Welcome to Dillon Toyota Lift's blog. Here you will find everything from product features, industry education, operator insights, racking, warehouse design, material handling solutions, safety, trends, best practices and more!  

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Friday, June 10, 2022

At Toyota, we understand that daily challenges like product flow and line layout can make it difficult to run a productive and efficient operation with limited downtime. Efficiency in component and product delivery can be a game-changer for a wide variety of operations.

Used widely in both manufacturing and warehouse environments to help deliver components that are needed regularly and repetitively, Automated Guided Carts can offer an automated solution that is easy to integrate with little interruption to your operation. And because of reduced movement of associates, they can concentrate on less repetitive delivery tasks and focus directly on their tasks – resulting in immediate ROI.

Discover how AGCs can help you navigate your facility confidently and take your operation to new heights.

  1. Magnetic Tape Guidance

One key to deciding to move toward automation, and deciding how to begin your move into automating processes, is ease of set up and limiting impact to your day-to-day operation during installation. Setting up Toyota’s AGC in your facility is simple. Trained experts will first help you map out paths and material flow that are specific to your operation. Then, high-strength magnetic tape and unique RFID markers will be applied along the routed path. Durable magnetic tape is used to limit interference from surrounding magnetic sources that can be found naturally on some customers’ floors. The RFID markers confirm the cart’s location and provides additional instructions, further reducing the probability of disrupting the material flow and ensuring reliable performance.

When assessing your automation options, make sure you’re working with a partner who can quickly and seamlessly help you integrate new products and processes in your facility.

  1. Tow Pin With Spring

While some companies hesitate to invest in new automation solutions because of concerns related to repairs, models like Toyota’s AGCs are built to be reliable and include back up functionality in the rare case of automation failure. Toyota models come with an actuated tow pin with a spring that manually lowers the pin in the event of a misalignment, keeping you on the go, limiting your downtime. When assessing automated cart technology, it’s good to ask your integration partners what might happen in the event of a technology failure.

  1. Software Enhanced

Seamless technology integration means much more than just easy installation. Prolonging the ease of using automated technology is a main factor in your investment decision. Toyota AGC’s, for example, have a built-in touch screen display that allows you to monitor key information and make changes to your route, speed, and vehicle parameters at the touch of a button – no laptop needed. LIAISON Fleet Management software makes it easy for you to make updates to routes long after the initial installation and requires no licensing fees.

Toyota’s AGCs also have a laser obstacle scanner that allows it to monitor objects or pedestrians in its path, slowing or stopping when an object or pedestrian is detected. Additionally, this scanner can be programmed to fit different zones and allow intuitive operation near pedestrians and within confined spaces. Good automation investment empowers you toward long-term success. When assessing your next steps into automation, take into account the long view of your business success – your automation should grow with you.


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Posted by tfinco at 6/10/2022 6:46:00 PM
Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Automating your material handling processes presents many challenges. How will it impact material flow? Will you need to shutdown part of your operation for the installation and for how long? What type of infrastructure will you need to install and how scalable are the solutions?

Deciding that there are processes that can be improved in your operation through automation should be completed with care and guidance, if needed. But once you’ve made that exciting decision, getting started with automation is essentially as complicated as you need it to be to improve your process goals. There are many ways you can help alleviate the burden of implementation and automate tasks with ease while also allowing for scalable solutions that are easy to manage.

Here are a few helpful tips to get you moving on your path to increased efficiency and productivity with automation:

Optimize Before Automating

Automating a bad process can further amplify inefficiencies and require adjustments down the road that are rather costly to fix. While you don’t need to eliminate 100% of your inefficiencies prior to automating, it’s a good rule of thumb to analyze your operation to help make sure the solution is scalable and sustainable long-term. Toyota dealers can help you with this process by utilizing Toyota Lean Management and expert knowledge to pinpoint and eliminate inefficiencies prior to implementing automation.

