Technology developed by a Purdue University-affiliated startup to make loading docks safer for forklift operators and workers is a finalist for a national innovation award. The Material Handling Institute, a logistics and supply chain trade association, has named DokSAFE a finalist for its Best New Product category of the 2020 MHI Innovation Awards.
The system, developed by Evansville-based Quarion Technology, uses real-time information about the location and direction of a forklift as it approaches a loading dock. At the same time, the equipment monitors the trailer restraint system.
If it’s not safe to enter the trailer, a transmitter sends a signal to disable the forklift.
“We take safety a step further by adding control technology that goes beyond warning sirens,” said Aric Pryor, a Purdue College of Engineering alum who started Quarion in 2015. “We dramatically change the options available for loading dock operators who previously only had lights, sirens and physical barriers to prevent accidents.”
Quarion Technology says more than 100 forklift operators are killed each year, many on loading docks because trailers have shifted or crept away from the dock because of multiple trips made by the forklift.
Pryor received help from the Purdue Foundry, Westgate which is located at WestGate@Crane Technology Park in Odon.