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Feb 03, 2012

Concept forklift wins award

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US forklift manufacturer Doosan has won European design institution Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen’s Red Dot Design Award for its intelligent Concept Forklift (CFL), which offers efficiency and a high level of safety.

Doosan equipment is distributed locally by Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC).

GLTC MD Darryl Shafto states that the award is an important one and that Doosan offers advanced forklift technology.

“One such technology is it ‘brakes for life’ system, introduced several years back,” he says.

The ‘brakes for life’ design, a feature on Doosan forklifts, is an oil-cooled disc brake system that is fully enclosed and eliminates outside contamination of any humid, abrasive or corrosive dust particles.

Meanwhile, the design of the CFL was undertaken by Doosan’s Institute of Technology industrial design team and incor- porated new materials and production techniques, together with Doosan’s ideals of simple, powerful products with great performance.

Doosan CEO Chinwon Park attributes the success of the CFL to hard work and the dedication of the company’s research and development teams.

“Developments like the ones recognised by the Red Dot Award will bring us even greater success in the future. “Convincing the design experts is no easy task, and we are delighted to receive this recognition,” he says.

Shafto believes that a variety of elements regarding the design could be incorporated into all Doosan forklifts within five years.

The design team states that the major key theme for the design of the CFL was innovation that embodies efficiency and intelligence.

Productivity and usability can be linked to the cabin elevation and tilting function that uses a hydraulic mechanism with a high-torque linear motor system. Steering and handling operations are much simpler with the use of a multifunctional control joystick, while a work guide system provides for safer and more efficient operations through augmented reality technology.

GLTC says the CFL demonstrates Doosan’s ability to integrate augmented reality systems into a heads-up display.

Greater productivity can be achieved through the work guide system, which allows operators to view information about their cargo and deduce the most appro- priate work process that needs to be applied to it.

It also features an extendable counterweight that increases stability and loading capacity while maintaining the minimum turning radius.

As it is electrically powered, the forklift reduces fuel costs, emissions and excess noise, meeting higher environmental standards.

Further, rechargeable batteries result in increased work time and productivity.

Doosan’s Young Lee believes that innovations such as tilting seats, hub motor drive and solar reacting glass will be available on future models.

“The technology and engineering capability are already with us, as are cameras and sensors mounted on forks and masts. Like all features, we need to demonstrate the need and the benefits to prove that the changes are worthwhile,” he says.

Rapid prototyping, or three-dimentional printing, may also prove an important element to the forklift supplier of the future. With the technology already available to reproduce complex structures by effectively printing them, the need to carry expensive parts holdings, or even rarely used parts, may become less important.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
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