Continental Tire has turned to a telemetry system for its large fleet of forklift trucks at its facility in Mt. Vernon, Illinois. Said facility is 60-acres in size and employs more than 3,000 workers. All its forklift trucks are supplied and serviced by Black Equipment, according to Material Handling & Logistics (MH&L).
The goal of the switch to a wireless system was to improve efficiency and productivity, while complying with federally mandated guidelines. The system is responsible for monitoring operator performance via automated reporting, scheduling maintenance based on real-time data, and tracking machine utilization to optimize distribution and use of the company’s forklift truck fleet.
But as MH&L reports, the telemetry system standard operator capacity of 1,034 was insufficient for Continental’s Mt. Vernon factory, which runs 24 hours a day and requires over 3,000 employees: “To accommodate this volume, Nathan Baugher, fleet and rolling stock manager for Continental Tire, worked with the telemetry system team to produce a custom, dedicated matrix. This provided the necessary capacity to keep track of all the operators, while maintaining the functionality and performance of the telemetry portal.”
The system runs on a Code Division Multiple Access network. This made for a smooth transition from the previous system.
“Because the system is web based, getting everyone access was very easy,” Baugher explained. “We didn’t have to install any client-side software to the PCs. They can literally access the system anywhere, as long as they have Internet access. And the active filtering makes looking for specific operators or vehicles easy to do.”
By enhancing data processing and helping to maximize productivity, the new system prevented Continental from wasting money on new equipment that it doesn’t need.
“With the utilization information the telemetry system provides,” Baugher said, “we were able to prove that new process workloads could be absorbed using our existing fleet.”