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Innovation for warehouse order picking

June 28, 2018
A new and unique mobile lifter for efficient warehouse order picking was just released by TAWI UK. This innovative Swedish company introduced their patented vacuum lifter on the international market in the late 80’s and has been developing new lifting systems ever since. With rapidly changing needs on the market, TAWI UK has been at the forefront of development, producing new solutions to meet specific industry requirements. They have now clearly set their sights on streamlining logistic workflows, developing clever solutions to speed up the manual handling of goods in warehouses and distribution centres.

Listening to customers’ needs for mobile lifters

Export manager Anders Jorstadius has been with TAWI for over 35 years and has seen the company grow and develop, always with the customers’ needs in focus. Anders remembers when customers using the TAWI vacuum lifters started asking for a mobile lift system. Quickly responding to customer requests, TAWI mounted their pillar jib on a bottom plate that could be moved with a forklift, allowing operators to move their vacuum lifter between work stations.

Although appreciated by customers, this mobile lift had its limitations and could not for example be moved through doorways. Again, TAWI engineers quickly found a solution, making the pillar adjustable in height. Anders explains how they added a battery on the bottom plate so that users could now with the push of a button lower the pillar when they needed to move through doorways or other low headroom areas.

A few years later, US sales manager Mike Lee noticed a growing demand for mobile lifting solutions in warehouses. His customers found the bottom plate of TAWI’s jib crane to be too heavy, so to offer them the mobility they needed, Mike started attaching the pillar jib directly onto a forklift. This, Anders explains, was the start of the TAWI Mobile Order Picker.

Read more about TAWI mobile lifters here.

Warehouse order picker from the user perspective

Coca Cola has a plant in Chile, producing the concentrate that breweries will later use to produce their well-known soft drinks. We all know that Coca Cola has grown their product array to include a wide selection of sodas, energy drinks and more. This means that when the plant in Chile gets an order from a brewery, they need to pick several different concentrates, packed in different types of cannisters, bags etc. And this is where the TAWI Mobile Order Picker comes in.

The warehouse order picker allows the operator to easily pick different types of goods, quickly moving from pallet rack to pallet rack, placing the products directly onto the pallet. This guarantees an efficient workflow that saves the operator both time and effort. Not to mention the financial savings for the plant. Of course, this applies not only on Coca Cola plants. Any distribution centre, warehouse or wholesaler will benefit from the reduced time and effort needed to pick orders.

Order picking like never before

So, what is it that makes the TAWI Mobile Order Picker unique? Anders Jorstadius explains that the main thing that sets their product apart from competitors is the flexibility. This mobile lift can be attached to any type of forklift or truck, which of course adds flexibility for the user, but also saves them from time-consuming formalities. The fact that this is a free-standing unit, not tied to one truck or forklift, will save you from a lot of hassle when it comes to CE approval, warranties and so on, Anders explains.

Anders Jorstadius remembers how the idea of developing the TAWI Mobile Order Picker as a free-standing unit caused the engineers some headache at first. Building a unit that could be easily attached to any type of truck or forklift, and still be stable and safe to work with was a challenge. But the patented solution they came up with proved to add even more benefits to the unit. The engineers added support legs to ensure optimal stability, regardless of which type of forklift or truck is used. This allows the operator to easily attach the unit to various types of forklifts, but also facilitates maintenance and battery change.

Future development to look forward to

It is clear that TAWI engineers have worked hard to optimise this lifter for efficient order picking. But this is only the beginning, Anders points out. He envisions many other areas where this mobile lift will add great flexibility and efficiency. The next step will be the launch of the TAWI Mobile Container Loader; the same unit equipped with a telescopic arm allowing quick and efficient loading and unloading of containers. But TAWI’s visions for this mobile lifter do not stop there. There is more to come, Anders hints with a smile.

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