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L'Oréal Italia Prevents Warehouse Collisions Via RTLS

An active RFID solution ensures forklift operators are alerted when they near another vehicle or pedestrian, as well as providing data analytics about any near-misses.
By Claire Swedberg

L'Oréal wanted to be able to alert drivers if there was a pedestrian in their traffic lane, or if they were simply coming too close to another vehicle or a pedestrian when there was no protective barrier.

Each driver also wears a badge with a unique ID number encoded on it. As he climbs onto a vehicle, his prolonged proximity to the non-moving forklift indicates to the system that this specific individual, linked to the ID number of his badge, is operating the vehicle. By determining this, the software does not issue an alert if he is simply near the vehicle, since this pedestrian in fact is the driver of the forklift.

If his moving forklift comes within range of a person or vehicle, the software identifies that event. The software then illuminates the "stop light" installed at the intersection near the forklift, as well as illuminating a light on his vehicle to catch his attention. If he does not respond by slowing or stopping the forklift, the system activates a buzzer installed on the vehicle, to not only catch his attention but that of the pedestrian. The sound gets louder as he gets closer to the pedestrian. If he still does not stop, the forklift power can be shut down as well.

The system SafeTrack activates a buzzer and light installed on the forklift to warn the driver when a pedestrian is nearby.
The company not only uses the system to prevent accidents, but collects data every time a near miss occurs, such as where and at what time it happened, and who was driving. In this way the company can better manage its traffic and the training of its operators. Management can also use the software to view the location and movement of staff and vehicles in real time.

Altogether Chersoni says the company has installed 48 readers throughout the warehouse to receive tag transmissions, and provides 50 tags to its workers and 10 tags affixed to forklifts. "A big and valid help is avoiding collisions and accidents," says Chersoni, and adds "I guess this is enough."

For L'Oréal, which was unavailable for comment, the next step will be installation of the system in its other warehouse facilities, although a timeline for such installations hasn't been established.

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