Crown study: Attitudes around material handling systems changing

Study finds technology a major driver of change in industry

11/18/2012


Material handling system supplier Crown Equipment Corporation has released results of a survey of material handling end users and their perception of emerging technologies.

Crown conducted the August 2012 survey received opinions from 556 individuals involved in the purchase of material handling equipment for their company. Not surprisingly, 71% of respondents said driving down costs is the biggest material handling challenge facing their organization.

On the technology side, 85% of respondents said the material handling industry will become more reliant on technology within the next five years. The differences come in the type of fleet solutions to be utilized. Forklift fleet management solutions were the choice of 40.4% of respondents, with automated storage and retrieval systems next at 32.5%.

Tim Quellhorst, senior vice president of Crown Equipment, said that previous barriers to entry into forklift fleet and operator management are gradually coming down. “One of the most common misperceptions about the technology was that it was an all or nothing proposition. It’s not,” he said. “End users are discovering that they can start using certain aspects of forklift fleet and operator management solutions to lower costs and increase productivity. As they get more comfortable, they’re coming to us ready for additional features to be implemented.”

Respondents also said the adoption of technologies that automate forklift-related material handling tasks is limited to a small portion of the industry. Just 26% of respondents indicated interest in the topic but did not have immediate plans to implement a solution, while 54% either had no interest in the technology or were not familiar with it.

“There is a lot we can learn about the pace of adoption of automation-related products from how the industry is incorporating forklift fleet and operator management technologies,” Quellhorst said. “In order for automation to realize its full potential, material handling companies are going to need to work closely with early adopters to understand where the technology is successful and its shortcomings. And, it will be critical to present customers with an implementation roadmap that does not constrain them from adjusting to unforeseen business changes.”



No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Solving HVAC challenges; Thermal comfort criteria; Liquid-immersion cooling; Specifying VRF systems; 2016 Product of the Year winners
MEP Giants; MEP Annual Report; Mergers and acquisitions; Passive, active fire protection; LED retrofits; HVAC energy efficiency
Integrating electrical and HVAC systems; Tracking and conserving facility water use; Energy code advancements; The future of professional engineers
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing Arc Flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
click me