JBT, a leading global solutions provider of technologically sophisticated systems and products, has solidified deals with Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc. and Crown Equipment, two of the world’s largest material handling companies, to help customers maximize the benefits of material handling automation.
JBT’s automation expertise and insight will be harnessed to deliver vehicles that can switch between manual and automated operation. By providing automation expertise, JBT will amplify and complement both companies’ ongoing research and development related to automation technologies.
The Crown DualMode T tow tractor, which offers manual and automated options, is an early result of the collaboration with Crown and is currently being piloted through Crown’s early adopter release initiative.
Meanwhile, the Hyster-Yale robotic reach truck, a pantograph truck capable of picking double-deep at heights up to 30’, has also been developed and installed at customer sites. The vehicle can also operate in manual and automated modes.
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Laura McConney, Marketing Specialist at JBT’s Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) division, says the collaboration, which will see vehicles cobranded with the JBT and Crown/Hyster-Yale logos, will leverage the strengths of both companies. “JBT has been automating vehicles for over 30 years, while Crown and Hyster-Yale, which are among the globe’s largest forklift supply companies, produce well-designed, versatile vehicles,” she says.
“We established relationships with Crown and Hyster-Yale because we were thinking about the way market trends are moving: forklift companies are collaborating, and we think that’s a good trend.”
Delivering vehicles that operate in both manual and automated settings, McConney continues, will help companies that are hesitant about abandoning manual operations by easing the transition between manual and automated operations.