
- Size (number of trucks and capacity)
- Technology mix
- Additionally, a data-logging device may be installed on one or more of the trucks at your facility for around a week to collect information on actual energy consumption.
4. Fueling Stations: Auditors will inspect IC fueling stations from multiple perspectives. They may evaluate the following:
- Number of trucks serviced by the stations
- Amount of fuel consumed
- Frequency of refueling requirements
- Location of the stations to other vital areas and operational spaces
5. Application: The auditors will watch the equipment in operation to pinpoint significant performance requirements. Although the list is extensive, some crucial aspects analyzed include:
- Number of shifts operated
- Required lifting height of your equipment
- The intensity of your duty cycle
- Maximum load weight transported
- Break schedule for opportunity charging
- UL requirements
- Other special needs like connector type, connector color, spacers, or tray adders
6. Maintenance Areas: Auditors will also observe and assess battery swapping, watering stations, and other maintenance activities, including:
- Type of watering systems and other equipment used
- Space and layout designated for maintenance
- Tools and accessories provided to operators and technicians to carry out maintenance tasks
7. Facility Power Considerations: The auditors will examine not just your usage capacity (the maximum power capacity that your facility can provide to your equipment) but also the following:
- Electrical systems that your facility is currently operating
- Current overall throughput (the daily amps consumed)
- Throughput during peak seasons
GET EXPERT HELP
For more in-depth information on facility energy audits, download Toyota Material Handling’s 28-page white paper: Exploring Forklift Energy Solutions for Maximum ROI.
Developing and implementing a successful energy adoption strategy can enhance efficiency and lower operational costs. To ensure a successful facility energy audit, let us help. If you’re in Los Angeles County, contact us to schedule an appointment with an expert today.
Tora-Max Walkie Pallet Jack and Stacker
When you’re working hard, you want equipment that won’t shy away from a challenge. The all-new Compact, Second-Generation Electric Walkie Pallet Jack and Tora-Max Walkie Stacker help transport materials quickly and efficiently. Learn more about these units and find out why they should be part of your fleet.
Benefits of the Compact Tora-Max Electric Walkie Pallet Jack
Exchangeable Lithium-Ion Battery
The Compact Tora-Max Electric Walkie Pallet Jack is a versatile, lightweight, cost-effective solution for quickly lifting pallets. The cartridge-style lithium-ion battery increases productivity and reduces downtime, reducing the need to recharge the battery frequently. With the option to charge the battery inside and outside of your truck, and an optional second battery pack, you can increase run time to stay on the move.
The Tora-Max Electric Walkie Pallet Jack features a control handle, turtle button, pin code panel, and electric lift/lower buttons that are easy to reach for convenient operation.
Enhanced Features on the Second-Generation 4,000 lb. load capacity Tora-Max Electric Walkie Pallet Jack
The Tora-Max Electric Walkie Pallet Jack has a maintenance-free, sealed lead-acid battery and a built-in charger to reduce operating costs and minimize downtime.
The Tora-Max Electric Walkie Pallet Jack is a durable and efficient lift with heavy-duty chassis, polyurethane drive tires, and a steel battery cover for protection. It also includes exit rollers for easy entry and exit on and off pallets and is powered by an efficient AC drive motor.
Benefits of the Tora-Max Walkie Stacker
The Tora-Max Electric Walkie Stacker is versatile and maneuverable, with a load capacity of up to 2,600 lbs. It has pinwheel capability for tight spaces and adjustable baselegs for stability with various load sizes. Click here to watch a video of the Tora-Max Walkie Stacker in action.
The Tora-Max Walkie Stacker easily navigates tight spaces while providing operator comfort and control. It features lift and lower controls, ergonomic hand grips, and fingertip controls for efficient operation.
24V Lithium-Ion Battery with Built-In Charger
The Tora-Max Walkie Stacker has a 24-volt lithium-ion battery and built-in charger for quick and dependable operation. It also includes an LCD Battery Discharge Indicator with Hour Meter that displays battery usage, fault codes, and working hours.
Do you need help choosing which forklift to buy? We help businesses in Los Angeles County secure new, used and rental forklifts. Contact us here to talk to a material handling specialist today.
Tuning Forklifts for Optimal Performance
When it comes to forklifts, there’s no such thing as a one-size fits all. After all, what works for a small mom-and-pop retail store may not work as well for a high-throughput forging application. Options such as lights and attachments allow you to customize each forklift to fit your needs, but did you know that adjusting forklift settings can be just as critical to optimizing performance and efficiency?
Many forklifts today come standard with pre-set performance and operational settings that can be adjusted through either a built-in multi-function display or an external device such as a laptop. Toyota’s Core Electric and 3-Wheel Electric models, for example, each have over 60 different parameters used to fine-tune forklift performance. Programmable passwords help prevent unauthorized users from accessing these settings.
