The Raymond Corporation finds context, relevance in the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics

When he first picked up a copy of the U.S. Roadmap for Material Handling & Logistics, Steve Medwin of electric lift truck manufacturer The Raymond Corp. was struck by how comprehensive the document is.

“Raymond has been committed to making quality lift trucks and telematics solutions for fleet optimization,” he said. “But we don’t always have visibility to the whole supply chain and material handling industry, or all the other things that go on around our products. So from a broader perspective than just the movement of a pallet from point A to point B, the Roadmap is very helpful.”

Medwin, whose official title is Director of Systems and Advanced Engineering at Raymond, is in charge of new product research and development. His lab cooks up the innovations—such as the iWarehouse lift truck fleet monitoring and optimization telematics system—that not only make his company’s products even better, but also expands upon the offerings of other companies, such as Seegrid’s vision-guided technologies. Indeed, Medwin is responsible for Raymond’s own roadmap of planned technological advancements and upcoming innovations.

“Every so often we get a chance to take a step back and look at what we should be doing in the lab today, knowing that it might take five years to commercialize,” he explained. “So, when I first read the Roadmap, I felt that it clued right in to where the industry is going to be by 2025. It covers a lot of content in a very timely way—that’s why it really resonated with me.”

Because of his perspective, Medwin found the section about driverless over-the-road transport vehicles (pages 39-40 in the Roadmap) to be particularly relevant to the work he’s been involved with over the past few years—including driverless lift trucks. “It ties right in to some of the developments that have come out of our lab,” he said. “That concept is a logical extension of where the technology is today.”

Although Medwin was reluctant to pinpoint how his team’s research and development process has (or hasn’t) been impacted by the Roadmap’s vision, he appreciates its relevance: “It puts material handling and logistics into a societal context by tying in the impact of cultural trends on our industry,” he said. “For us, it’s an excellent background resource.”

Click here to learn more and download the Roadmap.