Utilize Appropriate Technologies

Some automated products require additional time for implementation as well as additional infrastructure that can be costlier and cause disruption. Products like Toyota’s Center-Controlled Rider and Core Tow Tractor Automated Forklifts utilize LIDAR-based natural features navigation that requires little to no additional infrastructure. The mapping technology used by these models also makes adding units and modifying routes simple and efficient to minimize your downtime.

Choose the Right Automation Partner

When deciding on an automation partner, consider the value and expertise that they can bring to your business. What automation technologies and services do they have to offer? Can they support my business effectively at all locations? What type of support do they provide for implementation and maintenance?

Toyota’s partnership with Bastian Solutions, a Toyota Advanced Logistics company, allows us to provide unprecedented support for your business both nationally and globally. As the leading full-line material handling solutions providers, we are your one-stop-shop for your automation needs, including sales, implementation, and service.

Comprehensive training is also provided to operators and managers to ensure a smooth transition into automation. We can even train you to make route and unit adjustments on your own to minimize your downtime as your business evolves. View original post HERE

Posted by tfinco at 5/11/2021 5:32:00 AM
Friday, April 10, 2020

Businesses have traditionally relied on multiple vendors for equipment, service, and consultation services to keep their operations running. This can be an appealing approach as you can pick and choose the right vendor based on their qualifications and ability to meet your needs. After all, you likely don’t buy your groceries in the same place where you dry clean your clothes, right?

But what if you could? What if you didn’t have to drive to two separate buildings across town for these services? What if you had one main point of contact who could hand you your dry cleaning and the groceries you bought online at the same time? Or what if the person who fixed your cable could also fix that vacuum that hasn’t had proper suction for years?

These conveniences translate well to the world of material handling. When you work with multiple vendors, it creates added work, takes more time to communicate between each vendor, and it can prevent you from getting the best solution that takes into account all aspects of your business.

Think about it this way: If you have one company who quotes you a racking system, one that quotes you a forklift, and one that quotes you a conveyor, how can you be sure you are getting the optimal solution? How can you be sure your facility layout is optimized to accommodate all of these separate pieces of equipment? Will these individual pieces of equipment work together more efficiently and productively than if you had chosen one (or more) of those pieces differently?

True full-line material handling solution providers:

  • Not only give you added convenience, but they help to optimize every part of your business.
  • They’re experts when it comes to providing integrated systems that optimize space and work flows.
  • And they can help you leverage advanced technologies that work harmoniously together for the perfect blend of automated and manual material handling processes.

When it comes to single solution providers, there is none better equipped to handle a wide range of challenges than Toyota. Toyota boasts the largest lineup of material handling solutions that are capable of handling materials at every point in the supply chain. Everything from parcels to pallets to containers can be handled by a Toyota product.

Thanks to the partnership between Toyota Material Handling and Bastian Solutions, a Toyota Advanced Logistics company, Toyota dealers can also provide fully integrated systems with both automated and manual material handling equipment. Everything from conveyors to AGVs to automated storage and retrieval systems can be quoted through your Toyota dealer. And best of all, these pieces of equipment can also be serviced by the same Toyota Certified Technicians that work on your forklifts.

Having these resources available combined with the knowledge of how they can be integrated together into one comprehensive solution is where the real value of a single solutions provider can be realized. You get one point of contact for support and service, AND you get a complete solution that is going to optimize all aspects of your business. It’s truly a win-win situation.

If you’re interested in how these services can benefit you, reach out to your local Toyota dealer today. They probably won’t be able to handle your dry cleaning or fix your faulty vacuum, but a free site survey could put you on the right track to optimizing your business.

Original Post: 

Posted by tfinco at 4/10/2020 4:12:00 PM
Friday, December 20, 2019

The world is changing faster every day, and the material handling industry is changing with it. To stay at the top and meet the needs of our customers, Toyota is changing, too.

Traditionally, Toyota Material Handling’s (TMH) core business has been as a forklift manufacturer, selling primarily to customers that move pallets. And while Toyota will remain focused on the “forklift core” and the needs of these customers, TMH continues to evolve to support a wider range of customers, too.

The middle section of the chart above represents TMH’s traditional business, including products such as the 3-wheel electric forklift, stand-up riders, pallet jacks, order pickers, and 4-wheel electric and IC forklifts.

Toyota Industries Corporation’s (TICO’s) strategic acquisitions of Bastian Solutions and Vanderlande have allowed TMH to also address customer challenges in the bottom section of the chart by providing case- and piece-picking solutions in an increasingly automated world.

And the recent acquisition of Hoist Material Handling by Toyota Industries North America (TINA) provides TMH with an avenue to offer solutions to cargo and container customers in the top section of the chart with Toyota Heavy Duty (THD) trucks.

Hoist has nearly 25 years of experience manufacturing heavy-duty cushion tire and pneumatic tire forklifts, reach stackers, container handlers, and other material handling equipment — ranging in lift capacity from 7 to 57 tons.

Each of these acquisitions — Bastian, Vanderlande, and Hoist — supports Toyota’s revolutionary vision of transforming the world’s No. 1 forklift manufacturer into the world’s No. 1 full-line material handling solutions provider.

Toyota has stepped outside of its proverbial comfort zone and continues to think innovatively to ensure that for every challenge you face, it can provide a reliable solution for your supply chain.

Posted by tfinco at 12/20/2019 10:24:00 PM
Friday, August 9, 2019

Marked advancements in technology have made it possible for autonomous vehicles to become a distinct reality.  Today, many different types of equipment such as AGVs and industrial robotics are used to handle monotonous tasks such as building and horizontally transporting pallets. The next logical step in this transition is to automate stacking and storage of products, something that current AGV models are incapable of performing.

Toyota’s new automated 3-wheel electric, on display at ProMat 2019, was built to do just that. Natural features navigation allows the truck to learn the layout of your facility and continually update mapping of the facility over time – no costly reflectors or wearable magnetic tape required. And the ability to operate the truck manually when needed adds a valuable level of versatility that is ideal for developing facilities and those that are just beginning their journey into automation.

Although this forklift is still in the design phase, it is an initial step in a series of technological advancements planned by Toyota to bring fully integrated automation solutions to the forefront of the material handling industry.

Also on display at ProMat 2019 were Toyota’s center-controlled rider AGV, automated moving mast reach truck, and mouse tug-cart AGV. Seeing these machines in action demonstrates how a real-life application can benefit from multiple different types of automated equipment handling horizontal and vertical placement of pallets in a facility.

Toyota’s strategic partnership with Toyota Advanced Logistics allows for a comprehensive solution that marries advanced systems and robotics with forklifts to maximize efficiency at the parcel level. Also on display at ProMat 2019, a palletizing robot that can build pallets for forklifts to pick up and move to their next destination. This is just one example of how an integration between traditional and automated material handling solutions can benefit your business.

Though you likely won’t see any super heroes using forklifts as a means to thwart crime anytime soon, automated forklifts meeting all or most of your material handling challenges may not be as far away as you think.

Whether you are just beginning to automate some of your material handling processes or you are looking for advanced solutions to complete tasks, our Warehouse Solutions team is here to help you carry the load.
Original Post: Trinton Castetter, Product Marketing Specialist, Toyota Material Handling

Posted by tfinco at 8/9/2019 10:19:00 PM
Monday, July 29, 2019

For every challenge, a reliable solution. What challenges does your business face? Are you facing rising operation costs?  Are you in need for more skilled workers? Are you not reaching the efficiency levels needed? At Toyota Industries Group, we understand that every business faces a unique set of challenges. Our job is to ensure you are equipped with a team of experts to help face those challenges with solutions.

