Release, 18 January 2022
Ajomestarit Oy has begun using lasers at the loading dock of Essity's tissue paper warehouse to facilitate the work of articulated vehicle drivers. The laser draws a green line on the ground, which the driver then uses to reverse their 20 to 30-metre long vehicle into the loading dock. Terminal management describe the laser as an innovation which has uses in everyday life and say it has made work more efficient while improving occupational safety.
Although any incidents were few are far between, the cramped loading area had its share of dangerous situations in the past, as long articulated vehicles bumped into each other and damaged the loading dock. Working time was wasted investigating and repairing the damage. The annual total costs amounted to thousands of euros.
“However, the most time was spent reversing long vehicles which could take up to 15 minutes to back up. Reversing a long articulated vehicle into the loading dock while keeping it straight was challenging when it was dark and the lines of the parking space were covered in snow,” says Juuso Nieminen, Terminal Manager at Ajomestarit Oy.
Wanting to tackle these challenges, Ajomestarit Oy installed lasers in the loading dock just before the evenings started to get really dark in October 2021. The Finnish photonics company Keypoint Oy, which has 30 years of experience with lasers and their various applications, was chosen as the supplier.
Introduction of the laser as a part of lean thinking
The reversal times of lorries have halved since the introduction of the lasers. The drivers have managed to keep to their transport schedules as the lorries have been able to pick up goods from the loading dock without much waiting.
“The time savings are considerable when you remember that several dozen cars are loaded here every day. If each of them are able to continue their journey ten minutes quicker, it frees up several hours for other tasks every day,” says Jyrki Nieminen, Terminal Supervisor at Ajomestarit Oy.
“Time is money after all. Reducing waste is lean thinking, which is something we subscribe to as we strive for continuous development together with our client Essity,” Nieminen adds.
Laser lines for all terminals
The development of the loading area has been welcomed by the articulated vehicle drivers. It is often not possible to expand the loading areas of terminals, although the length of the vehicles using them has increased to 34.5 metres in recent years.
“Drivers have told us that they’d be happy to see lasers like this at all loading areas not only in Finland but all over the world. The laser lines help even the most experienced drivers,” Juuso Nieminen says.
Ajomestarit installed the lasers at a height of 5.5 metres, which means that the resulting laser line is nearly as long as the longest articulated vehicle. The 30-metre laser line is uniformly visible along the entire length of the line. The laser light does not present a risk to occupational safety because the power of the laser is distributed over the entire length of the line and not focused on a single point.
“Based on the feedback we’ve received from the drivers, it seems we are pioneers in the use of lasers in terminal operations,” Jyrki Nieminen says.
Keypoint Oy is a family-owned photonics company that designs, manufactures, markets and sells industrial lasers, Theralux laser therapy equipment and Ichnos-4D radars. Keypoint has been manufacturing lasers for various industries for 30 years. Loading area markings represent the latest application of the laser. The company is based in Jyväskylä.
Essity Oy is a global hygiene and health company. Essity’s tissue warehouse is located in Nokia.
Ajomestarit Oy provides transport and warehousing services, trade fair and event transports as well as rental equipment and acts as the warehouse operator for Essity's tissue warehouse. The company is located in Nokia.
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