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2011-11-29 

The New BT Optio L-series Low-level Order Picking Trucks from BT 

Order picking continues to be a key area in material handling, with a continuing demand for increased choice for consumers and competition amongst retailers. As a result, the need for the maximum efficiency, particularly in low-level operations, remains high. The latest range of low-level order picking forklift trucks from BT sets new standards, not least because of the importance that is attached to the role of the operator within the order picking process.

 BT Optio L-series has been developed with clear objectives. Firstly, it has been designed to ensure that customers can select exactly the right forklift truck for the task, due to the wide variety of model configurations offered. Secondly, the trucks have been designed around a smooth operator concept, recognising the essential role that human beings play within order picking, and the importance that the truck offers the most efficient and effective ‘place of work’.

BT has a worldwide reputation for innovation in forklift design. The iF Design Awards also have an international reputation for recognising industry-leading achievements. Inevitably BT has on a number of occasions been recognised for product design. For 2012 the BT Optio L-series is the latest winner. Entered in the category Special Vehicles/construction/agriculture, the new model was selected for an iF product design award from 2,923 entries.

 

A Wide Range of Models

Analysis of the order picking process will invariably determine the most appropriate warehouse layout, and this is particularly true in order picking operations. The BT Optio L-series provides the basis for companies to select the optimum truck to suit the preferred layout of their operation.

Time and productivity are usually the key business factors in high-pressure retail distribution systems. A good example of the choices offered by the new range includes the standard low-lifting model OSE250, which offers fork lengths up to 3375 mm, allowing up to 5 roll cages to be carried at a time. This provides users with the ability to dramatically increase productivity levels due to the number of consignments that can be handled on a single picking run.

Like all models in the new Optio L-series range, the OSE250 offers the option of elevating driver platform to allow accession at higher second level storage positions. For occasional second level use, a new SureStep-up facility provides slip-free access to a wide picking platform over the motor compartment.

The Drive towards Ergonomy

There is increasing recognition of the risk of strain-related injury when it comes to continually bending to place loads on pallets at low levels. For this reason many companies are opting for high-lifting forks to provide a more ergonomic working position. Indeed, in some markets this is now moving towards a legislative requirement.

With this in mind, the new BT Optio L-series range offers a choice of models with forks that can be elevated to 800 mm. OSE120 models offer handling capacities of 1200kg, lifting to an ergonomic waist-height handling position, whilst the heavy-duty OSE200X model can provide the same ergonomic lifting facility but also long forks and 2000kg capacity, enabling up to 4 roll cages to be handled on a single consignment, with all of the benefits of ergonomic waist-height handling.

The range is completed by models that can provide second-level picking with walk-through facility giving the operator clear access to the load carrier.

Unique Model for Load Replenishment

A good example of the variety of models available with the new BT Optio L-series forklift range is the OSE120CB. Essentially a low-level order picking truck, this machine is equipped with a mast and counterbalance-style chassis configuration. Essentially it means that during an order picking run the truck can also be used to place and retrieve goods at higher levels, reflecting the way that most order picking operations work. This useful truck can handle loads to heights just over 4 meters providing exceptional versatility in operation.

Smooth Operator Concept

The heart of any order picking operation is the human being involved in the process. For this reason, the new BT Optio L-series range is developed around a Smooth Operator concept designed to provide the best working conditions. There are a number of important elements within this concept.

It starts with the low step-in height and the option of a new Frequency-Adapted Suspension (FAS) system that has been developed by BT. Recognising the fact that different types of vibration can occur according to working conditions, FAS delivers a new standard of cushioning in anticipation of increasingly stringent legislation when it comes to vibration in truck operations.

 

The new range of forklift trucks incorporates BT’s E-man control system that allows for easy and effortless driving. The steering arm is electronic and can be positioned according to driving conditions.
This includes, for example, being elevated when working at second level so the truck can be driven from point to point without the need return to ground level. It also allows the controls to be moved to the left- or right-hand side of the truck allowing the operator to advance the truck forward whilst walking alongside. Safety is assured by reducing steering angle when used under these conditions.

Efficient administration is essential in order picking operations, and another key part of the Smooth Operator concept is the way the new BT Optio L-series has been designed in this respect.

The trucks feature a number of storage compartments in and around the truck, as well as the optional BT E-bar concept that allows easy mounting of ancillary equipment, such as computer terminals, scanners, and even shrink-wrap holders.

Performance and Reliability

The new BT Optio L-series forklift range is equipped with powerful AC motors to ensure high levels of acceleration and maximum travel speed. The new trucks are manufactured at BT’s Swedish production facilities according to Toyota Production System (TPS) standards, ensuring the highest quality and reliability in operation.