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  • Writer's pictureYael Fainaro

Taking Industry 4.0 to the Next Level with Disruptive RTLS - Part 4

This the fourth in a blog series that discusses the impact of disruptive real time location systems (RTLS) on safety, efficiency and productivity in logistics and its ability to take Industry 4.0 to the next level, driving adoption by many more site owners across many more workflows.


Boosting Warehouse Safety: The Power of Real-Time Location Systems



In this fourth installment of our blog series exploring the transformative impact of Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) in Industry 4.0, we focus on a critical aspect of warehouse operations: safety. The warehousing and logistics industry faces significant challenges in ensuring the well-being of workers, particularly when it comes to forklift-related accidents. These incidents result in tragic human consequences and substantial financial losses for businesses. As the demand for efficient and safe material handling grows, innovative solutions like RTLS are becoming increasingly important in revolutionizing warehouse safety.


Forklift Accidents - A Grim Reality


The statistics surrounding forklift accidents paint a grim picture. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2011 and 2017, 614 workers lost their lives in forklift-related incidents, equating to an average of one fatality every three days. Over 7,000 nonfatal injuries requiring days away from work occurred annually during the same period. In 2019 alone, forklifts were responsible for 79 deaths and 8,140 nonfatal injuries that led to days away from work, with the transportation and warehousing sector accounting for over 5,000 of these nonfatal cases in 2021-2022.


The impact of forklift accidents goes beyond the numbers. The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that forklift accidents claim an average of 101 lives every year. These incidents cause immeasurable human suffering and impose significant financial burdens on businesses, including lost productivity, medical expenses, and potential legal liabilities. The manufacturing sector experiences the highest number of forklift fatalities at 42.5%, followed by construction at 23.8%.


RTLS: Reimagining Forklift Safety 


In the face of these safety challenges, Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) have emerged as a catalytic tool in mitigating the risks associated with forklift operations. By providing real-time visibility and insights into the movement of forklifts and workers, RTLS enables proactive collision prevention and heightens situational awareness. This enhanced situational awareness enables proactive collision prevention, making RTLS a catalytic force in enhancing forklift safety.


One of the most powerful applications of RTLS in forklift safety is collision avoidance. The system utilizes advanced sensors and algorithms to detect potential collisions between forklifts and pedestrians or other vehicles. When a collision risk is identified, the system triggers real-time alerts, notifying operators and pedestrians of the impending danger. RTLS can automatically slow down or stop the forklift to prevent accidents, serving as an active safety measure.


RTLS also offers advanced safety features, such as speed control in high-risk areas, geofencing to restrict access to designated zones, and real-time monitoring of operator behavior. By setting predefined speed limits in these zones, RTLS ensures that forklifts operate at a safe velocity, reducing the likelihood of accidents. Geofencing capabilities allow businesses to prevent unauthorized entry of forklifts into hazardous or prohibited areas.


Real-World Results: Empowering Businesses with RTLS


The real-world impact of RGo's RTLS solution is exemplified by Amazon's success story. Despite a significant 33% growth in their Powered Industrial Truck (PIT) fleet since 2019, Amazon witnessed a remarkable 59% decrease in PIT-related serious injury rate and a 10% reduction in recordable incident rate. These impressive results can be attributed to the deployment of Collision Avoidance Technology (CAT), which leverages RTLS principles.


Amazon experienced a staggering 95% reduction in recordable incidents in 2020 where CAT has been launched. This real-world example demonstrates the transformative power of RTLS in enhancing warehouse safety and preventing accidents.


Barriers to RTLS Implementation


Despite the immense potential of RTLS in enhancing warehouse safety, several factors have hindered its widespread adoption. The cost of implementation is a primary concern, as traditional RTLS solutions often require extensive infrastructure, including the purchase of hardware, software, and installation expenses. This financial burden can be particularly challenging for small and medium-sized businesses.


The complexity of integrating RTLS systems with existing warehouse infrastructure presents another significant challenge. Warehouses often have unique layouts, equipment, and processes that can complicate the implementation of new technologies. Integrating RTLS seamlessly into these diverse environments requires expertise and customization, which can be time-consuming and resource intensive.


Concerns regarding the reliability and accuracy of RTLS data have also contributed to hesitation among businesses. Warehouses are dynamic environments with numerous potential sources of interference, such as metal structures, electromagnetic fields, and wireless networks. These factors can impact the performance of RTLS, leading to inaccurate or inconsistent data.


RGo's Innovative Approach to Overcoming Barriers


Recognizing the challenges associated with traditional RTLS implementations, RGo has developed cutting-edge solutions that directly address these pain points. The core of RGo's solution is its cost-effective precision. Utilizing state-of-the-art algorithms and sensor fusion techniques, RGo achieves highly accurate tracking at the centimeter level without compromising affordability. This breakthrough technology eliminates the need for expensive infrastructure and reduces the overall cost of implementation, making RTLS accessible to businesses of all sizes.


RGo's infrastructure-less design is another key differentiator. The system operates seamlessly without the need for extensive installations or modifications to the existing warehouse layout. This plug-and-play approach streamlines the deployment process, minimizing disruption to ongoing operations. Businesses can quickly and easily integrate the technology into their existing systems, realizing the benefits of enhanced safety in a matter of days.


The system is built to withstand the challenges of dynamic warehouse environments. Whether indoors, outdoors, or in the presence of metal structures and other interfering factors, RGo's advanced algorithms ensure reliable and consistent asset tracking. The system intelligently filters out noise and interference, delivering accurate location data in real time.


Embracing RTLS for a Safer Warehousing Future


As the warehousing industry continues to prioritize safety and efficiency, the adoption of innovative technologies like RGo's RTLS solution becomes increasingly important. By utilizing the power of real-time location data and advanced algorithms, businesses can achieve new levels of safety, productivity, and operational excellence.


Adopting RTLS technology represents a significant step forward in addressing the critical issue of forklift safety in the warehousing and logistics industry. By prioritizing the well-being of workers and investing in advanced technology, businesses can create a safer, more efficient, and ultimately more profitable future. As the industry evolves, it will be interesting to witness how RTLS helps companies navigate the complexities of accident prevention and pave the way for a brighter, safer tomorrow in the world of warehousing.


RGo's commitment to innovation and its user-centric approach positions the company at the forefront of warehouse safety technology. As more businesses recognize the value of RTLS in preventing accidents and optimizing operations, RGo is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the industry.


 

Want to learn more about the RGo Perception Engine and how it can improve safety, efficiency and productivity for your customers? Contact us


 

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