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FLEX-OPS® improves safety against overloads
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Overloaded forklifts.  We’ve all seen them.  Counterbalance trucks may be overloaded to the point that steer axles barely touch ground.  Man-up pickers sway dangerously in the aisle.  And side-loaders nervously kneel as a load is deposited.     

MSE-Forks recently changed their name to Meijer Handling Solutions because they manufacture so much more than Kooi ReachForks and RollerForks!    

The company recognized a need for a dynamic monitoring system to prevent lift truck overloading and possible tip overs.  Meijer Handling Solutions began offering their Overload Protection System to more accurately predict and warn when lift trucks are in danger of tipping over.  FLEX-OPS can easily be installed on any lift truck and displays in real time the percentage of dynamic load or “moment” compared to the lift truck’s maximum capacity.  When the maximum capacity of the truck is reached, FLEX-OPS gives an audible and/or visual warning.  The operator can react to correct the overload condition and prevent tip-over before it occurs.    

FLEX-OPS is a unique FLEXible Overload Protection System.  It doesn’t matter which forklift truck you use; the FLEX-OPS is so flexible that it can be used on any forklift truck; counterbalance trucks, order picking trucks, reach trucks, side loaders and mounted forklift trucks regardless of type or lifting capacity.  FLEX-OPS can help prevent accidents and damage, and how it will contribute to a safer work environment.  The FLEX-OPS can be used for various applications indoors and out in the elements. In principle, the system is applicable to all kinds of forklift trucks and all sorts of forklift truck attachments.  The FLEX-OPS can be connected to both massive heavy duty and small warehouse fork trucks.

Question:  We had our first recordable material handling accident.  According to a witness, the lift truck operator was lifting an 800lb motor with a 3,000lb capacity reach truck when the reach truck pitched over.  My operator was hurt, and the reach truck is headed to the scrap metal bin.  How could that happen? 

Answer:  It wasn't the weight that caused the lift truck to turn over.  It was the effect of the weight and load center combined.  We call this combined effect of load and distance the load “moment.”  The moment is defined as “a turning effect produced by a force acting at a distance on an object”. 

Reachtrucks will handle a variety of pallet weights in the warehouse.  Warehouse managers know their reach trucks lose capacity as the lift height increases, so they plan to keep the “heavy” pallets down low. But when operators do not have an empty slot at the bottom, they may attempt to lift the heavy load higher than the safe height.    

The FLEX-OPS system provides real-time dynamic warning of overload.

Question:  If my man-up picker is building a pallet that is within the rated weight capacity of the lift truck, can the lift truck actually be overloaded and become unsafe?

 Answer:  YES!  As the picker builds their pallet, they will often stack at the rear of the pallet and build to the front.  The pallet weight may be within the rated capacity of the truck, but the load center has shifted beyond 24” effecting the “moment” of the load.  1800 lbs centered on the last 12” of the pallet acts like more than 3000lbs evenly distributed across the pallet.  If the picker is building a heavy pallet of casting parts, canned goods, or other heavy objects, the partial load can create an unstable lift truck, especially at height! 

This overload protection system has been developed to increase the safety level for operators of forklift trucks in warehouses, manufacturing plants or other similar environments, helping to prevent tip over accidents, permanent fork deflection or even broken forks.

The patented system makes use of strain gauges bonded directly to existing forks.  Sensors can be wired into the system to input height data for calculating the lever effect. 

This unique system continuously measures the moment of the load and compares it to the truck’s net capacity. The display provides the operator a percentage value of the current load to the max capacity of the lift truck.  If that value is exceeded, a warning signal alerts the operator.  The operator now has the opportunity to adjust his load and prevent an accident.  

Question:  My reach truck displays the weight on my forks.  Isn't that enough to keep me safe from overloading? 

Answer:  You may have thought so, but it's not enough.  The weight display doesn't know whether the load is uniformly distributed, is at the correct load center, or account for any dynamic measurements.  It only know a static weight on the forks.  Safety is DYNAMIC!

The only way to know the true load effect (factoring weight and load center together) is to measure the “load moment.”  Flex-OPS (Overload Protection System) is able to accurately measure load moment and display that value as a percentage of the lift trucks maximum safe load.  And it installs without modification to your existing equipment. 

Question:  Is there a way I can know if my lift truck has ever been overloaded? 

Answer:  Yes!  Flex-OPS from Kooi Equipment not only displays real time load values as a percentage of max capacity, it also records the data keeping it available for download later. 

The FLEX-OPS protects employees against injury and equipment against overload or misuse. The system improves the operator’s awareness of the load weight and consequently leads to increased forklift safety and a more efficient working environment.  The data can be recalled as needed to verify overloading has occurred.  Meijer Handling Solutions invites you to browse their website http://www.mse-ops.com/ to learn more about their Overload Protection System for forklift trucks. 

 

If you are interested in adding this safety feature to the fleet of trucks you operate, sell, or manufacture, contact Meijer Handling Solutions.  Flex-OPS provides dynamic overload protection for your material handling equipment.  

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