Mobile scales and the integration of material flows and information flows
Which role will mobile weighing systems play in our logistics of the near future? Logistics is about managing material flows. In order to make these material flows run as efficiently as possible and to control their costs, we need to have at our disposal all kinds of information about these flows. How much is available of a certain material, where is it located, where is it going, where is it coming from, where was it produced and what was used in producing it? If we can make such information continuously available to all stakeholders, then we have achieved complete integration of material flows and information flows.
In the near future more and more forklifts and warehouse trucks will be equipped with RF-ID for automatic identification of pallets and containers lifted, and an integrated scale for determining their weight. This information will be communicated to warehouse management systems (WMS) via wireless networks. Thus forklifts and warehouse trucks, next to their basic function of material handling equipment, are more and more turning into platforms for gathering and communicating real time information on material flows.