MHI Solutions



Revolutionary New Features and Trends in Lift Truck Design Are Benefitting the Supply Chains That Rely on Them

By Greg Baer, MHI Director of Sales

Even a casual browser passing through the lift truck exhibits at ProMat 2017 could clearly see that today’s load handlers are packing every bit as much technology as today’s consumer cars. And not just operator amenities like integrated cup holders and onboard charger ports for mobile devices, but a variety of features that make these vehicles more environmentally friendly and autonomous while minimizing maintenance.

MHI Solutions checked in with some of the leading forklift original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)—all of whom happen to be MHI member companies—to find out more about the revolutionary features and trends in lift truck design, and how those benefit the supply chains that rely on them.

Alternative power sources, telematics improving sustainability

Regardless of the brand or its fuel source—electric, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or diesel—all lift truck manufacturers are engineering their latest vehicles to be more environmentally friendly than ever before.

From switching to AC motors for greater efficiency and more operating hours on a single battery charge, to prioritizing reduced emissions to meet the strictest standards (think California Air Resources Board), manufacturers have been including all types of energy saving features into their forklifts for several years now. Simply engineering the vehicles to last longer, using recycled materials in floor mats and rebuilding components for the used, aftermarket and repair markets are other ways lift truck manufacturers are helping companies meet their sustainability standards.

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Emerging technologies such as IIoT, robotics and artificial intelligence provide exciting opportunities for supply chains. They also mean an exponential growth in the amount of data these supply chains generate. When properly utilized, this data can provide crucial information to improve efficiency, reduce costs, enhance transparency and customer service. But it comes with risk. The more digitized a supply chain becomes, the more it is at risk of cyberattack. Hackers are constantly finding new ways create data breaches they can exploit. The reality that most supply chains require third-party suppliers down the chain only heightens this threat. No matter the scale of your supply chain, it is essential to have solid cybersecurity processes in place to manage and mitigate the growing risk of cyberattack. That’s what this issue of MHI Solutions is all about, from cybersecurity threats in an IIoT world to dark data to the human factor in cybersecurity to blockchain as a potential solution.

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