Toyota Industries Group brings together the collective strength of industry leaders in their specific solution spaces. Four companies with one strategic vision – Toyota Material Handling, Vanderlande, Bastian Solutions and Raymond – means our customers have every resource and innovation they need throughout their operation.

Our goal is always to be the best provider possible, to be able to help customers solve any problem with the right solution. Toyota Industries Group delivers on that promise. By coupling Toyota Industries Group’s industry-leading expertise with its flagship brands, Toyota Industries Group offers a wide range of solutions in areas such as automation, forklifts, telematics, and robotics.

If it’s a more versatile forklift and warehouse fleet you need, we can help. If you need small scale automation and robotics, we can help. If you need massive automation overhauls, we can help with that, too. And if you need a combination of these things, our four major companies and other strategic operations are partnered to offer one integrative approach.

TIG is at the forefront of advancements in digital technologies and innovations that are driving massive change and creating efficiencies in the supply chain industry to meet demands in e-commerce, inventory management, warehouse operations, and more. Toyota Industries Group is commitment to continued innovation is helping prepare customers for the challenges of tomorrow.

From the factory to the field, Toyota Industries Group meets the diverse needs of customers all around the world. For every challenge, Toyota Industries Group has a reliable solution.

Original Post:  Sarah Nolting, Marketing Manager, Toyota Material Handling

Posted by tfinco at 7/29/2019 3:43:00 PM
Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Ecommerce is forever changing the way customers shop and the way businesses operate. More and more customers are shopping online and having orders shipped to a nearby store or more likely shipped directly to their homes. More importantly customers are expecting it to arrive quicker than ever before. This expectation of 2-day delivery is putting stress on businesses today and will continue to pressure businesses into changing the way they operate. Queue dark warehousing. Dark warehousing is a concept that is becoming more and more popular, although it comes at a price.

What is a Dark Warehouse?

A dark warehouse is a fully-automated warehouse that operates without the use of human labor. You can simply turn the lights out and the operation will continue to run. The pressure on businesses for swift deliveries of online orders has influenced the deployment of automated guided vehicles, self-driving forklifts, conveyor belts, and automated palletizers throughout all warehouses in order to speed up operations. Add all of these up among other automated equipment and you have yourself a dark warehouse.

What are the Advantages of Dark Warehouses?

There are several advantages of a dark warehouse that entice business to automate their facilities. One advantage is eliminating putting employees in adverse working conditions. Robots and other automated tools will perform tasks in those conditions, such as freezing temperatures.

Dark warehouses are also extremely quick and efficient, providing less chance for error with automated machines. There are no shift changes, breaks or human error that need to be corrected. Dark warehouses operate 24/7 without stopping.

Are there any Downfalls to Dark Warehousing?

There are a few downfalls to implementing dark warehouses into your business. For one, they are not cheap. These warehouses are multi-million dollar facilities with high capital expenditures. Large, established companies are best suited for implementing these types of warehouses.

Dark warehouses are also not as flexible in operation for picking, packing, and shipping. These warehouses are very good in industries that have products similar in size and weight. The more variation there is in a dark warehouse the expense you incur with automation equipment for handling different sized products.

What does the Dark Warehousing Trend Mean for My Business?

Moving to dark warehousing means some operations are having to alter the expertise of both managers and employees. Where warehouses with a manual focus require expertise in communication in a facility with many moving parts and a wide range of knowledge about different types of operator required equipment, dark warehouses require different skill sets. Technical software skills and program management becomes key.

Even warehouse businesses not moving fully to dark warehouses will see an increase in technology in their operations in order to meet demand and keep pace with competitors. In this case, learning how to integrate human-controlled machines into automated conveyor system and order retrieval technologies is key.

Dark warehousing is just one of several new movements in meeting the demand of customers in a digital world. As this demand isn’t likely to decrease soon, adjusting to trends and keeping a cutting-edge warehouse can go a long way in taking your business to new heights.

Posted by tfinco at 12/26/2018 7:20:00 PM
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