MHE technology is non-polluting, energy-efficient and high in demand

  • Industry News
  • Jun 29,22
Godrej Material Handling is one of India’s largest manufacturers of lift trucks, which includes electric, LPG, and diesel counterbalance forklifts up to 25-tonne capacity, warehouse trucks, and special trucks. In this dialogue, Anil Lingayat, Executive Vice President & Business Head, Godrej Material Handling speaks briefly about innovative technologies in the MHE sector with Trishna Mirajkar.
MHE technology is non-polluting, energy-efficient and high in demand

What are the future trends and latest developments in the material handling sector?
We see the AI and IoT trends emerging in analysing connected forklifts for triggering preventive maintenance and helping improve the service experience at the customer place. IoT and AI are also transforming the manufacturing space in the industry.

With more awareness of Green and Sustainability, this industry which was always more focused on Electric is further getting electrified and more and more customers of Material Handling are moving to the sustainable electric side giving long-term sustainability.

We see the emergence of technology and AI in fleet management to improve productivity, safety, the behaviour of operators, etc. for enhancing workplace productivity, and safety.

Autonomous vehicles like AMRs are also progressing at a faster pace to convert monotonous operations into autonomous, thereby releasing humans to do higher value-added jobs increasing safety and productivity at the workplace.

Why is modern material handling equipment (MHE) so critical for increasing efficiency and reducing downtime?
One of the biggest challenges faced by the industry today is how they can make their inward logistics and storage and outward logistics and storage more efficient, relevant, and of course, competitive. A significant part of our product cost goes in these areas and with a competitive space increasing where consumers want more choices at the fastest time and it is no more only automated manufacturing but, it is also a lot to do with efficient supply chain through the value chain.

In a country like ours where our present logistics and distribution cost is among the highest amongst the benchmarked countries, modern Material Handling and Storage Solutions are a key to increasing efficiency and reducing cost.

Modern technology and advanced Material Handling and Storage systems facilitate smooth order-to-delivery cycles and help businesses in dealing with ever-changing consumer demands from the supplier factories to the last mile of consumption. With technologically advanced solutions of narrow aisle equipment which can reach a height of 12 metres, including automated storage and retrieval options help in efficiently managing supply chains correctness, timeliness, and cost delivering enhanced value to all the stakeholders.

Kindly inform us about the types of Machinery/equipment your organisation uses.
We provide electric forklifts, reach trucks, articulated forklifts and stackers to customers based on their application, which are defined by the load and the height at which the load must be placed. We manufacture electric forklifts which have a capacity of up to 5 tonnes, stackers have a capacity of up to 1.5 tonnes and reach trucks have a capacity of up to 2 tonnes. When loading at heights greater than 6 metres, reach trucks are employed. Godrej reach trucks can stack to a height of 12 metres. In a single handling action, it transfers loads from lorry to rack and rack to lorry. This increases the operators' productivity and efficiency, which is why we call it a multi-purpose workhorse. We provide order pickers and Turret stock pickers through our partner, Crown. We also provide IC engines powered forklift trucks up to 16 tonnes.

For automated material handling equipment solutions, how advantageous is it in enhancing productivity, especially in warehousing and logistics?
Automated material handling equipment puts a focus on productivity, safety, accuracy, consistency, operational efficiency, turnaround times, and deskilling and allows 24x7x365 operations if needed. It produces a safer and more comfortable working environment, which boosts productivity. It lowers the cost of handling and the time it takes to deliver a shipment. Traffic intensity, staging congestion, and other concerns are addressed and alleviated using flexible methods. The optimal system also ensures precision and control. There is less risk of looking for misplaced items, mishaps, or damaged products when inventory is in the correct place at the right time.

Could you detail innovative technologies that have come up recently?
Material handling technology that is non-polluting and energy-efficient is high in demand. The products such as battery-operated electric forklifts, reach trucks, articulated forklifts, and stackers, which increase the demand for sustainable material handling solutions. AGVs, smart connected forklifts, and mobile automation are also among the technology items of recent innovations. As more companies automate their warehouse operations, warehouse management systems (WMSes) are becoming more vital. The fleet management system like Godrej Safelog provides a facility to monitor the fleet at a central level which facilitates better fleet utilisation & scheduled maintenance to avoid breakdown. The indigenous twin motor on 3W &4W electric counterbalance trucks with wet-disc brakes provides performance equivalent to diesel trucks.

What kind of recovery do you see in the MHE segment in the coming days?
During the pandemic, consumer behaviour and preferences changed dramatically. The MHE Sector has a great possibility for growth now, more than ever. It is due to the drastic change from brick-and-mortar stores to online businesses. In warehousing, demand for material handling equipment is expanding, and this trend will continue in the foreseeable future. Improved investment in the infrastructure and industrial sectors, rising consumer spending, increased CAPEX spending, and an increase in logistic activities & global trade will contribute to market growth. The old gear is being replaced with modern automated systems and robotics.

What message do you have for the readers as well as the industry?
We believe India's material handling business has an amazing opportunity because it is still in its infancy. We are among the top five fastest-growing economies in the world, and we are on track to becoming the world's third-largest economy. All evidence points to the sector's enormous potential for expansion. India is a unique and youthful country that is undergoing a massive technological transformation, particularly in terms of adopting modern technologies at a faster pace due to digital connectivity & young people. The company has tremendous promise in the coming year and beyond, as it also adapts to new technologies and innovates to meet shifting consumer demands. Godrej Material Handling will continue to provide new products and services to the market and invest in the development of new technologies to help our clients improve their productivity and workplace safety.

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