A number of the visitors who have made their way to WoMH are forklift operators. I always enjoy speaking with them since I learn more about how they do their jobs “on the ground”. There’s one aspect that gets mentioned again and again: operators who work with reach trucks and have to approach racking bays eight metres in height or more always complain about the load beginning to sway. That’s because the mast can start swinging back and forth when the goods are removed from the bay or when the mast is moved while loaded. How long the swaying lasts can vary. It can even go on for up to half a minute depending on the size of the load and the height it’s being lifted to.
What does the operator do while this is happening? The less experienced ones simply sit and wait. A more experienced operator will begin moving the joystick very gently, causing counter-movements that bring the swinging to a halt more quickly. It’s not all that easy. And it takes time.
Dynamic Mast Control
Visitors at WoMH have the opportunity to ride to the top of a specially converted reach truck so they can experience Linde’s innovative solution to this problem with their entire body. They are elevated to a height of about ten metres and the driver then starts moving them – the “goods” – around. What they experience next is … absolutely nothing!
That’s because the truck has been outfitted with Dynamic Mast Control, a safety system developed by Linde. As soon as the operator at WoMH turns off the system – just for demonstration purposes, since the system normally can’t be shut off – the difference quickly becomes apparent. I rode to the top myself and was amazed how big the difference is. When DMC was not in operation I felt like I was up on the mast of a ship sailing the high seas. Ahoy! As soon as DMC was activated, however, the “seas” grew calm. I could basically feel no swaying at all.
As an aside: the technicians installed an emergency button next to the seat for participants who might have second thoughts once they were at the top, just in case. The bell that rings sounds like an ordinary doorbell: ding dong! The operator called up to me to stop pushing the button, since I couldn’t resist trying it out.
To make things more understandable, we naturally have a video that illustrates what Dynamic Mast Control can do. However, when DMS is activated, there’s not really a lot to see. Curtain up: