Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) showcased its automated Toyota RAE160 AGV reach forklift at the 2022 Auspack Packaging & Processing Machinery expo held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 17 to 20 May.
The autonomous (driverless) 1.6-tonne capacity AGV reach forklift featured a 10-metre mast was on display and in action at TMHA's stand, receiving a large amount of attendee interest.
The Toyota RAE160 reach forklift (also available in 2- and 2.5-tonne capacity models) was constantly moving pallets from floor position into a rack and then back again.
The forklift integrates with warehouse management systems to operate according to a customer's unique requirements. It uses a laser-based navigation system and complex range of sensors to safely and accurately handle materials, automatically.
The Toyota RAE range of autonomous material handling equipment is designed and manufactured by Toyota Material Handling Europe, with programming and installation performed locally by TMHA engineers.
The demonstrator Toyota RAE160 reach forklift at Auspack was fitted with 3D cameras which further enhance its load detection and rack detection capabilities.
In recent years there has been a shift towards automating warehouse logistics where conventional forklifts were predominantly used. This has been due to large fluctuations in throughput demands, leading to labour issues, improved affordability and shorter return-on-investment periods. Covid has also had an impact further increasing demand for autonomous material handling solutions.
Toyota Toyota RAE160 AGV reach forklift can also be operated manually, providing the best of both worlds. "A major thing that sets us apart in the market is that our Toyota RAE AGV reach forklifts are based on the manual platform and so can also be operated as a manual vehicle, as well as being autonomous," said TMHA product manager - automation, Neil Beveridge.
"So in that sense it's actually a 'hybrid' vehicle" which makes it extremely attractive to the industry due to its ability to be used manually, helping in the transition between manual and autonomous processes. End-users are far less intimidated by the introduction of hybrid vehicles, as there is always a manual roll-back option."
Mr Beveridge said that, like manual-only Toyota reach forklifts, the Toyota RAE AGV forklifts are very reliable and highly serviceable. "Unlike other automated equipment which tends to be customised, our AGVs all benefit from the consistency of the Toyota Production System which ensures optimal quality, durability and reliability."
TMHA also have a range of its latest-model LWI160 electric pallet jacks, plus a range of forklifts, scrubber dryers and sweepers, lift platforms and a Taylor-Dunn Bigfoot XL burden carrier.
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