Crown Equipment Corporation (New Bremen, OH)

The system keeps track of information related to a lockout that occurs within an industrial vehicle. A processor that is running in an industrial vehicle detects a lockout condition. The industrial vehicle operator will then be locked out in order to keep it from being driven away from the location it is located. A wireless message is sent to a server application that informs the user that the industrial vehicle has been locked. When the processor operating on the industrial vehicle receives a request to unlock the vehicle, the industrial vehicle is released and the identity is saved for the individual who delocked the industrial vehicle.

Businesses can employ wireless strategies to improve effectiveness and efficiency. This includes warehousing facilities and distribution centers as well as retail stores and manufacturing facilities. A typical wireless deployment is when workers are connected to a custom-built software application running on a compatible computer system using the wireless transceiver, such as a handheld device. The wireless transceiver may serve as an interface for the software application to direct workers in their tasks, e.g., by giving instructions to workers on which items to take, store and place away or move, stage, perform or manipulate items within the operator’s facility. The wireless transceiver could also be used with a suitable input device to scan detect, or read labels or tags like barcode labels or other identifiers to track movement of designated items in the facility.

To move objects about the operator’s facility, workers often utilize industrial vehicles, including for example, forklift trucks hand- and motor-driven pallet trucks, as well as other vehicles for handling materials. However, malfunctions of these industrial vehicles can affect the capacity of the management system as well as the the wireless strategy that is used to attain maximum efficiency. Moreover, conventional enterprise software, including the above-described customized softwareapplications, do not account for, track, communicate with or otherwise provide insight into the availability, health, status or suitability of the industrial vehicles to perform the required work. Additionally, the conventional enterprise software, including the corresponding management systems do not provide tools to manage access to, or use of, the industrial vehicles within the facility in a streamlined and coordinated method.

According to certain aspects of the invention described herein, a method is provided that collects information related to a lockout event that occurs in an industrial vehicle. This method is based on creating an industrial vehicle lockout condition and later detecting the condition using a processor running on the industrial vehicle. The method also includes locking the owner of the industrial vehicle, so that it can’t be driven away from the lock. A wireless signal is sent to a server program by the processor that informs that the industrial vehicle has been locked. Additionally, the method consists of the processor executing on the industrial car receiving a signal to unlock the vehicle , and keeping the name of the person who opened it in a database that is linked to the server application.

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The government grants patents to safeguard an invention, patents give the inventor exclusive rights to create, use to sell, and market the invention? society is benefited when a brand new technology is brought to the market. These benefits could be directly realized as people can achieve previously impossible feats, or indirectly through the economic benefits which innovation can bring (business expansion, job creation).

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