The pallet truck is the logistics handling equipment that transport goods. The development history of pallet trucks has experienced three generations, and is developing to the fourth generation.
1. Manual Pallet Jacks
The first-generation pallet truck is a manual pallet truck. It is characterized by a low degree of automation and intelligence. However it has made a huge contribution to the conversion of manual handling to mechanized handling. Today, it is still in the pallet truck market, and take a certain market share.
2. Internal Combustion Pallet Trucks
The second-generation pallet truck is the internal combustion pallet truck. The 2nd generation is represented by the internal combustion forklift, which has high automation. The internal combustion forklift is powered by the engine and has strong power. The disadvantage is that the exhaust emission pollutes the environment, and the efficiency is low. Besides, it is harmful to human health. Thus it is not suitable for use in the food industry.
3. Electric Pallet Trucks
The third-generation pallet truck is all-electric pallet truck. Its degree of automation is equivalent to that of internal combustion pallet truck. However the electric pallet jack is a power technology update based on the concept of energy saving and environmental protection. It uses battery power and has the advantages of energy saving, no exhaust gas emissions, and low noise. It is the best choice for food industry. Due to its outstanding advantages of energy saving, it is considered by the truck industry as one of the most potential handling equipment in the future.
4. Automated Guided Vehicles System
The development of the fourth-generation transport vehicle is represented by automated guided vehicles system, referred to as AGVS. AGVS is expected to be widely used in the 1950s. It is an effective means of logistics transportation in today’s flexible manufacturing system (FMS) and automated warehouse system.
Modern AGVs are controlled by computers. Most AGVS is equipped with a centralized control and management computer for the system. The system is used to optimize the operation process of the AGV and issue handling instructions. At the same time, it can also track the components in transmission and control the route of the AGV. The guidance methods of unmanned vehicles mainly include electromagnetic induction guidance, laser guidance and magnet gyro guidance. We can input program to guide the vehicle to complete the handling work. AGVS is a kind of truck with higher intelligence.