Twisthink worked with Crown to develop its QuickPick Remote Advance which enables an operator to move a lift truck to its next location while he remains on the floor positioned to pick and load the next order, all triggered by a fingerless glove.
There are two issues with which any manufacturer can identify: improving worker operational efficiency and safety. Innovation has historically driven the American industry forward. Yet, many firms struggle in their quest for the next big thing to rock their competitive world. Crown pointed to the demanding, fast-paced task of order picking and noted how workers often jump from the lift truck before it actually comes to a complete stop. This causes many injuries, picking delays and a steady stream of worker’s comp claims.
Through their research, they found that warehouse workers may walk up to 15 miles and carry up to 10,000 pounds per day. The goal was to identify and create a solution that improved productivity and efficiency, while keeping operators comfortable and safe.
“WOULDN’T IT BE INDUSTRY-CHANGING IF OPERATORS COULD ADVANCE
THE TRUCK WITHOUT HAVING TO CONTINUALLY JUMP ON AND OFF?”
Twisthink worked with Crown to develop its QuickPick Remote Advance which enables an operator to move a lift truck to its next location while he remains on the floor positioned to pick and load the next order. The lift truck is triggered from a fingerless glove with an electronic transmitter.
Product and User Research
We spent considerable time with Crown, gathering more details on this equipment in the lower level order picking environment. Our team also logged many hours in Crown customer warehouses, seeing firsthand what pickers do, how they work with the trucks day in and day out, what they like and don’t like, you name it. As with any client project, this helps us fully define what an exceptional product needs to deliver.
Seldom does a worker use the same lift truck every day. We developed a special system that quickly enables each operator to tell any lift truck who they are when they come up to a truck, called pairing. It has to work swiftly and very seamlessly in a multi-worker, multi-lift truck environment. Pairing allows the operators to snap on their transmitter, wake up the truck, and take control.
Among other requirements, the glove could not interference with a picker’s routine tasks including: lifting and carrying boxes, handling a bar-code scanner, using a tape gun and box cutter, and writing with a pencil, and of course drive the truck hands on when needed.
We also anticipated the glove would become soiled and wear out longer before the electronics, so we created the electronic transmitter (back of glove) to be removable with the ability to recharge as well as extend use by multiple workers wearing their own correctly sized gloves.
The transmitter snaps into a plastic frame sewn into the glove and allows the user to auto-eject the transmitter with one hand. With removable electronics, it also provided savings for Crown because the glove is far less expensive to replace than the transmitter.
The QuickPick Remote has reduced operator fatigue by eliminating steps by 70% and has increased productivity by saving the operator up to 5 seconds per click at a 16-foot interpick distance. At 100 clicks per hour, this has led to Crown’s customer’s experiencing an average of 10-15% increase in productivity. In addition to productivity, this solution has also reduced damage with steer correction and obstacle detection as well as promotes safety by reducing potential for work injuries and long time accidents.