For 2 years, the factory of Germany's premium sports-car manufacturer in Stuttgart has used Spijkstaal electric tow tractors to move parts and equipment around.
However, a long ramp used for access between the floors has created an issue where the vehicles descending too quickly can roll over, or shed their loads when rounding the corner at the bottom. Their supplier, etrak, approached us for a solution, as it was endangering the safety of their customer's employees and the integrity of their expensive cargo.
Steve, our Managing Director, accompanied by Pete, Senior Engineer, flew out to Germany to assess the situation, and fit our Zone system to the trucks to automatically reduce their speed in critical areas, but be able to be switched back to maximum speed everywhere else.
This way, safety in the designated zones is increased, as the speed of the vehicles in it is reduced, without compromising efficiency.
The vehicle entering the zone receives a signal from a transmitter, which can be mounted on a wall, or fitted into grooves in the floor. The input triggers the on- board Fast/Slow switch, and changes the dash-mounted LED to GREEN, to show that it is in 'slow mode'. A default behaviour for the Zone controller can also be chosen, dictating whether the truck defaults to slow, fast, or the previous mode.
Upon receiving a signal from another transmitter at the end of the zone, the vehicle allows 'fast mode' to be selected by the driver through a push switch, avoiding the possibility of the vehicle accelerating suddenly, with the throttle already fully depressed. The LED turns AMBER to show the driver, and turns RED when the push switch is depressed.