Order picking is one of the fastest growing sectors in material handling, largely due to online retailing and increasing consumer demand for a wider choice of products. Toyota Material Handling proves its leadership and innovation in delivering order picking products and solutions by introducing new low-level and high-level order picking truck models, as well as a new name for its order picking range: the BT Optio.
“Order picking is a rapidly expanding process in material handling operations across Europe, driven by market trends such as increased online retailing,” explains Sam Coles, Commercial Director of Toyota Material Handling UK. “This, in turn, is making greater demands on the performance and reliability of order picking trucks. It is also driving picking to higher levels in a literal sense, in order to make the best use of available warehouse space.” Built around our core product values of productivity, driveability, safety and durability, our new BT Optio H-series and L-series models will deliver productivity improvements and cost reduction from the ground level, all the way up to 12 metres. And our revolutionary new BT Automated Order Picking solution is already providing impressive efficiency, cost and safety benefits at customer sites around Europe.”
BT Optio H-series – advanced high-level picking
The all-new BT Optio H-series is designed to set new standards in high-level order picking. The BT Optio H-series offers picking heights of up to 12 metres – the highest level in its class. High-level picking allows maximum operational flexibility, helping companies to drive down costs and improve warehouse space utilisation.
The performance of BT Optio H-series is excellent thanks to a high travel speed (max. 12 km/h), quick acceleration and fast lifting / lowering speeds. The optional height pre-selection function automatically moves the cab to the next required level. Every time the cab is lowered or the truck decelerates, energy is regenerated back to the battery. Because of this, in many applications the BT Optio H-series is able to work for two full shifts on one battery charge. When battery exchange is required, the battery can be changed quickly thanks to the built-in rollerbed.
BT Optio H-series is designed for both ‘free-ranging’ and narrow aisle operation, with either rail or wire guidance. It excels at ‘diagonal’ driving, where the truck is driving and lifting / lowering at the same time. The BT Optipace system monitors the truck’s load as well as the lift height and automatically optimises travel speed accordingly for added safety.
Additional safety features include multi-point operator presence sensing, which does not allow the truck to operate unless the driver is standing inside the truck on the cab floor with both hands on the controls. PIN-code access (or the optional ID key) limits operation to authorised drivers.
Visibility is optimised thanks to BT’s Totalview design, which features an open cab layout and clear-view mast and overhead guard. The components used in the BT Optio H-series are designed for hard, continuous work. Powerful AC drive and lift motors work together with a heavy-duty gearbox. Sealed electronic components and heavy-duty materials assure a long working life, with careful attention to detail assuring reliability at every level.
Two new BT Optio H-series models are available, both with a maximum platform height of 10.5 m for picking up to 12 m. The OME100H model has a load capacity of 1000 kg and auxiliary lift with fixed or adjustable forks, and is available in nine cab widths from 1000 mm to 1800 mm. The OMH120HW model has a load capacity of 1200 kg and a ‘walk-through’ design for the picking of large items. Both basic models OME100H and OME120HW are available in cold store versions. First production of BT Optio H is scheduled for Q4, 2011.
New BT Optio L-series for low-level order picking
Toyota has also launched the new BT Optio L-series of low-level order pickers. Designed for all types of first-level order picking, the BT Optio L-series will be launched in the second half of 2011.
With repetitive tasks like order picking, details matter and small improvements can deliver big gains in terms of efficiency and cost reduction. BT Optio L-series has improved vibration damping (option) and storage compartments, an integrated shrink film holder, a more comfortable backrest, and an advanced ‘step-up’ design for second-level picking. BT Optio L-series’ AC drive technology is robust and reliable, delivering high performance with minimal maintenance.
The new BT Optio L-series will have a range of models with load capacities from 1,000 kg to 2,500 kg.
BT Automated Order Picking
By revolutionising the order picking process, automated order picking delivers productivity increases of up to 40%, substantially reduces labour costs and supports safe operations.
BT Automated Order Picking coordinates pickers and automated warehouse trucks so that every time an operator picks an item, there is always a truck ready to receive it. The order picking truck is guided by an advanced navigation system while the human picker receives instructions via a pick-to-voice system. Both the picker and the truck are linked to the site’s warehouse management system (WMS).
Each picking cycle starts with the truck navigating automatically to the first picking position where the human picker loads the right goods onto the truck. As soon as the items are placed on the pallet, the truck automatically moves to the next picking position, effectively escorting the operator as it does so.
When the pallet or roll cage is full a new truck arrives, allowing the operator to keep on picking as the first truck travels automatically to despatch. Advanced technology takes care of navigation and safety and the picker is able to concentrate solely on fulfilling the order rather than negotiating a busy warehouse and continually stepping on and off the truck. This means a lower risk of work-related injuries, less stress for the operator, fewer picking errors and less risk of damage to goods, trucks, and infrastructure.
Toyota Material Handling UK