Big Joe Forklifts in partnership with Thoro.ai continues to rapidly advance the features on their flagship AMR and invest in key staff to help deliver easy to deploy automation for their customers. At Pack Expo, visitors could see and experience the latest Big Joe Pallet Mover AMR first-hand including several new features such as dynamic on-the-fly rerouting, onboard viewable maps and configurable zone rules to further enhance productivity, ease of operation and control for users. Additionally, Big Joe will be showcasing other unique vehicles in its standard lineup that are ideal for supporting packaging operations in manufacturing, warehousing or logistics environments.
With the introduction of the Pallet Mover’s dynamic rerouting capability the unit can now autonomously navigate to a destination on an alternative path should an aisle or area of travel become blocked, improving productivity and reliable completion of user-directed tasks. With visual maps of an operating area now included on the Pallet Mover’s user interface, operators can now easily validate that they are sending the AMR to an intended location as a visual reference. Lastly but perhaps one of the most powerful updates on the Pallet Mover to be introduced at Pack Expo, is a host of configurable zone rules which users can employ within areas of operation. These zone rules instruct the Pallet Mover as to how a user wants it to behave in a specific location. Slower travel speed areas, continuous horn use areas, prohibited areas and areas intended for automated side-by-side pallet unload are but a few examples of the increased control provided with the new zone rules feature.
In addition to advancements in its AMR, Big Joe is announcing that it has hired the Director of Strategic Partnerships for its Autonomous Division, Brendan Brett. Brett will be leveraging Big Joe’s core strengths of developing affordable, reliable, easy to use and deploy autonomous vehicles to foster additional collaborations within or aligned with the material handling industry. Brett’s vision is to evolve the company’s strategic autonomous roadmap ahead of market trends to sustain Big Joe’s competitive advantage throughout both its distribution and service network and those of partners.
“The global pandemic accelerated the need and uptake of autonomous vehicles, paving the way for the material handling industry to become educated on how simple, yet effective solutions could be every day, not just to solve its pain points during a crisis,” said Brett. “I look forward to helping provide growth and development opportunities for our current fleet as well as adding additional options for our customers as we continue to focus on innovation and automation.”
Brett studied Supply Chain Management and Information Systems at Penn State and has 15 years of Supply Chain Operations experience specifically in the food and beverage industry. He was globally recognized by Nestle’s High Performance Logistics Team for projects such as setting up a configurable WMS fully integrated with AGV-MS, semi-automated Pallet Mole® systems and YMS software.
“Big Joe is committed to bringing smart simple automation solutions to market which by nature requires innovation and collaboration. We welcome Brendan and look forward to working together on helping others empower workers and eliminate the need for complicated systems integration,” said Big Joe’s Chief Marketing Officer, Bill Pedriana.
The rest of the Big Joe lineup of demos in booth #N-10028 will include the PDSR Walkie Reach Truck which features power steering and flexible operational advantages in numerous material handling applications. The Big Joe CB30/CB35 Counterbalanced Walkie Stackers will illustrate a safe and productive alternative to traditional rider forklifts, and the iconic Big Joe J1 “Joey” Task Support Vehicle will be on hand to help attendees ponder how they might improve the performance of elevated work at their facilities.