Settings on Toyota Forklifts are highly adjustable as most parameters have eight or more levels of adjustment. Understanding how these settings affect forklift operation is the first step in realizing productivity and efficiency gains. Below are a few examples of these parameters along with how they may affect your operation. If you feel like you may benefit from optimizing your forklift’s operation, please reach out to your authorized Toyota dealer for expert support and service.
Tuning Your Forklift
Toyota Forklift Acceleration, Speed, and Braking Adjustments
Travel/Acceleration -Adjusting these speeds on the forklift may increase productivity or allow the operator to slow down when necessary. These settings can also save energy in applications where quick acceleration or faster travel speeds are unnecessary.
Accelerator Pedal Response* – Adjusts sensitivity to the initial depression of the accelerator pedal. Higher settings will reduce the delay between when the pedal is depressed and when the forklift begins to accelerate.
Rollback Speed* – Trucks with the rollback feature have a momentary delay followed by a controlled descent when the accelerator pedal is released while on a grade. This setting allows the travel speed and time before rollback to be adjusted.
Over Speed Alarm – An alarm sounds when the forklift exceeds a pre-set travel speed.
Regenerative Braking* – Adjusts how quickly the truck slows down when the operator’s foot is removed from the accelerator pedal. The strength of the “plugging” response can also be adjusted (when travel direction is switched between forward and reverse).
Toyota Forklift Maintenance, Lift, and Power Adjustments
Hydraulic Functions – Lift, lower, tilt, and attachment speeds are all adjustable. This includes starting, inching, maximum, acceleration, and deceleration settings. These settings can also provide energy savings in applications where faster hydraulic speeds are not necessary.
Lift Interrupt Level* – Used to tune the depth of discharge of a battery before the truck reaches lift interrupt. When the battery reaches the set level, the lift function will be disallowed. This allows the forklift to be matched to the battery size and type that is installed.
Planned Maintenance Hour Meter – An alarm sounds to inform the operator when the forklift is due for planned maintenance. The maintenance period can be adjusted and the alarm can be overridden.
Engine Auto Off/Auto Power Off – Engine (IC models) or battery power (electric models) will automatically turn off during a certain period of inactivity. The amount of time before it turns off can be adjusted or the setting can be turned off entirely.
Toyota Forklift Detection System Adjustments
SEnS and SEnS+ Smart Environment Sensors– Toyota forklifts equipped with SEnS or SEnS+ allow tuning to adjust parameters such as the distance at which a pedestrian or object is detected and the type of indicator that is used based on the distance.
*Applies to electric forklifts only.
Six Tips for Effective Order Picking
Order picking is one of the most critical processes in a warehouse. It is a complex task that requires speed, accuracy, and efficiency to ensure the right products get to the right customers on time. Here are some essential tips to ensure you get the most out of your order-picking process.
1. Create a Labeling System
Having a practical labeling system for your warehouse is essential to streamline the order-picking process. Ensure labels are clear, legible, and easy to read from a distance. Utilize color coding and standard symbols to simplify navigation even further.
2. Organization is Key
Being organized plays a crucial role in order picking accuracy and efficiency. Put like items together, separate them by size or type, and assign specific warehouse areas to them. Additionally, it would help if you organized your warehouse so that frequently picked items are easily accessible and require minimal travel time for workers.
3. Use Advanced Technology
Innovative technologies are coming out daily to make work easier and more efficient. Voice technology and bar-code scanners can help boost accuracy and speed up order fulfillment times. RFID tracking systems provide real-time visibility over inventory levels across multiple warehouses simultaneously. And Smart Environment Sensors provide operators with pedestrian and object detection. However, it is essential to use these technologies cautiously as they can lead to errors if not properly implemented or maintained.
Want to learn more? Click here to read our blog post about six order-picking technologies and the benefits of each one.
4. Embrace Automation
Automated systems such as conveyor belts or robotic arms can help speed up the order-picking process and reduce errors due to human error. Automated guided vehicles (AGVs) can move stock around without human intervention. Autonomous mobile robots can handle hundreds of tasks every day and thousands of orders every week. Investing in automation technology can be costly upfront, but it will pay off overall with increased efficiency and accuracy.
5. Put Safety First
Safety should always be a top priority when working in a warehouse environment. Provide plenty of safety gear, such as gloves, protective clothing, goggles, etc., to protect workers. Create clear pathways throughout the warehouse so workers do not trip over boxes or other obstacles. Train employees to use any automated systems or manual processes used in the order-picking process.
Click here for more safety and training tips.
6. Get Expert Help
If you have questions about how to set up your warehouse effectively, we can help. Our material handling solutions experts have decades of knowledge and training to help you choose the right products and solutions for your needs. Contact us to set up a free consultation. We can also help with operator safety training classes at your location or ours.
Order picking is essential to any successful warehouse operation, but it does not have to be challenging. By utilizing clear labeling systems, practicing good organization techniques, taking advantage of modern technologies, embracing automation, and putting safety first, you can optimize your order-picking process for greater efficiency and accuracy with relative ease. Consider these tips when setting up your warehouse operations so you can get orders out faster while minimizing errors along the way!