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Jungheinrich has been developing RFID technology to guide forklifts quickly and efficiently around a narrow aisle store. The RFID-based navigation system uses transponders measuring 9 x 16 mm that are inserted in the floor of each aisle to guide the truck to its destination in the shortest route and in the fastest time. The truck itself is equipped with an RFID reader/writer that communicates with the transponders to determine aisle and warehouse zone identification as well as path measurement referencing within the aisle. Armed with this information, the technology allows pallet locations to be determined precisely within the aisles at all times.

Since the RFID-based system was introduced it has been installed at some 100 sites throughout Europe. Jungheinrich has measured the impact that the technology has had on these facilities and, the company claims, depending on the warehouse situation typical practical efficiency increases of around 25 per cent are being achieved. At some sites efficiency gains of up to
40 per cent have been recorded.
Steve Richmond, general manager of Jungheinrich UK’s systems and projects division, says: “The trucks of the future will not only have to be powerful performers, they will need to have intelligent technology on board to connect them to the warehouse or distribution centre’s IT and to integrate them in the logistical processes.”

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