Forklift Trucks: Driver Assistance in Narrow Aisles Thanks to RFID

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Task

The number of accidents resulting in damage to property and bodily injury is higher than average at junctions and in tight passages in distribution centers and warehouses. Users are interested in finding ways of avoiding such accidents. A simple method is to limit the maximum speed of the vehicle in certain areas, or to restrict the lifting height.

Concise Description

RFID transponders in the warehouse floor can assist forklift truck drivers in critical situations. Attaching an RFH6xx high frequency read/write device underneath a forklift truck enables it to read the transponders and pass the position information on to the vehicle control system.

Implementation

Disc transponders that can easily be lowered into the warehouse floor can be used. The typical axle height for narrow aisle vehicles is 35 mm. The RFH6xx is attached underneath the forklift around 50 mm from the ground (= reading distance to the transponder).
The RFH6xx reliably reads 12 bytes (3 blocks) from the transponders in the floor at vehicle speeds of 4 m/s. The transponder data read out is passed on to the vehicle control unit via the integrated CANopen interface. The control unit decides on suitable measures on the basis of the position information received from the transponders. At the end of an aisle or at a junction this may mean reducing the speed; when passing through gateways or if there are obstacles under the ceiling it may mean limiting the lifting height.

Customer Benefits

The RFH6xx is ideal thanks to its housing, which is suitable for industrial applications. It includes an integrated antenna, signal and data processing and integrated CANopen interface. This compact unit can be integrated simply even in the smallest of spaces. Parameter cloning (with Micro SD Card) enables rapid replacement in the event of faults. The investment is future-proof thanks to adherence to globally established ISO/IEC15693 standards.

Tom Wik is the US National Product Manager for vision, ID and RFID. Tom was been in the industry since 2002 and been involved in vision technology since that time. He has been with SICK for the past 2 years and currently resides in Chicago.


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