Double warning system in shoe warehouse - Extra protection for deaf employee with ELOshield

Double warning system in shoe warehouse
Extra protection for deaf employee with ELOshield

Safety systems generally give acoustic and optical warnings to alert personnel to the risk of collisions in the warehouse - but if sounds cannot be heard in potentially dangerous situations, other measures need to be put into place. This was the case with shoe wholesaler P+P Schuhvertrieb GmbH, where a deaf employeee works at its central distribution centre in Heinsdorfergrund. By using ELOKON’s RFID based personal safety system ELOshield, the company was able to ensure maximum safety for all operatives in the warehouse.

The background
Maximum safety – maximum productivity

The 1,000m² central distribution centre consists of two warehouses: a larger one designated for storage and, within this, linked by a staircase, is a smaller one where the packing of goods is carried out. There are 21 racking bays and a Jungheinrich ETV 214 reach truck looks after material flow in the larger hall, where two of the 15 aisles are narrow aisles. As a consequence, the safety distance between the most extended parts of the forklifts and the racking is less than half a metre on both sides. This obviously makes for high density storage and efficient picking, but it also poses considerably more risks for warehouse personnel compared to wide aisle operation.  A second vehicle – a Hawker pallet truck, is also in operation in the larger warehouse.

A special solution for special conditions

As employee Sybille Großer is deaf, her own working environment is always quiet however noisy the surroundings are, and of course this means she cannot hear free roaming forklifts approaching. She is at particular risk when entering the large warehouse as in this section the forklifts are travelling down the aisles at high speed to keep to the best possible loading and handling cycles. In order to ensure the highest safety levels for his workforce and equipment, the MD of P+P Schuhvertriebs GmbH, Christian Penciulescu, set out to find a very special solution for Sybille Großer, which he found with ELOKON’s ELOshield product.

This mobile driver assistance system from ELOKON, which detects the presence of personnel in the vicinity, features not only acoustic alerts but also two further signals: a flashing light and intense vibration. „This extra layer of protection makes it much safer for our deaf employee and was therefore the ideal choice for our specific requirements “, said Christian Penciulescu. The project was supported by the Vocational Training Association in Dresden and the Centre for the Deaf in Zwickau, and costs were borne by the Central German pension insurance.

The solution
Good vibrations

ELOshield is a radio-based identification system which automatically detects when an object or a person approaches a forklift’s danger zone. The ELOshield forklift module is installed in an easily visible location above the dashboard in the cab of the Jungheinrich truck. The read/reception unit transmits a radio signal, which is received by personal transponders and reflected. Ms. Großer wears her personal transponder – which is just the size of a smartphone – on an armbelt. On the basis of a so-called run-time measurement of the radio signal, the system continually detects the distance between the forklift truck and the person. If a specific distance is breached the forklift driver receives visual and acoustic indication of imminent danger and at the same time the transponder emits an acoustic signal as well as a vibrating alarm. Should the vehicle get closer, the vibrations become more pronounced. „This twofold warning system for Ms. Großer therefore gives her plenty of time to react to keep her out of danger “, said Christian Penciulescu.

Start-up in just one day

The system was installed and operational in just one day, having previously been configured with circular warning and protective zones. The warning zone is active from a distance of 3m, whilst the protective zone is active from 1.5m. On the day of installation, the truck module was fitted to the truck interface and Ms. Großer was instructed on the use of the personal transponder.

The installation took place in November 2017.

Jungheinrich forklift truck with ELOshield

The project at a glance

1,000 square metres of space

Size of the central warehouse

Two

Warehouses

17 Aisles

Two of them are narrow aisles

About P+P Schuhvertriebs GmbH

P+P Schuhvertriebes GmbH

P+P Schuhvertrieb GmbH is a medium sized family run company which is based in Heinsdorfergrund in the Vogtland region of Germany. It was established in 1991 by Christian und Yvonne Penciulescu. P+P’s team consists of 170 employees, 18 of whom work in its administrative and warehousing areas. The company has 25 shoe shops in the Federal States of Saxony, Thüringia, Saxony-Anhalt und Lower Saxony. As well as the network of retail outlets P+P Schuhvertriebs GmbH also operates an online shop.


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