Robust and economical
Quick installation is just one of the advantages. The lack of external cables also makes mobile weighing more robust, cheaper, and less prone to faults. This development was already employed in the first generation of iForks in 2009, explains Spark project leader Gerben Achterkamp: “Until then, weighing forks were connected with cables and were fed by a externally attached battery. The connectors are costly and the cables are easily damaged, even with expensive protection measures. Ravas came up with the idea of making each of the two spoons of the fork weigh independently of each other and each to have its own battery pack. We then helped them to make this idea happen, in particular by designing the battery so that there are also no interruptions to the power supply in the case of big shocks.”
Batteries are constantly getting smaller and more efficient. In order to utilize the full benefits of this and other developments Ravas decided on an update and called Spark. Achterkamp: “In the first generation, the battery pack was on the side of the spoon, which sometimes resulted in it being damaged. Ravas offered every client a customized protection measure, but that was not sustainable. By creating a little extra space in the new design, and by using smaller cells, we can now completely hide the battery pack and the electronics on the back of the spoon. It is smaller, but very robust and easy to operate. Even with work gloves on.”
iForks is one of a number of successful collaborations in the long running relationship between Ravas and Spark. Previously, we have developed, among other things, a mobile weighing indicator for hand pallet trucks. Already in 2010, the first generation of iForks were honoured with an FLTA Award, a prestigious prize from the British Forklift Truck Association.