By 2030, warehouses worldwide will have feature products that “talk” to the driverless forklifts that transport them, vehicles that generate more energy than they use, and integrated self-reliant facilities that operate autonomously with practically zero human workers.
That’s what the future is going to look like according to a new 3-D holographic display in a convention center near Frankfurt, Germany, set up by the European forklift manufacturer Linde Material Handling, a subsidiary of the KION Group.
A Look into the Future
As thousands of industry professionals gather in Hanover for the annual CeMAT Expo, Linde has opted to create its own competing event called “The World of Material Handling.” The centerpiece of the Linde event is the futuristic look at what materials handling will be like less than 20 years from now.
Linde engineers have teamed with futurists to predict how current technological developments and industry trends will influence the way products are moved and handled in the coming decades. Among the most astonishing predictions is the way businesses will use Big Data to improve product flow, according to Massimiliano Sammartano, Linde’s VP of sales, service, marketing, and operations.
“Goods will be able to communicate with the equipment that is being used to transport them,” Sammartano said in a news release announcing the event. “In doing so, this will help manage and control the entire flow of goods.”
Not only will many forklifts and other materials handling vehicles be driverless, but they also will be able to maintain and service themselves, reducing or even eliminating downtime.
Forklifts won’t look the way they do today. Some will adapt to the driver and to the specific demands of the task, morphing into different configurations and shapes as needed.
Generate More Power than Used
How forklifts and other industrial vehicles are powered also is likely to evolve. Tomorrow’s trucks won’t just consume less energy, they will also be able to generate more power than they use, with the surplus power being transferred to other parts of the facility to provide energy for such things as running computers, lighting, and other systems.
Visitors to the 39,370-square-foot exhibit will experience this futuristic materials handling environment virtually thanks to a three-dimensional holographic display that immerses them into the company’s vision of the future.
“The spatial perception effects created by the 3D hologram give the presentation a very impressive and life-like feel,” Sammartano said. “You are completely immersed in the world of tomorrow and are right in the center of it all.”
The exhibit runs from May 9 to 25.